Innovation Week Is Coming!

by Sep 14, 2021


Innovation Week is coming! All week from October 10–15, we’ll have free events (online and in person) celebrating innovation and tech in our community. Join us at iWeek to learn, celebrate, and explore.

Visit our Eventbrite to register for iWeek sessions, or just stop by The Mill! (If you haven’t been to The Mill in downtown Bloomington before, check out info on location, parking, and more here.)

Sunday, October 10 and Monday, October 11

For the first two days, we’ve got closed events going on. In the morning we’ll hold the kickoff meeting for participants in Sprint Week, a fun five-day team innovation challenge sponsored by our good friends at MetroStar. If you want to participate in Sprint Week, better hurry! Registration closes September 30. Bring your own team, or register solo and we’ll connect you to some new friends. Metro is designing a cool cybersecurity challenge problem (don’t worry, you don’t need to be a cybersecurity expert), and the team that presents the best solution at the end of iWeek will divvy up $1,000!

Later that evening, we’ll celebrate our community’s business successes at the Community Innovation Awards gala. The Best Places to Work Awards recognize the area’s best employers and provide organizations with valuable employee feedback. The Fast 15 Awards recognize the MVP employees who drive innovation at our companies. The FUSE Business Innovation Awards recognize the accomplishments of companies and individuals in Bloomington’s thriving tech scene. Stay tuned to hear who took home the top honors! We can’t wait to shine a light on their accomplishments.

Tuesday, October 12

Tuesday is a packed day, starting with the Ada Lovelace Lunch & Panel at 11:30 downstairs in the Event Hall. Ada Lovelace Day is a worldwide celebration of women in technology and innovation, and we love celebrating our local superstars. Get inspired, get connected to community, and get lunch on us!

Then, at 1:00 pm, head upstairs to the Classroom to get your mind blown by science. The Human Biomolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP) seeks to map the human body at the cellular level. To help, the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center (CNS) at IU recently held a competition to hack the kidney using machine learning! Experts from CNS will explain how the competition worked and what they learned.

Next, at 2:00 pm, CNS will share how to unleash the power of your data with visual analytics. If you’ve been thinking about taking the Visual Analytics Certificate course at IU’s Luddy School of Informatics, this is the session for you. Three people who’ve been through the course will explain the skills they developed in the course and how they’re applying those skills in the real world.

Finally, close out the day at 5:00 pm with a cold beverage, a tasty snack, and good company at the Elevate Happy Hour. Mingle in the Event Hall, relax, and connect with local and regional resources.

Wednesday, October 13

The day kicks off with a 10 am online session from Microsoft for Startups. The Mill has a brand-new partnership with them (Mill members can get up to $120,000 in Azure cloud credits—say whaaa?!), and we’re looking forward to see what they’ve got planned.

Then, at 1:00 pm, the final four startups pitch at Crossroads for $10,000 in cash, a sweet package of prizes and services, and priority consideration to pitch at Elevate Nexus for up to $80,000 more.

Thursday, October 14

The City of Bloomington will hold an online session at 2:30 to talk with us about how they’re nurturing a culture of innovation. Check it out to get some great ideas to steal—er, implement—in your own company or organization.

Looking for a new career or new connections? Our friends at the BEDC are hosting an Opportunity Expo & Job Fair in the Event Hall from 4-7 pm for professionals and students. A variety of life sciences and tech companies will share more about their companies and job opportunities.

Just want to play with cool toys? We gotchu. We freaking love the Uplands Maker Mobile, don’t you? Dream Technician Andrew Woodard will set up a variety of machines (laser cutters, 3D printers, and more) upstairs in the kitchen for our monthly Maker Café from 4-7 pm. 

Friday, October 15

iWeek wraps up with two events. First, the Wabash Lean Network will hold a lean startup panel discussion at 11:00 am in the Event Hall.

Then it’s the event we’ve all been waiting for: Sprint Week Demo Night! You don’t have to be a participant to watch the teams present their solutions to an expert panel. Presentations start at 4 pm in the Event Hall, or you can watch live on Zoom. We can’t wait to see what they come up with and who takes home MetroStar’s award of $1,000!

Whew! iWeek is jam-packed with good stuff. We’ll see you there!