About Innovatemap — 06.25.2024

How Indiana is Showcasing Innovation

Katie Noble, Growth Manager

Four people on stage being recognized

We had the pleasure of attending the Venture Club of Indiana’s Innovation Showcase, a signature event that brings together startup founders, VCs and industry leaders from Indiana and beyond. The showcase highlighted Indiana’s vibrant tech ecosystem and fostered invaluable connections within the community. 

Below are a few of our favorite takeaways from the day.

The Value of Community

The Innovation Showcase has always been about more than pitching ideas; it’s about building a thriving community. This year, the event was hosted at the Indiana State Museum, a venue that wowed attendees and reminded them of how special it is to start and scale a business in Indiana. The atmosphere was energizing and exciting throughout the entire day.

But what made this year’s event so special? 

From the moment we entered the space, it felt more intimate and interconnected. Unlike other conferences where you might feel lost in the crowd, the Innovation Showcase encouraged genuine connections among attendees. It was a unique opportunity to meet new faces and reconnect with familiar ones, all while celebrating the successes within our ecosystem.

In addition to the event atmosphere, we were so proud to see our partners at Venture Club showing off their new brand and messaging we worked together to create and launch earlier this year. The look and feel of the entire event experience was at a premium level. It was gratifying to see the positive impact of our work, and how it has contributed to the organization’s growth and contribution to the broader community.

Woman and man talk across table at event.
We loved learning more about the companies pitching directly from the founders like Donovan from Mili Llama.

A Day Dedicated to Learning and Networking

If you were looking for a laid-back conference to attend, this wasn’t it. From start to finish, we were busy networking, listening to pitches and learning about the industry trends most impacting our ecosystem.

Investing in a Diverse Startup Scene

The Innovation Showcase featured a wide range of companies, from digital tech and ag-tech to life sciences. It was a reminder of Indiana’s robust startup scene, representative of industries across the spectrum. There’s a rich diversity of thought and innovation here in our state, proving that success isn’t limited to one type of startup.

Lessons from Leaders we Admire

Attendees heard from Max Yoder and Amy Brown, two of our favorites here at Innovatemap. Both conversations felt like a coffee chat between friends. They offered a behind-the-scenes look at their own journeys, shining a light on the parts that aren’t always included in the highlight reels. 

Their honest insights were invaluable for founders, leaders and community connectors. And a reminder that we’re lucky to have these outstanding founders in our own backyard, giving back to help build our communities to be even better for the next generation of founders. 

Companies to Showcase

  • Primary Record and Integrate School are both celebrating pivotal moments in their company trajectory.  Jean and Jim from Primary Record are expanding their reach to increase the product’s impact on a greater audience.  Kevin and Maxwell of Integrate School just wrapped up their Butler Accelerator Ed-Tech cohort, focusing on product feedback and growing their user base. We’re excited to see what’s next for these two companies.
  • TitleWise, a female-founded real estate company using AI to drive innovation, was one of the most impressive pitches we heard. Founder and CEO, Jennifer Mason is seeing great traction building startup relationships across the Midwest. She has lived the problem at her own title company and built the MVP from direct experience. 
  • rScan, a Bloomington-based startup helping to make commerce more sustainable. Building off positive user feedback, co-founder Rod Baradaran is excited to grow the product and its impact. This is something we can all support.
  • Congratulations to the Showcase winners, Covert Defenses, Amplified Sciences and Insignum AgTech, who each received $10,000 in funding. These companies are solving big problems and creating big impact within Indiana innovation. 

What Comes Next?

As we left the event, we felt energized, inspired and yes, a little exhausted. The Innovation Showcase wasn’t just another happy hour or networking meetup; it was a catalyst for generating new energy and connections. One of the biggest value adds from the Venture Club of Indiana is their ability to bring the right people together, creating opportunities that extend well beyond the event itself. 

We’re proud to do our part as a connector and partner within the startup and venture ecosystem here in our home state. The annual Innovation Showcase is a prime opportunity for us to foster new relationships and learn how our team can best support innovation and excellence. An added bonus? Seeing numerous founders and companies we’ve worked with over the years spotlighted for their successes. 

With Rally under two months away and a few of our own events later this summer, let’s keep the momentum rolling. 

Planning to travel into town for Rally in late August? Let us know so we can connect! 

Photos courtesy of Venture Club of Indiana and Josh Dage.