Entrepreneur Showcase Week – A Great Week for Muncie Entrepreneurs and Business Owners — Muncie Journal

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

MUNCIE, IN—More than eight months ago, our creative Innovation Connector team began planning a new event that we hope will impact both entrepreneurs and business owners. We want this event to be something unprecedented. As we worked on our thoughts and dreams for this event, the idea of ​​Entrepreneur Showcase Week began to take shape. As we planned our strategies to make this event unique, and big, we realized we were onto something significant. Now, looking back and looking back at the actual events of Entrepreneur Showcase Week, which took place from November 14 – November 19, this week far exceeded any and all of our expectations.

During Entrepreneur Showcase Week, twenty one events were held at the Innovation Connector – which is crazy to even think about. Around eight hundred participants joined us for workshops, seminars, panel discussions, networking events, food and more. This response has exceeded our wildest expectations. Some of the workshops were “sold out” – some were standing room only. Some of these include, Opportunities for Minorities and Women in Business, Creative Marketing of Your Business, Funding Your Business, Bookkeeping and AccountingWhat Small Businesses Need to Know, the women’s luncheon, Chic InnovateThe Women Business Owners Brunch, and the networking luncheon with Community Business Connections. A lot of positive comments were received from the event attendees – how the sessions helped them with business issues, connected them with other entrepreneurs, and how introducing the Innovation Connector could help them in the future.

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Thank you to everyone who participated in some way in Entrepreneur Showcase Week – attendees, presenters, and panelists. A special thanks to our wonderful sponsors. A big shout out to First Merchants Bank who served as Title Sponsor for the entire week. Your continued support of our business community is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Mark Hardwick, Chief Executive Office of First Merchants Corporation for your great insight and presentation during the Kickoff Celebration. Thanks to Deltec Solutions, Whitinger & Company, R & R Engineering Co., Inc., Ivy Tech Community College, Jay-Crew, Northwest Bank, Thrive Credit Union, Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, Ball State University Office of Community Engagement, Shafer Leadership Academy, Pizza King (provided lots of pizza and bread sticks for lunch both days – it was a huge hit,) Chick-Fil-A (provided a delicious breakfast for a morning workshop,) American Electric Power Foundation, the City of Muncie , Woof Boom Radio/WLBC 104.1 FM/Muncie Journal, TechWise Academy, and Amazing Joe’s. Three other sponsors of special note: Spotted Monkey Marketing for their outstanding service throughout the planning and execution of Entrepreneur Showcase Week strategies. Thank you, Ashli, Rachel, and team, dream and believe in us. Thanks to Woof Boom Radio, Muncie Journal, WLBC 104.1 FM for their support since the beginning of the Entrepreneur Showcase Week episodes. Mark Foerster and Steve Lindell – we thank you and your support. Also, a heartfelt thank you to the Muncie/Delaware County Black Chamber of Commerce. Thank you for your extra effort to promote Entrepreneur Showcase Week to your membership and beyond. This effect was felt throughout the week of events.

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Congratulations again to the first Entrepreneurs of the Year: Lynn Moore, Peggy Cenova, Kurt Harrington, Bernisa Elliott, Tiara Hicks, and Mayor Dan Ridenour. Thank you for sharing your entrepreneurial and business talents with the Muncie community. You make our community better.

Thanks also to the board of directors of Innovation Connector who supported our exciting idea. To our board chair, Ron Fauquher, thank you for your opening remarks at the Kickoff Celebration that kicked us off in a celebratory fashion. Most of all, thanks to Innovation Connector’s, small but mighty team. Lori Albert, Natalie Smith, and I worked together to make this event a success. While the event planning process was exhausting and long, we arrived at the finish line super inspired, relieved, and exhausted, but happy that so many people participated.

What’s next? The Innovation Connector continues to Celebrate Entrepreneurs. That’s part of our organization’s DNA. Our team continues to debrief about the events of Entrepreneur Showcase Week. We reviewed all feedback and social media posts provided by attendees. In early January 2023, we will complete a master calendar of events, workshops, and seminars, based on what we’ve learned that entrepreneurs and small businesses want and need. 2023 will be an exciting year at the Innovation Connector. Starting in February 2023, our events will be posted at, www.innovationconnectorevents.com.

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How many times have I been asked, “Will there be an Entrepreneur Showcase II? My answer is, “probably.” However, it is more likely to be different than this year’s event. We found that twenty one events a week was too many. We also think that some workshops and seminars could be combined to offer a more complete way to present the subject matter. And we noticed the sessions were very popular and well attended. Our main goal is to make the next Entrepreneur Showcase Week better and more impactful than the first. We can assure you of one thing – Innovation Connector will continue to support entrepreneurs and business owners in the best possible way. Until then, please feel free to contact our office at 765-285-4900 if you have any questions or need assistance.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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


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