2021 Innovation Showcase Schedule

11:00 am – Registration

11:30 am – Lunch & Entrepreneur Expo

1:00 pm – Introductions and Welcoming Remarks

                 Aaron Gillum, 50 South Capital, Venture Club of Indiana – President

1:20 pm – Keynote Speaker – John Lilly, CEO, Lateral Capital

                Don’t Do This! What Early Stage Companies need NOT to do when Raising Capital                       

2:00 pm – Entrepreneur Pitches

2:30 pm – Christine McDonnell, CEO, Codelicious

2:40 pm – Entrepreneur Pitches

3:10 pm – Haley Marie Keith, Mito Materials (2020 Winner)

                 Interviewed by Ben Pidgeon, VisionTech The Road after the Showcase

3:20 pm – Chris Baggott, ClusterTruck

                 Fireside Chat with Don Aquilano, Allos Ventures

3:45 pm – Paul Mitchell, CEO, Energy Systems Network

                Stefano dePonti, CEO and GM, Dallarra

                David Roberts, Chief Innovation Officer, IEDC interviews Paul & Stefano

                Indy Autonomous Challenge – Race of the Future

4:15 pm – The Winners Are

4:30 pm – VIP Reception and Expo Open


Schedule Subject to Change

Introductions and Opening Remarks

Aaron Gillum
Senior Vice President
50 South Capital

Aaron Gillum is a Senior Vice President in the Private Equity Group at 50 South Capital Advisors. He is responsible for sourcing and analyzing venture capital partnership investment opportunities in the U.S. Aaron is also responsible for fundraising activities and portfolio management.

Prior to joining Northern Trust, Aaron was co-founder and Managing Partner of an early stage venture fund focused on technology companies in the Midwest and New York City regions. He has over fifteen years of experience in leadership roles with tech start-ups, as well as strategy and restructuring advisory to Fortune 500 and middle market companies across a variety of industries. Aaron was named to Crain’s Chicago Business Tech 50, a recipient of the Turnaround Managements Association’s, Turnaround of the Year and M&A Advisor’s Top 40 Under 40. He serves as the current President of the Venture Club of Indiana. Aaron also serves on the advisory board of several venture funds and is a featured speaker at industry events and conferences.

Aaron earned an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and B.A. in economics and public policy from the University of Michigan, graduating with honors. He is also active as a mentor and volunteer with the Future Founders Foundation and the Big Shoulders Fund.

Keynote Speaker
John Lilly
Lateral Capital Inc.

John Lilly has an extensive background in business management, for both large and small companies. He built more than 50 branded businesses in 25 countries over 27 years as an executive at Procter & Gamble and then as CEO of The Pillsbury Company. John began his career at P&G in 1976 and was responsible at one time or another for almost all of Procter’s laundry, paper, food and beverage brands. This culminated in a six-year assignment as Regional Vice President in Frankfurt, Germany, where John had managerial scope for the paper and beverage businesses in P&G’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Division. His P&G experience base includes responsibility for Pampers, Pringles, Always, Folgers, Gain, Duncan Hines, Sunny Delight, Dawn and Attends.

In 1997, Mr. Lilly left P&G to join The Pillsbury Company in Minneapolis, first as President of Pillsbury North America and then as CEO for The Pillsbury Company worldwide. Pillsbury was a $6.8B manufacturer of such brands as Pillsbury, Green Giant, Haagen-Dazs, Totino’s, Old El Paso and Progresso. Pillsbury had leading retail and foodservice businesses in 25 countries including China and India. The company was sold to General Mills in 2002 for $10.5B (12.2X EBITDA), in what is broadly seen as a highly successful transaction.

After Pillsbury became part of General Mills, Mr. Lilly changed careers to work full time as an investor/advisor. Between 2003 and 2016, John Lilly Strategic Insights, LLC (JLSI), provided investment sourcing, due diligence and operating counsel on more than 200 Private Equity and Venture Capital projects in the U.S., Europe and Israel. He has worked for Calera Capital, TPG Capital, TPG Growth, Goldman Sachs PIA, Centerbridge Partners and EGI, the fund of Sam Zell. As a FINRA registered representative, he has advised Compass Advisers, Lehman Brothers, Duff & Phelps and Morgan Joseph TriArtisan on dozens of transactions.

Today, John works exclusively as a full-time investor in Early Stage Companies. Through Lateral Capital Management LLC (LCM) and its associated Limited Partnerships, he is one of the country’s most active Micro Venture Capital investors. Lateral Capital has invested in more than 90 companies in six Funds in a wide range of industries; across 23 states. Lateral Capital investments are identified through Angel/Accelerator groups across the U.S., where John makes frequent presentations on Sustainably Profitable Early Stage Investing (SPESI™). Invested companies include tire pressure management for trucks, fundraising software for colleges, high-speed testing for COVID-19 and a treatment for Alzheimer’s.

