If you follow Indiana’s tech sector, you likely have heard about VentureCamp currently filming at the renowned Kessler Mansion in Indianapolis. Local entrepreneur and business leader Jenny Vance, co-founder and president of LeadJen, is one of the 12 “campers.” However, there’s more than one high-tech startup documentary series with strong Indiana ties gaining momentum this summer.
Startupland: A Documentary Series is the brainchild of Hoosier native and Ball State University Center for Media Design grad Justin Gutwein. The four-hour docu-series will be distributed in 15-20 minute episodes via a Netflix-like digital direct-to-viewers model that allows people to watch at their own pace. Gutwein has already completed production, videography, story-lining, and rough editing of the full-length documentary. He is currently seeking funding for post-production through Kickstarter.
Gutwein grew up in Francesville, Ind., and worked for video storytelling firm Cantaloupe for five years before relocating to Washington D.C. with his wife Nancy when she joined the staff of Indiana Congressman Todd Rokita. Two of Gutwein’s past projects also chronicle entrepreneurship topics – The Entrepreneurial Spirit and Creating Innovators: The Movie.
Startupland aims to inspire current and future entrepreneurs by taking them on a journey into the world of startups through the eyes of five early-stage companies and interviews with veteran entrepreneurs. The five startups are investments of Fortify Ventures and participants in the Fortify Ventures Accelerator Program, which is the second Indiana connection. Jonathon Perrelli, a former Fishers, Ind. resident is the founder and managing director of Fortify Ventures.
With 186 backers, $31,414 pledged toward the $75,000 Kickstarter post-production project goal during the first two weeks, and two more weeks to go in the funding period, Gutwein is on track to raise the capital he needs to complete Startupland.
A third Indiana connection with Startupland brings even more gravitas to the project. Legendary Hoosier entrepreneur and investor Bob Compton has signed on as an executive producer. Compton is an accomplished filmmaker himself; he produced six films about global education and two films about entrepreneurship.
Indianapolis is at the top of Gutwein’s list for a documentary premiere and series launch party following the world premiere in D.C.