City of Muncie and Ball State Collaboration Making a Real Impact

Mike Martin is pictured leading a class. Photo providedMike Martin is pictured leading a class. Photo provided

By Impact X—

MUNCIE, IN—After two years, and four community classes, the Impact X Community Class collaboration between the City of Muncie and Ball State University is making a real impact in the Muncie community.

There have been nine businesses launched after completing the class, and the Ball State University Miller College of Business is looking to possibly expand the program to the student entrepreneurship program. The program was started at The College of Charleston School of Business in Charleston, SC, and has become the number one major in that college.

Over one hundred Muncie residents have taken the class, which is free to the community thanks to the City of Muncie. At the College of Charleston, where the community class has been going for ten years now, over eight hundred people have taken the class. That is where local musician and entrepreneur Mike Martin, who teaches the class hosted by the Ball StateEntrepreneurial Leadership Institute, took the class and met the founder of In Place Impact, Stuart Williams. “The passion that this class has ignited in people that they really can make a difference is so inspiring,” said Martin, “That’s why I continue to volunteer to teach it.”

On Thursday April 18th, the Ball State Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute will host the second annual Ball State Impact Day where they will showcase Impact X participants who are leading community initiatives. Impact Day is designed to bring together government, education, non-profit, and business leaders to listen and learn from the community about the help they need to bring their community oriented solutions to life. “The Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute’s purpose is always to empower entrepreneurial behavior and pursuit of opportunity,” said Candy Dodd, Associate Director of External Programs at the Institute. “Along with my personal mission to impact and empower others, it only makes sense for us to be a partner in this program.”

This year’s Impact X speakers include Jeff Hansard, head of probation for Delaware County, for his MyCap idea designed to help empower community members going through the criminal justice system; Jasmine Taylor, who created the Youth Entrepreneur Launchpad; and Tanya Shaneyfelt, who created a non-profit financial literacy program designed to help break generational cycles of poverty. There is also a meet and greet showcase prior to the celebration which allows class graduates to share their project ideas and answer community questions about their plans. Ultimately the goal is to help find other like minded individuals who share the same passion for their particular projects.

Impact Day is free to the public and will be held at the Ball State University Alumni Center. This town hall style event brings together the community in a spirit of learning and collaboration. The Ball State Miller College of Business has committed to being a community partner for Muncie, and has been bringing leaders like Jens Molbak, the founder of Coinstar, to Muncie to help focus on the Tri-Sector business models that bring together the resources of government, social, and business sectors to tackle society’s pressing problems.

Jens’ company New Impact is currently working with Denver County to address food insecurity using a utilities style business model. “We’re excited to see what kind of things can be implemented here in Muncie and Delaware County with the new collaboration opportunities that have been started with the city and Ball State through the Muncie Impact Program,” said Mayor Dan Ridenour.

The City of Muncie and the Ball State Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute invites the community to learn and share feedback with them on April 18th at the Ball State Alumni Center.

The event is free, but they ask that you pre-register as a reception will be held following the event. To register go to this link.

This is the second town hall that In Place Impact Muncie has held this year. “The goal is to truly have a community voice in the conversation,” said Mike Martin. “Too often these conversations are top down and the solution is told to the community that it will serve. Solutions actually originate in the community that they are intended to serve. That’s what makes Impact Different.”