Small Business

Dog walker throws leash around new careerRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Emily Groen
Amanda Briggs weaves in and out of the bustling lunch crowd in downtown Indianapolis, keeping a close eye on her canine clients Griffen and Isabella. Briggs, 25, continues her walk through the busy streets, heading to the American Legion Mall and some much-needed grass. Such is the life of a professional dog walker and pet sitter.
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Fine arts programs prepare students for real world: Artists taught how to deal with galleries, market workRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Most fine arts students used to exist in a bubble-running to class in paint-splattered clothing and practically living in their studios, channeling their muse and honing their craft. Once they graduated, those who were driven enough to try to make a living off their talent still had a lot to learn about running a business. But now many universities are doing more to make sure art students graduate with the business skills they need. Local photographer Ginny Taylor Rosner graduated...
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PROFILE: Roundpeg: Narrowing its focus helped Roundpeg find the right hole Networking also makes a difference for marketing firmRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Marc D.
Roundpeg Narrowing its focus helped Roundpeg find the right hole Networking also makes a difference for marketing firm Lorraine Ball is a human energy bar who seems to have more ideas than there are minutes in a day. She left her job as vice president of creative services for Conseco Inc. in early 2002 to start her own business focusing on team building and strategic planning for large companies-only to discover that in the post-9/11 world, big companies weren't investing...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Is your Web site a cost or an investment?Restricted Content

October 29, 2007
Tim Altom
I don't particularly like to shop, but I like seeing how other people shop, especially online. There are always so many surprises. Of course, the big research is in e-commerce, where buyers spend money online. Studies show the number of people willing to buy online is growing steadily. The Census Bureau shows a consistently upward trendline through August 2007 (www.census.gov/mrts/www/ecomm.html). Most experts seem to believe that not only are more people throwing down their plastic electronically, but established shoppers are...
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Feds OK women's biz centers: Program wins affiliation with SBA; details on set up, funding to comeRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
After a 19-year run as a pilot program, a national initiative aimed at helping women start businesses finally has earned a seal of approval from the federal government. As an official U.S. Small Business Administration program, the Women's Business Center concept gains the stability that supporters had been seeking for nearly two decades. And that's good news for women like Krista Bermeo, an Indianapolis artist who makes melted glass jewelry in her namesake Fountain Square studio. Bermeo sought help from...
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Clinton's 401(k) proposal receiving mixed reviews: Experts disagree on whether plan can spur savingsRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Scott Olson
Republican presidential candidate Herbert Hoover promised a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage, leading everyone to believe they would be prosperous under his administration. Fast-forward 80 years and a candidate from the other side of the aisle, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., is offering an incentive more fitting for the new millennium: a match on workers' 401(k) contributions. Time will tell whether Clinton becomes president and ultimately fulfills the pledge, but what prompted it is Americans' reluctance...
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Pizza parlor, dog groomer among those going mobileRestricted Content

October 15, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Neighborhood Pizza, which operates out of the back of a souped-up box truck equipped with a pizza oven and other necessities, is among a growing number of startups that are hitting the road--literally.
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PEOs bouncing back following shakeout: Professional employer organizations enjoying growth as companies seek better ways to manage benefitsRestricted Content

October 8, 2007
Scott Olson
Even though Sentelligence Inc. in Noblesville has only five employees, the tiny tech firm offers an appealing benefits package rivaling that of a large corporation. The designer of diagnostic sensing devices for diesel engines has not discovered the Holy Grail of human resources. Rather, it's using what's known as a professional employer organization. Companies contract with PEOs to handle all the headaches of human resources, including payroll, payroll taxes, Worker's Compensation claims, health plans, and other employee benefits, not to...
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Leader Corporation of Indiana: Chasing the American dream Couple dives into deep end from the startRestricted Content

October 1, 2007
Marc D.
Couple dives into deep end from the start Tom Foreman had worked for other contractors, but in 1993 he decided the time was right for him and his wife, Donna, to start their own business. So they founded Leader Corporation of Indiana, which provides control systems (think temperature controls, security and automation systems) for commercial and institutional customers such as Lucas Oil Stadium, the Conrad Indianapolis hotel and the Pendleton Correctional Facility. He was 53 at the time. Donna was...
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Health care fix may wait for '08: But other federal bills important to small business are making headwayRestricted Content

