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.
About the Summit
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.
Jewel Burks Solomon
Google for Startups
Jewel Burks Solomon is managing partner at Collab Capital, but you are probably more familiar with her as the Head of Google for Startups.
Justin Dawkins is a partner at Collab Capital and founder of entrepreneur support non-profit Goodie Nation.
11:00AM – 12:00PM and 2:15 – 3:30PM
RESOURCE + STARTUP HALL AND LUNCH | ALL ATTENDEES
Start the day off by visiting over 20 exhibitors! The hall features primarily regional entrepreneurial support organizations (ESOs) highlighting what is available in the region to support entrepreneurs, as well as showcase successful entrepreneurs that have leveraged regional resources. And, grab lunch before heading into the keynote session!
12:30 – 2:00PM
KEYNOTE SESSION: BUILDING BUSINESSES, CREATING IMPACT | ALL ATTENDEES
Two powerhouse speakers will take the stage at Founder Factory 2022 – Jewel Burks Solomon and Justin Dawkins. Jewel is the Head of Google for Startups in the U.S. and serves as Managing Partner for Collab Capital, a $50M venture capital fund she launched to close the funding gap for Black entrepreneurs. Jewel founded Partpic, which was acquired by Amazon in 2016, leading her to become a product leader at Amazon’s Visual Search and AR team. Justin has worked on founding teams, including the startup SilverPop, which was acquired by IBM 2014. Justin also serves as a Managing Partner for Collab Capital, while also being the co-founder and co-chair of Goodie Nation, a social impact organization based in Atlanta.
Together, Jewel and Justin will share their entrepreneurial journeys, from startup to selling, and their insights on securing funding from venture capital firms. Plus, they’ll discuss the recipe a region requires to create a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem!
2:00 – 4:45PM
WE+YOU LOUNGE EXPERIENCE | ALL ATTENDEES
Rest, relax, and have fun in the WE+YOU Lounge! Learn more about the regional attraction brand, play interactive games to win some free swag, or just connect with friends new and old! The lounge will be open the entire day leading up to the Startup Happy Hour beginning at 4:45pm.
2:15 – 3:15PM
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES SPEED DATING | ENTREPRENEURS
The number one request we get is “do you know a good attorney to help with X” or “what marketing agency can help me with X”. To solve this, we will have roundtables anchored by professional service providers from across the region. Need help building a website? Looking for a CPA? Interested in patenting a product or process? Find your partners here!
Service providers will be pitching you on why you should work with them, with the end result that you walk away with connections to advance your business needs long after the event!
REGIONAL PITCH + PANEL | INVESTORS + ENTHUSIASTS
Have you ever experienced a live pitch competition?! Now is your chance to celebrate three entrepreneurs that are calling the South Bend – Elkhart region their headquarters! Three entrepreneurs from the region will pitch for funding – FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS – Shark Tank style! During the judges’ deliberation, the entrepreneurs will transition to a panel to share their perspectives on what it’s like being an entrepreneur in the South Bend – Elkhart region.
- Annie Johnson, Take Care, South Bend
- Otho Farrow, Metropolis Greens
3:30 – 4:30PM
CONNECT 2 CATALYZE, HOW YOU CAN FUEL THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ECOSYSTEM! | ENTHUSIASTS
If you describe yourself as entrepreneur-adjacent, meaning you love startups, local shops, and cool ideas, this session is for you! Hear from entrepreneurial ecosystem builders on how everyone plays a part in building a vibrant community that encourages investing and frequenting region-based businesses. We all have a role to play and we’re here to help you understand yours!
- Bethany Hartley, President and CEO, South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
ENTREPRENEURSHIP, A TALE OF TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS | ENTREPRENEURS
Regardless of if you’ve started or thinking about starting a service-, product-, software-, or store- based business, the path of entrepreneurship has common traits and trends. It can be lonely and daunting, yet you stick it out because you believe in your solution! During this session, you’ll hear from a successful founder discussing their perspectives deciding where to take their business: Should it be family-owned? Should I take on investors? How do I maintain the “Me”-ness of the company while adding team members? Hear answers to all this and more during this for entrepreneurs-by entrepreneurs’ session.
HOW TO DO BUSINESS WITH CRANE NAVAL BASE / INDIANA MANUFACTURERS | ENTREPRENEURS
Presented by PTAC, North Central, this session on how to do business with Crane Naval Base and Indiana manufacturers will be led by Matt Burkett and Andy Alexander.
Matt Burkett is NSWC Crane’s Deputy Director for Small Business. Matt’s responsibilities include serving as chief advisor on small business matters to the Commanding Officer and representing the command in small business outreach events within the regional and surrounding communities. He is the single point of contact for NSWC Crane on all small business matters. NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s Warfighter.
Andy Alexander is a certified government Contracting Assistance Specialist (CCAS) and Certified Procurement Professional (CPP) by the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC). He also served as an APTAC national CPP Certification Reviewer/Approver, and currently serves as a certified Verification Counselor by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
ANGEL INVESTING 101 | INVESTORS
Have you thought about getting into the startup investment game but aren’t sure where to start? Are you curious about why angel investing matters? Answers to these questions and much more will be provided in this breakout session. Featuring serial entrepreneur, Kem Krest CEO, and angel investor, Amish Shah, interviewed by Elevate Ventures Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Nicholas Kuhn, this session will equip future and nascent angel investors with a new knowledge set that can get you going in the right direction!
4:45 – 6:30PM
STARTUP SOUTH BEND – ELKHART HAPPY HOUR | ALL ATTENDEES
Close out the second annual Founder Factory over drinks and hors d’oeuvres, while making friends with new connections! Plus, our keynote speakers will be sticking around to meet you in this low-key social hour!