Restart and Grow Your Business with a Restart Loan

By: Ted Baker—

Muncie, IN—The Muncie Innovation Connector is pleased to announce the launch of the Delaware County Micro-Business Restart Loan Fund.  Independently-owned for-profit businesses located in Delaware County, Indiana with a maximum of five full-time employees may be eligible for a loan up to $2,500 through the Delaware County Micro-Business Restart Loan Fund. This program is presented by the Muncie Innovation Connector and the East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center.

Businesses must have been actively in operation with sales in January 2020 to apply. Businesses that received funds from either the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP), Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), or other major relief funding are not eligible. No interest will be paid during the loan terms, however, an administrative fee of 2% of the loan amount is due at loan closing.

Find More Information and the Loan Application at:

The Delaware County Micro-Business Restart Loan Fund is made available by The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc.

The Innovation Connector will be glad to answer your questions regarding this loan. Please contact our office at 765-285-4900 and ask about the Restart Loan Program.

Small Business Loans – The City of Muncie

The City of Muncie, under the leadership of Mayor Dan Ridenour, is making available loans to small businesses in Muncie.  These loans, which must be paid back at a very reasonable interest rate, are exclusively for small businesses that might need $1,000 – $7,500 to bridge the cash-flow gap during this COVID-19 crisis.  With starting this fund, Mayor Ridenour commented, “Muncie is dependent on our small businesses.  We need to do what we can to provide resources to help as many as possible.”

Funds are being made through the Muncie Industrial Revolving Loan Fund.  Loan applications will be accepted starting on Monday, May 4th, and applications can be emailed to  Applications can be found on the website.

On the homepage, click, DEVELOPMENT.  On that page, scroll down until you see Muncie Industrial Revolving Loan Fund.  Click on this link and then scroll down until you see the link for the application.  It is a fillable pdf form so you can complete it on your computer and email it from there.

Please answer all the questions you can.  This application has not been adapted for this loan process, but it will serve as one for this purpose.  If you have any difficulties or questions concerning the application, please contact Ted Baker at the Innovation Connector for assistance: 765-285-4902 M-F, 8 am-4 pm.

An additional funding opportunity will be announced soon from the Community Development Fund.  More will be posted on that when more details are available.

We are proud of the City of Muncie for including small businesses as a priority during this difficult time!

COVID-19 Business Guide to SBA Resources and Other Resources

The Innovation Connector’s Phase 5 Reopening Plan, 6/29/2020 


Other Resources:


COVID-19 Business Guide to SBA Resources and Other Resources

By: Ted A. Baker, Innovation Connector, April 9, 2020

In these very uncertain times, there has been information-overload that has flooded our inboxes, airwaves, podcasts, webinars, and most conversations.  As leaders or businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Muncie/Delaware County community, understanding what resources are available for who and how to apply for them, well is just plain overwhelming.

The United States Small Business Administration, as a result of legislation passed by Congress, provides some great resources and opportunities for small businesses, including some non-profit organizations. This document is designed to assist you in navigating through the funding programs that can benefit, and in some cases, save your business or organization.  These programs are for those who make an effort to apply for them.  Each program requires specific actions for you to take.  Please be assured that these documents are not too difficult to complete.  You will be asked for specific financial information that should be readily available in your accounting systems or through your bookkeeper/CPA.

Of all the resources that seek to unpack the SBA programs, the best resource is the SBA itself.  Go to  After opening the home page, you will see at the top of the page:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Relief options and Additional Resources


This will take you to the next page:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Scroll down to:

Coronavirus Funding Options

Click here to learn more about available SBA loan and debt relief options

Click on this, and you will find a breakdown of all of the programs that are available from the SBA.  There are three (3) programs that are more applicable for your non-profit organization as a result of the much-acclaimed CARES Act.


  1. Paycheck Protection Program – This is a payroll-focused loan program that can provide up to 2.5 times the average monthly amount of your last 12-months payroll. This application is easy to complete but read the instructions first to learn what information and data you will need.  This is the program that everyone is talking about because it has provisions that could allow the loan amount to be “forgiven.”  Please remember that this initially is a loan, and this program is administered through your local SBA-approved bank. Note: Non-profit leaders may want to discuss this with their board of   Bylaws of some non-profit organizations require board approval for Executive Directors to borrow money for their organization.

