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2013 Forty Under 40: Frank Dale

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“I like helping the entrepreneur community here. I like the idea of economic empowerment, and of course our community needs more jobs. I like the idea of contributing to helping people create more jobs while improving the city, and I like watching people realize their dream.”

Age: 35

Entrepreneur in residence, DeveloperTown


Frank Dale has spent most of his career in the entrepreneurial world. Happily.

“If I look at the last three to four places I’ve worked,” he said, “it’s been in industries that didn’t exist 10 years before I showed up.”

Dale, who grew up in Westfield, earned his bachelor’s degree and master of arts from Valparaiso University (where he studied ethics) and an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

After college, he took a one-year job in which he traveled the country teaching values and leadership skills to college kids. Among the lessons he learned was the need to develop broadly applicable skills to give himself options, rather than choosing a specific industry in which to work.

From there, Dale “fell” into software when someone he met while working at a leadership conference offered him a job with a Seattle-based startup called WhatCounts, which provides e-mail and blogging solutions for businesses. “I thought it would be great to learn from the ground up how someone builds a business,” he said.

He moved back to Indiana in 2007, did some consulting work, then joined Compendium, the Indianapolis-based content-marketing company, as vice president of operations at the end of 2009. After becoming president in February 2011, he helped drive Compendium’s client-renewal rate to better than 80 percent.

In January, a new opportunity came along with DeveloperTown, which helps startups get their products to market quicker. Now he’s focused on running and coaching the companies in which his new employer has a significant investment stake.

“I like solving challenging problems,” he said. “So I’ll look at where the gaps are, what I need to learn, then I try to find opportunities that give me a chance to stretch.”

He likes to stretch outside work, too: He and a friend are planning a trip to climb Mount Kilimanjaro later this year.•

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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