Beginning with Fund IV, Lateral Capital has been open to accredited Limited Partners. Lateral Capital IV made its final investment in 24 companies in Summer 2018. Lateral Capital V, launched in early-2019, has completed investments in 30 companies. Lateral Capital VI is raising $10MM from accredited investors and Family Offices for investments in 30 companies and is expected to close in late-2021. More information is available from michelle.ballentine@lateralcapital.com.

CEO Codelicious
Christine McDowell

Christine McDonnell is the CEO and Co-Founder of Codelicious, providing K-12 classrooms with custom, algorithm-generated curriculum-as-a-service. Christine graduated Magna Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University with Bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and earned her MBA in Corporate Strategy and Marketing from the University of Michigan. Prior to Codelicious, Christine led her own consulting practice, McDonnell & Associates, which focused on counseling high-growth technology ventures. Additionally, Christine served as Vice President of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, leading the team that developed the strategic vision and operating model for what is now the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. She also held leadership positions at McKinsey & Company and DuPont and is a member of Women and High Tech. Christine is passionate about creating access and removing barriers to teaching and learning computer science in schools. You can connect with Christine on LinkedIn or Codelicious.com.

Road after the Showcase
Haley Marie Keith
Mito Materials

My work experience is an eclectic blend of fundraising, operations, business development, service, and sales. I love learning and challenging myself; that drive has opened many doors for me in my career. I excel in taking complex technology and problems and breaking them down into manageable pieces for development and communicating the strategy to stakeholders. Ultimately, nothing brings me more joy than setting a goal, creating an innovative plan, and achieving it with my team. Thus, I am an accomplished team leader and agile project manager in corporate, academic, and startup environments. I have an MBA, five years of full-time work experience, and I am currently pursuing my project management professional certification (PMP) from Project Management Institute.

On a personal note, I live my life on the principles of authenticity, dedication, respect, community. I value my family and my career. I have an amazing husband, who is my business partner in MITO Material Solutions. Yes, we are the weird couple who loves working together. We have a beautiful daughter and a cute dog. Together we enjoy games, puzzles, hiking and crime TV shows.

Road after the Showcase Interviewer
Ben Pidgeon
Investor and Executive Director

Ben Pidgeon became VisionTech’s first executive director in 2016 and now leads a highly engaged network of angel investors, an ever expanding investment portfolio and increasingly strong national presence in early-stage investing. In 2020, Ben orchestrated a move to bi-monthly virtual pitch events, replacing in-person investor events due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Swift action kept the deals flowing and members investing, the makings of a record year for VisionTech with six new portfolio companies and three exits. Ben focuses his time on recruiting qualified investors, screening investment opportunities, hosting pitch events, and overseeing the group’s stringent due diligence process. 

Prior to joining VisionTech, Ben spent 15 years in the banking industry. He served as vice president and private banker at Stock Yards Bank and Trust in Indianapolis. He also worked with MainSource Bank and M&I Bank/BMO Financial, both in Indianapolis; Bank One in Greenwood, Indiana; and Oak Street Mortgage in Carmel, Indiana. He is the former president and current board member of the Venture Club of Indiana. He also has served as president and treasurer of the Institute of Management Accountants, Indianapolis Chapter A native of West Lafayette, Indiana, Ben earned a B.S. in economics from Purdue University and an MBA from the IU Kelley School of Business.

Fireside Chat 

Chris Baggot
Founder& CEO

Chris Baggott has been an entrepreneur, leader and futurist in data driven software and data innovation for more than 20 years and has created a lasting and significant impact on the technology ecosystem. In the early 2000’s, Baggott co-founded ExactTarget, a provider of digital marketing automation and analytics software and services. In 2012, the company successfully executed an IPO and was later acquired by tech giant Salesforce for $2.7 billion. 

In 2006 Chris co-founded Compendium Software, a pioneer in data driven content marketing that was later acquired by the world’s largest software company, ORACLE. In addition to a successful career disrupting the marketing software space, Chris entered the agriculture industry in 2011 to combine his passion for technology and food. In 2015, Baggott brought his tech background to the on-demand food delivery market as co-founder and CEO of ClusterTruck, a software platform that powers profitable, vertically integrated delivery-only kitchens. ClusterTruck’s proprietary software uses custom algorithms and machine learning to optimize kitchen and delivery operations. By leading technology companies through periods of profitable growth, Baggott applied this experience to reinvent profitable food delivery from an advanced software perspective.

Chris is an avid angel investor and mentor to tech startups that are fueling the next generation of innovation. A native of Pittsburgh, Chris now resides near Indianapolis in Greenfield, Indiana.

Fireside Chat with Don Aquilano, Allos Ventures
     Don Aquilano
   Managing Director
     Allos Ventures 

Don co-founded Allos in 2010, but he did some pretty cool stuff before that, too.

