Launch Terre Haute has partnered with local universities to launch a series of fast-paced bootcamps geared toward boosting the skills necessary for success in today’s fast-paced business environment. Seasoned executives and new startup founders alike will reap the rewards of university staff sharing their knowledge in the creative, collaborative environment of Launch Terre Haute. It’s a way to bridge the gap between classroom learning and real-world practice.

The first education series focuses to help regional entrepreneurs build a better foundation and gain confidence in their ability to pursue their business ideas. It will be an 8-week series, 1 day a week for 8 weeks from 4-6pm – Starting January 16th through March 6th.  Cohorts will consist of 15-25 people. Learn more about each of the instructors who will be involved with the 8-week Launch and Learn.



Leading with Strength

Craig G. Downing – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Date: 1-16-2019

Session Description: Entrepreneurs increase their success when they operate in their strengths.  The workshop is based on Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment and is designed specifically for the entrepreneurial community.  The prime outcome of the workshop will be to increase participants’ awareness of their individual strengths and how they can positively (or negatively) influence their behavior and interactions as an entrepreneurial leader.

Brief Bio: Craig G. Downing is a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrengths Coach for both leadership and entrepreneurism.  Craig brings more than two decades of industrial and educational experience/leadership to his current higher education work, now focusing primarily on post-baccalaureate education, industrial-academic relationships, and entrepreneurism.  Craig is the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning, Department Head and Professor of Engineering Management at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Communicating Your Great Idea

Julia M. Williams – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Date: 1-23-2019

Session Description: The life of the entrepreneur is characterized by creativity, initiative, and, hopefully, success.  What many entrepreneurs pay less attention to is the role of communication in promoting their great idea to a variety of stakeholders—customers, investors, and others.  This session will introduce participants to key communication strategies that are useful tools for the entrepreneur’s toolkit, including refining your great idea, addressing the information needs of stakeholders, and forming strategic partnerships.

Brief Bio: Julia M. Williams serves as Interim Dean of Cross-Cutting Programs and Emerging Opportunities.  In this role, she supports the work of faculty who create multi-disciplinary learning opportunities for Rose-Hulman students.  She also works with students and professional engineers to help them improve their written and oral communication skills.

Startup and Small Business Fundraising

Daniel Issac Pigg, CPCU,ARM, CIC, CRM – Indiana State University

Session Description: Starting a new or expanding a new business, this session will cover all various options for funding (micro loans, SBA, angel investors, venture capital).

Brief Bio: Daniel is a serial entrepreneur and executive level business consultant with over 12 years of operational leadership and business development experience. In his role as Director of Business Engagement at Indiana State University, Daniel provides leadership and actively mentors entrepreneurial and innovation-driven start-up businesses as well as existing business owners who are in need of development support. Daniel’s entrepreneurial interests are varied and include ownership of a real estate company with holdings in three states, a winery, and a brewery. To date, Daniel has consulted with over 140 startups and established businesses and has helped raise over $4.5MM in business funding.

Lean Business Model Development

Thomas P. James – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Session Description: Entrepreneurs often focus intently on the development of their product or service offering but fall short on business planning.  A full business plan may be needed as the founder seeks outside funding, but initially, in the bootstrapping phase, a founder can create a business model to ferret out deficiencies in the product-market fit.  This session introduces the Business Model Canvas as a tool to begin the planning phase for business creation.  Participants will learn how to complete each of the nine panels on the canvas, starting with an example and then through a participation exercise.

Brief Bio: Tom James teaches entrepreneurship at Rose-Hulman.  Prior to joining academia, Tom managed engineering and operations for a multinational company, where he gained significant product development and manufacturing experience.  He has a passion for helping hardware startups.  Tom is presently on the Board of Directors at Launch Terre Haute.

Technical Leaders as Innovators and Value Creators

William A. Kline – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Session Description: Entrepreneurs are called upon to solve problems in a variety of different settings including product development, operations, and marketing. This session presents approaches and tools to assist in developing successful solutions that both solve problems and provide value to relevant stakeholders. A broad view of value will be considered including financial, environmental, and cultural. Product development situations will receive special attention where we will consider three aspects of successfully getting new products into the marketplace – the product itself, the ability to execute, and a viable business model. The session will review successful and unsuccessful case studies as well as considering your own project or product.

Brief Bio: Bill Kline’s experience spans technical leadership in small and large companies as well as university roles in teaching design, innovation, operations, and systems engineering. Recent work has focused on developing tools and approaches to realize value creation and higher success rates in design and development. Bill is the Associate Dean of Innovation and Professor of Engineering Management at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.


Big Data – What’s the big deal?

Cory Campbell – Indiana State University

Session Description: Big data has the potential as well as the possibilities to improve operational efficiency, drive new revenue streams and gain competitive advantages over business rivals. Advancements in technology that necessitate continuous learning and relearning are confounded by the changing role of the business as accounting and finance are being asked to think and act more strategically in the future. It’s no longer a question of whether big data analytics will reshape the accounting profession, but rather a question of how quickly.

Project Management

Kay C. Dee – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Session Description: This session will provide templates, tips, and hands-on practice in creating critical project management tools for entrepreneurs seeking 1) to ensure customer satisfaction, and 2) to create internal systems of accountability/documentation.  Specifically, we’ll focus on the project charter, stakeholder requirement traceability matrix, change control and changelog, and communications management.  We’ll also take advantage of the fact that these formal project management tools are designed to be refined and adapted to the specific needs of individual projects.

Brief Bio: Kay C. Dee is the Associate Dean of Learning & Technology and a Professor of Biology and Biomedical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.  She and her team have developed a reputation for getting things done, in part because they routinely use formal project management techniques to complete major classroom renovations, adopt new hardware or software, perform educational research, and help faculty develop new courses.  Kay C currently teaches courses in project management, regulatory affairs, and engineering design.

Sales and Marketing

Meredith Williams

Session Description: When the going gets tough, the tough get creative.  High impact (low budget) sales and marketing ideas for entrepreneurs who need to get scrappy in a fast-paced financial frontier. Learn more about the latest trends in marketing and social media, power questions,  developing customer profiles and a menu of digital tools that can increase your marketing, sales (and life) productivity.

Brief Bio: Meredith has an MBA and 25 years of industry experience in sales, marketing and public relations.  Most recently she served as Executive Director of Marketing for a national food ingredient company where she was responsible for marketing strategies and promotions for all brands and product lines.  She also has served in positions of management and leadership in the healthcare, banking and television industries.

Meredith’s background includes sales, developing brand marketing strategies, garnering strategic partnerships, developing advertising campaigns, and overseeing social media efforts.