Hundreds of inventors, investors and other creative types will converge on the Bloomington Convention Center on April 8-10 for The Combine, an annual conference where coders, creators and culture meet capital and decide to start a company. At least, that’s the idea.
Throughout the past five years, The Combine — sponsored in part by Innovate Indiana — has brought together more than 1,500 people from a variety of callings and interests in the name of innovation and entrepreneurship. Described by some as a smaller, more intimate version of Austin’s SXSW event, past attendees and speakers have included Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Cheeseburger CEO Ben Huh, comedian and Witstream creator Michael Ian Black, podcaster Merlin Mann, angel investor Paige Craig and Internet cat sensation Lil Bub.
This year’s lineup includes workshops and featured speaker and IU-Bloomington graduate Tony Conrad, co-founder and CEO of about.me, a networking website that allows users to “project and protect” their personal identity in an easy-to-use format. Additional speakers include comedic songwriter Molly Lewis, entrepreneur and writer (among other things) Andrew Hyde and social media strategist Tara Hunt. Workshops and after-hours events are scheduled as well.
The Combine is made possible by the Bloomington-based Humanetrix Foundation. whose mission is “to mobilize technologists to improve themselves and their community, develop public interest technology tools and provide educational opportunities for technologists.”
General admission is $99 and $20 for students with a valid student ID. Additional sponsors include the City of Bloomington, the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship, Visit Bloomington, Root, Form Assembly, Cornerstone Information Systems, Bloomington Technology Partnership, Markey’s Rental and Staging, the IU School of Informatics and Computing, the Community Foundation of Bloomington-Monroe County, Centric and Cardinal Spirits.