A local startup is trying to forge a new market in esports, with a little help — such as nearly half a million dollars — from Indiana University.
“‘Healthy gaming’ is not an oxymoron,” Jeff Thinnes, co-founder of SummaForte, told The Herald-Times.
In July, SummaForte, a company that produces health and wellness products for competitive video game players, received $460,000 from the IU Angel Network. The network connects IU-affiliated investors with startups that have ties to the university.
This is the largest investment from the network to date, according to executive director Jason Whitney. It also marks the second investment from the IU Angel Network into SummaForte. Last year, the network invested $35,000.
The story behind SummaForte
Since founding SummaForte in 2020, Jeff and Murtagh Thinnes have made a series of life changes. Jeff decided to “wind down, shutter and moth-ball” his 20-year consulting company. Murtagh quit his other job to work for the company full-time. The father-son team moved to Bloomington and opened a new office inside the Dimension Mill.
“We sold our family home of 25 years, picked up stakes and moved back to Indiana because I know Indiana. I grew up here. Murtagh studied here. It’s a unique place,” Jeff said. “The support that we’ve gotten is even beyond our wildest dreams, both from the university and the local businesses.”