January – February 2021 Cohort

Founder Stories

$2,500 GRANT

“Guardian Machine Protection is a B2B, maintenance-as-a-service business model that provides machinery upkeep, leveraging IoT, for small to mid-sized manufacturers.”

Mentor: Mark Michael | Fort Wayne Metals
Follow Yan’s journey!


“My end goal is to be a tourist attraction. I envision having a line of clients eager to receive a Legendary cut!”

Mentor: Michelle Chambers | Signing Closers
Follow Sasha’s journey!

$500 GRANT

“I strive to create content that tells a story and makes clients feel something, that evokes some type of emotion.”

Mentor: Derek Devine, Punch Films
Follow Charlie’s journey!


“To produce the only surgical planning tool that is designed with repurposed material, as well as the only imaging tool that can be used in a CT scan to build 3D bone models.”

Mentor: Greg Stalcup | Sites Medical
Follow Autumn’s journey!

“Our apparel and accessories are created for parents to evoke a nostalgic feeling, bringing a bit of childhood into this new ‘hood’ of parenthood.”

Mentors: Pat Miller | Vera Bradley, Jeff Blade | Matilda Jane
Follow Ashley’s journey!


“NUP is a mobile app that exists to connect local consumers with their local food/drinks industry by helping members find, try, and rate local bars while reducing their ticket cost”

Mentor: Kyle Gough | Kyle Gough Law
Follow this Ignacio’s journey!
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“We’re building a marketplace that breaks down barriers to better tech usage in the nonprofit sector.”

Mentor: Fred Nash | Main Street Venture Fund
Follow Mitch’s journey!


“I am a female-owned business processing steel products for multiple applications with the goal of providing opportunities for disadvantaged and second chance individuals in my community.”

Mentor: Carey Schmucker | Aegis
Follow Michelle’s journey!


“I tend to have a documentary-style approach of wedding videography that captures the emotions of all who attend the wedding.”

Mentor: Lesa Van Meter | Shadowlands Photography
Follow Brooke’s journey!

“MindGPA’s mobile app will help each student find their own customized way to have better mental health and grades through 24/7 resources that can be accessed anyplace, privately, and with social components.”

Mentors: Dr. Michael Mirro | Parkview Mirro Center for Innovation, Jay Johns | Bellon Branch Design
Follow David’s journey!

“Many people don’t know much about how houses are built, and it allows them to be taken advantage of. I want to educate buyers and create a reputation for myself and my company, with a philosophy of: Do it now, do it right, and do it once.”

Mentor: Luke Hoffman | Granite Ridge Builders

“I am 15 years old; I write screenplays, I do the casting for, I co-produce, and I create short films and music videos.”

Mentor: Laura Hilker | 212 Creative Network
Follow Morgan’s journey!


“Moo Over is the ONLY premium plant-based ice crème shop in Columbia City, IN. I make dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, sugar-free ice crème from scratch using clean organic and locally sourced ingredients.”

Mentor: Mark Kelnhofer | Return on Ingredients
Follow Julie’s journey!


“We custom build roaster boxes that we use to provide catering services to small venues, individuals, and fundraising events for our local community.”

Mentor: James Kahn | Baker Street, Hoppy Gnome, Proximo
Follow Rolando’s journey!