Experience IDEA Week, an Innovation Festival, April 20-29

Published Monday, April 9, 2018

Get ready to celebrate all things innovative and entrepreneurial in the South Bend-Elkhart Region with the first-ever IDEA Week April 20-29! It’s a new kind of Innovation Festival hosting business, technology and entertainment events for all ages to learn, play, meet and compete.

The region is working together to showcase the outstanding minds and creations pushing our region to be part of the national entrepreneurial conversation. The festival, inspired by Austin’s South X Southwest, is for everyone—whether you’re already a successful or budding entrepreneur, student, business professional, young professional or area resident. It will open your eyes to what’s happening right here in the South Bend-Elkhart Region.

Discover your way of experiencing innovation. A total of 52 events—non-entertainment and entertainment—will take place over the 10 days in three locations: Elkhart, South Bend and the University of Notre Dame campus.


Bring an open mind and collide with the ideas of top leaders driving innovation in business and technology. Get insights from Shark Tank's Daymond John, and har the unconventional wisdom of trailer-living millionaire, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. Get bursts of inspiration at TEDx UND, connect with industry disruptors and lean in for advice that will fuel your own inspiration and strategies that will take your ideas to the next level.

Highlights Include:
Driving Entrepreneurship in a Rustbelt City | 4.23
Smart Cities Industry Panel | 4.23  
Starting Your Business Here | 4.23
Keynote with Bill Nye the “Science Guy” | 4.23
How to Fund Your Startup | 4.24
Innovation in Manufacturing Panel | 4.24
1st Source Commercialization Dinner | 4.24
Tech Expo | 4.25
GE’s Patrick Patnode on Intrapreneurship | 4.25
Keynote with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh | 4.25
Using Business as a Force for Good | 4.26
Women & Minorities in Entrepreneurship | 4.26
Keynote with Shark Tank’s Daymond John | 4.26
TEDx UND | 4.28


Jump in for moments of serious play, attending a concert by one of America’s top acts. Listen to chart toppers The Chainsmokers, relax with world-class violinist Itzhak Perlman and laugh along with comedian Gabriel Iglesias.

Highlights Include:
Patti  LuPone | 4.20
Blue Gold Game | 4.21
Maker Faire | 4.22
Gabriel Iglesias | 4.23
The Chainsmokers | 4.27
Robot Football | 4.28
Itzhak Perlman | 4.29


Go out and meet other professionals at the festival. Make friends with other creative thinkers over coffee every morning. Craft connections with business and technology professionals. At the end of the day, kick back and unwind over a drink.

Highlights Include:
IDEAs at Sunrise | 4.23-4.27
Evening Gathering in Elkhart | 4.25
Job Fair | 4.26-4.28
IDEAs After Dark | 4.24-4.26


Think your idea is the next big thing? Debut it at the festival and win thousands in cash at the competition events. Winners just might be demonstrating the next awesome business solution.

Highlights Include:
Thomson Reuters MBA Tech Innovation Challenge | 4.20
McCloskey New Venture Competition | 4.27

All non-entertainment programs are free of charge. The Chamber, Visit South Bend and YPN South Bend have been collaborating with officials on this highly-anticipated new kind of experience. We encourage you to sign up for the events that interest you.

For the complete lineup of all events and registration information, visit idea-week.com.  




1st Source Bank
Barnes & Thornburg
Bradley Company
Crowe Horwath LLP
Key Bank
Lake City Bank
South Bend Clinic & SurgiCenter
South Bend International Airport
Teachers Credit Union
University of Notre Dame