Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center lands funding for veterans pitch competition

Veterans will soon get to pitch their startup ideas in a new entrepreneurial contest.

The Purdue University Northwest Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center landed $40,000 in funding from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to launch a Midwest veteran pitch competition similar to the Big Sell. It will provide veterans an opportunity to pitch their business ideas in the hope of landing seed funding.

The IEDC awarded a total of $500,000 in grants through its new Community Collaboration Fund in the hope of increasing entrepreneurial activity across the state. The program is funding 16 community projects meant to educate, connect and advance entrepreneurs.

“Indiana has been recognized as the best state in the U.S. to start a business, and we’re leaning in even further to ensure that all Hoosiers have equal access and opportunity in their entrepreneurial journey,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce David Rosenberg. “The Community Collaboration Fund is yet another resource that community-focused entrepreneur organizations across the state can leverage to provide direct support to aspiring entrepreneurs, startups and growing small businesses and to help ensure the continued success of Hoosier innovators statewide.”

The IEDC is looking to help entrepreneur support organizations offer new programming and collaboration. It’s offering funding between $5,000 and $40,000 with a match of at least 25%.

It selected 16 projects targeting gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and often supporting less-traditional rural, women, minority and veteran entrepreneurs. It’s funding startup accelerators, pitch competitions, one-on-one coaching, student entrepreneurial education and other resources in communities across the state, including South Bend, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.

“The ability to leverage the Community Collaboration Fund, along with the investment of our community partner organizations, will greatly accelerate our work to support and empower local entrepreneurs and big thinkers,” said Dan Robison, director of the Jackson County Chamber. “The launch of this program by the IEDC demonstrates the state’s commitment to connect and support all current and aspiring entrepreneurs as well as our local ecosystems throughout Indiana.”

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