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Fishers weighing deal to land high-potential startup

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A Colorado-based startup is poised to move its headquarters to Fishers, where it plans to open a lighting-production facility in the former Diamond Foods plant on Exit 5 Parkway near Interstate 69.

VoxLumen Corp. says it has developed lighting that requires less energy than existing LED technology, and the company is in the process of acquiring an area sign maker that will put the “illuminated material” to use.

The unidentified sign company would move its 85 employees to Fishers by mid-May under the terms of a proposed economic development agreement with the town. It also calls for VoxLumen’s local operation to employ at least 168 workers (making at least $24 an hour) by May 15, 2018.

VoxLumen would spend $12 million on equipment and building improvements, according to the proposed deal.

The first $1 million would trigger an $800,000 contribution from Fishers—part of the proceeds from $10 million in industrial revenue bonds the town would help the company secure.

Fishers plans to use tax revenue generated by the project to repay its portion of the bonds. VoxLumen would be on the hook for the remainder.

Members of the Fishers Town Council were scheduled to vote on the incentive package Monday, but the meeting was postponed because of weather.

Town Manager Scott Fadness called the VoxLumen deal "small, but potentially quite significant.”

“We’re pretty excited about this one,” Fadness told IBJ last week. “It fits into the entrepreneurial city we’re developing: a new, innovative, high-tech, high-growth enterprise married to an established company. It’s the best of both worlds.”

VoxLumen has two employees now: CEO Steve Ramos, a former IBM executive who lives in Fishers, and Chief Financial Officer John Bielefeld, who held a similar position at Marsh Supermarkets.

The 160,000-square-foot building at 11899 Exit 5 Parkway has been vacant since California-based Diamond Foods closed its 100-employee plant in early 2013. VoxLumen plans to sublease the space for at least six years.

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  • Vox Lumen is a scam company
    I hope you guys know that Vox Lumen is a huge scam company and that William Lindsey has left a wake of destruction and crime behind him in Littleton, Colorado. He is a criminal and there are enough people that are willing to expose him that he will eventually end up in Jail. He passes off products as his own meanwhile you can find the real products that he passes off as his own on the internet. William Lindsey is a con artist.
  • $800,000 in grants?
    I agree with Alan that giving away $800,000 to an unproven, two-employee business is extremely risky. Again, I like the concept of Launch Fishers and the town (and Fadness) have been pushing it's success even within the first year. So I am asking myself if giving away $800,000 to two people based on a promise is a great idea then what the alternative of breaking that $800,000 into a bunch of smaller grants handed out to potential businesses that are working through Launch Fishers? There could be a contest, a process put in place, to reward eight businesses $100,000 each as seed money to get started. Or break it down further and give 16 companies $50,000. Granted, this lighting business has a high upside potential, but like any investment that promises great rewards comes great risks. If this money is promised I will not be surprised if we never hear from this company again. This just looks too risky to me.
  • Fadness does it again
    I think it would be great if Larry Lannan, Andrea Davis , and Nancy Edwards would at least find one opposing view point. How Fadness has any credibility after the tax fiasco is beyond belief. Fadness lobbied and pushed for a tax increase for Fishers residents. When opposed he crawled back into his hole and would not state his position on the tax increase. Hey Fadness that's not leadership. What that is you showing your true colors. You are nothing more than a bully and when confronted like a bully you hid. Where is all of this tax money that Fadness is just so freely giving away coming from? I know there have been an increase of building permits, but to the extent of giving away close to 13 million dollars? While on paper this business seems like a good idea, but how long will it take for this company to turn a profit. The article above states VoxLuman only has two employees. Is it really wise to give a company of two people 800,000 dollars? Has this company even turned a profit yet? As we have seen with other green technology's they are not always successful. Where will the money come from to pay back these tax dollars if this company goes belly up? I understand the Town Council is in a tough spot with Fadness because no great candidate will take his position for less than a year. I think the Town Council should put Fadness on a short lease before Fishers goes the way of Fadness's family potato farm. It is time for Fadness to grow up and realize he is not in college any more and the fiscal irresponsibility he is undertaking to finance his buddies start ups will end up costing tax payers in the long run.
    • Rail?
      Rail? I think you have the wrong article. What does rail have to with a lighting company? As for the article, is this the secret deal Faultless and company were throwing around like a carrot on a stick in their effort to get a new food & beverage tax passed? This whole thing wreaks of cronyism to me. I don't know the players, but a company that hasn't even produced a product and has only two employees will be the recipient of $800,000 of Fishers tax payer money? I like Launch Fishers for it's forward thinking approach to creating new businesses, but this looks like Fishers is trying to get into the venture capital business too? I hope our town councilors think hard about this before they go committing so much money to a what could be called a crap shoot.
    • Perfect time for rail
      If the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority is on top of this at all, this would give them an opportunity to reopen the railroad, that runs through Fishers, to either Norfolk Southern, on the north end, or CSX, who operates the Belt, which, in the past, has been the route freight was able to access the stretch of railroad, that currently is land locked. In other words, NS removed their diamond interchange approximately fourteen years, in Tipton, though the land remains available. On the south end of this line, which stops at 22nd St., CSX pulled their access interchange approximately seven years ago, but once again, the track is still there, but needs good reason to reconnect this line to the Beltway of Indianapolis, Once this is secured, the railroad could begin moving freight on this line, and the next step would be the commuter service, which needs approximately one mile of track and a bridge to reconnect to Union Station. It would breathe live into an area that has been stagnating for several years. Currently, the track is only used for the Fairtrain, and excursions from Noblesville to Tipton, on the summer weekends. If this state is going to see the kind of growth it so desperately needs right now, to keep people here in the state, and attract business' such as this one, the governor, mayors, and those receiving salaries, for the development of Hamilton and Marion Counties. The state and federal government has already poured millions on track upgrades, crossings and new signals, and study after study, showing support for the line, both as a commuter service, and as a shipper of freight, that once kept the railroad thriving. With the return of industry, and an active commuter rail line into Indianapolis, this area might still be salvageable. Without it, the trend of moving or relocating seems imminent.

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