Press release: 2023 Fuse Award Winners Announced at BragBox Breakfast

The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian:


October 4, 2023

For more information, please contact:

Andy Lehman, Head of Accelerator Programming, [email protected] , 812-679-6140

2023 Fuse Award Winners Announced at BragBox Breakfast

Julie Adams, Ari Vidali named Entrepreneurs of the Year

Bloomington, Ind.—The Mill, Bloomington’s nonprofit center for entrepreneurship, today announced the 2023 Fuse Business Innovation award winners. The Fuse Awards recognize the accomplishments of both companies and individuals in Bloomington’s technology and innovation community.


The nominees and winners were revealed at the gBETA BragBox Breakfast, the kick-off event for the 2023 Innovation Week at The Mill. Attendees included past and current participants in the gBETA accelerator program for startup founders, along with community leaders, entrepreneurs, and Mill members. During the “brag” portion of the morning, entrepreneurs shared stories from their experience launching startups. Later, Logan White, gBETA Program Manager, handed out awards with Andy Lehman, Head of Accelerator Programming at The Mill.

“It might not be very midwestern to brag,” said Pat East, The Mill’s Executive Director, “but it’s important to publicize and celebrate successes. We want to shine a light on the great work local companies are doing, and also to thank the dedicated people and organizations who support The Mill. Together, we’re building Bloomington’s innovation economy.” 

The 2023 Fuse Business Innovation Award winners are:

·      Bill & Gayle Cook Entrepreneur of the Year (tie): Julie Adams and Ari Vidali

·      Mentor of the Year (awarded to an outstanding role model who has advised and encouraged best practices in an early stage company’s growth): Ravi Bhatt

·      Company of the Year (awarded to a company who exemplifies Bloomington’s values while achieving revenue and job growth): SecondSight

·      Rising Star of the Year (awarded to a company with less than ten employees that has laid the foundation for future revenue and job growth): e2e Advising

·      Partner of the Year (awarded to an organization who directly impacts the success of The Mill and its members): Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington

·      Community Leader Supporting Entrepreneurship & Innovation (awarded to an individual who proudly and unapologetically supports The Mill and its members with time, energy, and talent): Tina Peterson

As part of the awards, Mill members vote on the “Newsworthy Event of the Year.” This year’s vote was tied between two stories. The first was the appointment of (Mill member) Erik Coyne as Chancellor of Ivy Tech Bloomington. The second was the agreement between the Redevelopment Commission (RDC) for The Mill to manage the development and marketing of the Trades District and the Tech Center.

The Fuse Awards were founded by the Indiana SBDC (Small Business Development Center) in 2004. The Mill rebooted the awards and has been celebrating the community’s successes since 2017. For a full list of all nominees and winners, visit


About The Mill

The Mill is the heart of southern Indiana’s startup ecosystem and its largest coworking space. A 501(c)3 nonprofit, its mission is to spark Bloomington’s innovation economy by launching and accelerating startups, and its vision is to become Indiana’s center of gravity for entrepreneurship. For more information, visit

Rate this post

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 2 / 5. Vote count: 65

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!