2018-BigIdeaPitch-Header

Congratulations to our 2018 winners!

1st Place  |  Lindsey & Andy Markelz, Collar Keeper

The Innovation Connector congratulates the 2018 BIG Idea Pitch Competition Winners, Lindsey and Andy Markelz presenting their pitch idea, Collar Keeper. Lindsey and Andy moved their family to Muncie in July of 2018 with a lingering business idea in the back of their minds. They wanted to create a shirt hanger that could easily hold a collar, eliminating the need to fasten the top button (a task that frustrates 66% of collared shirt wearers). Because of the Big Idea Pitch competition, in just two months they went from toying with an idea to making concrete steps to launch a business.

Since Andy was out of town on business for the semi-final BIG Idea Pitch competition, Lindsey pitched alone and finished in the Top 5 out of over 40 pitch entries. Andy was able to join her for the Finals at the Excellence in Innovation Awards Banquet and they teamed up to deliver their award winning pitch winning $5,000 cash and a significant services package.

Lindsey and Andy plan to continue the development of the Collar Keeper and hope to bring it to market in the future. According to Lindsey, “Prior to the semi-finals, we built a prototype, formed an LLC, and partnered with the Intellectual Property Clinic at Indiana University to prepare a provisional patent. We were delighted to place in the semi-finals, to qualify for the top five and related prizes, and to invite friends and family to the banquet. We were blown away by the beauty and professionalism of the banquet. The enthusiasm for innovation in this region, awardees, and keynote were inspiring. Andy and I had a great time presenting alongside of the other finalists and were completely blown away when we were awarded 1st place! The competition affirmed our decision to pursue this idea.”

Congratulations to all of our 2018 Finalists!

From left to right: 5th Place  |  Victoria Brewer, Prepped

3rd Place  |  Ashley & Ryan Hunter, Call Light

1st Place  |  Lindsey & Andy Markelz, Collar Keeper

2nd Place  |  Esther Bryant, Safeable

4th Place  |  Kyleigh Mazer, Square One Success

What is the BIG Idea Pitch?

Where entrepreneurs and innovators pitch their business concepts, product, or invention to a panel of judges from our business and investment community. There are very creative and interesting concepts from people in our region – this competition showcases those ideas and offers what it takes to advance them.

The BIG Idea Pitch Competition gives people the chance to prove the potential of their business idea, meet people who can help them succeed, and some even win a cash prize!

Competitors have just three minutes to Pitch before our panel of judges. All competitors receive valuable exposure to business leaders & potential mentors and local awareness. In total, the night’s winners receive nearly $30,000 in cash and business support services awarded between the 5 finalists!

The BIG Idea Pitch Finals & Excellence in Innovation Awards:
November 14th, 2018 at the Horizon Convention Center

The Final Competition took place at the Excellence in Innovations Awards at the Horizon Convention Center. Attendees heard presentations from the five finalists from The BIG Idea Pitch Competition – each was given three minutes to pitch their business idea to a panel of distinguished judges. The final results were revealed at the end of the night, with prize packages up to $30,000 in cash and services awarded to these “ideators”.

First Place Winner Prize Package

Prize money:   $5,000 (Winner must sign a W-9 IRS form)

Six months of access to the Innovation Connector (Secure co-working space, 24/7 access, & open space)

On-site business coaching services at the Innovation Connector for six months – by appointment (Ted Baker, IC Director, Business Consultant/Coach – 765.285.4900 / tbaker@innovationconnector.com)

Consultation accounting sessions with local CPA firm, Whitinger & Company LLC – Muncie (Contact Richard Crist, COO – 765.284.3384 / rcrist@whitinger.com)

Branding and/or marketing sessions with Whitinger Strategic Services LLC – Muncie (Contact Richard Crist, Managing Director – 765.284.3384 / rcrist@whitinger.com)

Business Legal Issues consultation with Defur Voran – 400 S. Walnut St., Muncie, IN (Contact James Borgmann, Attorney – 765.288.3651 / jborgmann@defur.com)

All BIG Idea Pitch Finalists will receive 4 Tickets to the Excellence in Innovation Awards Banquet to be held on November 14, 2018.

Second, Third, Fourth, & Fifth Place Winners Prize Package

Prize Money (Winner must sign a W-9 IRS Form):

  • 2nd Place: $2,500
  • 3rd Place: $2,000
  • 4th Place: $1,500
  • 5th Place: $1,000

On-site business coaching services at the Innovation Connector for six months – by appointment (Ted Baker, IC Director, Business Consultant/Coach – 765.285.4900 / tbaker@innovationconnector.com)

Consultation accounting sessions with local CPA firm, Whitinger & Company LLC – Muncie (Contact Richard Crist, COO – 765.284.3384 / rcrist@whitinger.com)

Branding and/or marketing sessions with Whitinger Strategic Services LLC – Muncie (Contact Richard Crist, Managing Director – 765.284.3384 / rcrist@whitinger.com)

All BIG Idea Pitch Finalists will receive 4 Tickets to the Excellence in Innovation Awards Banquet to be held on November 14, 2018.

Get updates for the BIG Idea Pitch by following our social accounts

For more information contact us at 765-285-4900  or  akdishman@innovationconnector.com

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