Programs & Events

Spirit of Entrepreneurship

2014 SOE Award | Nominate an Entrepreneur | 2014 SOE Dinner

awardThe Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award is designed to recognize outstanding entrepreneurs within our community as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week Celebration . The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award, first given in 2007, recognizes an individual according to specific guidelines. The Growth Council board carefully reviews submitted nominations and collaborates to choose the annual winner, based on the following criteria:

  • Company has been in existence at least five (5) years
  • Displays innovation in product/service
  • Creates significant impact on community (financial or otherwise)
  • Reasons for remaining in Grant County
  • Company has high visibility in community
  • Creates or retains jobs
  • An entrepreneur who shows perseverance/tenacity

Past Winners

  • Mike and Sherri Bartrom of Computer Age Engineering
  • Steve and Phyllis Mooreheand of Cellular Connection
  • David and Sandra Loer of GP Designs
  • Rob and Ed Wiley of Wiley Metal Fabrication
  • Jerry, Joe and Tom Collins of CVS Systems
  • Henry Olynger and Patti Edwards of Olynger Corporation
  • Gary Ott of TLC Management
  • Darren and Nancy Campbell of Tree of Life Bookstores

Date to Innovate:

The Grant County Economic Growth Council, in collaboration with Centric Indy, hosts an annual innovation luncheon to inspire business owners, investors, students, and aspiring entrepreneurs to connect through stories and ideas of business innovation. Jerry McColgin of Collidea spoke at the event's debut on March 21, 2014, sharing "10 Ways to be Innovative" to an audience of approximately 100. With an agenda as playful as it was productive, Date to Innovate served as a hub of innovation in Grant County and will continue to do so in years to come!
| More information on Date to Innovate |

The Connect Series:

The Growth Council and Grant County Young Professionals Network (GCYPN) invite leading entrepreneurs from across Indiana to share their stories with local entrepreneurs as well as students from Indiana Wesleyan University, Taylor University, and IvyTech Community College. The fall and spring lecture series is designed to connect role models with present and future entrepreneurs and is conducted in conjunction with the local Global Entrepreneurship Celebration.
Fall 2014 | event info | flyer |

Taylor Business Plan Competition & I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge

Business competitions are a wonderful - and increasingly popular - experience for entrepreneurs. Whether it's a business-plan competition, an idea competition or a pitch competition, they often act as a launching pad, providing access to robust resources and experiences that help entrepreneurs significantly move their ideas from concept to market.

In a 2013 research study by Roman Lubynsky, he states, "Mechanisms like competitions are critical to students in developing the confidence and knowledge necessary to make the decision to launch."

What's more, business competitions allow aspiring entrepreneurs to test their ideas in a safe space, while mentors and advisors get the chance to offer leadership and growth opportunities for scalable business ideas. This environment brings together the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem to help each other groom ideas pre-launch. In addition, it preps the idea for survival in the more competitive, high-risk market.

Whether simple or elaborate, industry-specific or covering multiple industries, or facilitated by for-profit or non-profit businesses, benefits of business competitions include:

  • Experiential learning - written plans, financial projections, live pitches, teamwork, understanding audiences, market positioning, and market analysis.
  • Networks - relationship-building with team members, administrators, judges, and mentors.
  • Visibility to a mass audience for driving entrepreneurial activity toward a given topic.
  • Connections to private industry, key decision makers, and prestigious alumni with the host organization.
  • PR opportunities - exposing students and entrepreneurs to a broader audience.

Learn more about the business plan competitions hosted by the Grant County Economic Growth Council!
| Taylor Business Plan Competition | I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge |