Indiana Bets on CES as a Showcase for Hoosier Innovation
Blackjack tables, sports betting and slot machines weren’t on the minds of Indiana tech companies and economic development focused organizations when they visited Las Vegas last week for the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES.) They had higher stakes in mind: ensuring the world knows that Indiana-born innovations are a key part of the digital transformation on display and yet-to-come.
CES is the global platform for the introduction of new consumer technology products, including home appliances, smartphones, tablets, laptops and other electronic devices. With more than 4,000 exhibitors and more than 170,000 attendees from more than 150 countries, it is the world’s largest consumer technology trade show.
“It was clear from the start-up halls to big brand products that artificial intelligence/machine learning, automation, robotics, big data and the connection of all devices and platforms to and through the cloud is transforming every product, service, and business model,” said Julie Heath, vice president of entrepreneurial ecosystems for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). “And as we work to build Indiana’s future economy with industries of the future, it’s important to understand these transformations have arrived and will define the coming decade.”
Companies like LHP IoT & Analytics, Mesh Systems , Patrick Industries, Sikich , Heliponix Ixana, Wave Therapeutics, Ateios Sytems, Schlage Locks, 3SS, Specialty Coating Systems and Third Wave Automation visited and/or participated in the show.
“Exhibiting at CES was a great opportunity for us,” said Jessica Bussert, CEO of Wave Therapeutics. “Our product was validated over and over again as people expressed an interest in buying it immediately. We met investors who will potentially help us fund our next steps and talked to several major corporations who want to discuss licensing our technology. One thing that really stood out to me was the positive feedback on our decision to manufacture in Indiana. Both investors and buyers were happy to see U.S. based manufacturing.”
CES has always focused on the shiniest new gadgets, but the comprehensive focus on digital transformation showcased why, for the second consecutive year, TechPoint and others from the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership were part of the IEDC delegation attending the show.
The Hoosier presence was significantly bigger compared to 2022. The most popular Indiana display was again the Indy Autonomous Challenge at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. PoliMOVE won the race, set a new autonomous speed world record in the process and illustrated Indiana’s leading involvement in autonomous transportation.
Indiana companies and economic development leaders weren’t the only ones making the CES pilgrimage. Indiana University and DePauw University brought business and liberal arts students to the trade show to see the latest and greatest innovations in action. DePauw’s group was especially looking for examples of XR and 3D printing innovations to use at the university’s new Tenzer Technology Center, which is opening this month.
“DePauw students assumed the role of buyers who were charged with identifying equipment for the new center,” said Michael Boyles, director of the Tenzer Technology Center as well as DePauw’s Information Technology Associates program. “As a direct result of attending CES, they practiced professional networking and proposal writing – activities that complement their liberal arts curriculum and have real world, practical implications as well. We see it as an intense off campus experience that will pay off for the center as well as the students.”
Jason Whitney, chief venture officer at IU Ventures, said attending CES gave IU students a “wonderful opportunity” to experience the most innovative technologies from around the globe.
“But it’s more than that,” he said. “It also provides a chance for us to showcase to the CES audience the talent coming out of Indiana that will drive the industries of tomorrow.”
“We came out of stealth at CES with world’s first Wi-R silicon chip that securely communicates around humans at 100x lower energy than Bluetooth” said Shreyas Sen, founder and CTO of Ixana, a West Lafayette, Indiana based company that spun out of deep-tech research at Purdue University, where Shreyas is an Elmore Associate Professor. “Over 1000 people tried our audio transfer with touch demo and many of them said it felt like magic. We are thrilled to see the global reception both from investors and commercial partners of this technology built in Indiana.”
Check out the CNET recap for some of the wildest tech to come out of the show Below are some of the Indiana based companies spotlighted at the show.
Our biggest takeaway from the show is that Indiana is keeping its foot on the accelerator and positioning itself as a destination for innovators across all sectors. Don’t bet against Indiana in 2023!