Again, please work through your local banks for application processing.  Different banks may have different policies and may require certain information. Banks are overwhelmed with applications, so it is imperative that you connect with your local banker.

  1. Economic Injury Disaster – The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) provides vital economic support to non-profit organizations to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advance of up to $10,000. There are recent updates to this provision so that amount may change. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses and organizations that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance may not have to be repaid. Part of this loan program allows businesses and organizations to borrow up to $2 million.  Per an SBA representative, once your application is submitted, an SBA loan officer will contact the applicant via email and by phone within 1-2 weeks.  At that time, the SBA loan officer will review your application and determine the amount your organization can borrow.  The interest rate for non-profit organizations is set at 2.75%, and payback, depending on loan circumstances, can be paid back in up to 30-years.
  2. SBA Express Bridge LoansExpress Bridge Loan Pilot Programallows non-profit organizations who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to your organization to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. If your organization has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, it may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.

Applications and Instructions can be found at each of the SBA website locations – The SBA website regularly posts all recent updates and changes to the program.

Please remember that you are not alone on this journey.  Please seek the assistance of your board members if possible or other resources within your organization pr business.  There are also resources available from within the Muncie/Delaware County community that can help you.  The two organizations listed below offer free direct services to assist you.  Please know that they are not CPAs or Attorneys, but they are very knowledgeable and willing to answer your questions and help you.  Please feel free to contact:

Muncie Innovation Connector

Ted Baker, Executive Director
Contact information:  Office phone: 765-285-4902, After hours contact: 765-744-6956,

Contact email:

The Innovation Connector can provide other opportunities for funding if the SBA funding does not suit your organization or business.  Please contact Ted for for information.


East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBA funded organization)

Peggy Cenova, Regional Director

Contact information: Office phone: 765.282.9950, M-F, 8 am – 5 pm, or by appointment. After hours contact, 317-439-0104, or visit our website, – Contact email:

The Innovation Connector is available and ready to assist small businesses in East Central Indiana during this crisis.

Small businesses in East-Central Indiana are struggling like most parts of our world. Our communities depend on the health of small businesses.  In these times, money from the federal/state governments may not be enough to help them survive. The Innovation Connector is uniquely positioned to provide business support services such as coaching, advising, revising business models to pivot in these trying times, rethink marketing decisions, expanding customer base, understanding cash flow, and sometimes just to talk to someone who understands the plight of small business.

We can assist with helping and directing small businesses through the SBA CARES Act and other programs for survival funding. This includes the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) and Bankable’s Quick Bridge Loan Program.  We can also be a “connector” to other community services and programs. Let us help you and your business today.

Call our office at 765-285-4902 or to arrange a FREE on-line, appointment with one of our dedicated staff members.


ITIA Launches Webpage to Share Support Services & Resources During COVID-19 Crisis

Sent by email from Indiana Technology & Innovation Association on Friday, March 27th 

ITIA Launches Webpage to Share Support Services & Resources During COVID-19 Crisis

We’ve launched a dedicated webpage to help aggregate support services and resources being offered to entrepreneurs and small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

The webpage includes federal and state support services, and highlights virtual resources being offered by our ITIA Members.

If your organization is providing support services or helpful resources and would like them to be featured on the ITIA website and in emails, please send a description to

ITIA COVID-19 Support Webpage

If you have any questions about the State response to COVID-19 or ideas for proactive approaches to help with the State’s response, you can email

Senator Braun Offers Business Guide for Companies Impacted by COVID-19

Indiana Senator Mike Braun’s Office has created a COVID-19 Affected Business and Employee Resource Guide to provide information about federal resources to support small businesses, including:

  • Small Business Paycheck Protection Program, which will provide small businesses with loans of up to $10 million that can used for payroll support, paid leave, insurance costs, mortgage/rent payments, and utility payments. Paycheck Protection Program Loans are eligible for forgiveness.

To view Sen. Braun’s complete resource guide, click here

The NIIC Hosts Virtual Office Hours

Virtual Office Hours—The NIIC in Fort Wayne is offering virtual office hours, which may include open Q&A sessions or focused, topical discussions. Stay tuned to our social media channels (FacebookLinkedInInstagram) for details about upcoming events. Topics will include general questions and answers format about current business challenges. Participants will help drive the discussion as well. Local experts will team with Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center (WEOC) to advise on topical issues.

