Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Indiana U start-up connects major brands with event sponsorships

By David Schwartz
Published: May 19th, 2020

A start-up from Indiana University aims to help connect universities and others who host events to connect with sponsoring companies through its online portal. It could be a way for TTOs, engagement offices, and other campus offices to help underwrite their educational and outreach events without much effort.

The start-up, called Recess, offers a digital marketplace that helps major companies like Allstate, Lyft and Nestle find opportunities to sponsor both live and digital events.

“In the past, brands have been somewhat limited to sponsoring large events, because it wasn’t possible to dedicate enough time to discovering and procuring a large number of event sponsorships at scale, especially on college campuses,” says Jack Shannon, CEO of Recess.

The start-up’s goal is to make the process easier for sponsors and event organizers through the digital marketplace in order to facilitate more partnerships for both sides. According to Shannon, Recess has maintained this business model despite the devastating effects of COVID-19 on live events worldwide, with a few tweaks.

“The shift to supporting virtual events has created a significant disruption but also an opportunity to present a new approach to managing sponsorship investments,” says Shannon. “When live events do ramp back up, brands will be looking even more closely at the ROI of these investments.”

Recess recently secured a $3.7 million investment round led by Founder Equity, Quake Capital and Full Tilt Capital. It is also the first portfolio company of the IU Angel Network, a funding arm of the university’s tech transfer organization IU Ventures.

“Now Recess is poised to help brands find marketing efficiencies through innovation at an extremely critical time,” Shannon says. “We’re excited to advance into our next phase of growth thanks to this recent round of investment, including the IU Angel Network, which has been really helpful in connecting us with IU alumni nationwide.” Source:

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