Hundreds of people representing all facets of our Indiana tech community gathered at The Union 525 on Thursday, October 12 to see the Rise of the Rest tour with AOL founder Steve Case. Of the 10 startup pitches, only one could be the winner – and that was 120WaterAudit.
Megan Glover, co-founder and CEO of 120WaterAudit, pitched her water testing solution to the judging panel and the audience and was quickly met with wide eyes and jaw drops when she discussed the safety of the water we drink right here in Indiana. “We tested water in a suburban school district and found that 10% of the water fixtures were contaminated with lead,” Glover said. “If it can happen in the suburbs, it can happen anywhere.” 120WaterAudit has a contract with the state of Indiana and other municipalities and school systems to help solve what she says is a trillion dollar problem throughout the United States.
Rise of the Rest pitch competition judges included:
- Steve Case, founder of AOL and Revolution LLC Chairman and CEO
- JD Vance, Revolution LLC Partner and author of the bestselling book Hillbilly Elegy
- David Hall, Revolution LLC Partner
- Mitchell Schear, JBG Smith Properties
- Sarah Fishers, Former Professional Race Car Driver and Founder, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
- Megan Smith, Tech Jobs Tour Advisor and Former CTO of the United States
Indy was the only city on the tour to have 10 pitches due to a number of promising applications from companies. You can read more about this year’s application process here. These growing companies made the final cut:
- Design My Soap
- Go Electric
- Fuzic (now rebranding to Voicenomics)
Earlier this year, Revolution CEO, investor, and co-founder of AOL, Steve Case, announced a commitment to invest an additional $500,000 in startups across five regions as part of the sixth Rise of the Rest bus tour. During the month of October, they marched into the tour bus and started making their way to Central Pennsylvania, Ann Arbor, Columbus (OH), Green Bay, and Indianapolis. In addition to the big finale pitch competition, each city stop also included a bus tour to startup tech offices and coworking studios to give the Revolution team a great understanding of each city’s tech ecosystem.
Stops included DeveloperTown, Martha Hoover’s Public Greens restaurant in Broad Ripple, High Alpha’s downtown studio, ClusterTruck, Salesforce Tower, and finally the Union 525.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Case said the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the city and state is gaining steam, but has a way to go. “It’s showing great momentum, (but) at the same time, right now, Indiana as a state last year got one percent of the venture capital. One percent,” Case said. “So, yes, we should celebrate the progress in Indianapolis and parts of the state, but right now there’s still work to do to raise the bar, raise the expectation and raise more capital for entrepreneurs.” These ingredients, he adds, will create more startups and jobs that will, in turn, lift up Hoosiers everywhere.
The Indiana tech community made it known that Indy is a must for the Rise of the Rest tour, and we hope to see them again in 2018!