Our Start Up Stories event was a huge success. Thank you zWORKS Supporters and Friends for a wonderful evening of Start Up Stories!
See the panelists and sponsors below.
Please visit the SullivanMunce Cultural Center, our event space for Start Up Stories.
Meet Our PanelistsStart Up Stories - Late Summer Social
Christopher is the CEO of Elevate Ventures, the #1 most active Seed and Early Stage investor in the Great Lakes Region and #5 in the United States. He is also the Chief Visionary for Rally, the largest cross sector innovation conference. He is an innovator, entrepreneur, business creator, community builder, job maker and wealth creator throughout his endeavors over the last 30 years, having co-founded eight businesses in seven different sectors with multiple exits to Fortune 500 companies. He has led companies across multiple sectors including artificial intelligence, SaaS, hardtech, broadband, entertainment, investment banking and real estate.
Josh co-founded Bluefish Wireless Management, a logistics, managed service and IT company that specialized helping carriers grow their business through specialized operational and technology services. His partners also founded MOBI, a carrier agnostic telecom expense management firm. MOBI eventually merged with Bluefish and grew to 350 employees managing over one million connected devices through their software and services. Post-sale of MOBI to Tangoe, Josh became Chief Strategy Office of Tangoe where he remained for 2.5 years to lead the transition and overall company strategy. Since 2016 Josh has served on the Zionsville Town Council and Zionsville Board of Police Commissioners. He also serves as an advisor for numerous local technology and startup companies, as well as a Mentor for TechStars and Ivy Ventures. He enjoys golfing, reading and spending time with his wife and three children.
Shawna Lake is the Founder of Deep End Talent Strategies, a human resource consulting firm offering full service HR and talent management services. Shawna is committed to building leader and organizational capacity to drive exceptional employment experiences and help clients win talent in today’s competitive market. Her professional background includes leading HR and communications with for profit and nonprofit organizations in the arts, energy, logistics, finance, technology and advertising fields. Shawna lives in Zionsville with her husband Chris, son Carter who attends Purdue, daughter Natalie who attends Zionsville High School and dog Maggie.
Wade Lange is a proven senior executive and entrepreneur. Wade has served as CEO and COO in startup and early stage companies and has senior executive experience in marketing, market research, business and corporate development, and general management. As a CEO and Senior Executive, Wade has driven companies to success as exemplified by three successful exits. Wade served as VP and Chief Entrepreneurial Officer with the Purdue Research Foundation and as an Entrepreneur in Residence. In these roles, Wade established systems and worked directly with faculty and students to support commercialization of their discoveries. Wade earned a degree from the Purdue College of Pharmacy and a master’s degree from the Daniels School of Management.
Chelsea Linder is an ecosystem builder with in-depth experience leading and managing venture development and investment programs across the globe. She joined TechPoint in July 2023 as VP of Innovation and Entrepreneurship where she leads TechPoint's entrepreneurship and innovation programming and strategy, and advises on organizational capital formation. She brings over a decade of experience as a leader working in the tech and entrepreneurship space alongside public, academic, non-profit and private partners. Prior to her current role, Chelsa served as a Partner at gener8tor, a nationally ranked startup accelerator and venture capital firm. While at gener8tor, she played an instrumental role in building all aspects of its internal operations, from constructing the HR, Finance, Marketing and Legal functions, to data management and org-wide standard operating procedures. Chelsea's work building gener8tor's presence in Indiana led to record growth and engagement when compared to other markets served. Chelsea also worked for six years at Angie's List where she led operations for the user experience and product teams. She has a degree in international business from Butler University and serves on the board of the Venture Club of Indiana. In her free time, Chelsea spends time reading and exploring Zionsville's beautiful parks with her husband, two young daughters and their dog Atlas.
Jeff Wraley is the Founder of Groundwork, a software dedicated to helping contractors streamline their sales process and adopt a digital-first sales approach. Groundwork makes it easy for contractors to get project video walkthroughs from homeowners before the site visit so they can assess opportunities quickly and collaborate with their prospects in a modern way. Jeff’s engineering degree from Purdue University and his background in construction engineering led to the inspiration for Groundwork and he enjoys helping companies in the construction and home improvement industries be more successful. Jeff grew up in Zionsville, attending Zionsville Community High School, before going to Purdue University and later moving to Virginia. While there, he worked in construction engineering and built a few startups along the way. Jeff and his wife, Katie, moved back to Zionsville in 2018 and have two children, Tripp and Clara.
What We Offer
zWORKS was the right environment for WorkHere as we built our initial product and raised our first round of funding. The environment and more importantly, the network of people around zWORKS have been critical to our success.
-- Mike Seidle, Cofounder at WorkHere