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Save the Date! Join Google for Startups Head Burks Solomon at Founder Factory 2022 – November 16

After a successful inaugural event, we are excited to announce Founder Factory is coming back for its second year! Join us November 16 at the Lerner Theatre in Elkhart for Founder Factory 2022.

This startup summit for “Movers, Makers and Shakers” brings together entrepreneurs, investors, and enthusiasts for a day of inspiration, motivation, and real-world insights from those who have been there. We have something for everyone, whether you’re just starting out, venture capital backed, looking to invest in the next big thing, or a fan who wants to see what the entrepreneurial ecosystem has down the pipeline.

And we are pumped to share our keynote speaker. Jewel Burks Solomon is managing partner at Collab Capital, but you are probably more familiar with her as the Head of Google for Startups. She will be joined by Justin Dawkins, her partner at Collab Capital and founder of entrepreneur support non-profit Goodie Nation.

We expect the event to sell out, so click here to sign up to be first to know when Early Bird Registration opens!


About Startup South Bend – Elkhart
The mission of Startup South Bend – Elkhart, a non-profit initiative of the South Bend Elkhart Regional Partnership is to promote and foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the South Bend – Elkhart region. Startup South Bend – Elkhart works to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit and culture in the regional community, identify and nurture new business startups, and support the growth of existing high potential businesses. For more information about Startup South Bend – Elkhart, visit

Startup Focused on Safety Analysis Receives Funding

South Bend, Ind. (Feb. 15, 2022)SAFA today announced a $20,000 investment from Elevate Ventures’ Community Ideation Fund.

SAFA uses artificial intelligence to improve safety analysis of technical documents and software in the automotive, robotics, IoT (internet of things), and medical device industries. The SAFA software integrates with existing systems to automatically detect and analyze system changes, providing real-time warnings and recommendations for hazard mitigation.

Dr. Jane Cleland-Huang, a professor and lead researcher at the University of Notre Dame, developed SAFA in 2021. Huang and CEO Aarik Gulaya collaborated with the IDEA Center at Notre Dame to accelerate the commercialization of SAFA’s technology.

“SAFA is an excellent example of a startup developing high-tech solutions for specific industry problems,” said Nicholas Kuhn, Elevate Ventures’ entrepreneur-in-residence serving Startup South Bend – Elkhart, a partnership that supports entrepreneurs in north-central Indiana. “SAFA is harnessing the most advanced AI capabilities to solve difficult and potentially dangerous problems.”

SAFA will use the funding from Elevate to develop a minimal viable product and recruit software developer talent to expand safety features.

“This funding will allow our team to jump over any hurdles and execute on our development partnerships,” said Gulaya. “We will be better able to meet our goal of providing innovative solutions to improve quality, efficiency and safety in high-risk industries.”

SAFA received a $20,000 pre-seed investment from the Elevate Nexus Regional Pitch Competition in 2021.

The post Startup Focused on Safety Analysis Receives Funding appeared first on Elevate Ventures.

Startup South Bend – Elkhart Pre-Accelerator Cohort Two Graduate, Kelley Rich and Lisa Vetne

Cohort Two Graduates: Kelley Rich and Lisa Vetne, Co-Founders
Company: Purple Nation
Contact Purple Nation: Via Email

Describe your company: “It all started when my family and I (Kelley) were sitting down for a nice dinner when before I knew it, the discussion turned political. The next thing I knew, my husband was yelling, and my daughter was crying, and then would not speak to me or my husband for three days! I thought, we need to be able to discuss politics without damaging relationships so that we can understand each other’s thinking. Unfortunately, this example is not uncommon. It is disheartening to see how divided Americans have become in recent years and how toxic the communication is between those on opposite ends of the political spectrum. This division, fueled by social media and fake news, has resulted in hurtful social media arguments, families torn apart, and friendships demolished all because of differing political views and the inability to communicate in an empathetic and respectful way. We started Purple Nation to heal the political divide by bringing people closer together in hopes of a more united America.”

What have you learned from the Pre-Accelerator Program? “The biggest learning experience is how powerful a network can be. Through the pre-accelerator program we were connected to a Notre Dame PhD student studying the polarization of families (who joined Purple Nation as our Chief Social Scientist) and the CTO of Real Clear politics (who joined Purple Nation as an advisor). Their contributions to our startup have been extremely valuable.”