For Immediate Release

B-Start Winning Startup Pitches Announced for Bloomington Demo Day

Bloomington, Indiana (March 7, 2019) – Bloomington’s B-Start program announced its Demo Day winners on Tuesday evening after nine participating teams submitted business plans and delivered a 5-minute presentation on their startup projects. The event was hosted at The Mill – Bloomington’s new 19,000 sf coworking and business incubator space.

The winning teams announced were:

  • 1st Place: Haven, Luke Mongin – a cloud based, SaaS platform to centralize and manage all core functions of a small business in one convenient place
  • 2nd Place: Hunger Curbed, Kennedy Brown and Zach Simunic – platform for food trucks and their customers that will provide real-time food truck locations, menus, and reviews
  • 3rd Place: VisionApp, Matt Jaskulski, Arthur Bradley, and Pete Kollbaum – Founded by scientists from IU and Spain, VisionApp (apps that care for your eyes) develops technologies and solutions to control the global pandemic of near-sightedness (myopia)

First, second and third place winners received $2,500, $1,500 and $500 respectively while all graduating B-Start participants received a $500 stipend to continue to develop their businesses. This year the program also gave a $100 prize to the team with the best business plan and to the team that was the audience favorite pitch. VisionApp and Haven also received the award for best business plan and Hunger Curbed won the audience favorite of best pitch.

“Starting a business can be a daunting task, but what I hope we have shown every participant is that Bloomington has an abundance of resources that can help you start and grow businesses here.,” said Anne McCombe, Vice President of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC). B-Start is a program of the BEDC. “The future of our economy and job creation is through innovation driven businesses, the types of businesses that we help to start through our B-Start program.”

Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio delivered the keynote address for the event. A panel of judges included Jason Whitney, IU Research & Technology Corporation; Jim Silberstein, Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington; and Rob Lyles, Cook Regentec. Graduation stipends and pitch prizes were made possible through financial support from Cook Group, The Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington, and Indiana University Innovate Indiana. Additional supporting sponsors of the program were Cornerstone Information Systems, Hanapin Marketing, Hoosier Energy, Smithville, and Lynn Coyne.

Demo Day serves as the conclusion of the B-Start pre-accelerator program for community members, IU and Ivy Tech student startups. Graduating startups will continue to participate in group workshops and networking opportunities to continue development of their business and integration into the Bloomington entrepreneurial ecosystem. The next B-Start session will begin Fall 2019. For more information on B-Start, visit www.b-start.org.

About B-Start

B-Start is a pre-accelerator program of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) designed for Indiana University and Ivy Tech student technology startups. B-Start participants are at the earliest stage of their business development and are coached through a rigorous comprehensive process of cohort activities and individualized mentorship over the course of the program to build a foundation for accelerating the growth of their startups. For more information, visit www.b-start.org.

About the BEDC

The BEDC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the retention, development and attraction of quality jobs in Monroe County. The BEDC is led by a partnership of private industry leaders, the City of Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana University and Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington. For more information, visit www.bloomingtonedc.com.

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Media Contact:

Anne McCombe, Vice President

(812) 335-7346, amccombe@bloomingtonedc.com