  • NIIC Virtual Office Hours: Tuesday – Friday at 1:30pm-3:00pm. Contact Mike Fritsch to schedule an appointment.
  • The Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center (WEOC) Virtual Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday at 9:00am on Facebook.

Virtual 1-on-1 Coaching—The NIIC is also offering virtual coaching via conference call or ZOOM. You will be matched with one of our professional business coaches, who have the expertise and knowledge to guide you. Please complete the Let’s Talk form, so we know how best to serve you.

More information is available here.

Free 30-Minute Coaching Sessions Available with Muncie Innovation Connector

As Muncie area’s premier entrepreneurial support organization, the Muncie Innovation Connector Inc. is prepared to assist you with your business questions and how to deal with this unique business environment.

If your organization or business needs or wants assistance dealing with this new “normal” such as reviewing your current business model, ideas for marketing, or how to deal with employees, etc. please feel free to contact me at  to arrange a FREE 30-minute coaching session.

All coaching sessions will be by phone or ZOOM.  If we cannot directly help you, we will try to find a connection that can assist you. Coaching appointments will take place from 10 am – 2 pm Monday – Friday until further notice.


Salesforce Offers Free Rapid Response Solutions, Product Support

Small Business Support:
Salesforce Care: Free Rapid Response Solutions to Help Companies Navigate COVID-19

  • Salesforce Care for Small Business: Salesforce Essentials, our out-of-the-box CRM for small businesses, will be available to support our small business customers’ sales and customer service efforts.
  • Tableau for Salesforce Care: Tableau will enable small businesses to make data-driven decisions with speed regarding their unique business challenges.

Product Support:

  • We’re making our technology available to help our customers, partners and communities. Through Health Cloud, Salesforce will provide free access to technology for emergency response teams, call centers and care management teams for health systems affected by coronavirus. Tableau has developed a free data resource hub to help organizations see and understand coronavirus data in near real-time. This includes case data compiled by Johns Hopkins University as well as data from WHO and the CDC. To help teams collaborate while employees are away from the office, Quip Starter will be available for free to any Salesforce customer or non-profit organization through September 30, 2020.

We are expanding Salesforce Care with free solutions to help companies in any industry stay connected to stakeholders, even when everyone is working remotely. The Salesforce Care solutions are available immediately, and can be set up very quickly. More info here.

The Startup Ladies Hosting Virtual Office Hours

During the Coronavirus, we’re providing our startup community with additional support. Executive Mentors are here to help you with 1:1 virtual meetings. We’ll get through this together!

  • KRISTEN COOPER: Tuesdays from 8am – 10am
  • KIM SAXTON: Monday & Wednesday from 9am – 11am
  • ANGIE STOCKLIN: Tuesday & Thursday 10am – 3pm

Register here.

Virtual Startup Study Halls

We are also offering virtual Startup Study Halls on the first and third Wednesday of the month from 6-8pm. Click here for the calendar.

Startup Study Hall Online

Startup Study Hall Online is where you can go to learn how to startup and scale up your company at any time of day that is convenient for you. Our online educational platform for entrepreneurs and investors will provide you with the tools you need to go from idea, to market, to growth. Learn more.


Follow the Startup Ladies blog for helpful articles including:

The Real Truths About Virtual Meetings

Winona IT Offers VoIP Solutions to Nonprofits

Winona IT located in Winona Lake, Indiana is fast-tracking deployment of Microsoft Teams, an industry leading collaboration platform, to organizations in need. In addition, they are deploying advanced VoIP solutions, even waiving the cost entirely for Non-Profits/501C3s allowing employees to stay connected and tend to main phone lines during this time.

If you are an organization in need of help keeping employees connected during this time, please contact us at 574-306-5441 or via

For more information regarding our COVID-19 response, please visit

A Letter from Ted Baker – How We Can Help During COVID-19

Coaching and Advising for Small Businesses and Organizations

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Dear Business Owners,

As one of the Muncie area’s premier business resource centers, the Innovation Connector is prepared to assist you with your business questions and how to deal with this unique business environment, due to COVID-19. If your organization or business needs or wants assistance dealing with this new “normal” such as reviewing your business situation, or ideas for marketing, or how to deal with employees, etc. please feel free to contact my office (765-285-4900) to arrange a 30-minute coaching session.  All coaching sessions will be by phone or ZOOM. If I cannot directly help you, I will find a connection that might be able to assist you. Coaching appointments will take place from 10 am – 2 pm starting Friday, March 20. There will be no charge for these sessions.


