September 5, 2019
Jennifer Wiese, founder and CEO of BeeFree Gluten Free Bakery does not have a PhD., but she did have a blast at Ball State and managed to get a degree in Fashion Merchandising. She never imagined herself as an entrepreneur, but that's the push she's been on for 10 years now. She has always believed in something bigger than herself and she's laser focused on making a difference. She's a wife and mother of 4 college age sons and she uses pride, character and attitude as her guiding light. She's had the distinct honor of making every mistake in the book and has the sass to turn every "no' into an opportunity. She's just a small town girl with a small town family living out her best life. Come and hear how doing something you're passionate about for someone you love can turn into a multi million dollar company.
Jennifer Williams & Alli Truttmann
September 12, 2019
Jennifer Williams is an ex-actuary turned entrepreneur from Seattle, WA. She is the co-founder and COO/CFO of Cuddle Clones, an online pet company whose flagship product is a stuffed animal made to look exactly like your pet. Before Cuddle Clones, Jennifer spent 10 years as a benefits consulting actuary, primarily working on large defined benefit plans and stock-based compensation programs. She made the entrepreneurial leap in 2012 and quit PricewaterhouseCoopers to focus on Cuddle Clones full-time. She earned her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA and her MBA from the University of Louisville. Cuddle Clones was a school project-turned-real-business in the entrepreneurship-focused MBA program in Louisville. Jennifer has been in Louisville for 10 years and lives with her husband Danny and her two fur-children Izzy and Winnie. In her personal life, Jennifer enjoys golf and singing karaoke and is an avid Seattle Seahawks fan.
Alli Truttmann, MA, CPT is the CEO and Founder of Wicked Sheets, an innovative sleep and bedding company that takes advanced fabric technology and incorporates it into the bedroom. Wicked Sheets began in 2008 in Truttmann’s one-bedroom Louisville apartment after being fed up waking to sweat-soaked bedding. After her collegiate career in soccer and Child Psychology, Alli attended the University of Louisville where she earned her master’s degree in Psychology and then returned to her undergraduate alma mater, Bellarmine University to become certified in Personal Training and Medical Fitness. Alli has raised over $1M in equity funding for Wicked Sheets and competed in both local and global pitch competitions, winning spots on QVC, as well as the Global Startup Grind Conference. Alli’s post collegiate career prior to starting Wicked Sheets was spent as a therapist for children diagnosed along the Autism Spectrum. Alli’s passion for education and entrepreneurism are demonstrated in her Board participation on the Bellarmine University Board of Overseers and the Louisville Venture Connectors Board of Directors.
September 26, 2019
Adam Weber is Co-founder of Emplify, a company that helps leaders measure, diagnose, and solve their employee engagement challenges. Previously, he served as Co-founder and VP of Sales of Bluebridge Digital where he successfully built and sold a mobile engagement platform focused on engaging the audience of Churches and Tourism organizations. Adam is a nationally-recognized expert and speaker on employee engagement, culture, team performance, leadership development. He has spoken at a number of events around the country for which he has been consistently rated as a top presenter. Adam holds a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in organizational communication from Ball State University, is a former musician, retired pastor, aspiring comedian, and currently lives in Zionsville, IN with his wife, two sons, dogs, and chickens.
October 31, 2019
Wesley is a 25-year old entrepreneur that created Tudr, the fast-growing tech startup that brings the sharing economy to the higher education space. After graduating from Ball State in 2016, Wes made the choice to start Tudr and began his entrepreneurial journey. Since then, despite the lack of venture capital for consumer brands in the Midwest ecosystem, he has managed to raise over $350,000 for the venture from various angel investors across the nation, and has created a team consisting of CFO with an MBA from NYU and formerly worked for AOL, a head UX/UI designer formerly at Uber, Tinder and Apple among others, and a 15yr aerospace engineer. Together, Wes and his team took Tudr to Boston for one of the world’s largest startup accelerators, MassChallenge, and named 1 of 200 most promising young startups in the world. Crouch is very involved with giving back to the entrepreneurial community, and serves as an advisor/mentor for aspiring students at Ball State and IUPUI.
November 14, 2019
Ali Jafari, founder and CEO of theCN.com
, is a serial entrepreneur known for his research and entrepreneurship in IT, more specifically, on development of a series of Learning Management System(s). Dr. Jafari is a Professor of Computer and Information Technology at Purdue and Director of the CyberLab at IUPUI. He continues to bring innovation and new perspectives to the smart learning environment industry to make teaching and learning easier and more powerful. Dr. Jafari earned his BS in Business Administration from the University of Isfahan, Iran, before he moved to the United States to pursue a MS in Media Technology at the University of Wisconsin. He completed doctorate studies in Telecommunications/Mass Communication from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
November 21, 2019
is a dreamer, innovator, consultant, and creator of businesses spanning 20
years. After serving three years in the US Army, David earned a BA in Art/Art
History, and later his MBA. While working his way through school, David
discovered his ability to move people from idea to action, which he still
excels in today in his consulting and coaching company, Proctor Group. While in
the technology sector, David and a coworker bootstrapped Next Wave Logistics, a
subscription software company enabling millions to operate their own business
entirely online through direct selling, such as Pampered Chef, Amway, and
others. As CEO, David led the company in creating a culture of innovation
and creativity while having fun. The results were 60 quarters of growth,
reaching over $25mm in annual sales. While raising a family and running his
business, David also co-founded Votre Vu, an e-commerce subscription company
growing to several million before he sold it to an investor
group. Currently, David loves helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams
and have fun getting there.