Previous Institutes - Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana
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Cook Institute for Entrepreneurship

The Cook Institute for Entrepreneurship was launched to bring students, area entrepreneurs and community members together to provide a forum to share the vision for the Cook Center and hear from leaders in our entrepreneurship community about the importance of supporting innovation and free enterprise. 

Previous Institutes:


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Tony Moravec, Owner, Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and President of Blairex Laboratories, Inc.

Tony Moravec is the president and chief executive officer of Blairex Laboratories, Inc. in Columbus, Ind.  He is also the president and co-founder of Applied Laboratories, Inc. In addition, Mr. Moravec is the owner of Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum, and a principal in the Upland Brewing Company of Bloomington, Ind. Mr. Moravec earned his Bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and received an honorary degree from Ivy Tech Community College in 2012. In 2009, he received the Company of the Year award from the Columbus Chamber of Commerce for his renovation and restoration of Zaharakos. In 2011, Tony received the Indiana University Bloomington Provost’s Medal. In 2016, Tony was honored by receiving the Presidents Circle Laurel Pin and the Partners in Philanthropy Cornerstone Award from Indiana University. Tony has established scholarships at the Heritage Fund of Bartholomew County, Inc., Indiana University and Ivy Tech Community College.  He is a board member of the National Advisory Board of the IU Eskenazi Art Museum and the Ivy Tech Foundation.


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Angie Hicks, Co-Found and CMO of Angie's List

Angie Hicks is the namesake and co-founder of Angie's List. She has served as the company's Chief Marketing Officer since 2000 and served as the company's President and as a director from 1995 until 1998, when she took a leave of absence to obtain a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. Angie's List has transformed from a small, private, newsletter-inspired enterprise into the leading e-commerce platform in the $400 billion home services marketplace. Ms. Hicks has received multiple accolades for her accomplishments, including being named Distinguished Alumni for Management and Entrepreneurship by DePauw University, where she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Scott Dorsey, Managing Partner at High Alpha, Co-Founder and Former CEO of ExactTarget

Scott serves as Managing Partner of High Alpha, a venture studio. High Alpha conceives, launches and scales enterprise cloud companies. Scott also co founded ExactTarget and led the company from start up to global marketing software leader. ExactTarget went public on the New York Exchange in March of 2012 and sold to in July of 2013 for $2.7 Billion.

Scott is an acclaimed business and civic leader who has earned numerous accolades for his business and civic leadership, including Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, American Business Awards Executive of the Year, TechPoint Trailblazer in Technology, BtoB Magazine‘s Who’s Who List, MS Society Hope Award, two time recipient of the Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash, Central Indiana Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, Indiana Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year, Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty Under 40, Junior Achievement’s Best and Brightest and Indiana University’s Distinguished Entrepreneur Award through the Kelley School of Business. Scott serves on a number of non profit boards including Chairman of the Indiana Sports Corp., Chairman of (former ExactTarget Foundation), Board and Executive Committee member of Techpoint, Dean’s Advisory Board at Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing, Global Advisory Board at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Emeritus Board member at Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.


Matt Ferguson

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Matt Ferguson, CEO, CareerBuilder

Matt Ferguson is the CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. Ferguson took CareerBuilder to the No. 1 position in the online recruitment industry within five years. Working with the nation's top employers on a daily basis, Ferguson is often called upon to provide insights on emerging labor trends, the impact of the economy on the job outlook, and advice for job seekers. He has appeared on CNBC Squawk Box, ABC World News, CBS Evening News, Bloomberg TV, the TODAY Show, and many others. He was named to Crain's Chicago Business "40 Under 40" and ranked in the top ten list of's "Highest Rated CEOs."


Jeff Smulyan

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Jeff Smulyan, CEO, Emmis Communications 

Widely recognized as one of the most visionary leaders in the radio industry, Jeffrey H. Smulyan, serves as Founder and Chairman of the Board of Emmis Communications Corporation, an Indianapolis-based radio and magazine publishing company with operations in eight U.S. markets. In 1994, Smulyan was named by The White House to head the U.S. Delegation to the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunications Union. Smulyan earned a Juris Doctor degree from USC School of Law, and resides in Indianapolis with his family.



KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Patricia R. Miller, Co-Founder, Vera Bradley, Fort Wayne, IN

Indiana entrepreneur Patricia R. Miller, co-founder of Vera Bradley served as the luncheon keynote speaker with her presentation "Be colorful:  unleashing your entrepreneurial spirit."  Patricia discussed Vera Bradley's history as well as some of her advice and lessons learned on business, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.




KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Mickey Maurer, Chairman of the Board of The National Bank of Indianapolis

Michael S. ("Mickey") Maurer's career as an attorney and entrepreneur has included cable television, film production, radio broadcasting, newspaper publishing, real estate and banking.