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    VentureCamp Gives New Meaning to “Go Big or Go Home” VentureCamp Gives New Meaning to “Go Big or Go Home”

    VentureCamp Gives New Meaning to “Go Big or Go Home”

VentureCamp Gives New Meaning to “Go Big or Go Home”

VentureCamp has everything an entrepreneur needs from an accelerator: top-notch mentorship a smart cohort a curriculum developed by leading investors Oh…and a mansion. Looks like something out of The Bachelor, right? That’s actually not too far off. Besides building companies and receiving world class mentorship, VentureCamp participants live together in the mansion. And, it’s all being captured on video. VentureCamp obviously isn’t your typical accelerator.   First, rather than accept teams that are already building products, VentureCamp only accepted individuals. And, they focused on women and minorities, groups that are typically left out of the venture capital game. After the first week, the participants were split up into teams, they chose a company, and had 7 weeks to build it out. The whole experience can be likened to Startup Weekend, but on a bigger, grander scale. Second, the whole thing is housed in Indianapolis’s Kessler Mansion, owned by one of the camp’s backers, Chad Folkening. The idea is to give the entrepreneurs an idea of what life could be like, in the event their companies go big. Finally, from morning to night, the whole thing is filmed. Camera crews hang out in all the meetings, strategy sessions, and dinners, capturing the formation of three new companies. The footage will be turned into a “docu-series,” shown first online, but the team hopes to eventually put it on TV. VentureCamp backer and senior advisor Patrick Mellody told USA Today that the film will promote other VentureCamps held around the world. Despite some of the glitz, VentureCamp entrepreneurs have been hard at work for the last 8 weeks. With mentors like Priceline’s Jeff Hoffmann,they receive outstanding feedback on their business models and pitch. And, speaking of pitch, what’s the one thing all […]

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    VentureCamp – A Successful ‘Human Experiment’ VentureCamp – A Successful ‘Human Experiment’

    VentureCamp – A Successful ‘Human Experiment’

VentureCamp – A Successful ‘Human Experiment’

The founders of VentureCamp were unsure what would happen when they stuck 12 tech entrepreneurs in an Indianapolis mansion to work together and form functioning digital startups in only two months. Camp CEO Giadha DeCarcer said she saw it as a “human experiment.” The results, she said, have been largely successful. Three companies launched during the eight-week boot camp, which began in June and was held at the opulently eclectic Kessler Mansion on the Northeastside. Some found the ordeal so stressful that they left only a few weeks into the camp. “Every day it was something new and surprising,” DeCarcer said. “Positive or not.” To wrap up the exhaustive experience, entrepreneurs put on their game faces Thursday and pitched their digital startups to about 10 local investors at the SpeakEasy, a Broad Ripple gathering place for tech professionals. While none of the teams clinched investments the day of the demo, senior adviser and spokesman Patrick Mellody said investors already have started reaching out to the startups. “Since day one their pitches have exponentially changed,” he said. “They’re really prepared to speak to investors now.” After an orientation week of workshops and advice from seasoned business leaders, the participants were thrown into a room and instructed to form their own groups. At that point, most were complete strangers. “It had to be an organic process,” DeCarcer said. “We found out some mornings people had been poached from other teams overnight, and now there were new teams.” The campers also were filmed from sunup to sundown. The footage is being touted to TV channels as a “docue-series,” Mellody said, but without the usual drama of reality television. In the end, four entrepreneurs decided to leave the camp. […]

  • WTHR-NBCLogo
    Kessler Mansion Boot Camp Kessler Mansion Boot Camp

    Kessler Mansion Boot Camp

Kessler Mansion Boot Camp

The Kessler Mansion at 4923 Kessler Blvd. E. Drive has long been a curiosity, ever since the late builder Jerry Hostetler bought a simple ranch some 30 years ago, started adding on and never stopped. 13 WTHR Indianapolis   See original post here : http://www.wthr.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9083094  

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    VentureCamp Co-Founder and C.E.O. featured in Inspirational Woman Magazine VentureCamp Co-Founder and C.E.O. featured in Inspirational Woman Magazine

