Last night, Formstack’s Build Indy team threw one heck of a party – if we do say so ourselves. Over 160 supporters of local Indianapolis organizations packed the Speak Easy to eat, drink, and celebrate the city. We listened to 10 small businesses and nonprofits share their stories – and witnessed United State of Indiana receive the $5,000 Build Indy grand prize.
Over the past few months, we’ve been promoting small business growth and conversation through the use of cloud computing tools. Through the Build Indy website, visitors could download a cloud computing toolkit with information about the ways cloud-based tools could grow their companies. And to sweeten the taste of progression, we decided to give $5,000 to one local small business or nonprofit.
“Excited people are the most interesting people.”
On April 26, we announced our 10 finalists from over 96 nominations, and each finalist had to complete a follow-up survey to provide more information about how they would spend the $5,000. A panel of Indianapolis professionals selected United State of Indiana as the winner, and Graham Brown (founder of the company) accepted the grand prize last night. In addition, Graham and the rest of the USI team will be receiving an app package from ProApps Live, who agreed to waive the $1,500 startup fee for the development of a USI mobile app. Graham will be using the $5,000 award to create a video series highlighting creators and innovators living in Indiana, with a focus on how living in the state has shaped their imagination and creation.
“United State of Indiana was created in 2011 with a simple image: the state of Indiana and six vertical stripes. The goal of United State of Indiana, from the start, was to provide an outlet for collective excitement. USI has grown from a guerilla art project to a full-fledged clothing company. Our growth can only be attributed to other passionate entrepreneurs who have made USI a small part of their story.” – Graham Brown, founder of United State of Indiana.
At last night’s Build Indy event, the audience also voted on two “crowd favorite” award winners. Two of the 10 finalists were selected via a live vote to split all of the money from ticket sales and the silent auction, as well as split a generous $1000 donation from MainSource Bank. Our first crowd favorite was Urban Patch, who received $1,258 and a website audit package from DK New Media. The second was Growing Places Indy, who also received $1,258 and a logo redesign package from Stefan Bean Branding + Design. All of the money received at last night’s event went directly to the crowd favorite finalists.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to such a successful event, including sponsors MainSource Bank, Launch Fishers, Mixwest, and The Ball Project. We plan to continue Build Indy in some capacity, so stay tuned for new developments in our effort to support and grow Indianapolis.