November 25, 2014 – Muncie, IN – The Innovation Connector is excited to announce the opening of the Downtown Business Connector, a partnership between Innovation Connector and the City of Muncie. An open house for the new facility was held on Friday, November 21st and the grand opening will be on Monday, December 1, 2014. This is Muncie’s first coworking space and is an integral piece in the revitalization of downtown Muncie. Read more
Innovation Connector Will Host Entrepreneurial Bootcamp on November 6th
October 23, 2014 – Muncie, IN – The Innovation Connector, East Central Indiana’s business Incubator, will host an Entrepreneurial Bootcamp entitled Fingerprints of Innovative Organizations on November 6, 2014. This is a free event and is presented by Launch Indiana SBDC.
Ever wonder how other companies get into the mindset to BE innovative? Is there a mindset? Does the word itself scare you? What does it even mean to your particular industry, anyway? Sometimes, trying to be innovative can feel like a lonely, daunting notion. When heads are down and driving forward, entrepreneurs, in particular, can struggle with finding the time to do something different with a product or process or give an idea or concept a new spin.
On November 6, John Wechsler, entrepreneur and founder of Launch Fishers, will talk about ways to look at your business through the innovator’s lens. John has spent the better part of his career fostering an environment for innovation within his own companies and in partnerships with others. The afternoon will be full of tips and take aways to help you think BIG and focus on “Why not?” instead of “Why?” in your pursuit of being more innovative. We hope you can join us!
Thursday, Nov. 6th
11:30a – 3:30p
Lunch, provided by the Innovation Connector, starts at Noon
Program begins at 1:00pm sharp!
Location: Innovation Connector
Registration: Register Now
October 22, 2014 – Muncie, IN – Participants in The BIG Pitch Idea Competition entered the Innovation Connector on Monday with sweaty palms, crazy props, and aspirations of winning a prize package valued at more than $8,000 to help begin or expand a business. A panel of judges that included Ball State students, the state director of the Small Business Development Center, bankers, marketing and technology experts and representatives from DOWNTOWN Muncie heard 37 pitches in the categories of downtown Muncie, technology, and non-technology. The winning pitches were Sean Brady of New Corner Brewery Company in the Downtown Muncie category, Nick & Patrick Rieth, Rieth Brothers in the Technology category and Mark Thompson & Brian Sears, Blue River Towers in the Non-technology category.
Mr. Brady’s idea is to establish a brewery in downtown Muncie. He has been brewing beer for several years and looks forward to a business launch in the heart of Muncie. The Technology business winners, Nick and Patrick, will focus their business on digital story telling utilizing high-end creative videos. Their energy, passion, and presentation skills were very obvious during their 3-minute pitch. Mark and Brian were the winners of the Non-Technology division. Their creative idea focused on a patented process to clean and purify water more efficiently. The result of this idea will save communities a lot of money in their water sanitation efforts.
“Our entire team is very proud of the outcome of our first BIG Pitch competition,” commented Jennifer Greene, Project Manager for the Innovation Connector. “Even more exciting were the 37 pitches delivered by dynamic and passionate individuals from East Central Indiana and the possibility that several of the ideas will lead to successful start-up businesses in our communities. We’ve already been asked when the next event will take place.”
Each winner received a check for $5,000 for working capital, six months space access to The Landing Zone in the Innovation Connector, consultation sessions with a local CPA firm, Whitinger & Company, consultation with local business attorney, DeFur Voran, branding or marketing sessions with Whitinger Strategic Services, a digital marketing consultation with Farmhouse Creative, and on-site business coaching services at the Innovation Connector. Additionally, Woof Boom radio will provide all three winners with a marketing package that will fit their businesses.
Ted Baker, Executive Director of the Innovation Connector, also commented, “Events of this magnitude and complexity require team work from all partners, sponsors, co-workers, volunteers and applicants. The ideas generated from this event were creative and innovative. This is great for our entrepreneurial community.”
The Innovation Connector, East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, and Downtown Muncie collaborated to offer this competition. Leading up to the “Pitch Night,” entrants had the opportunity to attend “Training Camp.” These sessions included presentations by inspirational business speakers Wil Davis from Ball State Innovation Corp., Thaddeus Rex, of ”Sell it Like a Rock Star,” Mike Reynolds of InnovateMap, and Denver Hutt of the Speak Easy.
The BIG Pitch was made possible by a generous donation from the Ball Brothers Foundation, and Mutual Bank served as the project’s exclusive financial banking partner. The BIG Pitch was sponsored by AEP, DeFur Voran, Farmhouse Creative, Ontario Systems, Whitinger Strategic Services, Woof Boom Radio, and Toyota & Scion of Muncie.