September 24, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
That's not what many NFIB members wanted to hear. "I've been a member of [the advocacy group] since 1985, and since 1985 the top issue has been health care that is affordable for businesses and employees," said Barbara Quandt of Indianapolis-based Quality Environmental Professionals Inc. The firm's health insurance costs increased by 33 percent in 2007, and Quandt said company leaders are "quaking" with dread over what will happen in 2008. QEPI covers 75 percent of insurance costs for its...
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Home entrepreneurs test child-care watersRestricted Content

September 24, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Motherhood is a common path to the home-based child care business, but more childless women looking for self-employment options also are getting into the field. Nearly 3,000 Indiana child-care providers are licensed to provide services in their homes--including 469 in Marion County.
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PROFILE: Lumasis.com: Finding its niche Focus on small business pays off for Web design firmRestricted Content

September 17, 2007
Della Pacheco
Lumasis.comFinding its niche Focus on small business pays off for Web design firm When Zionsville native Jamie Brown graduated from Purdue in 1995, most consumers were still in the dark about the possibilities the Internet could offer. Having been immersed in the Web while studying electrical engineering technology at Purdue, Brown linked up with a local Internet provider and started his first company, Computer Specialists. In 1997, the business morphed into Lumasis, a full-service Web site design and hosting company...
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BRIAN WILLIAMS: Indiana needs to get energy-wiseRestricted Content

September 10, 2007
As the 14th-mostpopulous state in the union, Indiana generates a gross state product that is 16th-largest of the 50 states. Unfortunately, despite significant investments in equipment and processes by manufacturers and public-policy efforts to encourage the attraction and growth of knowledgeand technology-focused industries, our economy remains energy-inefficient. In 2003, Indiana was the country's sixthlargest consumer of energy per capita, according to the Indiana Energy Report. Ninety-seven percent of Indiana's electricity is generated by coal. Indiana is the fifthlargest emitter of...
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MICKEY MAURER: No gala, but a glorious grand openingRestricted Content

September 10, 2007
In 2006, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. closed almost 200 transactions. Many recipients of the IEDC largess marked the opening of their job-creation activities with hightech galas featuring products rolling down gangways accompanied by the applause of dignitaries and well-wishers. Recognizing that attendance at these ceremonies was not an efficient use of time, the IEDC adopted the mantra, "We don't cut ribbons, we just cut deals." With rare exception, ribbon-cutting was left to the politicians. Last month, I participated in...
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LESSONS LEARNED ALBERT RENE TREVINO Owner, Rene's Bakery:Restricted Content

August 27, 2007
-Tammy Lieber
LESSONS LEARNED ALBERT RENE TREVINO Owner, Rene's Bakery As most entrepreneurs can attest, the process of running a small business includes facing plenty of challenges. But viewing those potential obstacles as opportunities has helped Albert Rene Trevino build Rene's Bakery Inc. into a growing enterprise with a solid reputation. One of his biggest trials was getting the doors to his Broad Ripple shop open. Trevino had just parted ways with a former employer in 2004 when he stopped by the...
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Small biz tax bills rising, too: Extra expense narrows marginsRestricted Content

August 27, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Area homeowners weren't the only ones to get a shock when they opened their 2007 tax bills. Some small-business owners also saw their bills skyrocket-putting a strain on entrepreneurs who often operate on razor-thin margins. "It's catastrophic for some businesses," said Kevin Hughes, state director for the National Federation of Independent Business's Indiana chapter. Mike Hutson, owner of Westfield Lighting Co., certainly feels the pain. The bill on his commercial property-several acres and a 22,500-square-foot building-increased from $42,000 in 2006...
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An update on three women-owned startups: Innovative ideas lead to business expansionRestricted Content

August 13, 2007
Invoke In addition to the yoga and pilates classes offered at Invoke, owner Amy Peddycord has added clothing from Lululemon, a popular Canadian apparel brand. She also has established a relationship with Santa Monica, Calif.-based Yoga Works, which has 14 studios throughout California and New York. Yoga Works will lead a teacher training program at Invoke in 2008. Peddycord says hiring an office manager in 2006 was the best thing she's done. "Nicole [Schoville] quickly grew into the role and...
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Software startup Vyante measures online chatter: Two-man firm lands $200,000 in grants, readies for product launch through beta tests with corporationsRestricted Content

