The Mill, Bloomington’s center for entrepreneurship, announced today that Finniva won the 2022 Crossroads Collegiate Pitch Competition, sponsored by Velocities. Co-founder and CEO Andrew McMaster, a student at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington, took home a $2,500 investment from Flywheel Fund and access to their network of investors and mentors.
Finniva is building a streamlined marketplace for large multi-family and commercial real estate developers to source materials directly from the supplier. Finniva helps developers efficiently locate the best materials for each project’s specs—keeping the work on time and on budget. McMaster founded the company with Kelley grad Michael Wayne, who is also CEO of Detroit Riverside Capital, a real estate investment firm with focus on constructing mixed-use communities.
The market opportunity is substantial. According to McMaster’s winning pitch, the US construction material market was $650 billion in 2021. Finniva has targeted Michigan for their initial launch, with a focus on doors: a $500 million market in itself. They’ve already begun working with developers at Counterpart to build the platform and are populating it with suppliers. Finniva expects to launch in January 2023.
“Crossroads Collegiate was a beautiful experience: ambitious student entrepreneurs coming together to explore their work with a group of passionate investors,” said McMaster. “Finniva, a real estate development material sourcing marketplace, is the startup I got the chance to share with the judges. We believe in rethinking how things are done and aim to revitalize the way developers source direct materials for good. I couldn’t be more proud of the work we’ve done and am ecstatic to dive into working with the Flywheel Fund!”
Crossroads Collegiate Pitch Competition was open to any student currently enrolled at any Indiana university or college with a startup based in Indiana. Each student submitted an executive summary, a pitch deck, and a 10-minute pitch video to the competition. A panel of seventeen judges of entrepreneurs, investors, and business experts selected four finalists from twenty-one semifinalists.
The four finalists were Finniva (Andrew McMaster, IU Bloomington), Freshen Up (Rahil Kumar, IU Bloomington), Lodos Theranostics (Scott Clark, Purdue University), and Platform (Patrick Startner, Notre Dame).
“Andrew McMasters and the team have really done the customer validation and market analysis to set up Finniva for success,” said Andy Lehman, Head of Accelerator Programming for The Mill. “It’s exciting to see the scale of ambition from these Hoosier collegiate founders and the breadth of their reach. This year’s finalists pitched innovations in real estate development, personal care services, cancer treatment, and theater. They really wowed our judges, and I hope to see them again in The Mill’s other entrepreneurial programs and competitions.”
The Mill’s mission is to spark Bloomington’s innovation economy by launching and accelerating startups, and its vision is to become Indiana’s center of gravity for entrepreneurship. The Mill runs Flywheel Fund, a member-managed capital fund for early-stage and high potential startups based in Indiana, with special attention to startups based in Bloomington and southern Indiana. For more information on Crossroads Collegiate Pitch Competition, visit https://crossroadscollegiate.com/ For more information on the flagship Crossroads event, visit https://crossroadspitch.com/
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