Conexus Indiana names Techstars veteran Ryan Henderson Director of Innovation and Digital Transformation

INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 26, 2021) As part of its expanding commitment to support Indiana advanced manufacturing and logistics companies’ adoption of emerging technologies, Conexus Indiana has added to its innovation and digital transformation team and hired Techstars alum Ryan Henderson as director of Innovation and Digital Transformation.

Henderson will work with Conexus Indiana’s Mitch Landess, vice president of Innovation and Digital Transformation, to build on the organization’s successful programs and thought leadership platforms to advance Indiana’s transition to Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is marked by the integration of smart technologies and processes that improve capacity, capability, speed and quality.

“Ryan is passionate about emerging technologies, innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable economic development,” Landess said. “Throughout his career he has strived to propel collaboration and innovation initiatives between industry, startups nonprofits, and the investor community to accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies.”

Conexus Indiana, a nonprofit advanced industry initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), fosters an advanced manufacturing and logistics talent pipeline and provides digital migration pathways for an Industry 4.0 economy. In partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Conexus Indiana’s Innovation and Digital Transformation team has designed, developed and implemented the Manufacturing Readiness Grants program. The program, which provides matching grants of up to $200,000 for companies to modernize their operations by integrating smart technologies, has awarded 84 grants totaling $6.4 million as of December 2020.

As part of its innovation and digital transformation agenda, Conexus Indiana has conducted research to determine Indiana industries’ readiness for technology adoption and hosted events that provide companies exposure and direct access to credible technology solutions. 

Henderson also will support the growth of a vibrant innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the manufacturing sector, leveraging recommendations from the “Assessment of Indiana’s Manufacturing Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem” study.

Henderson comes to Conexus Indiana from the Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars, where he helped 10 hardtech startups grow from early-stage to venture-backed companies. He engaged founders in Techstars’ intensive 3-month accelerator programming, which included working closely with 12 global network partners, the corporate partner (The Heritage Group & Heritage Group Ventures), over 85 mentors and the Techstars associate team.

Before Techstars, Ryan worked at Current, Chicago’s water innovation hub. He helped build demonstration projects and pilots and ran various events to accelerate the adoption of innovative water technologies. Most notably, Ryan supported the development of H2NOW Chicago, a first-of-its-kind pilot project aimed at providing real-time water quality data from the Chicago River to the general public.

Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Eastern Illinois University, and a master’s degree in sustainability management from DePaul University.

About Conexus Indiana

For more than a decade, Conexus Indiana, one of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) non-profit initiatives, has been positioning the Hoosier State as the best place for advanced manufacturing and logistics industries to innovate, invest, employ and succeed. By collaborating with industry, academic and public sector partners on a shared vision for an innovative, skilled workforce and stronger business climate, Conexus Indiana has helped to create opportunities for advanced manufacturing and logistics companies, prepare Hoosiers to succeed in the state’s largest industry sectors and maintain Indiana’s competitive advantage. For more information, go to