    VentureCamp Co-Founder and C.E.O. featured in Inspirational Woman Magazine

VentureCamp Co-Founder and C.E.O. featured in Inspirational Woman Magazine

Give us your “elevator speech” – a snapshot of who you are, what you do for a living, and how we should “know” you. Having moved to the US at the age of 16 from an area of the world relatively patriarchal (Italy), and speaking little to no English, I have spent the better part of the last 20 years doing everything possible to leverage the incredible opportunities I was lucky to gain access to when I came to this country. I am now a female entrepreneur looking to continue creating value by promoting entrepreneurship and supporting aspiring entrepreneurs, with a strong emphasis on female entrepreneurs. Please tell us more about your business, what do you do, why did you start it and what are you future plans? My most recent venture, VentureCamp, is a live and work incubator spurring innovation and creating new successful businesses in support of economic growth and entrepreneurial social responsibility. VentureCamp’s unique program encourages participation from aspiring entrepreneurs in traditionally under-served population groups such as women, students, and veterans. VentureCamp also introduces a unique spin to its proposition –an Interactive Docu-Series enabling the public to watch, learn, support, and participate in what I feel is one of today’s most challenging and rewarding journeys to success – Entrepreneurship. The opportunity was presented to me approximately one year ago, and I immediately saw that it would not only allow me to continue working with other female entrepreneurs to launch unique and innovative companies globally, but also help me grow personally by partnering with incredible individuals such as Jeff Hoffman (co-founder of Priceline.com), Karl Mehta (founder of Playspan), and Mike DeLazzer (co-founder of Red-Box) amongst others. The idea is to challenge the traditional […]

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    VentureCamp Featured in Indianapolis Star and USA TODAY VentureCamp Featured in Indianapolis Star and USA TODAY

    VentureCamp Featured in Indianapolis Star and USA TODAY

VentureCamp Featured in Indianapolis Star and USA TODAY

An unusual blend of summer camp and business seminar has a nerdy feel for 12 entrepreneurs. INDIANAPOLIS — A first-of-its-kind boot camp for aspiring tech entrepreneurs, being held at one of Indianapolis’ oddest mansions, finds the campers milling by the swimming pool among life-sized, concrete statues. The talk is of digital start-ups and the name-dropping is thick. In their first week of camp, participants heard from Jeff Hoffman, founder of online travel booking website Priceline.com. This day’s poolside gathering includes the likes of Ekaterina Walter, author of the best-selling book “Think Like Zuck,” about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The mansion setting on the Northeastside of the city is meant to give the class of entrepreneurial students a taste of the life that could be theirs if they just had a bit more start-up savvy. Which is what they are in the midst of learning at “VentureCamp 1.0,” as mansion owner and camp co-organizer Chad Folkening calls his latest business proposition. Folkening, who’s in his early 40s, makes the rounds poolside, sunglasses perched atop his head, chatting with the 12 entrepreneurs picked for the all-expenses-paid camp. “It might fail, it might succeed,” said Folkening, shrugging when asked how the camp is going. A Westfield, Ind., native and Internet domain name and real estate investor who now lives mostly in Florida, Folkening has spent more than $100,000 to put on this unusual blend of summer camp and business seminar with a distinctly nerdy feel. A diverse group of campers was picked from around the country from more than 500 who filled out online applications. Folkening, who’s in his early 40s, makes the rounds poolside, sunglasses perched atop his head, chatting with the 12 entrepreneurs picked for the […]

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    VentureCamp aims to bring tech ideas to reality VentureCamp aims to bring tech ideas to reality

    VentureCamp aims to bring tech ideas to reality

VentureCamp aims to bring tech ideas to reality

INDIANAPOLIS – An Indiana native is combining luxury surroundings with hard work as part of an eight-week camp designed to cultivate the next generation of Midwest tech entrepreneurs. eCorp founder Chad Folkening is using his Indianapolis estate as the base for VentureCamp. It’s described as an incubator where 12 campers will live and work alongside organizers as they launch businesses. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports guest lecturers including Priceline.com co-founder Jeff Hoffman and RedBox movie kiosk co-founder Mike DeLazzer will help coach participants. The inaugural camp kicks off in June at Folkening’s Kessler Mansion. Future camps are already lined up at lavish estates in Arizona, Florida, Texas and Washington, D.C. Full post is found here : http://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/venturecamp-aims-to-bring-tech-ideas-to-reality  

  • IBJ
    Indiana VentureCamp aims to be incubator for tech startups Indiana VentureCamp aims to be incubator for tech startups

