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KEDCO + DreamOn Studios partner to celebrate entrepreneurship and launch second cohort of Kosciusko MedTech Accelerator

Thursday, January 19, 2023

WARSAW, Ind. (January 19, 2022) – The Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) recently announced details for the second cohort of the Kosciusko Medical Technology (MedTech) Accelerator Studio, to continue building a pipeline of startup companies to complement and advance the existing product development and manufacturing capabilities in Warsaw, the Orthopedic Capital of the World®.

KEDCO announced the kick-off of the second cohort of the accelerator program with a launch party and entrepreneur social event with program partners and more than 80 attendees at the new DreamOn Studios space located at 2160 N. Pointe Drive in Warsaw.

“We thank our friends at DreamOn Studios for supporting our mission and hosting us at their new state-of-the-art production studio,” said KEDCO CEO Alan Tio. “Their mission to tell ‘stories that move’ aligns perfectly with our efforts to become known for how we support entrepreneurs in this community.”

The Kosciusko MedTech Accelerator Studiois a business accelerator program geared toward companies in the medtech space, and it’s the first of its kind in the area. The program is led by KEDCO and NEXT Studios (NEXT), a group of experienced startup founders who’ve developed successful accelerator studio-model programs in markets and industries throughout the state. The program launch is supported by funding from the Don Wood Foundation and Kosciusko County.

“We’re partnering with both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, innovators within established companies, to utilize the rich resources already within reach in Kosciusko County to foster and facilitate medical innovation,” said John McDonald, managing entrepreneur with NEXT Studios.

The accelerator began as a way to support startups and growth in the medtech sector, but KEDCO and NEXT welcome founders and companies of other sectors to participate, as the program and tools are still applicable.

The accelerator program is a long-term initiative including a series of experiences distilled from the startup economy, including the Lean Canvas Model, tools and practices to help startup and established companies break through barriers to innovation, and practicing human-centered design. The program includes, not necessarily in order as listed:

  • Barriers to Innovation – A workshop for companies seeking to unleash the innovators in their midst;
  • Design Thinking – An event to generate new ideas to solve problems for future customers; and
  • Discovery Week – A three-day intensive accelerator for founders to help pressure-test ideas, build confidence, and bring ideas to life.

 “One key advantage to this program is companies may choose to participate in a group setting with other participating companies, or programming can be hosted on-site within companies, solely with their team,” said Tio.

GemViz, a startup medtech development company providing surgical digital technology solutions, worked one-on-one with the team at NEXT Studios through the accelerator program.

“NEXT Studios is an incredibly valuable resource for entrepreneurs in Kosciusko County,” said Jody Claypool, co-founder and chief operating officer of GemViz. “The accelerator program is a necessity for anyone interested in quickly vetting their business and/or business idea.”

Since launching the first cohort in the fall, 11 local entrepreneurs and companies have participated in the Barriers to Innovation workshop and Discovery Week. KEDCO and NEXT Studios anticipate participation will continue to increase as more founder stories are shared, and support and awareness of the program grow.

“The partnership of NEXT and KEDCO combines the talent and experience of startup veterans with a passionate group of visionaries who want to make Kosciusko County the center of business development for the next era of industry. If you’re interested in exploring entrepreneurship, this is the easiest way to get the support you need for your startup business, and get plugged into the fantastic network of entrepreneurs we have in the area,” said Claypool.

KEDCO and NEXT Studios are seeking participants for the second cohort of the MedTech Accelerator! The program will kick off with Discovery Week, which will take place February 21-23, 2023. If your company is interested in participating contact KEDCO at info@kosciuskoed.com or 574-306-4119.

“We encourage all community and business leaders to get involved by participating, recruiting folks to participate, and by serving as coaches and mentors to startup founders,” said Tio.

Learn more about KEDCO and how the organization is making an impact in Kosciusko County by visiting www.kosciuskoedc.com. Connect with KEDCO on Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram @kosciuskoedc. Learn more about NEXT Studios at nextstudios.org.

Pictured (L to R): Mike Cusick and Jody Claypool (GemViz), Alan Tio (KEDCO)
and John McDonald (NEXT Studios).