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STARTedUP Foundation announces 2023 Innovate WithIN regional competitors

Fifty-two teams from across Indiana will compete at a chance to go to the State Finals in June


Indianapolis - 24 March 2023 - The STARTedUP Foundation’s Innovate WithIN is the largest high school pitch competition in the country and has grown year-over-year - with 2023 being a record breaking year. There were nearly 2500 students signed up to compete with a 64% increase in the number of teams who submitted a finalized pitch, including sizzle reel, abstract, and well thought out lean business model canvas.


“While we have seen a growth in the number of pitches submitted, we have also seen a huge increase in the quality and thoughtfulness that each student team put forth when developing their business plan,” said Don Wettrick, co-founder and CEO of the STARTedUP Foundation. “It has been amazing for our team to witness the mindset shift in students across the state as they learn to view problems as opportunities."


Much of the reason for this growth is the expansion of the Indiana Innovation Educator Fellowship. In partnership with the Indiana Department of Education, thirty-five innovative educators from across the state were selected to participate in the 2022-2023 cohort, focusing on ways to encourage students to look at the world through the lens of an entrepreneur - identifying unique ways to fix the issues they see in their community, state or the world.


“I am incredibly encouraged by the passion these educators have for their students and know that the connections they make in their local communities and across the state will provide the foundation for so many valuable opportunities,” said Dr. Rebecca Estes, Senior Director of Educator Talent at the Indiana Department of Education.


This April, there will be fifty-two teams from across the state competing for ten spots in the State Finals taking place June 15th. There will be two teams selected from each of the five regions during the competitions hosted by: Purdue University, Purdue University Northwest, Purdue University Fort Wayne, University of Evansville, and IKORCC (Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters).


The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has been a consistent supporter of the Innovate WithIN program and has been critical in growing the competition to what it is today. All Innovate WithIN participants meet with their local Indiana Small Business Development Center, the IEDC’s small business technical assistance team, to prepare for the regional competition as they build and clarify their business plan, improve their pitches, and receive feedback from professionals in their field of interest.


“This year’s regional finalists inspire hope for the future of entrepreneurship in our state,” said David Watkins, Senior Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Small Business. “From cancer screening to recycling and everything in between, Indiana students are putting the entrepreneurial mindset to use to solve real world problems. Initiatives like Innovate WithIN are crucial to the continued growth of entrepreneurship and innovation in Indiana and our future economy.”


All individuals from across the state are invited to attend their local competition and experience these impressive student pitches. More details and registration information can be found at: startedupfoundation.org/pitch


The pitch competitions will take place on the dates below and include the following teams:


University of Evansville - Region 1

April 10th; 8:00AM - 1:00PM CST | RSVP to attend in person or join the livestream: startedupfoundation.org/region-1

  • Cruzin’ Cabs

    • Breanna Lawrence, Seymour Senior High School


  • Dr. Orthopedic

    • Claire Deardorff, Signature School Inc

    • Jennifer Vazquez, Signature School Inc


  • Fleetwise

    • Peyton Chitwood, The Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship


  • Legaltec

    • Jude Allaw, Signature School Inc

    • Ethan Hilton, Signature School Inc

    • Mann Patel, Signature School Inc


  • Music Makers

    • Aparna Kudiyirkkal Anil, Signature School Inc

    • Sreya Yelamanchili, Signature School Inc


  • Pure Pup

    • Rue Henderson, Mount Vernon High School

    • Kyra Rainey, Mount Vernon High School

    • Malley Wagner, Mount Vernon High School


  • Sid’s Studio

    • Siddhant Jain, Columbus North High School


  • Pet Prep

    • Jack Megnin, Bloomington High School South

    • Nolan Risen, Bloomington High School South

    • Noah Spicer, Bloomington High School South


  • Voluntabs

    • Jennie Amador, Signature School Inc

    • Nicole Diab, Signature School Inc

    • Grayson Koch, Signature School Inc


  • Z&M Promotions

    • Zayden Kinsey, New Tech Institute

    • Mathis Rogers, New Tech Institute


Purdue University - Purdue Innovates/Krannert School of Management (Region 2) April 26th; 8:00AM - 1:00PM EST | RSVP to attend in person or join the livestream: startedupfoundation.org/region-2

  • Afrotopia

    • Tumim Gebrewold, Speedway Senior High School


  • BoardUP

    • Kaden Barnhart, Zionsville Community High School

    • Diego Tangassi, Zionsville Community High School


  • Bussl

    • Kieron Bishop, Herron High School

    • Liam Green, Herron High School

    • Leland Rowe, Herron High School


  • Cancer Catch

    • Suhani Lodha, Carmel High School

    • Jacqueline Roth, Carmel High School


  • Clean Line

    • Nathan Dierckman, Carmel High School

    • Makayla Phillips, Carmel High School


  • Greene

    • Samuel Landers, Noblesville High School

    • Elysia Uggen, Noblesville High School


  • OxyHeal

    • Amogha Paleru, Carmel High School

    • Matthew Rao, Carmel High School


  • Pinpoint Toothpaste

    • Jack Kazmierczak, Carmel High School


  • Ready Set Go

    • Tylar Simpkiss, Carmel High School


  • Rooted Plastic

    • Gabriel Landin, Terre Haute North Vigo High School

    • Zachary McCammon, Terre Haute North Vigo High School

    • Justin Spencer, Terre Haute North Vigo High School


  • Uptown Gardens

    • Neva Verbik, Avon High School


IKORCC (Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters) - Region 3 April 21st; 8:00AM - 1:00PM EST | RSVP to attend in person or join the livestream: startedupfoundation.org/region-3