I also want to hear from your business or organization. What are you doing to survive this and any pivots and changes you are making? You might end up being able to assist someone else who is struggling with similar issues.

My email is


Please note, too, that the Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing low-interest loans to both for-profit and non-profit businesses and organizations. Here is the link to the article.


Thank you and stay safe,


Ted A. Baker

Executive Director

Innovation Connector

Meet The Innovation Connector’s Lori Albert: A Disciplined Professional for Small Business Bookkeeping

By: Mike Rhodes—

Lori Albert, Financial Director at the Innovation Connector is pictured in her office. Photo by: Alexis Dishman

Muncie, IN—Entrepreneurs and small business owners seem to have a million things to juggle every day: Sales. Marketing. Business Development. Customer service. Getting the actual work or product of the business completed and out the door.

Of course, there’s one other fun little task that is extremely important to a business:  Bookkeeping. For many entrepreneurs, that skill is frequently at the bottom of the “Things to get done this month” list.

Sometimes, the financial aspects of running a business can take a back seat to other priorities. Clearly, the financial aspects of running a small business is important to ensure financial stability, but some people just don’t have the time or the inclination to handle accounting functions themselves.

The Innovation Connector can help!

Lori Albert is the Financial Director for the Innovation Connector and has been at the Innovation Connector for 11 years. “I have always done the Innovation Connector’s accounting since I started working there,” she said.

“When Ted Baker took over as Executive Director of the Innovation Connector, he asked me if there was anything more I’d like to do,” she said. “After thinking about it, I told Ted, ‘Well, I’d love to help more people with their accounting.’ ”

Lori’s interest in helping others led to her doing bookkeeping for 9 other companies as a service of the Innovation Connector.  “It’s a lot of juggling, but I’m a good multi-tasker,” she said with a laugh. “The companies I do bookkeeping for are small companies, so it’s not like doing accounting for a large corporation. Some clients only take me 5-10 hours a month depending upon the time of year.”

The end of the year is busier for Lori, with most companies doing end-of-year budgeting. “I don’t handle corporate taxes, though,” she said. Some of the organizations Lori works with are local non-profits who need the financial know-how and time savings Lori brings to the table.

Lori’s accounting work for companies runs the gamut. Some companies bring her a shoebox of materials and ask her to “just do it.” Others are more interested in some training, and through the Innovation Connector, Lori provides consultation and training for small businesses through the use of Quickbooks Accounting Software.

QuickBooks Accounting Software is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. QuickBooks products are geared mainly toward small and medium-sized businesses and offer on-premises accounting applications as well as cloud-based versions that accept business payments, manage and pay bills, and payroll functions. “If clients are willing to use Quickbooks Accounting Software, and will spend a few hours with me, I can get them up and running and teach them how to do their own accounting,” she said. “That’s also a service the Innovation Connector offers.”

An example of the QuickBooks dashboard. Photo courtesy of

Bill Walters is Executive Director of the ECI Regional Planning District and has used the Innovation Connector and Lori’s accounting services for the past three years. “Lori’s bookkeeping services are fabulous for us,” he said. “She’s very professional, timely, organized, and I get what I need when I need it. It’s awesome to have a part-time bookkeeper that you almost feel is personally your own.”

Lori and the Innovation Connector would love to have more clients utilize their financial services offerings— as well as additional clients Lori can teach to use Quickbooks. After all, that is part of the Innovation Connector’s mission.

The Innovation Connector is a full-service business incubator. The Innovation Connector exists to help entrepreneurs succeed by offering resources and support to address their ever-changing needs.

