Seasoned Entrepreneurs Creating Robust Portfolio Focusing on Digital Transformation in Traditional Industries

INDIANAPOLIS/TERRE HAUTE, IN – Four Indiana entrepreneurs with extensive experience in technology startups have partnered to launch NEXT Studios, the Midwest’s newest venture studio, designed by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, with entrepreneurs. 

The Indianapolis-based Studio, comprised of Joseph Cudby, Tom Kilcoyne, Shelley Klingerman and John McDonald, will help visionaries shape their ideas, craft them through a repeatable process, and move them forward with capital and talent.As a Benefits (B) Corporation, the Studio will use a portion of the proceeds from operations to reduce or eliminate Studio costs for startup companies.

At the heart of the Studio is a customizable, repeatable process which is designed to reduce risk for investors, encouraging them to participate in our innovation economy. For entrepreneurs, the process helps them avoid common problems and speed their innovations to market.  

“We are amazed at the capabilities of the founders of our initial portfolio companies, and honored they have selected us to help them craft their dreams into reality,” said Klingerman, who most recently served as executive director of Launch Terre Haute. “We are moving the needle by supporting a diverse group of founders in areas of our state that have traditionally been outside the mainstream of the technology economy.”

NEXT Studios will operate from co-working spaces across Indiana. As new innovations can come from anywhere, the Studio will enable visionaries from all parts of our State develop their ideas, and fuel them with talent and capital in their own local communities.

“The Studio helps visionaries move their ideas into products and products into companies,” said Cudby, who was most recently the chief technology officer for the State of Indiana. “Visionaries aren’t limited to startups, and neither is the Studio: we intend to help corporations bring their innovations to market, too.”

To learn more about NEXT Studios, visit the website at or contact Shelley Klingerman, managing entrepreneur, at

About NEXT Studios

Founded in 2020, NEXT Studios is a venture studio that is a partnership of experienced entrepreneurs who help visionaries share their ideas, craft them through a repeatable process, and move them forward with capital and talent.  The studio will work with entrepreneurs across the state to move their ideas into products and their products into companies.  The studio will use a proven process to reduce the risk for investors and encourage more local investors to get involved in our local innovation economy.

About Joe Cudby, managing partner, NEXT Studios 

Joe Cudby has over 20 years of experience in intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial roles. Originally from England, Cudby has spent over 25 years working in technology in Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C. and moved to Indianapolis in 2016. 

With a deep technical background, Cudby has worked in and around Cloud, managed “multi-tenant” hosting, professional services, product management and federal government security. 

During his career, Cudby worked at bootstrapped startups, explosive growth venture funded startups, private equity funded scale ups, publicly traded enterprises and the public sector where he spent 15 months as CTO with the Indiana State Office Of Technology. 

Cudby is a member of the Indiana Governor’s Executive Council on Cyber Security and has been an active angel investor since 2013.

About Tom Kilcoyne, managing partner, NEXT Studios

Tom Kilcoyne has delivered successful exits on five startups over the last 20 years and raised over $100M in capital.

As former COO of ClearObject, Kilcoyne helped grow their managed services business and support the growth of the company into a leader in the Internet of Things, before helping to sell the company to two private equity firms in 2019.

Prior to his work at ClearObject, Kilcoyne was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Elevate Ventures, where he helped portfolio companies develop and execute funding strategies and create strategic business plans. He was also the co-founder and managing partner of NewRoad Partners, a boutique merger and acquisition advisory firm based in Reston, Va., where he helped companies devise capital strategies.

Additionally, Kilcoyne is a three-time CEO of technology companies, including Simplexity, a communications marketplace that was successfully sold to In Phonic, a publicly traded company; Red Creek Communications, a company he helped sell to SonicWALL; and Veritect, a security company to Red Siren, a privately held company based in Pittsburgh.

Kilcoyne was part of a select team at VeriFone, a leading Silicon Valley payment technology company, that created a new internet payment system, which was sold to Hewlett Packard for $1.3B. 

About Shelley Klingerman, managing partner, NEXT Studios

Shelley Klingerman is an executive leader with more than two decades of experience in marketing, brand awareness and project management. In addition to her work with NEXT Studios, Klingerman leads Stiletto Agency, a firm she founded that focuses on teaching everyday vigilance, team building and leadership development.

Klingerman has developed an expertise through her initiatives at the Stiletto Agency as well as the documentary she produced, “Terror in American Schools: Are Your Kids Safe?” and author of “Vigilance: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Personal Safety, Self-Protection Measures and Countermeasures.”

She frequently speaks to groups and train teams looking to increase their situational awareness and provide safety skills for organizations.  In addition, she has opened and sold a women’s boutique, Cocoa Boutique, and co-founded a non-profit for entrepreneurs. 

Klingerman was a founder and most recently served as executive director of Launch Terre Haute, a co-work space and collaborative think tank for business leaders and start-up companies. She is also a contract advisor to various startup and legacy companies.

About John McDonald, managing partner, NEXT Studios

John McDonald is founder and chief evangelist at ClearObject, Indiana’s leading Internet of Things company. McDonald has over 20 years of experience as both an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur.

He is a founder and board member of the Indiana Technology & Innovation Association; chairman of the Technology & Innovation Committee of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce; and a board member of TechPoint, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and the Indiana India Business Council. 

Furthermore, McDonald is a member of the IBM PartnerWorld Global Business Partner Advisory Council, the Social Enterprise Alliance, the advisory council for Hamilton Southeastern Schools, the Workforce Alignment council of Ivy Tech Community College, and the Dean’s Council for the Purdue Polytechnic and President’s Club at Purdue University.

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Media Contact: Jennifer Chan, Porch Light PR; 317.490.3770

One Comment

  1. Soo impressive, what a great team. Congrats!! Joe, Shelly, John and team!!

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