Secretary of Commerce
Bradley B. Chambers is the Secretary of Commerce for the state of Indiana and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), serving as a member of Governor Eric Holcomb’s cabinet and leading the state’s economic development efforts since his appointment in summer 2021.
For more than 37 years, Chambers has been a leader in the investment, development and management of high-quality multifamily and mixed-use properties across the nation. As founder, president and CEO of Indianapolis-based Buckingham Companies, Chambers has led the strategic direction of the company’s integrated divisions, including development, construction, property management and institutional asset management since he started the company as a student at Indiana University in 1984. With a focus on midwestern values, creativity and community involvement, Buckingham has grown from its first rental property purchase to the development and acquisition of its investments exceeding $3 billion.
Chambers received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. He and his wife, Carol, are parents to their son, Nick.
Ginger Rothrock, PhD, is the senior director of HG Ventures, the corporate venture investing arm of The Heritage Group. In this role, she invests in early to growth stage companies developing advanced materials and systems for the circular economy, energy, water, specialty chemicals, and transportation infrastructure. With a doctorate in chemistry, Ginger has worked at the intersection of science, business, and innovation her entire career. She has a deep appreciation for the opportunity to merge her operating experience with her desire to invest in people. Ginger is particularly passionate about science and engineering anchoring the next generation of transformative startups. Before joining HG Ventures, Ginger served as vice president of Technology and Commercialization at RTI International where she oversaw the commercialization of a $1 billion research and development portfolio and served as a mentor and coach to numerous scientific innovators. Ginger is an accomplished scientist and serial entrepreneur who empathizes with entrepreneurs’ unique challenges. https://hgventures.com/
“Road After The Showcase”
Samantha is an Associate at High Alpha, a B2B SaaS venture studio and venture fund in Indianapolis. She was previously a Senior Associate and Head of Platform for IU Ventures. Samantha began her career in marketing and business development for the behavioral health care industry. She is a board member for the Venture Club of Indiana and a board observer for The Bee Corp.
2021 Winners 1st & 2nd Place
A serial entrepreneurial leader, Steve Booher has launched and exited multiple ventures during his 30-year career, including Productive Resources, Auburn Clutch, NetPage USA, and CAD Design, Inc. His most recent company, Smart Guided, LLC, headquartered in Indianapolis, develops solutions for high-value permanent crop growers worldwide. In spring 2018, the company launched the first Android tablet-based GPS-precision spraying kit for boom sprayers. Later that year, the USDA awarded exclusive rights to Smart Guided to commercialize the LIDAR-based Smart Apply® Intelligent Spray Control System™, now sold to orchards and vineyards worldwide.
Steve has received the prestigious Growth 100 award from the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business, 11 times for four different companies. In 2000, he was named Ernst & Young’s Northern Indiana Entrepreneur of the Year. His company, Productive Resources, was recognized by Inc. Magazine among the “Fastest Growing Companies in America” from 2007-2009. He served on the Ag Sector board of directors of the Association of Equipment Manufactures and chairman of the board of Lakeview Ministries, overseeing fundraising and construction of Lakeview Villages, a summer camp. Steve earned an AD in design from Vincennes University and a BS in business from Indiana Wesleyan.
Dr. Kevin Barry
Dr. Kevin Barry was born in Lansing, Michigan. He attended Waverly High School and was a member of their cross country and track teams. InMay 2009, he received a full athletic scholarship forLansing Community College as a member of their cross country and track teams.In 2014, he earnedBachelorsof Science degree in both Astrophysics and Physics from Michigan State University. He received his PhD in Physics from Florida StateUniversityin Fall 2020, with a focus on condensed matter physics.Heis currently a battery engineer with Ateios Systems, where he has been since October 2020.
“In the Fire”
Armory Square Ventures
Neenah Jain is a Partner and Chief Financial Officer at Armory Square and is a member of the Firm’s Investment Committee. Ms. Jain has been in venture capital or involved in early-stage startups for over 24 years. She serves as a representative of Armory Square to the Boards at Clerio (observer) and Heretto (observer).
Prior to joining Armory Square, Ms. Jain was the CFO at Radius Ventures, a healthcare venture capital firm, which she joined in 2008. At Radius, she was responsible for the financial management and administrative activities of the Radius Funds and affiliated entities. She was also actively involved in the monitoring and analysis of existing investments, including serving as the Radius representative to many companies over her 12+ years with the firm.
Ms. Jain was previously the Senior Vice President of Finance at IPcelerate, Inc., a startup VoIP software company, where she was responsible for finance and accounting, human resources, legal, and strategic relationships. Earlier, she was a Fund Controller at Capital Analytics, LP (a division of Neuberger Berman), with responsibilities for financial reporting, accounting, tax compliance, and client relations for 10 private equity funds with assets in excess of $750 million. Neenah spent the first years of her career as an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, focused on technology and financial services clients.
Ms. Jain holds a BBA from Southern Methodist University and is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).
An experienced SaaS executive, advisor, and investor, Jeff brings a wealth of expertise in delivering innovative solutions to market that delight customers and drive business success. He has held leadership positions at high-growth companies such as ExactTarget, Salesforce.com, Branding Brand, and Emma.
