Innopower Minority Business Week conference kicks off fifth annual event

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Innopower, the annual minority-centered business conference, kicked off Monday. Organizers say it’s a chance to educate and improve resource access to Indy’s diverse business pool.

The event is in its fifth year, growing from a one-day event to one week. Representatives say Indiana is a fertile ground for tech and business cultivation, and they hope this conference adds to it.

Innopower is an opportunity to develop somewhat of a playbook, helping guide entrepreneurs and entrepreneur hopefuls.

“We have an opportunity in Indianapolis today – to accelerate productivity in our Black communities. The way we develop talent we feel that entrepreneurship should be a pathway out of poverty and a pathway to wealth,” said the founder of Innopower, Emil Ekiyor.

For five years, the Innopower Minority Business conference has brought together people from all corners of professional life, from education to workforce development, business investors, and advocates.

The conference focuses on four pillars – Black Competitiveness, Black Talent Development, Black Talent Attraction, and Black Entrepreneurship.

“We all know what’s wrong, and the things we have to fix,” said Ekiyor. “But we feel like we have to get people excited about opportunities. We have to get people feeling like every day, they wake up and have a chance to pursue opportunities.”

Ekiyor welcomed U.S. Senator for Indiana Todd Young to open the event. Young spoke on opportunities and resources already available in Indiana, and what’s still needed to ensure every Hoosier has the ability to realize their dreams.

“It’s really important that our doers and dreamers have an opportunity to become an entrepreneur. To receive the sort of capital we need to grow a business here in Indiana. Before they can do that, (they have) to grow the skill sets that are necessary to add value and create jobs right here in Indiana,” Young said.

Young says a lot of the new job creation we see, comes from new firms, people who are taking their own shot at building a business.

“What Indiana is doing right here through Innopower is essentially a positive antibody that is infecting communities around the country. They are looking at Innopower in this model as they think about how we can get more people creating businesses,” said Young.

The more people in the game, the more success it means for the state.

Based on Innopower’s success in Indiana, leaders in Tampa, Florida have asked them to conduct an Innopower conference there in 2024.