The Innovation Showcase

"Where Capital Meets Innovation"

The Innovation Showcase 2022

August 31, 2022 at 11:30 am - 7:00 pm


2022 Innovation Showcase WINNERS Press Release

Click here to view the Press Release


Secretary Brad Chamber’s to Join the Innovation Showcase

Click Here to view Secretary Chamber’s Press Release

Click here to review the 2022 Press Release

21 of the Hottest Hoosier Startups Vie for a Chance to Pitch

Click here to review the Press Release

The Innovation Showcase

Where Capital Meets Innovation

What is Your “Market Gap”?  Why is YOUR Company Capable of Filling It?
The answer to this question is the ambition of EVERY Entrepreneur
on day one!  The 14th Innovation Showcase presented by the Venture Club of Indiana will focus on the answer to this question on August 31, 2022 at The Center|The Heritage Group.
Plan to attend Indiana’s premier event for Investor and Capital sources to connect with fundable companies. 
21 Companies Competing 
Companies, business executives, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs from the Midwest will attend the event to celebrate Indiana’s brightest and best startups!  


2022 Innovation Showcase Schedule

2022 Innovation Showcase 

Where Capital Meets Innovation

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 11:15 am – 7:00 pm

11:15     Entrepreneur’s Expo, Registration & Lunch

1:00        Introductions/Kickoff
                       Aaron Gillam, 50 South Capital and Venture Club of Indiana President
1:10        Welcome from The Heritage Group
                       Kip Frey, EVP, The Heritage Group
1:15        Indiana: Open for Business  “Role of Venture Capital”    
                       Secretary of Commerce 
                       Brad Chambers                                      
1:25        EMCEE 

                       Ginger Rothrock, HG Ventures –  Introduce Judges 


                   First Round of pitches 

1:55         “Road After Showcase”

                        Moderator – Samantha Ginther, High Alpha   

                        Steve Booher, Smart Apply, 2nd Place 2021

                        Dr. Kevin Barry, Senior Battery Engineer, Ateios Systems, 1st Place 2021

2:10        Second Round of Pitches 

2:40        “In the Fire” 

                       Moderator: Neehah Jain, Partner and CFO, Armory Square Ventures

2:55        Third Round of Pitches 

3:25        “Crossing the Chasm — From Venture to Growth” Middle Market Companies  

                        Moderator:  Don Aquilano, Partner, Allos Ventures

                        Kristen Nunery, CEO, MyCOI   

                        Matt Weirich, Co-Founder, CEO Realync               

 3:45       Fourth  Round of Pitches                                                             

4:15        Keynote:  “Global Digital Transformation:              

                   What is it, Why is it important, and  What do Startups Need To Know?”               

                        Joanna Milliken, CEO, Emarsys 

                        RJ Talyor, High Alpha, Past Co-founder/CEO, Pattern89

4:50        Winner’s Announcement   

5:00        VIP Reception for all attendees


Judges –     Katie Birge – M25

                        Mike Hatfield – Sawmill Ventures         

                        Christopher Day – Elevate Ventures






Entrepreneurs Expo 11:30am – 1:00pm





Members – Early Price                                                          $75

Member – Regular (after 8/19)                                     $100

Non-Member Ticket – Early Price                                $125

Non-Member Ticket – Regular (after 8/19)            $175


   Aaron Gillum
50 South Capital

Aaron Gillum is a Senior Vice President in the Private Equity Group at 50 South Capital Advisors. He is responsible for sourcing and analyzing venture capital partnership investment opportunities, as well as fundraising activities and portfolio management. Additionally, Aaron is a member of the 50 South Capital Diversity Council.

Prior to joining Northern Trust, Aaron was co-founder and Managing Partner of an early stage venture fund focused on technology companies in the Midwest and New York City regions. He has over fifteen years of experience in leadership roles with tech start-ups, as well as strategy and restructuring advisory to Fortune 500 and middle market companies across a variety of industries. Aaron was named to Crain’s Chicago Business Tech 50, a recipient of the Turnaround Managements Association’s, Turnaround of the Year and M&A Advisor’s Top 40 Under 40. He serves as the current President of the Venture Club of Indiana. Aaron also serves on the advisory board of several venture funds and is a featured speaker at industry events and conferences.

Aaron earned an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and B.A. in economics and public policy from the University of Michigan, graduating with honors. He is also active as a mentor and volunteer with the Future Founders Foundation and the Big Shoulders Fund.

   Kip Frey
   The Heritage Group

Kip brings tremendous insight and expertise to our portfolio companies, drawing upon his experiences leading multiple start-ups and as a venture investor, board member, and entrepreneurial ecosystem builder. He instructively seeks out entrepreneurs that have a bold vision for the future.

Before joining THG, and creating the New Ventures Group, he was Vice Provost for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Professor of Law and Public Policy at Duke University. In addition to his duties at Duke, he has served as CEO of seven start-up companies and was a partner at Intersouth Partners—one of the largest and oldest venture capital firms in the Southeast.

A lawyer by training, he practiced intellectual property law before joining Turner Broadcasting System in the early 1990’s. While at Turner, he ran several business units and contributed to the acquisition of Castle Rock Entertainment, the formation of the Cartoon Network, and the construction of the MGM Grand Hotel.

Kip is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Southern California and of Duke Law School, where he served on the Duke Law Journal. He has served as a director of more than a dozen public and private companies.


   Brad Chambers
   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 
   HG Ventures

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.


“Road After The Showcase”




  Samantha Ginther
     High Alpha

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


  Steve Booher
   Smart Apply

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
  Ateios Systems

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” 



     Neenah Jain
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).


Jeff Middlesworth

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,, Branding Brand, and Emma.


“Crossing the Chasm — From Venture to Growth” Middle Market Companies  



  Don Aquilano
  Allos Ventures

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.


  Kristen Nunery

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.


  Matt Weirich
  CEO Realync

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

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.


      RJ Talyor
     High Alpha
Past Co-founder/CEO,

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

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
Elevate Ventures

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
Sawmill Ventures         

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.


Latest News

The Venture Club of Indiana to Host the “2022 Innovation Showcase”

“Where Capital Meets Innovation”

Secretary Brad Chamber to join the Innovation Showcase

Click here for Secretary Brad Chambers Press Release

Click here to view the 2022 Innovation Showcase Press Release

21 of the Hottest Hoosier Startups Vie for a Chance to Pitch

Click here to review the Press Release


The Venture Club of Indiana  announced the 2021 Innovation Showcase Winners!

The Road to the Showcase

In order to bring 21 highly qualified entrepreneurial companies to our Innovation Showcase, we connected with over 20  Indiana Venture Investors to ask for nominations from their portfolio of companies. 

2022 Nominated Companies

Afterschoool HQ
Atlas Solutions
NanoBio Design
Peak Mind, LLC
Razor Medical Instruments
The Fans Place
Zero Carb Lyfe

Criteria for Nomination

  • Based in Indiana
  • Have raised no more than $5mm in outside dilutive capital since formation (either through issuance of debt or equity securities; grants and the like do not count)
  • Must have a bona fide expectation of raising follow on capital within the next 12 months
  • Must have received an investment (cash or growth resources) from the nominating Investor (preferably the Investor should be on the cap table) 
  • Cannot have placed in the top 3 at any prior Innovation Showcase.

Nominating Indiana Investors

Cofound Ventures

Elevate Ventures


HG Ventures

High Alpha

IU Ventures

Purdue Ventures / Foundry

Sixty8 Capital


VisionTech Partners                                                       

2022 Innovation Showcase Sponsors