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Crossroads is waiting for you!

Bright futures start at Crossroads. Since 2017, Indiana’s most promising startups have used Crossroads as a launching pad for success. Will you be next?

The winner will receive a $10,000 investment from Flywheel Fund as well as access to Flywheel’s extensive network of mentors and resources. Have questions? Email Bram Boyd, Program Manager.

It’s time to put your startup on the map. Welcome to Crossroads where innovation meets opportunity! 

SPRING 2024 TIMELINE

January 15: Applications open

February 14: Applications close

February 16: Crossroads QIB Workshop / Flywheel Q&A

March 4-8: Semifinalists pitch on Zoom

March 22: Finalists pitch live at The Mill in Bloomington

March 23: Final day for QIB application submissions

Tips & Tricks

PITCH DECK

Your slide deck should, at minimum, address the following:

  • Title (Your startup’s name)
  • Customers (Show a clear understanding of who your customers are)
  • The Problem (What problem, need, or pain point have you discovered?)
  • Solution (Your product or service)
  • Team
  • Market
  • Competition
  • Revenue Model/Business Model (How you make money)
  • Go to Market Strategy (How you will find first customers and gain market traction)
  • Key Next Steps (Your plans and/or your needs)

Learn more about the art of creating a great pitch and designing a pitch deck on The Mill’s blog.

PITCH VIDEO

Your pre-recorded pitch should be 3-5 minutes long. We recommend that you use the Zoom platform, so that your video shows you talking and your pitch deck simultaneously. The free version has the record feature. You may want to have someone assist you with pressing the buttons so that you can focus on your presentation.

Setting counts. Tidy up your background, or consider a realistic and professional Zoom virtual background.

Judges want to see you. Make sure your light source is in front of you and not behind you. Stack your computer on books if needed to get a camera angle that is at eye level. 

Practice. Practice. Practice.

And remember, since this is a pre-recorded pitch, you can record yourself more than once until you get something you’re happy with!

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

An Executive Summary is optional. It should be no longer than 2 pages. An Executive Summary provides a brief overview of your startup. It includes:

  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Market Size
  • Competition
  • Business Model/Revenue Model
  • Marketing/Sales
  • Traction
  • Future Milestones
  • Team

Learn more about writing an executive summary on The Mill’s blog.

CHARLIE EDMONDS, CEO, POCKET

It was an absolute honor to participate in and win the pre-seed finals of the Crossroads Pitch Competition. The process gifted me the ability to learn from amazing judges and participants, immerse myself in the thriving entrepreneurship community in Southern Indiana, and share my world of Pocket Methods, LLC with a wide audience. With the pre-seed funding from Crossroads, I am now accelerating my goals for development, piloting in schools, and gaining much needed legal access. I am filled with gratitude for this opportunity.

KEVIN CELISCA, CEO & COFOUNDER, INTEGRATE SCHOOL

I am deeply honored and incredibly grateful to accept the prestigious Crossroads seed award. The unwavering support extended to us by the Mill and Flywheel Fund for Indiana startups is truly unparalleled and unlike anything I have ever experienced in any other state. My team and I now have the fuel we need to propel our company to new heights. The level of dedication and encouragement we have received from this community is nothing short of inspiring. Their belief in our vision and their willingness to invest in our potential is a testament to the transformative impact our company aims to make.

JAMES DONAHUE, CEO & FOUNDER, REPROHEALTH TECHNOLOGIES

The team at ReproHealth Technologies is proud to have been selected as winners of the Crossroads competition. We are honored to be part of a diverse group of startup companies, all bringing novel innovation to the state of Indiana. We are especially happy that The Mill will be part of our company going forward with its investment. 

ANNA DORRIS, CEO, EVEREWEAR

The support from The Mill and Flywheel Fund for Indiana startups has been incredible to witness, and I am so glad to now be a part of the ecosystem. The cash prize allows for Everewear to further our pre-seed raise and gets us one step closer to moving sustainable fashion forward. 

JESSICA BUSSERT, CEO, WAVE THERAPEUTICS

The Crossroads competition brings in great companies from across the state, and I’m honored to be selected as the winner. We’re working on a life-saving technology to prevent bedsores, and it’s gratifying to know that the judges understand and support the work we’re doing. We’ve been a part of The Mill for several years, and we appreciate the support we get there and from the Indiana business community.

RILEY ELLINGSEN, CEO, HEARSIGHT

We’re proud to have been selected as the winners of the Crossroads pre-seed track, amongst an impressive and diverse group of startups. The feedback we received from each round of the competition was invaluable, and the cash award gets us closer to our target for unlocking our next product development milestone. We’re excited to be one step closer to creating a more accessible world for people who are hard of hearing and/or d/Deaf and incredibly grateful for Crossroads’ support of this mission.

STUART LOWRY, COFOUNDER, ARCTICRX

We are beyond grateful for the opportunity this affords ArcticRx. It’s really satisfying for others to understand the change this product can bring across the globe, and we can’t thank The Mill enough for their part in the future of #VaccineEquity. The Mill has done a tremendous job fostering a spirit of camaraderie in the Hoosier community of entrepreneurs and change makers. We hope all the participants find paths for success.

ELLIE SYMES, CO-FOUNDER, THE BEE CORP

Crossroads Pitch Competition came at a great time. We had just finished our first season deploying the product, and it was great to have this win on the tail end of our product launch. Every company hits an inflection point where they transition from competing in competitions to competing for customers for big checks. Crossroads ended up being the last competition we needed to rocket our company into the competing for customers phase!

JENNIE MOSER, CEO, STAGETIME

I can’t overstate how positively Crossroads changed the trajectory of the end of the year (and the first full year of Stagetime!). The non-dilutive prize money allowed me to move to Stagetime full-time before I had originally planned, and even more importantly, it gave me the confidence and ability to seize the opportunity to bring one of my most valuable contractors onto Stagetime full-time. These two items have changed my day-to-day dramatically — professionally and personally.

JACKSON BOLEK, CEO, UTILIZ

We’re absolutely thrilled, and our team is excited to be developing software that will change how utilities look at their infrastructure. Utilities of all sizes need access to cutting-edge tools at a price point they can afford, and we believe that we’re equipped to deliver those tools later this spring.

 

Judging Criteria

Crossroads is judged by dozens of experts from across the state. Panels of judges are asked to rate each pitch on the following criteria, using this scale:

1 = Poor

2 = Fair

3 = Adequate

4 = Good

5 = Excellent

Market/Customers

  • Clearly defined markets/customers for the product/service are outlined
  • Founders show a clear understanding of the dynamics of the market
  • Founders demonstrate a strategic positioning within the competitive landscape

Financials

  • Assumptions behind financials are sensible
  • It is clear they have a business plan
  • Founders mention any early traction

Team

  • The founder(s) and operating team have a relevant background and expertise
  • Any advisors they are working with are credible and complement the startups

Product/Service

  • Products/services are clearly defined
  • Uniqueness, differentiation, and defensibility of product are demonstrated
  • A comparison to adjacent products is provided
  • Benefits, costs, and potential for growth are included

Scaleability

  • This company has a lucrative and innovative idea and has adopted a profitable and repeatable business model that can grow quickly in the market

Investment

  • As an evaluator, I see a potential for investment in this company
  • It is venture-backable (It has potential to grow rapidly and exponentially, creating significant financial returns for investors)

Presentation

  • The overall quality of the presentation is high