SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Apr. 24, 2019) -- Tembo AI, a computer software company founded by two University of Notre Dame ESTEEM students, received the Minority Owned Startup Award for best minority owned venture during the 2019 McCloskey New Venture Competition. The $10,000 cash award was provided by Kem Krest, a logistics and supply chain manufacturer headquartered in Elkhart County, in partnership with the South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership (SBERP).
"As a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified company that prides itself in developing the next generation of entrepreneurs, in particular minority entrepreneurs, Kem Krest is thrilled to present the $10,000 Minority Entrepreneur Award to Tembo AI," said Amish Shah, President & CEO of Kem Krest. "They presented a company that is solving a real problem, in real time. By awarding this recognition, we are continuing to build the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the South Bend - Elkhart Region."
At Tembo AI, smart sensors and machine learning are used to monitor pedestrian activity and crowd flow within a building and to detect unusual movements that indicate security threats, all in real time. Tembo AI builds software solutions for high schools, stadiums, and large corporate offices. The Tembo platform provides police and security teams with greater situational awareness and decreases their response time to attacks, allowing them to efficiently save more lives.
"We are trying to empower people to protect each other. Bringing people together in achieving this is at the core of our mission, and it is often times minorities that can effect such changes and band communities together," said Anand Shah, Founder and CEO of Tembo AI. "And so, it was incredibly humbling and an absolute privilege to be recognized for the work being done by our team, especially given the large minority representation that has been working on this."
Diversity and Inclusion is one of five key pillars of the Regional Partnership's Ensuring Prosperity regional economic development strategy. The plan offers a long-term systematic approach to advance the South Bend - Elkhart region's economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: Educating a world-class workforce, recruiting and retaining great talent, attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing industries, helping entrepreneurs thrive, and promoting inclusion and opportunities for minorities and women.
"As an economic development organization, the South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership is committed to building an inclusive economic structure that works for everyone," said Bethany Hartley, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership. "We are grateful to have Diversity & Inclusion Committee Member - Kem Krest - as an ally in the development of minority-owned businesses in our region, and that we could partner with them to select the future of entrepreneurship through minority-founded Tembo AI."
17 area teams were awarded more than $350,000 in cash and in-kind prizes at the 2019 McCloskey New Venture Competition on Friday, April 12. Teams presented before a panel of nationally-known judges and 600 attendees in the Dahnke Ballroom at the University of Notre Dame stadium.
In addition to the $10,000 Minority Owned Startup Award, Tembo AI also received the Palo Alto Software Award, a $1500 cash prize for best written graduate plan.
For information about the Minority Owned Startup Award, please contact Bethany Hartley by phone at 574.344.4686, ext. 4804 or by email at BHartley@SouthBendElkhart.org.
About South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership (SBERP) is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan. The Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region's economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: Educating a world-class WORKFORCE, Recruiting and retaining great TALENT, Attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing INDUSTRIES, Promoting INCLUSION and sparking opportunities for minorities and Helping ENTREPRENEURS thrive. The Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region to work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit SouthBendElkhart.org.
South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership
574.344.4686, ext. 4807 or firstname.lastname@example.org