August 6, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
To make money on new software, sometimes you have to give it away. Thanks to that counterintuitive approach, tiny local IT startup Vyante Inc. has persuaded companies like Eli Lilly and Co., Roche Diagnostics, Dow Agro-Sciences and 5MetaCom to test the beta version of its new software, which tracks and measures the impact of their brands online. Vyante hopes eventually to convert the companies into paying customers. "We've persisted against the odds," said Vyante Senior Technologist Benjamin Ranck. "It was...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Cell phone technology still socially backwardRestricted Content

August 6, 2007
Tim Altom
I'm standing in the Convention Center downtown, looking down sourly at my cell phone. The designers of the phone have failed me, and I want to know why. It was the IUPUI graduation last May, and the hallways were filled with thousands of people in fancy dress and black robes. I was trying to contact just one of those thousands, but I didn't know his cell number. I knew he was there, and probably within a hundred yards, but without...
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Opportunistic VMS builds event-planning powerhouse

August 6, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Local hospitality firm's early work with Lilly helped it carve out a major niche in the pharmaceutical market.
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STARTUP GAZELLE WEB & CONSULTING LLC: Entrepreneur offers to help entrepreneursRestricted Content

July 30, 2007
-Amanda Getchel
STARTUP GAZELLE WEB & CONSULTING LLC Entrepreneur offers to help entrepreneurs Type of business: Consults with startup and growing companies Location: 885 Waveland Lane, Greenwood Phone: 450-7746 E-mail: lott.brandon@gmail.comWeb site: www.gazellewebandconsulting.comFounded: December 2006 Owner: Brandon Lott Owner's background: Lott, 33, grew up in the south side of Indianapolis and graduated from Indiana University in 1998 with a health care degree. He went to New York in 2005 to work as an operations manager for retailer Alan Flusser Custom Shop, but...
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Entrepreneurs getting younger: Corporate downsizing gives rise to 'e-generation'Restricted Content

July 30, 2007
Amanda Getchel
From selling shark tooth necklaces to his neighbors during summer vacations in Florida to running an online auction site that benefits charities, he's no stranger to the hard work that comes with starting a business. "I'm interested in new things and looking into new things," said Gough, who is among a burgeoning group of young entrepreneurs not content to work for others. They'd rather strike out on their own. In fact, nearly 71 percent of the 1,474 youth who participated...
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Startup drug firm lands veteran help: Immune Works, a fledgling firm with a promising lung drug, attracts former Indiana Health Industry Forum leader LangeRestricted Content

July 23, 2007
Scott Olson
A startup firm using Indiana University medical research to treat a fatal lung disease is raising money for clinical trials and has recruited a prominent life sciences veteran to lead the effort. Michael Klemsz, an associate professor at the IU School of Medicine, and Dr. David Wilkes, director of the school's Center for Immunobiology, founded Immune Works LLC in January 2006 along with Ronald Meeusen. Meeusen, a former Dow-AgroSciences researcher and BioCrossroads executive, served as a part-time president and CEO...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: For a healthier economy, we need healthier HoosiersRestricted Content

July 23, 2007
Mark Miles
Indiana needs a trip to the doctor-and a stern lecture when we get there. We're among the nation's unhealthiest states. More than one of every four Hoosiers is obese, and we rank among the 10 worst states for smoking and high cholesterol. The outcomes should come put more stress on the system and drive up prices and premiums for everyone. Gov. Daniels has signed a progressive bill that provides affordable health insurance with a medical savings account plan to Hoosiers...
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State beefs up incentives available to tech companies:Restricted Content

July 9, 2007
Scott Olson
Companies receiving a Phase 1 SBIR match from the state need to apply for second-stage funding by July 20. Applications can be downloaded on the IEDC Web site. The proposal for funds should be no longer than 12 pages and include a commercialization plan describing how the product would be moved to market and any challenges that would need to be overcome. The proposal also should include a budget describing the funds required for The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has...
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