NEXT Studios is the the studio by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, with entrepreneurs.

We are a Limited Liability Benefit Corporation (B Corp), partners in working on our own ideas while chartered to lift the entrepreneurial ecosystem. If that mission speaks to you, maybe you might want to be part of our team.

NEXT Partners

Because we believe in building our ecosystem instead of building our payroll, we consider our partners as an integral part of the NEXT Team.

Alignment Growth Strategies

Brandbutter

DemandJump

InGen

Innovatemap

KSM Location Advisors

Outside Source

Porch Light Public Relations

Swan Software

The Storyteller.Agency

Vertex Intelligence

Yitro Consulting

NEXT Leaders

Joe Cudby

Managing Entrepreneur

I have over 20 years of experience in intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial roles.

Originally from England, I have spent the past 25+ years working in technology in Pittsburgh, PA, Washington, D.C. and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana in 2016. 

With a deep technical background, I have worked in and around Cloud (before it was called Cloud), Managed “multi-tenant” Hosting, Professional Services, Product Management and Federal Government Security. 

During my career, I have worked at bootstrapped startups, explosive growth venture funded startups, Private Equity funded scale ups, publicly traded enterprises and the Public Sector where I spent 15 months as CTO with the Indiana State Office Of Technology. 

I am a member of the Indiana Governor’s Executive Council on Cyber Security and I’ve been an active Angel Investor since 2013.

I earned a BA in Business from the UWE, Bristol and a Master of Business Administration from the Smith School at the University of Maryland. I love my wife, 2 adult kids and grandchild, cooking, making bacon, teaching high performance driving and racing cars.  

Tom Kilcoyne

Managing Entrepreneur

I’ve delivered successful exits on five startups over the last twenty years and raised over $100M in capital, so I know what it takes to scale a concept into a growth stage company.

As COO of ClearObject, I 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 leading East Coast private equity firms.

Before that I was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Elevate Ventures, where I helped portfolio companies develop and execute funding strategies, and then helped them create strategic business plans. I was also the co-founder and managing partner of NewRoad Partners, a boutique merger and acquisition advisory firm based in Reston, Virginia, where I helped companies devise capital strategies.

I’ve been a three-time CEO of technology companies, first I was the founding CEO for Simplexity, a communications marketplace that was successfully sold to In Phonic, a publicly traded company. Following that, a venture capital firm selected my team and I to turnaround two portfolio companies. Next, I helped sell Red Creek Communications to SonicWALL, a publicly traded, Silicon Valley company. The following year, my team and I led the sale of Veritect, a Northern Virginia-based security company to Red Siren, a privately held company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I was part of a select team at VeriFone, a leading Silicon Valley payment technology company, that created a new Internet payment system, which we ultimately sold to Hewlett Packard for $1.3B. Before that I was an executive in marketing at MCI, Carnation and Oral-B.

I earned an MBA from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from The University of Colorado at Boulder.

John McDonald

Managing Entrepreneur

I have over twenty years of experience as an entrepreneur, most recently as the founder and CEO of ClearObject, a leading Internet of Things company which successfully exited to private equity in 2019, and at IBM, where I led technical sales for their software development tools brand in New York.

I am a founder and board member of the Indiana Technology & Innovation Association, chairman of the Technology & Innovation Committee of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, a board member of TechPoint, of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and of the Indiana India Business Council. I am also a member of 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.

I graduated from Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, and studied business management, computer science, and meteorology before receiving degrees in Software Development and Computer Information Technology from Purdue University at West Lafayette, where I was also the Student Body Vice President and Treasurer.  I was named Purdue’s Distinguished Technology Alumnus in 2007 and Lawrence North’s Distinguished Alumnus in 2017.

I also serve as a lay minister and Director of Worship Arts at Holy Cross Lutheran in Indianapolis and I authored two history books about Indiana, “Flameout” and “Lost Indianapolis.”

Shelley Klingerman

Founding Entrepreneur

I’m an executive leader with more than two decades of experience in marketing, brand awareness and project management. At the core of my work is my unwavering commitment to leading my firm, Stiletto Agency, as I focus on teaching everyday vigilance, team building and leadership development.

With a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University, I have developed an expertise through my initiatives at the Stiletto Agency as well as the documentary I produced, Terror in American Schools: Are Your Kids Safe?  I frequently speak to groups and train teams looking to increase their situational awareness and provide safety skills for their organization.  In addition, I have opened and sold a women’s boutique, Cocoa Boutique, and co-founded a non-profit for entrepreneurs. 

I most recently served as the Executive Director of Launch Terre Haute, a co-work space and collaborative think tank for business leaders and start-up companies, and also a contract advisor to various startup and legacy companies.

I am the author of Vigilance: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Personal Safety, Self-Protection Measures, and Countermeasures (2019).  

Megan Bearry

Finance and Operations Partner

I’m a true-blue Hoosier and a proud graduate of Indiana University – Bloomington.  While I did leave the state to begin my career in Chicago, my husband and I happily returned to Indiana to raise our family.  I have over 15 years of experience in finance and operations, and my particular passion is helping start-up companies scale. My skills include budget creation and implementation, financial modeling, process creation and obtaining funding over various methods.  I take pride in helping companies start from scratch and guiding them along the path to become successful and profitable.

Prior to Next Studios, I was the Director of Finance at Sigstr (now Terminus) where I gained experience in the SaaS industry and was the point person on the acquisition by Terminus. And prior to that, I was the CFO at Eleven Fifty Academy, a 501c3, where I was in charge of Finance, Operations and HR.  At Eleven Fifty, I gained valuable experience in the non-profit world and quickly learned the ins and outs of all things related to obtaining grant funding.  Before landing at Eleven Fifty I was the Director of Finance at ClearObject.  I started with the company when we were a young start-up, and helped see them through multiple rounds of capital raise, and ultimately,  sale to a private equity firm.

In my downtime, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two children, and our German Shepherds Ruby and Bowie. We are an outdoors family, so you can usually find us on a hiking trail, camping or taking our boat out on a lake. I am also a lover of music, cooking and all things true crime!

Strategic Relationship Partner

Laura Burr

Strategic Relationships Manager

Originally from Ohio, I am a recent graduate of Butler University who is proud to call Indianapolis my new home. My degree in finance and economics has provided me with a business background that I look forward to utilizing in an entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

While in school, I was able to grow a custom apparel business on campus to over $300,000 in sales. My contrasting experience at a large healthcare company and a small VC firm helped me find my passion for the startup community. 

I am excited for the opportunity to collaborate with local entrepreneurs and corporate partners to spark innovation in the Midwest. 

I love spending time hiking cool spots around Indiana, indoor rock climbing, and cheering on the dawgs at Hinkle Fieldhouse!

Keaton Stancato

Creative and Identity Partner

I have worked at multiple companies in Indiana in advertising and marketing. Most recently being ClearObject, where I was responsible for our website, campaigns, social media, events, and identity management. 

I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in advertising with a minor in marketing from Ball State University, chirp chirp! My advertising degree focused on the creative path which led me to graphic design, and overall creative and branding. 

I love planning events, having worked with our corporate business partners for many years at trade shows and creating other opportunities to interact with customers. I also have a deep interest in design thinking and ideation and got certification in Enterprise Design Thinking Practitioner from IBM.

In my spare time, I enjoy exploring with my dog, Maverick, finding all the best food spots around Indy, and drinking wine.  

Video by Free Creative Stuff from Pexels