About What We Do and Who We Are
If you want to start or grow your business in the East Central Indiana community, the Innovation Connector is THE place to plug into a network of business support.
The Innovation Connector is a full service business incubator. We exist to help entrepreneurs succeed by offering resources and support to address their ever-changing needs.
The Importance of Small Business
Our Mission, Vision, and Values
The Innovation Connector exists for one purpose: to help new entrepreneurs with truly unique business ideas turn their dreams into a reality. Our mission, vision explain exactly what we do and why we do it.
|To see job creation by providing guidance and entrepreneurial resources for individuals seeking to start or grow businesses in East Central Indiana
|Our passion is to see that each person who has a dream to start or grow a business has every resource to be successful and the economy of East Central Indiana flourishes
|These are the guiding principles that we follow when serving our clients and community
We are Accessible
We are Welcoming
We are Encouraging
We are Connectors
We are Adaptable
We are Knowledgeable
Our Business Timeline
The Innovation Connector became a reality when William Skinner became the organization’s first executive director. Initially, the Innovation Connector was located in a residential space on Marsh Street adjacent to Ball State University.
The first business, ANERIST, moved into the Innovation Connector. In 2004, the incubator expanded to three additional homes on Marsh Street.
The former Aero Forge property was designated at a Certified Technology Park by the State of Indiana. Soon thereafter, the Aero Forge plant was demolished to make way for new development on the site. Pathologist Associated Labs, and subsequently Whitinger & Company, an accounting, and financial management company, built new headquarters on the site.
The Innovation Connector moved to an interim facility in downtown Muncie.
The Innovation Connector board of directors approved plans for the construction of a 15,000 sq. ft. facility to be located at the Ontario Place Certified Technology Park.
2008 - 2009
The Innovation Connector’s headquarters was completed in the Ontario Place Certified Technology Park.
2010 – 2012
In 2010, the IC welcomed Ted Baker as the new Executive Director and promoted Lori Albert to Financial Director. During this time, the IC number of businesses that call the IC home has increased to over twenty businesses. In order to assist with this growth, the IC Board of Directors has added several new board members to assist in governance and to expand the impact of the work at the IC.
The Landing Zone opened on January 1, 2013 as a dedicated co-working space located in the Muncie Innovation Connector. Funding for the construction, equipment, and furnishings of the Landing Zone was provided by The Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County and Garmong Construction Services.
The IC joined the City of Muncie in a collaborative project sharing in the creation and management of the Downtown Business Connector located on the floor level of The Lofts of Roberts (historic landmark, formerly The Roberts Hotel) at 420 South High Street in Downtown Muncie.
In order to celebrate Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Muncie community, the Innovation Connector launched The Excellence in Innovation Awards Banquet. This event showcased “Innovation Champions” and served as a platform for the Finals of the BIG Idea Pitch. Winners of the yearly Excellent in Innovation Awards are proudly displayed of the Innovation Wall of Fame at the Innovation Connector.
With the support of The George and Frances Ball Foundation and AT&T of Indiana, the Coding Connector was started. This initiative serves K-12 youth with computer coding, robotics, and other high-tech skill building. The Innovation Connector partnered with TechWise Academy to provide teaching and training for Coding Connector courses. Office space at the Innovation Connector remained at a premium with very few offices becoming available.
Ten-year celebration of the Innovation Connector’s facility was capped off with a reception and the dedication of Conference Room Suite # 114 as the Ronald K. Fauquher Innovation Point. Ron was instrumental in the startup and continued success of the Innovation Connector and its new facility.
The Innovation Connector dedicated the James and Marguerite Amos Wall of Donors to recognize and honor its funding partners. Office space at the Innovation Connector remained at near capacity.
The year of challenges and changes – the Pandemic Year! To serve the needs of businesses and organizations in the Muncie community, the Innovation Connector reached out beyond its facility’s borders. Business services of all kinds were provided to any business or organization who requested assistance – serving over 125 businesses in the first few weeks following the Covid-19 shutdown.
Also during 2020, Carter Anderson was hired to facilitate many of the new programs that were started to help businesses due to the impact of Covid-19. He later was promoted to the Innovation Connector’s first Associate Director.