“Thank you to everyone who participated and volunteered to make this inaugural event a tremendous success,” said Peggy Cenova, Regional Director of the East Central ISBDC. This evening exceeded our expectations in both the number and quality of participants. Congratulations to all presenters. You are all winners. Keep the ideas coming.”
Click here to see photos from The BIG Pitch.
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson will speak at the Muncie Innovation Connector on Tuesday, September 23rd at 3:00pm. Most recently, her office has focused on two primary initiatives to support Hoosier businesses: Business One-Stop Portal and Crowdfunding. The Indiana Secretary of State’s Business One-Stop Portal is in the process of eliminating confusion for Hoosier business owners by offering a “one stop shop” for all business transactions within state government. Instead of business owners registering their business with multiple state agencies, which can often times cause unnecessary stresses, the Secretary of State’s office is working to make it so businesses will eventually only need to register once within the office.
The Crowdfunding initiative offers a new way for Hoosier entrepreneurs to raise money in order to start or continue a business right here in Indiana with the help of Hoosier investors. Not only will this strengthen the state’s economy, but it also opens the door to a new type of Hoosier investor.
Connie Lawson is Indiana’s 61st Secretary of State. As Indiana’s Chief Elections Official, she is focused on ensuring integrity and security for our state’s elections. Since taking office, Secretary Lawson championed the most sweeping election reforms since photo ID, and has led the effort to clean Indiana’s voter rolls. A tireless advocate for increasing Indiana’s financial literacy and protecting Indiana investors, Secretary Lawson educates Hoosiers about smart money decisions and fights for stringent penalties for white collar criminals. She has also partnered with Indiana’s motor vehicle industry to ensure the best possible customer service,including prompt title delivery. Secretary Lawson is directing substantial innovation and leveraging cutting edge technology to improve how businesses interact with
“This is a great opportunity for Muncie area business owners, business development advisors and others interested in learning about these two issues to meet and hear from Secretary of State Lawson. The Innovation Connector is very proud to host this event,” states Ted Baker, Executive Director of the Innovation Connector.
The event is FREE but please RSVP to 765-285-4900. Light refreshments will be served.
August 25, 2014 – Muncie, IN – The Innovation Connector of Muncie, Indiana is hosting a baseball-themed competition called The BIG Pitch for local entrepreneurs and innovators to “pitch” their business, business concepts, product or invention to a panel of judges from the business and investment community. This event is for individuals in all phases of business, including startup or pre-startup, idea stage. High school seniors and college-age students also are encouraged to apply. Those interested can submit their ideas in one of two categories: technology or non-technology. Read more
July 8, 2014 – Muncie, IN – Farmhouse Creative is pleased to announce another expansion of their business. Effective June 30th, they welcome the clients of Printing Creations into the Farmhouse Creative family. Read more
July 10, 2014 – Muncie, IN – Pam Price has been named Executive Director of ECI-Regional Planning District. The decision was made by ECIRPD’s Board of Directors during their quarterly board meeting as part of a succession plan for President E. Roy Budd’s upcoming retirement. Read more
July 1, 2014 – Muncie, IN – Shafer Leadership Academy, East Central Indiana’s nonprofit leadership development institute, will present the leadership program Fusion: Leading Multi-Generational Teams on Thursday, July 31st, 2014. The workshop will be from 8:00am to 12:00pm at the Innovation Connector in Muncie, Indiana. Read more
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April 21, 2014, Muncie, IN – CTS (Complete Technology Solutions) is pleased to announce the addition of Kenneth Bartling to its Muncie staff. Ken will serve as a PC and Network Technician for CTS.
“We are delighted to have Ken join our team,” said Travis Street, President and Owner of CTS. “Due to the growth and impact of our business, this position became necessary for CTS to continue to provide our business clients with needed services.”
Ken comes to CTS with a wide array of experiences and talents. He is a graduate of Ivy Tech Community College with an A.A.S. in Computer Information Systems Technology with a Technical Certificate in PC Support and Administration. Ken’s certifications include: CompTIA A+(2006 & 2009 Standards), Network+, Multiple Dell, HP, Samsung, Toshiba, Apple 10.5 Support Specialist as well as Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, 7 & Mac OS X systems and multiple Server Systems.
“We are proud of the growth and impact that CTS is making in the Muncie community,” said Ted Baker, Executive Director of the Muncie Innovation Connector. “We are glad that CTS has chosen the Innovation Connector as its home to build and grow their business.”