Whether you need help securing funds or managing daily financial operations, Lori and the Innovation Connector can assist you. Specific financial services offered to Innovation Connector clients include:

•  Capital Identification Assistance
•  Local/Regional Loan Securing Consultation

•  Quickbooks Setup & Training
•  Bookkeeping & Accounting Services
•  Cashflow Analysis

The work achieved at the Innovation Connector benefits our entire community through a healthy ecosystem of vibrant entrepreneurship. The Innovation Connector is always looking for NEW partnerships that feed the local ecosystem, educate our people, and cultivate job growth in an organic way.  Please give the Innovation Connector a call and ask them how YOU and YOUR BUSINESS can partner with the Innovation Connector.

Innovation Connector to Host the 6th Annual BIG Idea Pitch Competition for Local Entrepreneurs

By: Alexis Dishman—

Photo provided by: The Innovation Connector

Muncie, IN – The Innovation Connector of Muncie, Indiana is hosting the sixth annual BIG Idea Pitch competition 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. There are many very creative and interesting concepts from people in our region, and this competition will showcase those ideas and offer what it takes to advance them. This event is for individuals in all phases of business, including startup or pre-startup. Jr High and High School students, as well as college students, are also encouraged to apply.


The BIG Idea Pitch competition is your chance to prove the potential of your business idea, meet people who can help you succeed, and maybe even win a cash prize! Competitors will have just three minutes to pitch before a panel of judges.


The schedule of events is as follows:


Each Training Camp will be held at the Innovation Connector from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. The BIG Idea Pitch Competition Application Forms will be available on-line Monday, October 21st.



Training Camp #1 – Monday, October 21st

What is the BIG Idea Pitch Competition? How do ideas happen? Forming an idea as a business

or product. What is the problem being solved? What is the opportunity being seized? From ideas to solutions – how to solve problems. Does your solution fully solve the problem/opportunity?


Training Camp #2 – Monday, October 28th

Are there revenue streams and profit potential for this solution? Who else is currently solving the problem? How are others solving this problem? Why is your solution better or different? What value does your solution provide? How do I present and pitch? What is the judging criteria?


SEMI-FINALS COMPETITION – Monday, November 4th  

All competitors will pitch to a panel of judges. Five finalists will be selected to compete in the Finals to claim the place of The BIG Idea Pitch Winner 2019.




The BIG Idea Pitch Finals & Excellence in Innovation Awards – Wednesday, November 13th  

The Final Competition will take place at the Excellence in Innovation Awards Event held at the Horizon Convention Center.  Attendees will be able to see and hear the five finalists from The BIG Idea Pitch competition – three minutes to pitch business ideas to a panel of distinguished judges. The final results will be revealed that night with prize packages of nearly $30,000 in cash and services awarded.


All competitors will receive invaluable feedback, a fun experience, and valuable exposure to business leaders & potential mentors.  For more details or to make a submission, go to and click The BIG Idea Pitch link or contact Alexis Dishman at 765-285-4900.


The BIG Idea Pitch 2019 and the Excellence in Innovation Awards are presented by the Innovation Connector and made possible by our partners: First Merchant’s Bank, Ball State University, Ontario Systems, Ivy Tech Community College, Mutual Bank, Whitinger Strategic Services, Whitinger & Company, and The Thompson Group.

Introducing the Capstone Connector

A BSU bus driver is pictured utilizing a new digital tracking system developed by a Capstone Connector team of students. On the left, the driver is holding a blue tablet that utilized an older manual paper entry method. Photo courtesy of Huseyin Ergin

A BSU bus driver is pictured utilizing a new digital tracking system developed by a Capstone Connector team of students. On the left, the driver is holding a blue tablet that utilized an older manual paper entry method. Photo courtesy of Huseyin Ergin

By: Ted Baker—

Muncie, IN—The Innovation Connector is pleased to announce the formation of the new Capstone Connector initiative. While serving as the start-up technology hub for the greater Muncie community, the Innovation Connector recognized the opportunity to connect college students to local businesses and organizations to match technology talent with existing business software technology needs. For most college majors, students must complete a final course that is a culmination of their course work called a capstone course. “There has been a disconnect with local university and college computer science talent and the Muncie community,” states Ted Baker, Executive Director of the Innovation Connector.  “I have had numerous area businesses ask me about connecting with student talent, but that path is not always easy. By partnering with Dr. Huseyin Ergin, a Ball State University computer science instructor, we will help bridge this gap.”

