Background: Community Venture Fund
In the first three years of operation (May 2004-December 2006), a $1.7 million grant from the Lilly Endowment enabled the University to establish the Solution Center and the IUPUI Community Venture Fund. In less than three years, the Solution Center facilitated 1,212 internships, projects, and research collaborations, 839 of which were created or assisted by funding from the Venture Fund. During this time period, the Solution Center awarded 206 grants to 142 business, nonprofit organizations, and government and educational institutions. Partnering organizations contributed in excess of $1.2 million to support these engagements, creating 662 internships, 473 projects, and 77 research partnerships between the community and the University.
From 2007-2008, the Solution assisted over 150 Central Indiana small businesses and nonprofit organizations to develop partnerships and collaborations with IUPUI faculty, researchers, and students. Increased awareness in the Solution Center’s role led to a greater number of students and faculty involved in Solution Center projects and research collaborations than ever before. During this period, the Solution Center facilitated 195 internships, 134 class projects, and 17 research initiatives for a total of 346 engagements.
Because of the success of the Venture Fund in building community partnerships, the Solution Center has received a renewal grant from the Lilly Endowment.