Spotlight – East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center

The Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC), which is housed within the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, helps small businesses start, grow, finance, innovate, and transition through no-cost, confidential business advising and training. The Indiana SBDC was established in 1985 with funding support from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the State of Indiana and has worked with over 50,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses. With a network of 10 regional offices throughout the state, the Indiana SBDC helps Hoosier entrepreneurs and small businesses start stronger, grow faster, and work smarter.
The East Central Indiana Location is located here in the Innovation Connector, helping hundreds of people a month.

Intellectual Property Basics: USPTO

Unfamiliar with patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets? Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from Damian Porcari, Regional Director of the Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), about intellectual property (IP) basics and potential ways to protect your innovation as you transition from idea to product. Join him in person on Thursday, June 1 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET at the Innovation Connector at 1208 West White River Boulevard in Muncie, Indiana. The target audience for this session is aspiring entrepreneurs, innovators, students, small businesses, and start-ups. Space is limited, so register early. The discussion will cover: An overview of intellectual property types: patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets
Why innovators and entrepreneurs should consider protecting their IP
Local resources and assistance are available through the USPTO and other agenciesFor registration, please visit: Intellectual Property (IP) Basics at Innovation Connector to register for this FREE event. For more information, email  or call 313-446-4800.

Guide to Starting a Business–Delaware County

 Launching Your Own Business

This workshop is your first step towards small business ownership success. Every successful business is built on a solid foundation. This class will help you evaluate your business idea with the end in mind.

Overview of Topics Touched from the “Guide to Starting a Business”:

1. Perform a Self-Assessment

2. Perform Market Research

3. Refine or Reconsider Your Business Idea (Is it Viable?)

4. Analyze Your Startup Costs

5. Refine or Reconsider Your Business Idea (Is it Feasible?)

6. Write Your Business Plan

7. Complete the Startup Checklist

8. Secure Financing

Register here:

 Judy Porter (765) 282-9950
 1208 W White River Blvd, Muncie IN 47303-8002

Entrepreneur Showcase Week Sponsorship Announcement

We are excited to announce that sponsorship opportunities are now available for Entrepreneur Showcase Week 2023, hosted by the Innovation Connector! This highly anticipated event celebrates and empowers entrepreneurship as well as innovation and the spirit of creativity.

We are thrilled to have secured our title sponsor. Their generous support and commitment to fostering entrepreneurship have set the stage for an incredible week of inspiration, education, and networking. Several sponsorship opportunities are available for companies and organizations that want to be part of this exciting event.

One of the big sponsorship opportunities is The Big Idea Pitch Sponsor. This sponsor will have the opportunity to support and present the highly anticipated “Big Idea Pitch” competition. Additionally, we are also seeking In-Kind Food Sponsors to provide delicious meals or snacks. This sponsorship is an excellent opportunity for restaurants, catering companies, and food-related businesses to showcase their culinary offerings to a diverse audience of entrepreneurs, investors, and industry professionals.

For a comprehensive list of sponsorship opportunities, including benefits and pricing details, we invite you to download the sponsorship PDF.

Don’t miss the chance to be part of this extraordinary event. Secure your sponsorship today, click here or contact Ted Baker at or 765.285.4900

Let’s come together to celebrate and empower entrepreneurship during Entrepreneur Showcase Week 2023!

Enneagram 101 is Back!

Join Jennifer Stanley for Enneagram 101 5-Week Course

This class aims to equip you with powerful questions that will help you live and lead with authenticity, humility, and balance
Virtual: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
In-Person: 6:30 – 8:00 pm

May 17, 2023

May 24, 2023

May 31, 2023

June 7, 2023

June 14, 2023
$149 total for all 5 sessions, REGISTRATION REQUIRED.
If you are new to the Enneagram, we HIGHLY recommend taking an online assessment as a starting point. Go to www.enneagraminstitute and click “take the RHETI test”. It is $12 and will be valuable as you find your number. You will receive an informational review that you can bring with you to class.


Summer Programs at the Innovation Connector

Need summer plans for the kids? Innovation Connector and Techwise Academy have a list of fun, immersive, educational, and hands-on summer program opportunities for middle and elementary school students this summer at the Innovation Connector! Explore our classes and see which ones are best for your child(ren). Click here to learn more!

Spotlight – School-Based Behavior Consultation (SBBC)

School-Based Behavior Consultation (SBBC) focuses on skill development & challenging behavior reduction for student success! SBBC provides Home & School-Based ABA therapy for ages 2-18+, Early Learners ABA Center for ages 2-6, School Readiness Center for ages 2-18+, and Comprehensive Behavior Support through Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation for adolescents, young adults, and beyond. SBBC is committed to helping those we serve “reach new heights” through the use of ABA and in collaboration with other specialists, school staff, caregivers, and the students we serve.

