The adVENTURE awaits!

By: 

This is the first in a series of blogs featuring the Indianapolis venture community, written by Evening MBA student Katie Wilson, MBA'20.

When people across the country think about entrepreneurship or venture activities, Indianapolis may not be the first city that comes to mind. But what many don’t know is that Indy has a vibrant and diverse venture community just waiting for you to discover.

As an MBA student at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, I have the opportunity to participate in this community and would like to give you a peek into it! The Evening MBA program offered on IUPUI's campus gives students the ability to participate in a class aptly named the Venture Club and the Venture Community of Indiana. The requirements are excellent as one might expect… Get involved with the organizations in Indy to learn more about the entrepreneurs that make up these organizations, the support these communities give to their members, and the way these organizations are changing Indy for the better.

In this experience, I’ve had an opportunity to attend events put on by a number of venture organizations. They each have a different vibe but have all been extremely welcoming.

My first event took me to meet professionals at Powderkeg, a self-described "connections engine for tech founders, investors, and professionals at startups between the coasts." 

A very diverse group, these entrepreneurs have a knack for technology, innovation and great conversation. Powderkeg events are casual, vibrant and usually have a pitch-style event to showcase new opportunities.

Next, I found myself at The Startup Ladies' door. This group welcomes both men and women, so don’t let the name fool you. The members are eager to help one another with problems or ideas and discuss lots of topics amongst the group.

I’ve also attended events put on by the Venture Club of Indiana and the Economic Club of Indiana. Both events draw large crowds, but conversation and innovation were both flowing.

The Innovation Showcase by the Venture Club puts a spotlight on up-and-coming companies looking for support and mentorship. The Economic Club's luncheon events typically feature a speaker or panel discussing a topic of their choosing. Both events, for me, provided an opportunity to meet multiple contacts in both the corporate and venture communities of Indianapolis. I look forward to getting involved other venture groups in central Indiana, as well.

Each of the groups and events I attended provided a unique perspective -- Not just of the venture community in Indianapolis, but the entire business community. The people I have met thus far have been kind, open and truly inspiring. These events are actively helping me to discover potential career paths and stimulate ideas and innovation within my current position.

Through the next couple months, I will continue to dive deeper into the discussions that occur at these events, along with some lessons or insights I learn along the way. Join me as I continue my adventure exploring the venture community! Check back for my latest updates.