Innovation Connector Creates a Four-Month Intensive Business Development Program for Entrepreneurs

Kory Gipson, a member of the ADVANCE program is pictured. Photo by Darik HallKory Gipson, a member of the ADVANCE program is pictured. Photo by Darik Hall

By Alexis Dishman—

Muncie, INIn September of 2020, the Innovation Connector of Muncie released a four-month intensive business development program for emerging and existing small business owners in Delaware County called ADVANCE. The objective of the ADVANCE program is to help business owners move forward purposefully by utilizing the Innovation Connector’s abundance of business support services and programs.

The Innovation Connector invited business owners and entrepreneurs to sign up at no cost thanks to a grant from The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc. As the program’s applications started to rush in, only the first eighteen entrepreneurs and small business owners who applied and were serious about bringing their business visions to life were selected to create the first cohort of the ADVANCE program.

“We wanted the first cohort to be a learning experience for not only the participants but for us as well,” states Alexis Dishman, Administrative Director and Marketing Coordinator for the Innovation Connector. “We limited the number of participants to make sure we could give them the time and resources they need to help with their specific business needs.”

During the kick-off meeting for the first cohort, the program’s participants came together to meet other members of the cohort and learn how to avoid many of the common pitfalls entrepreneurs experience and learn how to break through challenging barriers to reach the next level of business.

Through the four-month program, members will stay committed by getting focused one-on-one coaching, consultation with business professionals, access to workshops and events, and much more. Executive Director, Ted Baker and Innovation Specialist, Carter Anderson will also customize a schedule of training courses and research and action plans for each individual of the ADVANCE program to ensure that each participant gets the most out of this program.

Each month, participants will meet as a group to recap what they have learned, share with the group new successes, and connect with like business owners who are in the program.

“I am so honored to have been chosen for such an incredible and thoughtful program! I have been made to feel important and wanted in what is ultimately an unprecedented and far-reaching resource for business owners like me. I hope to come away with the tools and perspective I need to be able to create a sustainable business and learn more about how to grow in an always-changing business arena.”says ADVANCE participant Kory Gipson.

Entrepreneurs are expected to learn valuable information to implement in their businesses now and through their careers. Resources such as LivePlan, reading materials, Wendy Kennedy Institute (WKI), GrowthWheel, Shafer Leadership Academy, and Innovation Connector designed training programs are at the fingertips of each participant of the ADVANCE program.

The Innovation Connector is now accepting applications for the second cohort of the ADVANCE program, set to launch in 2021. For more details or to sign up for the second cohort of ADVANCE, go to or contact Alexis Dishman at 765-285-4900.