Local Entrepreneur Climbs to Next Level, Wins $80,000 in State Pitch Competition

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Local Entrepreneur Climbs to Next Level, Wins $80,000 in State Pitch Competition

Press Release

Date: 7/20/2022

For Immediate Release

(Vincennes, Indiana)

A local entrepreneur and Pantheon member who received help with his startup idea from The Pantheon has moved on to the next level in a statewide pitch competition. Mike Jacob, and his company American Evidence Management, were selected as one of the Southern Indiana Regional winners in Elevate Ventures State Pitch Competition. The recognition makes them one of just six companies in the state awarded $80,000 in seed money. The investments boost Indiana startups as they create high-growth businesses and jobs across the state.

American Evidence works to help law enforcement manage criminal cases more quickly and efficiently through automation and smart data management. The software suite reduces administrative burdens and preserves evidence in an extremely secure and unalterable fashion. The idea stemmed from software tools that their team created to run a private forensic lab and from observing the negative impact of mishandled criminal evidence.

Jacob first showed promise with his idea after working with The Pantheon in 2021 and validating the concept using tools from the Purdue Foundry Firestarter program. The Firestarter program gives clients the opportunity to explore potential markets, customers, and financial models. Following the Firestarter experience, AEM applied to Purdue Foundry’s Boost Program. The Boost Program is a collaboration among Purdue Foundry and Elevate Ventures. AEM was accepted into the program which provides 10 weeks of interactive training, advice, startup resources, and the opportunity to pitch their idea to venture capitalists and investors from across the U.S.

“The Pantheon, Purdue Foundry, and Elevate Ventures have all been tremendous assets. They have provided us insightful guidance in marshalling resources—many of which they provided,” said Mike Jacob, CEO of American Evidence. “Going down this path with excellent partners has made it much less worrisome than it would otherwise be. There is an acute shortage of law enforcement manpower right now that we can help agencies overcome; it is exciting to be a part of that.”

The Pantheon, whose mission is to help connect entrepreneurs and business throughout Knox County, assisted Mike and the AEM team in refining the business plan for the company. The Pantheon’s Entrepreneur in Residence, Dr. Jason Salstrom of Purdue Foundry said, “Mike and his team are the kind of startup we look forward to working with.

They understand the importance of the tech, the business, and the customer side of the equation, and they are hungry to learn more.” Pantheon CEO, Nichole Like added, “The AEM team is the perfect example of the homegrown innovation and entrepreneurism The Pantheon is designed to help grow and prosper. Mike and his team supplied the ideas and hard work, and The Pantheon supplied best-in-class business resources to help him launch it. We are thrilled for AEM on their success and for our community. New businesses are the best indicator of growth in a local economy, so this is truly a win for Vincennes and Knox County too.”

AEM’s win also makes them eligible to apply to compete for a share of $320,000 during the Elevate Nexus Statewide competition on August 5.

About the Pantheon:

The Pantheon is a storied 1920s styled theater with 15,000 square feet of renovated workspace. The site sits in downtown historical Vincennes, Indiana and is the heart of co-working and entrepreneurship in Knox County. Its mission is to develop resources, services and a community that fosters innovation and help entrepreneurs and businesses prosper in the region. The operations are proudly backed by the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University and the Purdue Research Foundation.

About Elevate Ventures:

Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-growth businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, visit elevateventures.com.

About Purdue Foundry:

Purdue Foundry is a partner of The Pantheon in Vincennes. It’s an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub whose professionals help Purdue innovators create and grow startups. The Purdue Foundry has been involved with creating more than 300 companies. It’s managed by Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. In 2020, IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation.

About American Evidence Management:

AEM is an Indiana-based startup that creates automated process and records management solutions for law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. Visit AmericanEvidence.com for additional information.

Media Contact:

Nichole Like



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