Heading into Thanksgiving week, Indiana University is seeing a cornucopia of major developments on the innovation front.
Here’s a sampling of several recent advancements, which reflect how IU and its partners are furthering a collective innovation culture across Indiana.
Furthering the IU-Crane connection. Earlier this week, at a signing event that included IU President Pamela Whitten, IU renewed its commitment to a longstanding educational partnership with Naval Support Activity Crane, a naval facility located in southwestern Indiana, approximately 25 miles southwest of the IU Bloomington campus. As President Whitten noted in her weekly newsletter, the partnership between Indiana’s flagship public research university and the state’s largest military installation has provided opportunities for IU STEM students to gain unique, hands-on experience. It has also resulted in several research projects that are helping communities across the state address issues concerning economic development, education, energy management, environmental science, land conservation, public health and sustainability.
IU also continues to engage in significant research activity with Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, which is located at NSA Crane. These include projects related to artificial intelligence, machine learning, programmable circuit boards and quantum information processing in service of national defense.
Growing the next generation of innovators: IU is celebrating the fifth year of the Shoemaker Scholars program, which began with a simple question: “Who better to share information with students than the students themselves?” Led by Travis J. Brown, senior executive assistant dean of innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, the program is composed of a select group of 10 students from schools and majors across the IU Bloomington campus whose mission is to provide their peers with knowledge and experiences that can help them grow as entrepreneurs and innovators. It also includes $3,000 a year in tuition assistance.
IU startups are seizing the spotlight: Hunter Hawley is an alumnus of the Shoemaker Scholars program and a recent graduate of the IU Kelley School of Business. He’s also the founder and CEO of Blueprint Stats, a video analytics platform that uses artificial intelligence and other technologies to help athletes, coaches and teams improve their performance. Earlier this week, IU Ventures, which facilitates connections between startup companies and prospective funding sources from IU’s global community of alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends, announced it has made follow-on investments through the IU Angel Network in Blueprint as well as Stagetime, a performing arts startup founded by IU Jacobs School of Music alumnus Jennie Moser. Stagetime and Blueprint Stats received their first IU Angel Network investments in July and December 2020, respectively. On Tuesday, Nov. 16, Stagetime, which now boasts more than 1,600 users, announced it had raised $1.5 million in a new fundraising round led by Hyde Park Angles, which included the follow-on investment from the IU Angel Network.
Building a better environmental compliance solution: Another IU-affiliated tech company, Indianapolis-based Encamp, was in the news this week for recently completing its own major fundraising round. Encamp, which offers a cloud-based software product that helps businesses manage their environmental, health and safety compliance records, raised $12 million in a Series B round, marking one of the biggest rounds raised in Indiana this year.
IU Ventures was a founding investor in Encamp, which was co-founded in 2017 by IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences alumni Luke Jacobs, the company’s CEO, and Daniel Smedema, Encamp’s senior software engineer. Last Year, IU Ventures made a second investment in Encamp through the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund. The $151,000 investment contributed to the company’s $3.1 million Series A funding round.
This fall, Jacobs and Smedema are also being featured on the College of Arts and Sciences’ fourth-annual “20 Under 40” list of accomplished young alumni. Read their story in the most recent issue of The College magazine.
Dreaming of being an investment shark? Then you better figure out if you’re a night owl or a morning person, according to a new study by researchers at IU’s Kelley School and the University of Central Florida. The study shows that time-based factors—like time of day and whether you’re a morning or evening person—can influence your early-stage investment decisions and ability to evaluate whether a startup will be successful.
Signaling new innovation in the arts. Finally, the Jacobs School of Music recently welcomed members of New Morse Code as its “entrepreneurs of the month.” The nationally recognized cello-percussion duo spent a two-week residency at the world-renowned school, during which they showcased and discussed their artistic vision and instrumental compositions addressing issues of resilience, sustainability and innovation. As part of their residency, the ensemble also participated in an innovation roundtable, an introduction to music entrepreneurship class, a conversation with IU climate scientists and artists at IU Bloomington’s Cook Center for Public Arts and Humanities, and a public workshop and public performance in Salem, Ind.
New Morse Code’s visit was hosted by the Jacobs School’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development, which supports Jacobs students as they prepare for innovative, creative and successful lives in the performing arts. The office includes as one of its resources Project Jumpstart, a student-led initiative that serves as a catalyst for entrepreneurial thought and action among students by offering career development and entrepreneurship workshops, networking events, peer support for projects, mini-conferences and coordination of an annual Innovation Competition.
Enjoy a video featuring interviews and performances by New Morse Code.