Press release: Bloomington Combine Conference returns April 7-8 with live drone light show in Trades District

The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian Monday:

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Betsy Trotzke

[email protected]


Bloomington Combine Conference returns April 7-8 with live drone light show in Trades District

Families and the community invited to enjoy the immersive light experience featuring 75 aerial drones

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.: After a 2-year hiatus, The Combine Conference returns April 7-8 for an in-person event celebrating Midwest creativity, community, capital, culture, and code. The 2022 event will be held April 7-8, 2022, at the Mill, Bloomington’s center for coworking and entrepreneurship.

In addition to a ticketed conference featuring presenters on technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship trends, this year’s Combine will include a free public immersive drone light show on Friday. Individuals and families are encouraged to arrive early, grab a good viewing spot, and explore the Startup Showcase while awaiting the light show.

Screen Shot 2022-03-21 at 9.36.42 PM.png

 “The Combine is back, and what better way to celebrate creativity, innovation, and technology than with 75 aerial drones,” said organizer Mike Trotzke. “Thanks to the support of our sponsors, we can invite everyone, whether they can make it to the conference or not, to enjoy the drone show. It’s a fully customized show, featuring artwork and animations unique to the Combine, Bloomington, and Indiana.”

Since launching in 2010, The Combine has become a critical touchpoint for the rapidly growing Midwest startup community, connecting hundreds of innovators, creators, and investors. An annual nonprofit, volunteer-run event, the goal is to be a catalyst for creators, builders, and doers to discover new business and technology ideas.


 This year’s single-stage speaking event will include an eclectic mix of presenters on topics including startup exits in the region, blockchain technology, raising capital, elevating under-represented startups, and what’s next for our region’s innovation ecosystem.

Some of the speakers include: 

  • Mark Achler, Managing Director MATH Venture Partners and author of Exit Right
  • Michelle Cole, COO of Acadis
  • Brad Wisler, Founder Periodic
  • Ganesh Gandhieswaran, CEO Coversight AI
  • Jennie Moser, CEO Stagetime
  • Adam Quirk, Co-founder of Cardinal Spirits
  • Sheldon Trotman, EIR devlabs

Tickets for the Combine are $49 and include lunch and a copy of Mark Achler’s new book, “Exit Right.” Purchase tickets at: All are welcome to attend the Startup Showcase, starting at 8:00 p.m., which will include demos and founders from approximately 15 regional startups. Following the Showcase, the immersive drone show produced by Sky Elements Drone Shows will be visible from the grassy areas west of the Mill near Maker’s Way, starting at approximately 9 p.m.

About Sky Elements Drone Shows

Sky Elements has deployed drone shows in skies and events throughout the U.S., including Super Bowl LIII, the 2021 Dallas Over The Top NYE celebration, Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheater, and Oakland Athletics Stadium. Shows produced by Sky Elements are eco-friendly, with pilots utilizing solar generators to power equipment where needed. All shows are produced in accordance with all FAA requirements with safety inspections to protect audiences and nearby properties. For more information:

About the Combine

The Combine is a nonprofit, volunteer-run conference in Bloomington, Indiana, that began in 2010. The event objective is to see what can be “harvested” from diverse groups coming together—new businesses, community initiatives, and partnerships. Past attendees and speakers have included Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Backstage Capital founder Arlan Hamilton, Orange Fund’s Ben Huh, podcaster Merlin Mann, GitHub co-founder Chris Wanstrath, and Internet cat sensation Lil Bub. The Combine is a project of the Humanetrix Foundation, Inc., a passionate group of entrepreneurial techies looking to connect innovators across the Midwest by supporting the development of public interest technology tools and providing educational opportunities for technologists. For more information about the conference, visit”

Rate this post

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 1 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Bloomingtonian on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!