Indianapolis – The excitement was palpable as the 2024 Innovate Within Regional Competitions concluded, showcasing the innovative spirit of aspiring high school entrepreneurs. After rigorous competition and careful deliberation, The STARTedUP Foundation is thrilled to announce the ten winning teams out of 61 impressive competitors. One team from each region was selected by an esteemed panel of judges with four teams chosen as ‘wild cards’. Each of the ten teams have demonstrated exceptional creativity, resilience, and entrepreneurial vision.

The teams progressing onto the State Finals are:

Hydroxy | Lenea Elliot, Matthew McKeehan, Colten Mitchell | Perry Central Jr-Sr High School
ShellSafe | Pragathi Arunkumar | Carmel High School
PinPoint Allergy | Genesis Austin, Jayden Brosman | Speedway Senior High School
Wringo | Connor Gomez, Ameen Musleh, Vasili Papageorge | Munster High School
Skyguard | Luke Herring, Landon Mitchell, Brody Overlander | Southwood Jr-Sr High School
CayPops | Caylyn Pruitt | Columbus North High School | Ethan Hilton, Emily Rudolph, Tolen Schreid | Signature School / New Tech Institute
Epi-Patch | Max Ledingham, Alexander Lu, Adithyan Naren | Carmel High School
SafetyGlow | Ashton Verbish | Hanover Central High School
Bluer Waters | Tucker Harris, Tyler Harris, William Trask | Floyd Central High School

In recognition of their achievements, each student competitor will receive $1000 to build their business over the next two months. This funding will provide crucial support as they further develop their innovative ideas into viable ventures in preparation for the State Finals, hosted by Butler University and Butler’s Lacy School of Business, taking place on June 21, 2024.

Thank you to our six regional hosts for their dedication and commitment to organizing a successful event: University of Evansville, Purdue Innovates, IU Indianapolis, Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest, Parkview Health Mirro Center for Research & Innovation, and Maker13.

In addition, we extend our sincere gratitude to our sponsors, whose unwavering support has made these opportunities possible: Beck’s Hybrids; FIRST Robotics; Google; G-Unity Foundation; Indiana Economic Development Corporation; Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters; Indiana Small Business Development Centers; IU Innovates; IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering; IU Ventures; Plug and Play Indiana; and POLYWOOD.

A key aspect of the Innovate Within Regional Finals is the mentorship provided to participating teams. We are grateful to Beck’s Hybrids, G-Unity Foundation, and Indiana Small Business Development Centers for their invaluable guidance and support throughout the competition. Their mentorship has undoubtedly played a significant role in the development and success of these aspiring entrepreneurs.

Looking ahead, the journey doesn’t end here for the winning teams. They will receive mentorship from leaders at Elevate Ventures and TechPoint’s Venture Support Program, esteemed organizations dedicated to nurturing and advancing the next generation of innovators. Teams will also participate in a weekend-long Innovation Bootcamp, sponsored by Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, where they will receive mentorship and feedback from other local business and community leaders. With their expertise and guidance, these teams are poised to achieve even greater heights in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

As we look ahead to June, the first-place team at the state level will receive substantial support to fuel their entrepreneurial journey. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Buckingham Foundation, the first-place team will be awarded $25,000 in seed funding, empowering them to bring their business to life. Additionally, each student on the winning team will receive $10,000 in 529 funds, ensuring their continued educational advancement and all ten teams will have the opportunity to accept thousands of dollars in scholarships from participating colleges and universities.

The 2024 Innovate Within Regional Finals have not only showcased the immense talent and potential of our participants but have also highlighted the power of innovation to drive positive change. We congratulate all the winning teams and look forward to witnessing their continued success on their entrepreneurial journey.

About The STARTedUP Foundation
Founded by 21-year veteran educator Don Wettrick, and former-student, Hunter Stone, The STARTedUP Foundation (SEUF) launched in 2018 as an expansion of Don’s work in the classroom, challenging students to discover their passions and see challenges in the world as opportunities to create solutions. Building on this foundation, the STARTedUP Innovation Educator Fellowship was established to empower educators to become integral members of entrepreneurial ecosystems, fostering a culture of innovation and connectedness in classrooms to elevate meaningful learning.

About Innovate WithIN
STARTedUP’s innovation pitch competition, Innovate WithIN is the most elite entrepreneurial pitch competition in the country. Each of Indiana’s six regions selects 10 teams to compete in the first round, with the regional winners and four wildcard teams advancing to the State Finals. These top teams are competing for $25,000 in venture capital and $10,000 per each team member in 529 college savings funds.