B-Start, a pre-accelerator program created by the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, is designed for high-growth startups that want to launch in Bloomington, Indiana.

B-Start participants are at the earliest stage of their business development and are coached through a 5-month process of mentorship and group activities to build a foundation for accelerating the growth of their startups.

For the 2019-2020 B-Start cohort, all group workshops will take place on Tuesdays, from 5:30-6:30pm.

Each startup that is accepted into the B-Start program will be paired with a mentor who is a local successful entrepreneur, investor, or business professional. The mentorship is one of the most important facets of the program. Since the mentor will work closely with the startup throughout the duration of the program, mentors are the selection committee to determine who is accepted into the program.


Pete Batule - Upland Brewing Company

Pete Batule is the COO of Upland Brewing Company and has been running daily brewing operations for over 7 years. Prior to Upland, he has held various roles within the consumer products industry at PepsiCo, Conagra Foods, and Procter and Gamble. He received a Mechanical Engineering degree from Purdue and is a Kelley MBA grad. When not making delicious beer at Upland, Pete is an outdoor rec nut and enjoys going on new adventures with his wife and three kids.

Chris Martoglio- Blue Burro

Co founder & COO of Blue Burro since 2010 and was previously the President of The Contract Management Company from 1997-2010.

Shaun McDermott- Cornerstone

 Shaun has more than twenty-five years of experience in corporate finance, strategic planning, financial analysis, budgeting and control, contracts, and product management and intellectual property development, especially with growth companies in software technology. He was Chief Financial Officer of Mad Doc Software, a video game developer start-up, now Rock Star New England, from 2000 through 2006 in Andover, MA. Since 2006 he has served as CFO of Cornerstone Information Systems (www.ciswired.com), a travel software company based in Bloomington, IN. Shaun also held the Chief Commercial Officer title at Cornerstone until 2018, when he shifted to executive oversight of the product management functions at the company.

David Quick - Helping Bulls Thrive in China Shops

CEO of Helping Bulls, Dave is a speaker, executive coach, vistage chair and culture index licensee. Committed to helping “bulls”, business leaders, work fewer hours, be significantly more successful, and build stronger professional and personal relationships.
• Helped over 300 CEOs/Business Leaders thrive in their business and personal lives
• Launched first Vistage CEO Peer Advisory Board in Bloomington, IN
• Leadership Coach for Rootworks CPA groups
• Helping business leaders get the "Right People in the Right Seats"

Adam Quirk- Cardinal Spirits

“Former web media and tech guy. Current dad and craft spirits guy. CEO of Cardinal Spirits LLC in Bloomington, Indiana where I lead our growth initiatives and brand building efforts, and oversee sales and marketing. Previously I worked with tech startups and multinational corporations through a digital agency I founded in NYC. My deepest knowledge is in the web (media and strategy), but I'm somewhat dangerous in product design and development.”

Regan Starr - Zapier

Regan Starr is a software engineer for Zapier. Previously, he was manager of digital media for the piano company Steinway & Sons.

Ben Swanson - Secretly Group

Ben Swanson is one of the co-founders of Secretly Group, which includes independent record labels Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar, The Numero Group, and Secretly Canadian, as well as music publisher, Secretly Publishing. These labels are home to such acts as Bon Iver, The War On Drugs, Mitski, Moses Sumney, ANOHNI, Phoebe Bridgers, William Eggleston, Angel Olsen, Whitney, The Tallest Man on Earth, comedian Tig Notaro, Khruangbin, Dinosaur Jr., Phosphorescent, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Jens Lekman, and Sharon Van Etten. In 2018, he has taken on the role of Chief Operating Officer of Secretly Group. Swanson also co-founded Secretly Distribution in 1998, which has since grown into the preeminent independent label distributor in the U.S. 

Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Ben graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Ethnomusicology. He now resides in Bloomington, Indiana, having helped turn the Midwestern city into a launching pad for indie artists. In addition to his work in the music industry, he is also a board member of The Dimension Mill, a large coworking and business incubator space located in downtown Bloomington, Indiana.

Mike Trotzke - Cheddar
CEO of Cheddar, Mike is an experienced technology enthusiast obsessed with entrepreneurship, investment, design and development.

Reuben Vandeventer - SecondSight

Geng Wang - LRAP

Geng Wang is currently the CEO and Cofounder of Civic Champs, a benefit corporation with a mission to provide communities with a seamless volunteer management platform. He is a proven serial entrepreneur with multiple successful exits - RentJungle.com acquired by The Rainmaker Group in 2014 and Community Elf acquired by Topanga Partners in 2016. Geng is also a former McKinsey Engagement Manager with an MBA from Harvard Business School. He currently resides in Bloomington, Indiana with his wife Stephanie and their two boys, Marcus and Mason. 

Teri Willey- IU Philanthropic Venture Fund

Teri returned to Indiana in 2018 to join Indiana University (IU) as an Executive Director of IU affiliate IURTC and Fund Manager for the new Indiana Philanthropic Venture Fund (IU PhV).
Her career since the 1980’s has been about starting and re-organizing university technology transfer programs and launching new early stage funds in the US and UK.  She is a past President of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), a founding member of the Board of the 21st Century Fund of Indiana, former Bye-Fellow of Christs College Cambridge and a Sagamore of the Wabash.

Brad Wisler- Periodic

Co founder/CEO of Periodic since 2013, co founder and managing member of SproutBox since 2008, co founder and board member of Visible since 2012, and the co founder and designer of Wolfsen Apparel since 2012.

Sheryl Woodhouse - Rock Paper Scissors, Inc.

MBA and creative with twenty-six years’ experience managing finances, operations, HR, and communications in art, small business, government, and nonprofit settings. Sheryl is a creative problem solver with a talent for leadership, strategic planning, systems building, networking, and positive workplace culture. She’s known for her integrity and for getting things done— creating a vision and moving between the big picture and day-to-day details to set goals, take action, and turn ideas into reality—while always focused on what’s best for the organization and everyone involved. Sheryl is interested in leadership and advisory roles in social impact businesses and sustainable economic development.

Alison Zook - The Dimension Mill

Alison is currently the Membership and Events Manager at The Dimension Mill. Alison has experience in events, membership and outreach through The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, Cardinal Spirits LLC and Local First Bloomington. She has also owned her own business, “A.Z. Vintage” that grew from online sales to a brick and mortar store.



Ellyn Sallee pic.jpeg

Ellyn Sallee

Project/Development Manager, BEDC