The Venture Club of Indiana recently held the 14th annual Innovation Showcase Pitch Competition. Twenty of Indiana’s top startups pitched to more than 350 attendees. Adipo Therapeutics and LaunchCodes tied for first place, joined by Holder in second and Zero Carb LYFE in third place.
Participants were judged on the breakthrough nature of the product or service, market size and competitive advantage, team, go-to-market strategy, and commercial traction. The judges were Katie Birge of M25, Christopher “Toph” Day of Elevate Ventures, and Mike Hatfield of Carium.
The winning companies and their prize amounts are listed below:
- First Place, $10,000 prize: Adipo Therapeutics, CEO Karen Wurster, Indianapolis
- First Place, $10,000 prize: LaunchCodes, CEO Jared Ingold, Indianapolis
- Second Place, $6,000 prize: Holder, CEO Drew Beechler, Indianapolis
- Third Place, $4,000 prize: Zero Carb LYFE, CEO Omar Atia, Evansville
Adipo Therapeutics is a biotech startup developing a technology platform that converts energy storing white fat into energy burning brown fat as a potential treatment for type 2 diabetes. Last year, Adipo was awarded $100,000 as part of the second annual Elevate Nexus Statewide Pitch Competition.
Holder is a marketing and customer-relationship management platform that launched earlier this year as the latest portfolio company associated with Indianapolis-based venture studio High Alpha.
“Having venture capital firms nominate startups for the competition truly brought the best of the best to the Innovation Showcase’s center stage,” said Sandy Wilcox, chairperson of The Venture Club of Indiana. “We were pleased to have a balance of life sciences and technology, two of Indiana’s strengths.”
ZeroCarb LYFE produces a high-protein, zero-carb pizza crust that is available for purchase in more than 150 restaurants and select supermarkets. The startup also recently closed on an oversubscribed $1.5 million seed round of funding.