Press release

Attention Tech Start-Ups with an Innovative Industrial Product: Industrial Exchange Creates the ‘Industrial Innovation Challenge’ in Which VCs, Operators Evaluate Viability and Merit of New Offerings

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Industrial Exchange, a creator and manager of high-level forums for industrial companies and their stakeholders, has created a unique contest program — the Industrial Innovation Challenge (IIC) — designed to attract and evaluate the best new tech products and services for industrial applications.

The contest program will draw on venture capital leaders from firms including Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Eclipse Ventures, Dynamo, Brighton Park Capital, Tola Capital, Atlas Innovate, Material Impact and Blackhorn Ventures, who will judge the tech presenters on their value proposition, management depth and long-term viability. Also judging will be executives from leading industrial companies, who will assess the problem-solving value of the tech companies’ offerings, said Jon Cooper, CEO and co-founder of Industrial Exchange.

“We’ve created the IE Industrial Innovation Challenge because one of our missions is to identify new tech solutions that actually deliver what they promise,” Mr. Cooper said. “Having VC pros and industrial experts judge the merits of these new programs will give startups real feedback to help them avoid making money-and time-wasting mistakes, while helping industrial operators discover the latest and most viable solutions that can really help them in their businesses.”

Judging criteria will also include an assessment of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, including how the innovative tech products and services may reduce energy consumption or harmful emissions, or, for example, improve worker training and development or increase corporate transparency.

“The Industrial Innovation Challenge presents an opportunity for operators and asset owners to gain exposure to the market’s most cutting-edge technologies with the potential to transform industrial sectors at scale,” Melissa Cheong, one of the IIC judges and Managing Partner of Blackhorn Ventures said.

Presentations by tech companies and analysis and announcement of winners will take place at IndEx 2020, recognized as the premier national event for industrial companies. The conference, managed by Industrial Exchange, will be held April 1-2, 2020 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Fla.

The theme of this year’s conference will be: “Challenges for Industrial America on the cusp of a new decade.” In addition to the start-up presentations, the conference will feature discussions on topics including how politics is trumping economics as a key concern for industrial operators, what’s coming next in industrial automation, how ESG investment is reshaping industrial company operations, why the workforce of the future is here now (and what that means), and creating value in tough times.

Tech start-ups interested in learning more about the IE Industrial Innovation Challenge program should contact Jon Cooper at

Information about IndEx 2020 is available at