Columnists

Sweet 16 Set in Indiana Chamber’s Coolest Thing Made in Indiana Contest

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Coolest Thing Made in Indiana tournament is down to the Sweet 16. Public fan voting is now underway in those matchups, with companies representing 15 communities from around the state.

The Coolest Thing Made in Indiana contest, which celebrates the state’s rich manufacturing history, is sponsored by MCM CPAs & Advisors. Online voting for the competition takes place at www.indianachamber.com/coolestthing. Voting for the Sweet 16 round ends January 30.

In the single-elimination bracket, each winner goes to the next round until the Coolest Thing Made in Indiana champion is crowned. The competition started with 65 companies from nearly 50 locations in 35 counties.

With thousands of votes cast in each round-of-32 matchup, two of the battles were decided by less than 25 votes, notes the Indiana Chamber.

“We encourage the remaining entrants to continue to get the word out to their employees, customers and partners, to local media and on their social media accounts to rally support for their product. A little extra effort may make the difference in moving on to the next round,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar.

The Sweet 16 field is comprised of the following manufacturers, listed with the product entered and their location:

  • Anchor Industries – fire shelters (Evansville)
  • Birthday Chocolates – birthday chocolate candy (Greens Fork)
  • ChefsFridge Co. – ArcticRx, #VaccinEquity in a box (Anderson)
  • Coal Iron Works – forging presses (Anderson)        
  • Glass Gripper – glass gripper (Decatur)      
  • Hoosier Bat Co. – wood baseball bats used in Major League Baseball (Valparaiso)
  • Hudson Aquatic Systems LLC – underwater treadmills for dogs, horses and humans (Angola)
  • Janus Motorcycles – production motorcycle (Goshen)
  • Lafayette Instrument Co. – LX6 polygraph instrument (Lafayette)
  • Old 55 Distillery – bottled-in-bond 100% sweet corn bourbon (Newtown)
  • Trek Container Pools – shipping container pools (Anderson)         
  • Valeo Thermal Commercial Vehicles – UV purifier (Elkhart)
  • Wag’n Tails Mobile Conversions – mobile pet grooming salons and veterinary clinics (South Bend)
  • Warm Glow Candle Company – candles (Centerville)
  • Wheelin’ Water – portable hydration sports equipment; used by Kansas City Chiefs (Fort Wayne)
  • Wood-Mizer – portable sawmills; various uses include building houses and making baseball bats (Batesville and Indianapolis)

Learn more about each product at www.indianachamber.com/coolestthing.

Anderson has three companies left in the contest – the only city with more than one. Elkhart County and Wayne County both have two remaining contenders.

Voting for the third round concludes on Sunday, January 30 and overall on February 14. The timeline of future voting periods:

Round 4: Week of January 31

Semis: February 7-9

Finals: February 10-14

The champion will be announced February 15 at the Indiana Chamber’s Chamber Day Event at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis.

Entry in the tournament is free. To participate, a company did not need to be headquartered in Indiana, but the product entered must be manufactured in the state. Companies are limited to having one product nominated for entry. Per the Indiana Chamber, the initial matchups were generated via an online randomizer for fairness.