  • Candle Elevator

    • Joelyn Ketner, Westfield High School

    • Natalie Khazal, Westfield High School

    • Morgan Rodgers, Westfield High School


  • Clyde’s Carryalls

    • Madelyn Henry, Oldenburg Academy

    • Jalyn Stenger, Oldenburg Academy

    • Clare Van Meter, Oldenburg Academy


  • Distributex

    • Ashton Burch, Westfield High School

    • Paul Williams, Westfield High School

    • Turner White, Westfield High School


  • Flamethrower Baseball

    • Jack Augenstine, Westfield High School

    • Seth Nanna, Westfield High School

    • Josh Wallwork, Westfield High School


  • Ho-oH Cleanser

    • Jaden Smith, Batesville High School

    • Ethan Wehr, Batesville High School


  • Osci Charge

    • Josiah Findley, Greenfield-Central High School

    • Ian Jack, Greenfield-Central High School


  • Red Applications

    • Liam Lloyd, Westfield High School

    • Edgar Medina, Westfield High School


  • RefReel

    • Evan Homan, Westfield High School

    • Quinn Provost, Westfield High School

    • Andrew Westra, Westfield High School


  • Sleep Snug

    • Lila James, Westfield High School

    • Nisha Roy, Westfield High School

    • Rylan Wheeler, Westfield High School


  • Usher

    • Kayden Thomas, Delta High School


Purdue University Northwest - Region 4 April 17th; 9:00AM - 1:15PM CST | RSVP to attend in person or join the livestream: startedupfoundation.org/region-4

  • Accurate Athletics

    • Noah Bailey, Hobart High School

    • Grant Kappes, Hobart High School

    • Ryan Wein, Hobart High School


  • AP (Anything’s Possible)

    • Anthony Ford, Homeschool


  • CO Solutions

    • Jackson Collard, Munster High School

    • Brandon Oganovich, Munster High School

    • Henry Wilson, Munster High School


  • DamonRose

    • Sofia Broberg, Lowell Senior High School


  • Mint City Recycling

    • Eason Reed, Bremen Senior High School


  • Novos

    • Joshua Avila, Munster High School

    • Austin Beetson, Munster High School

    • Sayeed Mohammed, Munster High School


  • Reaction Ring

    • Ethan Brubaker, Valpariaso High School

    • Michael Gjorseski, Valpariaso High School

    • Tyler Wells, Valpariaso High School


  • Recupp

    • Conner Niemann, Hobart High School


  • Simple Straw

    • Skyla Dobbertin, Valparaiso High School

    • Mady Lamb, Valparaiso High School

    • Allie Parks, Valparaiso High School


  • Tow Scout

    • Benjamin Eberle, Hobart High School


  • Wringo

    • Connor Gomez, Munster High School

    • Ameen Musley, Munster High School

    • Vasili Papageorge, Munster High School


Purdue University Fort Wayne - Region 5 April 27th; 8:00AM - 1:00PM EST | RSVP to attend in person or join the livestream: startedupfoundation.org/region-5

  • Amplify Fort Wayne

    • Versailles Burnett, AMP Lab at Electric Works

    • Eli Clough, AMP Lab at Electric Works

    • Hunter Ngo, AMP Lab at Electric Works


  • Communi

    • Seth Cavinder, AMP Lab at Electric Works

    • Emilie Henry, AMP Lab at Electric Works

    • Adrianna Senteney, AMP Lab at Electric Works


  • Eco Lures

    • Zachary Owens, Manchester Jr-Sr High School

    • Tristan Paquer, Manchester Jr-Sr High School


  • ETL Visions Inc

    • I’Anna Ritumalta, AMP Lab at Electric Works

    • Saul Robles, AMP Lab at Electric Works

    • Jasmine Rodriguez, AMP Lab at Electric Works


  • Intellikits

    • Nash Brown, DeKalb High School

    • Connor Wueller, DeKalb High School


  • JLs

    • Jennifer Loo, AMP Lab at Electric Works

    • Jocelyn Lopez, AMP Lab at Electric Works


  • MONO

    • Samsawn Pakasawn, AMP Lab at Electric Works


  • Rapid Roots

    • Eli Edmond, Wabash High School

    • Coltyn Sellers, Wabash High School


  • TNL Film Production

    • Tatum Lockhart, Garrett High School


  • Travida

    • Landen Zwick, AMP Lab at Electric Works


About The STARTedUP Foundation The STARTedUP Foundation officially launched in 2018 to start building the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. This is accomplished through three key initiatives: Spark, Develop, and Accelerate. Beginning with sparking innovation through the Innovate WithIN pitch competition; continuing to develop students through an educator fellowship; and accelerating innovation through the creation of an alumni association for all students previously engaged with STARTedUP. About Innovate WithIN STARTedUP’s innovation pitch competition, Innovate WithIN, is the most elite entrepreneurial pitch competition in the country, with ten teams selected within each of Indiana’s five regions to compete in the first round of the competition and the top two teams from each region invited to compete in the Innovate WithIN State Finals. These top teams are competing for $25,000 in seed funding to launch their company, product, or idea.

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