The Innovation Showcase: A Startup Tradeshow on Steroids

Posted May 2, 2012

Matt Hunckler

CEO & Founder

Last year, close to 1,000 people traveled from around the country to pack the walls of a 30,000-square-foot warehouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. They came to talk with over fifty Midwest entrepreneurs and around one hundred business investors at The Innovation Showcase, an annual conference that combines a startup tradeshow with a 50-startup pitch competition.

This year, the Showcase will burst beyond the walls of DeveloperTown and also fill Indy’s hot new co-working space, the Speak Easy. Attendees can expect the energy and experience to reach a new high:

Why This Startup Tradeshow Works

“We’re coming away with twelve highly-qualified investors who get what we do and have a genuine enthusiasm to explore a deeper relationship.” said Angel Morales, founder of Smarter Remarketer. As one of the fifty showcasing entrepreneurs at last year’s event, Morales had over five hours with interested investors, potential partners, and top startup talent.

Startup TradeshowVenture firms and angels from around the Midwest converged upon the recently-opened DeveloperTown to take in the entrepreneurial energy from the trade show atmosphere and find some of the most fundable deals.

“There are real deals going down here,”said Brad Wisler, co-founder at SproutBox. Even firms like DC-based Fortify VC and Michigan’s Detroit Venture Partners caught flights out to Indy to get in on the action and connect with the the Midwest’s most promising funding opportunities.

This year’s showcase will deliver even more of what investors and attendees want (plus some added surprises) as Verge and the Venture Club team up again to plan and host. Keep an eye out for more news and registration to go live at the end of May. You can sign up for updates and early-bird tickets as well as apply to showcase your company.

Is there a company you’d like to see at this year’s Innovation Showcase? Drop us a note in the comments. As always, we’re looking for the best of the best!



Matt Hunckler

CEO & Founder

Matt is the founder and CEO of Powderkeg, a network of local communities with global reach for tech entrepreneurs, investors, and top talent. Powderkeg entrepreneurs have collectively raised more than $500 million in capital and are disrupting industries, creating wealth, and changing the world from areas beyond Silicon Valley. Hunckler has led successful teams with his own ventures, as well as Inc. 500 companies and venture-funded tech startups. He's been named an Under 30 CEO Entrepreneur to Watch and an IBJ Forty Under 40 Honoree for his entrepreneurial endeavors. @hunckler