Entrepreneur Showcase Week – A Great Week for Muncie Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

Pictured L-R: Entrepreneurs of the Year— Tiara Hicks, Mayor Dan Ridenour, Lynn Moore, Bernisa Elliott, Peggy Cenova, and Kurt Harrington.Pictured L-R: Entrepreneurs of the Year— Tiara Hicks, Mayor Dan Ridenour, Lynn Moore, Bernisa Elliott, Peggy Cenova, and Kurt Harrington.

By Ted Baker, CEO/Executive Director, Muncie Innovation Connector, Inc.—

MUNCIE, IN—A little over eight months ago, our creative Innovation Connector team began planning a new event that we hoped would impact both entrepreneurs and business owners. We wanted this event to be something that had never been done before. As we worked through our thoughts and dreams for this event, the idea of Entrepreneur Showcase Week began to take shape. As we plotted our strategies to make this event unique, and big, we realized we were on to something significant. Now, looking back and reviewing the actual events of Entrepreneur Showcase Week, which took place from November 14 – November 19, this week far exceeded anything and everything we expected.

During Entrepreneur Showcase Week, twenty-one events were held at the Innovation Connector – which is crazy to even think about. Approximately eight hundred participants joined us for workshops, seminars, panel discussions, networking events, food and more. This response exceeded our wildest expectations. Several of the workshops were “sold out” – some with standing room only. A few of these included, Opportunities for Minorities and Women in Business, Creatively Marketing Your Business, Funding Your Business, Bookkeeping and AccountingWhat Small Businesses Need to Know, the women’s luncheon, Chic Innovate, the Women Business Owners Brunch, and the networking luncheon with Community Business Connections. So many positive comments were received from event attendees – how the sessions helped them with business issues, connected them to other entrepreneurs, and how the introduction to the Innovation Connector would help them into the future.

Thank you to everyone who participated in some way during Entrepreneur Showcase Week – the attendees, presenters, and panelists. A special thanks to our amazing sponsors. A huge shout-out to First Merchants Bank who served as the Title Sponsor for the entire week. Your continual support of our entrepreneurial community is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Mark Hardwick, Chief Executive Office of First Merchants Corporation for your great insight and presentation during the Kickoff Celebration. Thank you to  Deltec Solutions, Whitinger & Company, R & R Engineering Co., Inc., Ivy Tech Community College, Jay-Crew, Northwest Bank, Thrive Credit Union, Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, Ball State University Office of Community Engagement, Shafer Leadership Academy,  Pizza King (provided lots of pizza and bread sticks for lunch two days –  this was such a big hit,) Chick-Fil-A (provided wonderful breakfast for a morning workshop,) American Electric Power Foundation, the City of Muncie, Woof Boom Radio/WLBC 104.1 FM/Muncie Journal, TechWise Academy, and Amazing Joe’s.  Three other sponsors of special note: Spotted Monkey Marketing for their outstanding service throughout the planning and execution of the Entrepreneur Showcase Week strategies. Thank you, Ashli, Rachel, and team, dreaming and believing with us.  Thanks to Woof Boom Radio, Muncie Journal, WLBC 104.1 FM for their support since the beginning stages of Entrepreneur Showcase Week.  Mark Foerster and Steve Lindell – we are grateful to you and your support. Also, a heart-felt thanks to the Muncie/Delaware County Black Chamber of Commerce. Thank you for your extra efforts to promote Entrepreneur Showcase Week to your membership and beyond. This impact was felt throughout the week of events.

Congratulations once again to the first ever Entrepreneurs of the Year: Lynn Moore, Peggy Cenova, Kurt Harrington, Bernisa Elliott, Tiara Hicks, and Mayor Dan Ridenour.  Thank you for sharing your entrepreneurial talents and businesses with the Muncie community.  You make our community better.

Thank you also to the Innovation Connector’s board of directors who supported our crazy idea. To our board chair, Ron Fauquher, thank you for your opening remarks at the Kickoff Celebration that got us started in a celebratory way. Most of all, thank you to the Innovation Connector’s, small but mighty team. Lori Albert, Natalie Smith, and I worked together to make this event a success. While the event planning process was tiring and long, we arrived at the finish line very inspired, relieved, and very tired, but happy that so many people participated.

What is next? The Innovation Connector will continue to Celebrate Entrepreneurs. That is now part of our organization’s DNA. Our team continues to debrief about the happenings of Entrepreneur Showcase Week. We have reviewed all the feedback and social media posts that was provided by those who attended. In early January 2023, we will complete a master calendar of events, workshops, and seminars, based on what we learned entrepreneurs and small business owners want and need. 2023 will be an exciting year at the Innovation Connector. Beginning in in February 2023, our events will be posted on, www.innovationconnectorevents.com.

I have been asked several times, “Will there be an Entrepreneur Showcase II?  My answer is, “probably.” However, it more than likely will be different than this year’s event. We learned that twenty-one events in one week is too many. We also think a few workshops and seminars can be combined to offer a more complete way to present the subject-matter content. And we took note of the sessions that were extremely popular and well attended. Our main objective will be to make the next Entrepreneur Showcase Week better and more impactful than the first one. One thing we can assure you of – the Innovation Connector will continue to support entrepreneurs and business owners in the best possible ways. Until then, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 765-285-4900 if you have any questions or need assistance.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.






1208 W. White River Blvd.
Muncie, IN 47303
(765) 285-4900