Big Idea Pitch 2023 Recap

The Big Idea Pitch Competition returned this year as part of Entrepreneur Showcase Week at the Innovation Connector.  On the evening of November 16, 2023, entrepreneurs and innovators pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. There were two divisions this year: Lifestyle and Technology. Adding to the ambiance of a baseball game, attendees enjoyed classic hot dogs and chips, evoking the nostalgic charm of a day at the ballpark. 

Two winners from each category rose victoriously, winning a cash prize for their innovative ideas. The first-place winners were presented with $5,000, while second-place achievers rejoiced with $2,500 each.  The winners of the Lifestyle Division in first place, Molly McGuire, and in second place, Andy Markelz.  The winners of the Technology Division were two Ball State Entrepreneurship students. Winning first place was Will Pancake, and in second place was Reid Glassen. Congratulations to all winners and participants.

The competition wasn’t just about who won. It was a chance for pitchers to get exposure, make connections, and further the opportunity for education and investment.  When people come together with their great ideas, amazing things can happen. Here’s to a future filled with even more innovation and success for the Muncie community. 

A big thank you to the sponsors as it would not have been possible without your support.  

Entrepreneur Showcase Week: Kick-Off Celebration and Awards

MUNCIE, Ind.— The 2023 Entrepreneur Showcase Week commenced with a vibrant Kick-Off Celebration held at the Innovation Connector on Monday, November 13, 2023. The event featured notable speakers such as Executive Director and CEO, Ted Baker; Program and Events Coordinator, Natalie Smith; Jeff Parsons, Market President of First Merchants Bank; Morgan Allen from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation; Muncie’s Mayor, Dan Ridenour; Ron Fauquher, Board Chairperson of the Innovation Connector; and Bernisa Elliot, Owner of BE’s Beauty. Together, they underscored the pivotal role of entrepreneurs and small businesses within the Muncie Community. 

Not only did attendees spend the morning networking with fellow community members while enjoying coffee and donuts, but Ted Baker also presented Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for several different categories. We would like to extend congratulations to: The 2023 Technology Business Entrepreneur of the Year, Travis Street from CTS Multifamily IT Solutions; The 2023 Life-Style Business Entrepreneur of the Year, Jeff and Debra Williams, from the Williams Carpet Shop; The 2023 Food and Beverage Business Entrepreneur of the Year, Mike Robinson and Chad Massoth from Amazing Joe’s; The 2023 Business Supporters of the Year, Bill Walters (ECI Regional Planning District) and Brad Bookout (Augusta Consulting, LLC); The 2023 Community Impact Entrepreneur of the Year, Mike Martin from The Common Market; The 2023 Champion Entrepreneur of the Year, Frank Scott II from K & B Car Wash-Detail; and the 2023 Champion Entrepreneurs of the Year, Jennifer and Tom Sheridan from Gibson Arena. 

The second annual Entrepreneur Showcase Week Kick-Off Celebration served as an inspiring testament to the ingenuity, dedication, and impact of entrepreneurs and small businesses within the Muncie Community. As we honor the recipients of the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards across various categories, we look forward to many more years to come of celebrating, empowering, and connecting entrepreneurs in the Muncie area.