The Capstone Connector exists for one reason: to connect local community partners with university/college student capstone teams to solve partners’ technological problems by building custom software. It is open to any company, startup, a non-profit organization, faculty member, or individual. The Capstone Connector is industry-agnostic and will serve any industry as long as a computer application is needed.

Capstone Connector aims for the collaboration to be beneficial for all stakeholders. Benefits include:

  • The capstone teams benefit from working with a real partner.
  • The community partners benefit from having their technological ideas turning into software products.
  • The community has a chance to keep its bright talents to itself.
  • The students have a chance to be hired immediately – keeping talent local.

How does Capstone Connector work?

  1. Community partners propose a project to the center.
  2. Director of Capstone Connector analyzes the project. The Director will work with the client to determine fit for the program and if changes are necessary.
  3. Capstone Connector assigns a student development team to the community partner.
  4. Community partner and student development teams work together by meeting at least once a month. At every meeting, student teams are responsible for creating and demonstrating a running software to their community partners.

“Capstone Connector doesn’t have strict requirements for the proposed projects,” said Dr. Huseyin ErginDirector of Capstone Connector. “The only thing you need to be aware of is that we don’t build business card-like static web pages. There are hundreds of online services that do this for no or low cost. We are developing custom software for your custom needs. It might be a full-stack application, a library, a mobile application, a web application, or any other software development. The community partner is free to select its technology stack for the projects. If not, the director and the team will choose the most suitable stack for the partner.”

A Success Story:

An example of a recent project was for the BSU Bus Shuttle system. The capstone team built a web application software to replace the paper-based bus statistics collection of the Transportation Services. The supervisor can now track how many people get on the bus or left at the stop more accurately, easily, and with fewer errors. The application is designed to work with inconsistent internet connections and not lose any data. (See photo above.)

Cost of the projects:

The accepted projects do not have any development costs billed to the partner. However, there may be some fees for the expenses of the student teams used to cover the partner-student team meeting expenses (such as traveling) and any software licensing or cloud costs throughout the development.

Contact Capstone Connector:

The Capstone Connector also can provide a solution for keeping the projects running after the student development team graduates. Capstone Connector also respects your intellectual property. Just contact us to discuss your specific situation or to propose a project.

Dr. Huseyin ErginDirector of Capstone
Ted BakerExecutive Director of Innovation,

Direct Office Contact Number: 765-285-4902

Innovation Connector and TechWise Academy Announce New STEM Classes for Fall 2019

By: Brandon Coppernoll, Co-Founder, TechWise Academy—

Muncie, IN—The Innovation Connector is partnering with TechWise Academy to host a new lineup of STEM classes through the Coding Connector starting on August 16. These classes help K-12 students learn computational thinking and computer science through coding and robotics.

Ryan Hunter, co-founder of TechWise Academy, leads a Minecraft Party in which students get to learn about command blocks and play online in a safe environment. Photo provided

Ryan Hunter, co-founder of TechWise Academy, leads a Minecraft Party in which students get to learn about command blocks and play online in a safe environment. Photo provided

New classes this Fall feature Sphero robots for elementary students and new coding classes for middle and high school students. Younger students from kindergarten through second grade will have more opportunities to build and learn with LEGO WeDo robots than before.

“What is being taught at the Coding Connector is truly the language of the next generation. We are thrilled to be offering such fun learning experiences for the youth of our community,” says Ted Baker, Executive Director at the Innovation Connector.

The Coding Connector combines a state-of-the-art facility with fiber-based internet access, computer resources, an active marketing and business center, and instructors from TechWise Academy to provide youth opportunities to learn and have fun. Students will get hands-on experience building and programming LEGO robots and use online tools such as Scratch.

TechWise Academy, co-founded by Ryan Hunter and Brandon Coppernoll, provides a custom curriculum to build on what students are learning in schools and creates an environment for students to gain access to caring instructors and the technology they want to use.

Ryan added, “Our classes are designed to challenge students and provide them frameworks for solving problems. The best part, though, is that they’re having so much fun they typically don’t realize how much they’re learning.”

Parents and students will be able to find the class schedule and register at With a class nearly every week, there are many opportunities to learn more about computer science with friends.


TechWise Academy teaches children to love coding and technology through fun, innovative and educational courses in East Central Indiana. Visit  for more information.