Marty Mechtenberg’s IDEA Week Agenda


IDEA Week is only weeks away! Check out Entrepreneurship Director Marty Mechtenberg’s agenda below and check out the full schedule of events at!

April 24, 2024
First up at 9:00am, I’ll dive into the deep end with Travis Rosbach and Hydroflask – from scuba diving instructor to the king of cool (and hot) beverages. In fact, we’re so excited that we ordered a gorgeous set of Hydroflasks with Startup South Bend – Elkhart branding! Swag level: Expert. 🌊➡️💼

Next I’m eager to learn more about Zoey McKenzie’s $100 million impact fund for health equity and climate preparedness in underserved communities. My own neighborhood is still dealing with the impact of redlining and the disappearance of heavy industry, and her focus on financial returns with positive social and environmental outcomes is a model for the future of our hurt communities. 💸🌍💚

At 11:00am the Elevate Ventures Hardtech Roadshow kicks off. The entire Elevate Ventures team will be in town – an awesome chance to connect with Indiana’s premier VC fund that is empowering founders and startups around the State. Presenting with them will be six new companies, funded by Elevate, that are bringing innovation and new manufacturing growth to our region. With some many amazing people in the room it will be hard to decide who to connect with first!🧙‍♂️🚀

At 1:00pm Logan Herzog, Chief Innovation Officer at RISE, will be presenting on the unavoidable topic of AI. AI is rapidly becoming a part of our lives, and I’m grateful for the chance to learn from someone who’s had the time and expertise to dig in and provide guidance. How can these new tools make our businesses more efficient and effective? Logan’s going to break down how AI can turbocharge our work without stealing our lunch money. Robots as coworkers? Yes, please – as long as they don’t hog the coffee. ☕🤖

I’ll end the day with some physical fun at the Strike Up Innovation event at Generations Adventureplex. After a long day of learning and inspiration it will feel great to unwind with like-minded innovators by putting a new spin on an old-school fan favorite! 🎳🎉

April 25, 2024
On Thursday, after the Starting Small Summit, I’ll be in the room for the 1:00pm panel on Recent Raises. This is such a critical topic for startups, and hearing from three founders who have cracked the code to accessing capital will be invaluable. I’m ready for my eyes to be opened and my mind blown. 🤯💲

And at 3:00pm, we’ll get the flipside – a panel with investors who are Betting on Indiana and investing in regional companies. They will let us know what they’re looking for from new startups, and why they think new Indiana businesses are poised for growth and global impact. The “Humble Hoosier” is a thing of the past as we bring our home-grown innovation and drive to confront global competition. 🏎💪

Finally, before Hasan Minhaj’s hilarious performance at 7pm, I’ll stop by the Studebaker building campus for RISE Fest. I’ve had the chance to see the spirit of entrepreneurship come alive in these students, and I can’t wait to celebrate with them at their signature year-end event! 🎓😇

About IDEA Week
IDEA Week is an innovation festival hosting business, technology, and entertainment events to provide entrepreneurs, students, and attendees with the practical knowledge, creative inspiration, and social foundation they need to innovate within their own careers, studies, and communities.

About Startup South Bend – Elkhart
The mission of Startup South Bend – Elkhart, a non-profit initiative of the South Bend Elkhart Regional Partnership is to promote and foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the South Bend – Elkhart region. Startup South Bend – Elkhart works to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit and culture in the regional community, identify and nurture new business startups, and support the growth of existing high potential businesses. For more information about Startup South Bend – Elkhart, visit