“Crossing the Chasm — From Venture to Growth” Middle Market Companies
Don has been a venture capitalist for over 20 years across three firms as a managing partner for funds with over $600 million in committed capital. Don is currently a co-founder & managing director for Allos Ventures, an early-stage VC firm targeting B2B software ventures in the Midwest. Prior to being a venture capitalist, Don was a manager of strategy at Diageo, a consultant at BCG and an operations manager at Hewlett Packard. Don has a BS from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Harvard University.
Nunery is a former house flipper-property manager turned entrepreneur who found her passion and launched a successful company in a $3.2 billion niche insurance industry. While in real estate, Kristen identified gaps in how third-party insurance compliance was tracked and managed. In 2009, she founded myCOI, a SaaS-based insurtech company that mitigates third-party risk, ensures insurance compliance and facilitates seamless business relationships. Under Kristen’s leadership and with funding from Elevate Ventures and angel investors, myCOI has thrived. Clients include Fortune 500 companies in construction, property management and municipalities. In 2018, myCOI relocated to downtown Indianapolis to support expansion plans. Since then, myCOI has grown to XX team members. A champion of big ideas and the people behind them, Kristen has received multiple honors, including IBJ’s 40 Under 40 Award in 2021 and Insurance Business America’s Young Gun Award. She is a winner in the 2017 Innovation Showcase pitch competition. In 2022, myCOI won the Mira Award for Exceptional Employer. Kristen is passionate about supporting women in technology, especially in Indianapolis. She has served on the boards of TechPoint and the Startup Ladies and as a panelist for the Elevate Venture Kinetic Conference and Disrupt Indy: Women in Tech. https://mycoitracking.com/
Matt Weirich is the Co-founder and CEO of Realync. Having founded Realync over 8 years ago, Matt is on a mission to make multifamily touring, leasing, and communication real, authentic, and transparent. With their video leasing solution, Realync has helped teams all across the US and UK increase their lead-to-lease conversion rates and decrease sales cycles. Realync partners with many of the nation’s largest property owners and managers and is actively being used in over 500K units.
“The Innovation Showcase in 2016 was a milestone event in the life of Realync. We had been pursuing a seed round of funding for quite some time, but it was at the Innovation Showcase where we met our eventual investors, including our lead investor that pulled the round together. Simply attending the Innovation Showcase was a worthwhile investment for us, but winning it was truly special and so important in helping Realync get to where it is today.”
Keynote: “Global Digital Transformation:
What It Is, Why It’s Important and What Startups Need to Know?”
Joanna Milliken is an international technology executive and growth-minded leader based in Indianapolis. She has worked for more than 20 years in marketing and technology, including as the first employee of tech startup, ExactTarget, where she scaled Sales, Service, and Product, seeing the company through IPO in 2012 and a $2.5B acquisition by Salesforce in 2013. Currently Joanna is CEO of Emarsys, a marketing automation software company acquired by SAP in 2020. She has worked at start up, scale up, and enterprise organizations, and isa volunteer, adviser, investor, and board member who is passionate about supporting promising people and companies. Joanna is a proud graduate of Indiana University and spends her free time cooking, kayaking, and with her two children.
J. Talyor is a husband, father of four, and a tech entrepreneur. He has worked 20 years in the software industry across product and marketing roles at ExactTarget, Salesforce, and Geofeedia and then founded Pattern89, a predictive creative AI platform sold to Shutterstock in 2021. Currently, R.J. is working on another AI start-up and serves as an Operating Partner at High Alpha, accelerating big software ideas to product-market fit. R. J. earned a BA from DePauw University, and a MFA from Purdue University and spends free time with his family, swimming, or pursuing a hobby of (very) amateur birdwatching.
Katie Birge is an associate and head of platform at M25, an early stage VC firm that invests in Midwest-headquartered companies. Katie’s previous work centered around tech-focused economic development and community building, including serving as the executive director at Launch Indy and the director of the Bloomington Technology Partnerships. Katie holds bachelors degrees from DePauw University and a masters degree in Telecommunications from Indiana University.
Christopher Day serves as Chief Executive Officer of Elevate Ventures. Christopher has been a community builder, job maker and wealth creator throughout his entrepreneurial endeavors over the last 25 years having co-founded eight businesses in seven different sectors. He has been a part of $600M in transactions and has delivered nearly a 4x cash on cash return when exiting for investors. These experiences and interactions across many industries with strategic, venture capital and private equity investors give Christopher a truly unique perspective when evaluating people and opportunities.
Christopher is the proud father of a 14-year-old son and resides in Zionsville, IN. He has been the proud papa coaching many of his son’s soccer and basketball teams. Born and raised on a small farm in the Lafayette area, Christopher is a 1992 graduate of Purdue. After graduation, he spent five years in Georgia and Texas but returned home to Indiana, drawn by family, professional relationships, and the business environment.
Mike Hatfield is Chairman and Co-founder of Carium, a California-based virtual-health platform company. His focus in healthcare is to help make it more personalized yielding better outcomes.
He has co-founded three other successful tech ventures over the past 20+ years; Cerent, Calix and Cyan. He brings together new technologies in innovative ways to help transform industries.
Mike holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Mathematical Economics from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. in Finance from Indiana University. He is a native Hoosier who currently resides in Northern California.