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IU student entrepreneurs create ideas today that will transform tomorrow


At Indiana University, we nurture a spirit of innovation that extends far beyond the classroom. Home to a thriving and ever-growing entrepreneurial ecosystem, we provide the expertise and infrastructure to enable our students to transform their boldest ideas into impactful startup ventures.

The recently launched IU Innovates initiative unifies these resources as it deepens IU’s commitment to strengthening a spirit of entrepreneurship that spans all of our campuses. It also builds on the award-winning and model entrepreneurship programs at the Kelley School of Business and the Shoemaker Innovation Center at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. Together, these programs provide students with the tools, mentorship, and funding needed to build and grow their businesses.

Recently, I sat down with several talented student startup founders from across our campuses to hear about their entrepreneurial journeys within the university and in their own communities.

Jaeden Hero, a computer science student at IU Kokomo, developed Hero, a software application for college students to enhance their professional image and stand out to employers.

Ruhani Sharma, an IU Northwest MBA student, opened Tandoori Cafe and Grill, a restaurant serving up Indian and American flavors. She’s fulfilled a personal goal to bring a new restaurant to northwest Indiana—one inspired by the fun and unique restaurants she’s visited around the world, including those in her native India.

Medard Mikobi, a sports management student at IU Indianapolis, started College Carry, a student-led moving and storage company dedicated to easing the stress for other students moving in and out of dorms or apartments.

Charlie Edmonds is a Ph.D. student in music education at IU Bloomington who found support through IU Innovates. She created Pocket, a teaching system for school bands that addresses a longstanding shortage of Black gospel music in the curriculum commonly used in beginning band instruction.

The successes of these students, who are primed to further advance their business goals, reflect IU’s leadership in developing student entrepreneurs through first-rate teaching, research, experiential learning, and spaces that support the creation of new startups. 

I am grateful for our faculty who are helping IU students become the next generation of innovators who are developing business ideas today that will positively transform the future of our state and beyond.

Pamela Whitten

Indiana University

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