The Indy Startup Challenge started as an idea by Kelly Schwedland and Joe Albano to bring world class startup tools to local companies.


Our mission is simple, to teach Indiana founders how to practice the best in class startup methodologies that are now commonplace in many startup hubs throughout the country in order to create a wave of lasting startups throughout Indiana.


Think of it as the opposite of a business plan competition. Instead of creating huge documents and proformas, you will create minimum viable products, validated learning and pivots. The Indy Startup Challenge is based on; the Lean Startup by Eric Ries, The Startup Owners Manual by Steve Blank and the Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder. (The lean in lean startup comes from lean manufacturing and doesn’t mean cheap.)



Kelly Schwedland


Kelly Schwedland currently serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Elevate Ventures. His responsibilities include mentoring portfolio company leadership, and sourcing and evaluating new investment opportunities with a focus on B2B and SaaS companies.


He served as the Director of Elevate’s TechFoundry Startup Accelerator and is certified in Steve Blanks Lean Launchpad methodologies for Accelerators. His comprehensive background spans a multitude of industries that have included manufacturing, information technology, financial, business services and others.


Kelly has worked on over 30 Startups, two Angel-backed companies, three companies with exits, invested in several startups, was part of an INC 500 company, grown a company to over $200 Million, and on innumerable occasions... failed!


Kelly earned a Bachelor's Degree in management from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business and an MBA in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. In addition to his many career highlights, Kelly is certified as a Senior E-Myth Business Consultant and received the Growth 100 Award from Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

Joe Albano


Dr. Joe Albano is the founding principal of Logika International, LLC where he works with entrepreneurs and business professionals to start, sustain, and scale their businesses and careers.  


After a long and successful corporate career, Joe noticed that the basic nature of work and the workplace was changing--climbing the traditional corporate ladder to a secure career is no longer a viable option for many people. Looking deeper into this challenge, he discovered a fundamental shift from a workforce based in employee thinking to one based in entrepreneurial thinking: entrepreneurial thinking is the only successful path forward.


Joe works with professionals at all levels to define the future of work - moving beyond the “employee mindset” to find meaningful and productive work in the post-job economy. He also coaches business professionals to manage their career decision-making assuring that high-performing professionals are always working at their highest and best purpose.


Joe’s educational background includes a master’s in business and a PhD in organizational psychology. Since Logika’s inception, Joe has advised thousands of executives including more than half of the companies that make up the DJI. He specializes in building leadership capabilities to persevere through challenging business pivots to meet the demands of scaling businesses.