Don’s tenacity and entrepreneurial drive exhibited itself early in his career, when he was so frustrated that Hewlett Packard had come on campus his senior year solely to recruit electrical engineers (as a production and operations management major, he was more of an industrial engineer) that he accosted the recruiter in the hallway and refused to let him leave until he’d managed to secure a job offer.

After working as an operations manager in Hewlett Packard’s Circuit Technology Group, serving on the corporate-wide team responsible for the selection of a new ERP system, and having co-founded two small software companies along the way, Don left HP for business school. Upon graduation, he joined The Boston Consulting Group as a consultant, and then Diageo, where he was a manager of strategy for Guinness Americas and Caribbean (he assures us that testing the product was not part of his job responsibilities, but merely a perk).

He first moved into the venture capital world with the Fox Group in New York, where he participated in the early funding of companies including WebMD, before being recruited to join Gazelle TechVentures as its second managing director in April 2000.  Gazelle was ranked in the top quartile for venture funds nationally for its 2000 vintage, and Don participated in all of the firm’s successful investments, including Rubicon Technology (NASDAQ:RBCN), a former Russell 2000 company, where he served as executive chairman. And five years after meeting John, who was serving on the executive committee at Gazelle, Don agreed to join Blue Chip as a managing director, where he managed investments in software and services companies Aprimo and Intradiem.

Don has served on the advisory boards of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centers for IU and Ball State, and is Chairman Emeritus of the advisory board for Indiana University’s School of Informatics and Computing.  Don is a frequent lecturer at IU, Notre Dame, Butler University and has twice taught the Entrepreneurship capstone course at Purdue University.

Paul Mitchell

Energy Systems Network

Paul Mitchell serves as president and CEO of Energy Systems Network (ESN). Prior to joining ESN, Paul served in the Office of Governor Mitch Daniels as policy director for Economic Development, Workforce, & Energy. In this capacity he oversaw legislation, policy, and program development for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and Indiana Department of Labor, and acted as the Governor’s liaison to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and Office of Utility Consumer Counselor. During his tenure with the Governor’s Office, Mitchell also led the formation of and directed the Indiana Office of Federal Grants and Procurement. A native of West Lafayette, Indiana he holds a Masters of Public Affairs from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington, Ind. where he graduated as valedictorian.

Stefano dePonti
    CEO and GM
In 2010 Stefano dePonti was appointed Chief Executive Officer & General Manager at Dallara USA & Dallara Research center in Speedway, Indiana. Dallara USA is an engineering and manufacturing company that specializes in composite and carbon fiber techniques. They are the sole supplier of the chassis used in the Indycar and Indy Lights series, as well as the Cadillac DPi that runs in the IMSA endurance series. Dallara is also involved in the American Aerospace and Defense industries. As CEO & General Manager, Stefano dePonti has played a key role in overseeing the financial operations of his facility, negotiating business agreements, and developing company goals for future opportunities of growth.

Before taking on his current role, Stefano dePonti was the US Director of Operations at the
Dallara headquarters, Dallara Automobili S.p.A., in Parma, Italy. From 2001 to 2010, he acted as the liaison between Dallara Automobili, and their distributer in the United States. His position involved selling Indycar cars and parts, projecting and forecasting stock for parts, and organizing commercial support at racetracks for the Indycar and Indy Lights Series.

In total, Stefano dePonti has over 30 years of experience among various motorsport series
including Formula 1, sports cars, touring cars, Indycar, and Indy Lights. His positions
throughout the years have taken him from the drawing office, to logistics, to Team Manager & Sporting Director, and now to his current position at Dallara as CEO & General Manager.

In his free time, Stefano dePonti enjoys traveling and learning about various cultures and
languages. He fluently speaks Italian, English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish—and is currently studying Japanese. He holds a degree from Collegio Salesiano in Milano, Italy and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He is now pursuing a Master’s Degree in History at IUPUI.

Chief Innovation Officer, IEDC interviews Paul & Stefano

    David Roberts
Chief Innovation Officer
David Roberts serves as the Chief Innovation Officer of the State of Indiana at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). He previously served as President of the Battery Innovation Center, a public-private partnership working with diverse organizations to develop next generation energy storage technologies. He also held a variety of roles, including CEO of EnerDel, legal counsel for Caterpillar, engineer with Lockheed Martin, board member of various domestic and international organizations, and is a patent & business attorney with Gutwein Law.

In addition, David was sought out by a premiere energy industry publication for a feature article on his impressions of the energy industry, leading to their designation as “The Energy Attorney” by Batteries International.


Chris LaMothe
Chief Executive Officer
Elevate Ventures
Kelli Jones
Managing Partner
Sixty8 Capital
Be Nimble Foundation
Samantha Ginther
Venture Associate
High Alpha