Employee Spotlight: Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith has been working for the Innovation Connector for a year now! She is the Program and Events Coordinator here. Natalie is a 2022 graduate of Ball State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Event Management. She has ample experience in event planning working at multiple local venues. She also recently joined the Advisory Board of the Boss Babe Network based in Indianapolis. It is a women’s networking organization that includes events, networking, and much more.

As Natalie has multiple roles in her life, she is focused on growing her career here in Muncie. If you have any interest in hosting business events and meetings here at the Innovation Connector, you can reach Natalie at  or call 765-285-4900.

Starting and Operating a Business is Hard…and a BIG Announcement

By Ted A. Baker, CEO/Executive Director, Muncie Innovation Connector, Inc.—

MUNCIE, IN—Starting or growing a business is not easy.  If you have been involved at any level of business ownership, you know this.  Throughout my life, I have started several businesses and worked hard to see them grow.  I know firsthand the long hours I invested in ensuring details were taken care of and deadlines met.  (Many times, 60+ hours per week.)  From taking care of legal business startup details, sourcing suppliers, hiring employees, marketing to customers, finding funding, and setting up QuickBooks, it seemed like more work always needed to be done.

Managing and operating an ongoing business presents unique struggles too.  The single most critical aspect for early-stage business owners is understanding Cash Flow.  Without cash, the business will not exist for very long. Employees, vendors, government and taxing entities, lease payments, and others requiring payment cannot be paid with IOUs.  Cash flow management is the number one issue with most of the business clients I meet with. As a former business owner, I understand this concept due to experiencing the trauma of my business having difficult cash flow issues.  There were many times when I was the last person in the business to receive a paycheck (sometimes weeks or more.)  Employees and bills had to be paid first to keep the business operating. Suppliers required payment within certain terms, but those terms rarely matched when customers paid us. A myth states, “if you own a business, you are rich!” (I’ll take a moment to allow business owners reading this article to have a collective laugh.) But hopefully, if you can hold on long enough, the business will grow and have more financial sustainability.

And to complicate matters more, many entrepreneurs have little or no cash to start their businesses.  But because of belief in their dreams and abilities, they start their journeys by bootstrapping. According to Will Kenton’s article published in on January 9, 2023, “It is not uncommon for many businesses to start by bootstrapping.  Bootstrapping describes a situation in which an entrepreneur starts a company with little capital, relying on money other than outside investments. An individual is said to be bootstrapping when they attempt to found and build a company from personal finances or the operating revenues of the new company.”  Bootstrapping tends to be a slower way of starting and growing a business, but for many, it is the only way!   This is when we see one of the qualities of an entrepreneur – tenacity and stick-to-it grit!

The Innovation Connector works daily with entrepreneurs and business owners dealing with many issues, struggles, and growth ideas. It is very difficult for us to know what help entrepreneurs and business leaders need if they do not contact us. I have heard of business owners who needed assistance finding funding to keep their storefronts open or others needing help understanding their cash flow situations. But again, we can do little if we do not know the need.   We promise that if you contact us, we will reply. The Muncie community is fortunate to have several organizations whose mission is to help entrepreneurs.  If our organization cannot provide the help your business needs, we do our best to make connections that will. We also educate and empower entrepreneurs and business owners through regular workshops, seminars, and courses.  We intentionally offer courses that are relevant and important to the current needs of businesses.

Last November, we did something radical that had never been done anywhere before.  We celebrated Entrepreneur Showcase Week – a weeklong offering of twenty-one events focused on helping any person or business owner who sought to improve their business acumen.  Courses about marketing, finding capital, bookkeeping/accounting, computer and IT needs, mental health awareness, customer service, and others were offered – and all FREE of charge.  It was our way to pull out the stops to help our business community. Over 800 people joined us at the Innovation Connector and participated in events that week. Since Entrepreneur Showcase Week, we have been extremely busy with follow-up sessions with entrepreneurs who asked for additional help.  And again, these services have all been FREE! One of the big takeaways of that week was the interactions between attendees and the continued collaboration.  Building these relationships has been a lifeline for some struggling business owners. If you or your business needs some assistance or need to talk with someone about your business, please contact our office at 765-285-4900. Our services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL.

Now, for the BIG Announcement

We are pleased to announce that year two of Entrepreneur Showcase Week will take place at the Innovation Connector from November 13 – 17, 2023.  Included this year during Entrepreneur Showcase Week, back by popular demand, The BIG Idea Pitch will take place on Thursday evening, November 16, 2023.  Additional information will be released in the coming months, but please mark your calendars now for this very special week. In the meantime, please visit our website,, for updates.

The Innovation Connector encourages you to support our community’s local businesses however you can. We are all in this together, so let’s work together.  At the Innovation Connector, WE EMPOWER ENTREPRENEURS

1208 W. White River Blvd.
Muncie, IN 47303
(765) 285-4900

Mastering the Basics of Excel: 2-day Evening Session