University of Evansville, STARTedUP Foundation announce pitch competition regional qualifiers


University of Evansville, STARTedUP Foundation announce pitch competition regional qualifiers

APRIL 6, 2023

EVANSVILLE, IND. (04/05/2023) With nearly 2500 statewide sign-ups, the STARTedUP Foundation’s Innovate WithIN program is the largest high school pitch competition in the country. During the month of April, fifty-two teams across Indiana will be competing to qualify for the state competition with the top two teams from each region progressing onto state.

“In addition to having another record-breaking year, we have seen such an improvement in the quality of student’s pitches and heard from educators of how they have seen a mindset shift in their classrooms,” said Don Wettrick, co-founder and CEO of the STARTedUP Foundation. “As an educator of 25 years, when you bring a mindset of innovation into the classroom, things change for students. These young people are able to visualize real-world opportunities and are challenged to explore their own entrepreneurial passions.”

On April 10, ten student teams will be competing in the Region 1 competition hosted by the University of Evansville, who has removed barriers for students to attend their school by offering scholarships and making connections within their university and community.

“We are honored and excited to host this pitch competition at University of Evansville,” said Dr. Beverly Brockman, Schroeder Family Dean of the College of Business & Engineering. “Pitch competitions provide a great opportunity for students to collaborate with other students, mentors, investors, and industry experts. Hosting this event allows us to create an environment that fosters collaboration and networking, which can be beneficial for these students’ professional development.”

In addition to the financial and relational opportunities offered by the University of Evansville, students are connected to business and civic leaders who also have a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship, especially as they look ahead to growing their future workforce ecosystem.

Individuals from across the state are invited to attend their local competition and experience these impressive student pitches. Residents may join in person on April 10th at the University of Evansville from 8:30AM – 1:00PM CST or attend virtually. More details and registration information can be found at:

The Region 1 participating teams are as follows:

  • Cruzin’ Cabs
    • Breanna Lawrence, Seymour Senior High School
  • Dr. Orthopedic
    • Claire Deardorff, Signature School Inc.
    • Jennifer Vazquez, Signature School Inc.
  • Fleetwise
    • Peyton Chitwood, The Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship
  • Legaltec
    • Jude Allaw, Signature School Inc.
    • Ethan Hilton, Signature School Inc.
    • Mann Patel, Signature School Inc.
  • Music Makers
    • Aparna Kudiyirkkal Anil, Signature School Inc.
    • Sreya Yelamanchili, Signature School Inc.
  • Pure Pup
    • Rue Henderson, Mount Vernon High School
    • Kyra Rainey, Mount Vernon High School
    • Malley Wagner, Mount Vernon High School
  • Sid’s Studio
    • Siddhant, Jain, Columbus North High School
  • Virtual Pet Prep
    • Jack Megnin, Bloomington High School South
    • Nolan Risen, Bloomington High School South
    • Noah Spicer, Bloomington High School South
  • Voluntabs
    • Jennie Amador, Signature School Inc.
    • Nicole Diab, Signature School Inc.
    • Grayson Koch, Signature School Inc.
  • Z&M Promotions
    • Zayden Kinsey, New Tech Institute
    • Mathis Rogers, New Tech Institute

About The STARTedUP Foundation

The STARTedUP Foundation officially launched in 2018 to start building the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. This is accomplished through three key initiatives: Spark, Develop, and Accelerate. Beginning with sparking innovation through the Innovate WithIN pitch competition; continuing to develop students through an educator fellowship; and accelerating innovation through the creation of an alumni association for all students previously engaged with STARTedUP.

About Innovate WithIN

STARTedUP’s innovation pitch competition, Innovate WithIN, is the most elite entrepreneurial pitch competition in the country, with ten teams selected within each of Indiana’s five regions to compete in the first round of the competition and the top two teams from each region invited to compete in the Innovate WithIN State Finals. These top teams are competing for $25,000 in seed funding to launch their company, product, or idea.

The University of Evansville is a private, comprehensive university located in the southwestern region of Indiana. Established in 1854, UE is recognized across the globe for its rich tradition of innovative, academic excellence and vibrant campus community of changemakers.

Home of the Purple Aces, UE offers over 75 majors, 17 Division I sports, and a unique study abroad experience at Harlaxton College, a Victorian manor located in the countryside of the United Kingdom. For more information, please visit