The Mill, Bloomington’s nonprofit center for coworking and entrepreneurship, today announced the dates for Innovation Week (iWeek) 2022, a slate of free events on technology and innovation.
“Every year we partner with ecosystem leaders to celebrate and support innovation for one jam-packed week in October,” said Pat East, Executive Director of The Mill. “This year’s iWeek is a mix of celebration and hands-on practical sessions. For anyone interested in entrepreneurship or tech, this is a great way to explore, learn, and connect to the local startup community.”
The Mill will host events all week from TechPoint, gBETA, the Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA), the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech, the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, Indiana University Innovation & Commercialization Office, NSWC Crane, and Purdue MEP.
The week kicks off on the morning of October 11 with a free financial modeling workshop from Ivy Tech that provides a great tool to make projecting business financials easier. At 11:30, Bloomington celebrates its fourth annual Ada Lovelace Day, a global event commemorating the first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace. The local celebration will feature a buffet lunch, panel of speakers (including a mystery guest from Palo Alto), and a new Ada Lovelace Innovation Awardee. The day closes with the Community Innovation Awards, where Bloomington’s Best Places to Work, Fast 15 MVP Employees, and Fuse Innovation winners will be announced.
Several iWeek sessions focus on how to attract and retain tech talent, which East described as a critical issue for local companies and Indiana’s economic growth. TechPoint, Indiana’s nonprofit industry organization supporting the tech ecosystem, will share their findings on state trends, average salaries, and best practices on Tuesday, October 11. Then on Friday, October 14, Purdue’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership will lead a hands-on workshop to build an employee attraction and retention action plan.
Small group and working sessions do require registration, East noted, and the Bloomington Chamber’s session on innovation is members-only. Several large public events are open for drop-ins. On Wednesday, October 12, ITIA, which advocates for technology in the public policy and political arenas, will lead a Tech Town Hall. Mayor Hamilton and other elected local officials will be on hand to discuss the future of tech in Bloomington. On Thursday, October 13, speakers from NSWC Crane, IN3, the NavalX Tech Bridge, NSTXL, and others will explain how non-traditional and small businesses can participate in the vibrant defense innovation ecosystem at the Defense Innovation Enablers panel discussion.
iWeek will also include two pitch competition finals, one for the Crossroads Pitch Competition (Weds., October 12, 1-3 pm) and one for the IU Idea to Startup Pitch Competition (Thurs., October 13, 9 am-noon).
“If you’re a fan of ‘Shark Tank,’ this is your chance to see the action in person,” East said. “Local companies will ‘pitch’ their innovative ideas to a panel of judges to compete for thousands of dollars in cash and investment. Watching the finals is a lot of fun and a great way to get a better sense of the scale of innovation happening in Indiana.”
For those looking to connect with startup founders on a more personal level, East suggested the gBETA breakfast on Wednesday, October 12 as the best opportunity.
Registration is required for some, but not all events. See the full slate here, or explore and RSVP on Eventbrite.
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