South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership

Founder Factory returns for third year, along with pitch competition

The third Founder Factory will take place Nov. 15 at the Studebaker Building in South Bend. The annual event celebrates startups throughout the region.

“Founder Factory is an event near to my heart,” said Bethany Hartley, president and CEO of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership, in a press release. “It brings together all elements of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in one room to inspire and share, motivate and commiserate, cheer and celebrate the entrepreneurial journey. I fully expect attendees will leave feeling excited and connected, with new ideas on the horizon!”

This year’s keynote speaker is Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of fashion brand GRAVITAS. The first 75 people who register for Founder Factory will receive a signed copy of her book, “GRAVITAS: The 8 Strengths That Redefine Confidence.”

“My experience finding my own gravitas is a story I am excited to share with my fellow entrepreneurs at Founder Factory,” Sun said. “Entrepreneurship is oftentimes a tough and lonely journey, and I have always found inspiration and support through my peers, so I hope by sharing my experience I can inspire others at different stages in their personal entrepreneurial journeys.”

The day will include a pitch competition, featuring three $3,500 prizes to startup in the South Bend-Elkhart region. Entrepreneurs can apply for the contest by 5 p.m. Nov. 8 here. Winners will be announced that evening.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. will host a Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration party, which will debut the 2023 Entrepreneurship Indiana Yearbook, which spotlights founders from around the state.

“Entrepreneurship is a key to growing the state’s economy,” said Morgan Allen, entrepreneurial ecosystem director at the IEDC. “Forbes Advisor named Indiana the best state to start a business in 2023, due in large part to our business-friendly climate and available resources and support.”

Founder Factory takes place during Global Entrepreneurship Week from Nov. 13 through 19.


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