The Elevate Nexus Conference is Indiana’s largest annual gathering of educators, students, and entrepreneurial support organizations coming together to innovate, share, and test ideas that will drive the future of venture creation. The 2022 conference took place at the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) Conference Center, located on the first floor of Innovation Building 1 at 1210 Waterway Blvd.
The Elevate Nexus Team brought together the best and brightest higher-ed professionals across the state of Indiana to convene for the 3rd annual gathering of the Elevate Nexus Conference.
Liz Nilsen is the Associate Director of the Agile Strategy Lab at UNA, following four years at the Agile Strategy Lab at Purdue. Liz’s passion is for creating programs that nurture the next generation of thinkers and doers, particularly through the development and growth of innovation and STEM education ecosystems. Liz teaches (online and in-person), shepherds the expansion of the Lab’s programming, and oversees partnerships with other organizations interested in deploying Strategic Doing. She is a co-author of Strategic Doing: Ten Skills for Agile Leadership (Wiley, 2019).
She is a former senior program officer at VentureWell, where she provided leadership to the Pathways program for the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), which guided 50 colleges and universities in redesigning undergraduate engineering education.
Prior to joining VentureWell, she led STEM initiatives at the Penn State Center – Pittsburgh, was the southwest regional coordinator for the Pennsylvania STEM Network, and served as Director of Outreach and New Economy Program Development at the Institute of Advanced Learning & Research, a Virginia Tech initiative. She earned her BA from Stanford and an MBA from Northeastern University.
Upon retiring from the NFL, Emil started several businesses in the United States of America (US).
Our Mission is to Accelerating Economic Productivity and Wealth Generation in Indiana’s Black Communities.
Our vision is for Indiana to become one of the best places in the nation for people of color to start and grow a business. We believe that entrepreneurship and education are the best routes out of poverty and wealth generation for our state’s MVPs.
Jacob Schpok serves as the Vice President of Entrepreneurial Services and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Elevate Ventures. He manages the team of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence across the state and spearheads the programs and initiatives that support Indiana entrepreneurs.
Before joining Elevate, Jacob co-founded two startups in the SaaS and logistics industries and worked in a senior leadership role for a telecommunications startup in Indianapolis. Jacob also has an extensive background in state government, where he served as the State Director of the Indiana Small Business Development Center and the Executive Director of the Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
Landon Young is a trans-disciplinary entrepreneur, educator, and investor focused on high-impact technology innovation. Landon was named one of thirteen Kauffman Foundation Global Scholars in 2013, awarded the National Science Foundation Fellowship in 2011, is the Founding Curator of the World Economic Forum Global Shaper Hub in Kansas City, and 2018 MP1 Fellow.
Landon holds a Ph.D. from Purdue University and completed his executive education at Harvard University. He was also an advisor for Stanford University’s international University Innovation Fellows Program, a design thinking and entrepreneurship program through the d.School. Landon is currently Director of University Initiatives at Elevate Ventures, the Midwest’s most active seed-stage fund. Landon is also an active advisor and board member for several venture-backed startup companies.
8:30AM - 9:00AM
Registration opens at 8:30 AM.
9:00AM - 9:10AM
9:10AM - 9:45AM
Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s EVP of Workforce and Talent, Tony Denhart, and VP of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, Julie Heath, will share Secretary Chambers’ for priorities for IEDC and the vision for creating the conditions for Indiana to be a top state for entrepreneurship in the country.
9:50AM - 10:15AM
Across Indiana, new models of commercialization are emerging in which students launch new ventures and serve critical roles working for startups. We welcome several higher education entrepreneurship faculty to give short presentations of unique curriculum, tools, and tactics executed in the classroom, and innovative ways to leverage student talent. See how schools pair students with tools like customer interview software, sales and marketing automation software, and outside resources to launch startups at a higher rate.
10:20AM - 10:40AM
USASBE board member Dr. Sara Cochran will showcases national trends in innovation and entrepreneurship education, and shares opportunities for research, publishing, and community for professionals. USASBE is an inclusive community advancing Entrepreneurship Education through bold teaching, scholarship, and practice.
10:45AM - 10:55AM
Liz Nilsen, co-author of the book “Strategic Doing: 10 skills for Agile Leadership”, emphasizes the strategic value of focused regional collaborations and open innovation, network-based models in today’s global economy.
Nilsen’s background is diverse, and includes strategic planning, nurturing networks and collaborations, financial/budget oversight, communications (print, website, social media), fundraising, and direct supervision.
11:00AM - 11:55AM
By teaching people how to form collaborations quickly, move them toward measurable outcomes and make adjustments along the way, we will look at the gaps and opportunities at your individual institutions using Ed Morrison’s Strategic Doing framework. We will collaborate on both an institutional plan and Indiana-wide plan for scaling innovation and entrepreneurship.
12:00PM - 1:00PM
Housed in the former service bay of the Indianapolis Water Company, the AMP is home to innovative local culinary and retail concepts, from emerging brands to established shops. Featuring colorful shipping containers, food stalls, an open-air bar, communal seating and ample community gathering and event space, the AMP is an experience unlike any other in the Circle City.
1:00PM - 1:45PM
New models of surfacing, funding, and accelerating growth-minded individuals open up opportunities to dramatically increase the number of new innovation-driven companies. Investors share how they are redefining their investment thesis, removing barriers, and offering broader services to different types of entrepreneurs.
1:45PM - 2:30PM
Join Sixty8 Capital, Sagamore Institute, and INNOPOWER for a deep dive into learning more about impact investing, undercapitalized founders and industries, and the policies and procedures that can be rectified to serve underrepresented communities.
1:45PM - 2:30PM
Prominent venture studios including High Alpha and Boomerang Ventures share more details about their models, highlight industry vertical opportunities and answer questions in a round table discussion facilitated by the IEDC. Space limited.
2:30PM - 2:45PM
Elevate’s Chief Entrepreneurship Officer, Jacob Schpok, will share a new streamlined pathway for services, training, and funding for innovations and technologies coming out of Indiana higher education institutions. Participants with have an opportunity to connect with Elevate staff and engage in a Q&A about Elevate’s application process.
2:45PM - 3:00PM
3:00PM - 3:30PM
4:00PM - 5:00PM
Join us for appetizers and drinks to help close out the Elevate Nexus Conference. We appreciate you joining us and look forward to next year’s conference!