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Southwest Indiana Pitch Competition Awards Local Entrepreneurs for Innovative Ideas

November 29, 2017

HUNTINGBURG, IND. — Last night Southwest Indiana showcased area entrepreneurs and startups through a pitch competition at Current Blend, a co-working space in Huntingburg, Ind.

Individuals and teams shared their business, innovation, or entrepreneurial idea before a panel of judges in hopes of earning prize money to invest in their startup. This competition, sponsored by Current Blend and Elevate Southwest Indiana, a partnership between Elevate Ventures and the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, was organized to kickstart the entrepreneurial community of Southwest Indiana and the ideas it contains.

The competition allowed nine local entrepreneurs five minutes to pitch their idea and four minutes to answer questions. Judges scored companies based on team, market fit, product/solution, customer traction or roadmap and their overall presentations. Judges included Brew co-owner Josh Premuda, German American Bancorp President and CEO Mark Schroeder, Matrix Integrations CEO Brenda Stallings and Elevate Ventures Entrepreneur-in-Residence Jacob Schpok.

“We were extremely pleased with the turnout, both from participants and the community, and excited to provide the winners with funds to advance their ideas,” said Elevate Ventures Entrepreneurial Engagement Director Eric Steele. Steele oversees the Elevate Southwest Indiana partnership.

Parasite ID was the startup that impressed the judges and earned first place, receiving a $4,000 prize. Second place, and a $2,000 prize, went to an idea for a multi-spectral camera for medical diagnostics. Basket Case Brewing and Hydro Grow tied for third, both taking home $1,000.

Companies or ideas that were pitched at the competition include:

  • Antiquely—A platform to connect customers directly with antique mall vendors to allow real-time price negotiations.
  • Basket Case Brewing Company—A nanobrewery that has been serving crazy good beers since December 2012 looking to expand operations to become a full-time brewery operating in our own location.
  • Hydro Grow, LLC— Provides users with the Gropod, an aeroponic appliance that uses machine learning to grow produce three times faster than conventional farming methods, while using 95% less water without the use of pesticides to yield a serving of leafy greens every day.
  • Listing Database—A mobile phone app that serves as a centralized listing database, compiling real-time information about local vendors in a city for the user to view. The app will list City Events, Dining, Drinking, and Shopping individual events in real-time, beginning with which is closest to the user.
  • Multi-spectral Diagnostic Camera—Working on developing and patenting a multi-spectral camera to be used for inexpensive non-invasive medical diagnostics.
  • Parasite ID—The lice detection test strip fills the demonstrated need and demand for a scientific method to detect lice for the 6 to 12 million Americans with head lice and the 200 million cases worldwide.
  • Pick Your Flip—A new real estate marketplace that streamlines the custom home buying experience by removing the administrative overhead, buyer’s remorse, and high commission costs.
  • Thermal Wall Technology—A new construction technology which enables a structure to come very close to heating and cooling itself, representing what may be the next evolution in human sustainable shelter.
  • Urban Refuge—Creating a hybrid container based growing system that can be used for a variety of growing methods with or without potting soil while also integrating the first automated watering system for all stages of growth including growing plants from seed.



About Elevate Ventures

Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-potential businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, visit

About Current Blend

Current Blend strengthens the community by sparking new ideas and providing access to resources to develop businesses.  We’re a non-profit group that created Dubois County’s first co-working space, hosts events, and provides services to instill an environment that stimulates ideas, collaboration, and business.  For more information, visit