Entrepreneurs seek to bolster Hoosier startup community

February 6, 2013
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Five Indiana startup advocates were in our nation’s capital Tuesday, pitching a plan to bolster the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The representatives of Startup Indiana were scheduled to meet with administration officials to discuss the importance of fostering vibrant startup communities. They were among 11 regional groups there on behalf of Startup America Partnership, a national initiative launched in 2011.

Locals who made the trip were TechPoint President Mike Langellier, DeveloperTown partner Michael Coffey, TinderBox co-founder Dustin Sapp, Verge founder Matt Hunckler and LocalStake co-founder Kevin Hitchen.

They know the topic. Langellier co-founded personal finance software firm MyJibe LLC and sold it last year to Utah-based MoneyDestop for an undisclosed sum. Coffey raised $2.5 million in 60 days and started a niche marketing company. Sapp has been part of three Indianapolis startups. Hitchen aims to help other founders line up private investors. And Hunckler built a 2,000-member network of Indiana entrepreneurs.

Indiana’s plan calls for establishing the state as a hub for “customer development,” the group said in a prepared statement. Broad strategies include attracting Fortune 500 companies, partnering with universities and making corporate connections.

Interested observers who weighed in on TechPoint’s Facebook page had other priorities for “making Indiana the best sandbox for entrepreneurship.” On their wish list: better access to capital, improved transportation infrastructure and help building a base of customers.

What’s your take? What can Indiana do to encourage entrepreneurship? Join the conversation below.
 

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  • Cap money is the key
    I am in the early stages of my start up and it's sucking my personal finances quickly. The key to getting customers is marketing early on. The dollars spent marketing limit what is available for other needs. You always hope the marketing dollars will pay off and bring in customers so you can begin to turn a profit and have money for future marketing needs to draw in more customers and fuel growth. One aspect that would really help is streamlining all the license and permits needed to begin doing business in our state. It seems like every time I turn around there is another form or permit needed everything from federal and state tax to reseller permits, DOT and insurance. All this information is difficult to find, we should do a better job as a state of having it very well documented in one place as to what forms are needed for the different types of businesses. I will make my business successful but not because of this being an easy state to start a business. Ed
  • Startup
    Indiana startups

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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