Startups vie for Super Bowl exposure

February 1, 2012
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One Indianapolis entrepreneur will spend Super Bowl Sunday huddled with startup guru Scott Case and another corporate combatant, working on a game plan for growth.

More than 30 local startups are vying for a seat at the big game through a competition sponsored by the Startup America Partnership and local economic development group DevelopIndy.

Entrants submitted their names for a random drawing, and the lucky finalists were invited to submit a 1-minute video pitch explaining why Indianapolis is a nurturing environment for startups and how going to the Super Bowl would benefit their business.

The local winner—announced Friday afternoon—will spend the game in a suite at Lucas Oil Stadium with Case and representatives of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Avomeen Analytical Services, which prevailed in a national contest.

Case, founding chief technology officer of Priceline.com, is CEO of Startup America, a national alliance working to increase the prevalence and success of high-growth businesses.

“At the Startup America Partnership—and at Super Bowl XLVI with these two entrepreneurs—we’re all about helping startups grow and, in the process, create jobs,” Case said in a prepared statement. “Indianapolis, with its highly active entrepreneurial network and startup community, is a great place to do that.”

Indeed, the local finalists almost universally touted the city’s talent pool, location, low costs and entrepreneurial infrastructure in their videos, which are posted on YouTube. And winning the competition, they agreed, would give their companies the exposure needed to make waves nationally.

“If there ever was an opportunity to shed some of that ‘aw shucks’ Midwestern humility, this would be it,” an unidentified pitchman says in tech firm TinderBox’s video. “We want the win—the affirmation, the validation, the visibility and the sweet, sweet smell of victory.”

What's your take on Indianapolis' entrepreneurial advantages?

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