    Indiana VentureCamp aims to be incubator for tech startups

Indiana VentureCamp aims to be incubator for tech startups

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana native is combining luxury surroundings with hard work as part of an eight-week camp designed to cultivate the next generation of Midwest tech entrepreneurs. eCorp founder Chad Folkening is using his Indianapolis estate as the base for VentureCamp. It’s described as an incubator where 12 campers will live and work alongside organizers as they launch businesses. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports guest lecturers including Priceline.com co-founder Jeff Hoffman and RedBox movie kiosk co-founder Mike DeLazzer will help coach participants. he inaugural camp kicks off in June at Folkening’s Kessler Mansion. Future camps are already lined up at lavish estates in Arizona, Florida, Texas and Washington, D.C. Information from: Indianapolis Business Journal, http://www.ibj.com Full post is found here : http://www.courier-journal.com/viewart/20130512/NEWS02/305120077/Indiana-VentureCamp-aims-incubator-tech-startups

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    VentureCamp Featured in Forbes VentureCamp Featured in Forbes

    VentureCamp Featured in Forbes

VentureCamp Featured in Forbes

Reality TV and social enterprise. Seem like strange bed fellows. But there’s a new incubator/accelerator/boot camp called VentureCamp trying to mix the two. (Just to be clear, co-founder and CEO Giadha Aguirre de Carcer calls what she’s doing a “docu-series”, not reality TV. More on that later). And May 12 is the last day for entrepreneurs to apply. Part incubator, part accelerator and part documentary, it’s an eight-week boot camp for tech social entrepreneurs or people who, at least, are interested in including sustainability into their m.o. The pilot runs June 3 through July 22, to be held at the Kessler Mansion, a 26,000 square-foot estate in Indianapolis. Later programs will be held in such places as castles in Europe, according to de Carcer. Each program will accept 12 entrepreneurs, who will include “women, veterans or people from third-tier” colleges, according to de Carcer–people who tend to be under-served by the usual accelerator–although it’s open to anyone. They will follow a curriculum meant to take them from idea stage to a final pitch evening for potential investors. The content is different from the usual accelerator, because it’s provided by Stefan Doering of ShiftGroup, a New York City-based venture that provides training for entrepreneurs interested in starting sustainable enterprises. Then there’s the TV show. The proceedings will be filmed and turned into something that “captures the reality of what it takes personally and professionally to launch a business,” says de Carcer. She’s quite emphatic that they won’t be producing a Jersey Shore for Snooki-like entrepreneurial wannabes (which is a concept that kind of makes your head spin). The first phase of the docu-series will be streamed on the Web, along with some games. Next step, they […]

  • VentureCamp as featured in Indiana Business Journal, May 4, 2013. VentureCamp launches June 3 at the Kessler Mansion
    VentureCamp Featured in Indiana Business Journal VentureCamp Featured in Indiana Business Journal

    VentureCamp Featured in Indiana Business Journal

VentureCamp Featured in Indiana Business Journal

VentureCamp as featured in Indiana Business Journal, May 4, 2013. VentureCamp launches June 3 at the Kessler Mansion. See the full post here. http://www.ibj.com/entrepreneurs-vie-for-invites-to-reality-tv-summer-camp/PARAMS/article/41157

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    VentureCamp included in DN Journal The Lowdown VentureCamp included in DN Journal The Lowdown

    VentureCamp included in DN Journal The Lowdown

VentureCamp included in DN Journal The Lowdown

Last year I told you about Chicago.com owner Josh Metnick finding a rich new domain monetization vein by selling Chicago.com email addresses and sub-domains (sold in teh same form as his own identity.chicago.com). Today Metnick announced another major step forward – the signing of a marketing partnership agreement with the Chicago Tribune Media Group. The multi-year deal will bring hundreds of thousands of dotChicago domain names and @Chicago email identities to market in three auction phases. Registration for initial bidding closes on June 25, 2013. Metnick said, “Chicagoans can now upgrade their Yahoo!, Gmail, Hotmail and AOL email address to get an exciting new Chicago.com email address, without needing to change their existing email provider. Additionally, we are proud to donate a portion of the proceeds from the domain name auctions to benefit A Better Chicago” (a non-profit organization that helps many worthy Chicago causes.) Bill Adee, Vice President of Digital Development and Operations at Chicago Tribune Media Group, added, “We see tremendous opportunity in offering Chicago.com’s innovative products to our loyal readers and users. Now, everyone can Josh Metnick, Chicago.com Co-Founder, @Identity LLC own a small, digital piece of the greatest city in the world, while benefiting from a simple, memorable email address or website URL.” Elsewhere, domain industry giant Oversee.net has announced major upgrades to one of their signature developed properties – AirportParking.com. The site provides an easy way for web and mobile users to find and compare rates, features and consumer reviews of money-saving off-site airport parking lots and also book reservations, locking in the rate and a reserved parking spot. AirportParking.com announced new responsive design and navigation elements that enhance the search and booking experience for smartphone users. iPhone owners can […]