Small Business

IU life sciences startup attracts former Lilly exec: INphoton attempts to commercialize high-tech cellular imaging techniquesRestricted Content

June 11, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
It doesn't have a headquarters or any full-time employees yet. But local life sciences startup INphoton LLC has attracted something equally important: an experienced manager. This month, INphoton hired Steven Plump, Eli Lilly and Co.'s former chief marketing officer, as its CEO. Plump, who retired from Lilly in 2006 after a 30-year career there, hopes to commercialize the high-tech research imaging techniques that INphoton's founders discovered in Indiana University laboratories. In the process, INphoton could cut pharmaceutical companies' cost of...
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Veteran grocer plays new role: O'Malia teaches customer service as training-firm VPRestricted Content

May 28, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
In the late 1950s, when Daniel O'Malia was a kid working in the first store his father owned, he would often keep busy weighing and bagging potatoes. But on occasion, a customer would ask for something the small grocery didn't stock. Joe O'Malia would hand his son some change and tell him to run to a nearby Kroger grocery to pick up the item. He had the competitor's prices memorized and always gave his son the right amount. "He would...
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Classic Niche: Local insurer riding wave of classic-car enthusiasmRestricted Content

May 28, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
In 1993, Dan Yogodnik started a business with a friend that leased out exotic cars for special occasions. The biggest hurdle the partners encountered was lining up insurance for the cars. That experience spurred Yogodnik, who had been working in the banking industry, to start his own insurance firm. "If we had our own insurance agency, then we wouldn't have to chase all over the country [for the niche policies]," he said. What started out as a side business targeting...
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Law lets small employers band together for insurance: Experts disagree on whether associations will take offRestricted Content

May 28, 2007
Scott Olson
The Healthy Indiana Plan, which enacts a system to bring affordable health insurance to low-income Hoosiers, is one of the most far-reaching pieces of legislation to arise from the General Assembly this spring. The noble cause could provide coverage to about 15 percent of the state's population. Yet it could affect the small-business community as much as the state's growing number of uninsured. House Bill 1678, introduced by State Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, and signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels May...
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Charity sees hope in Third World 'micro' lendingRestricted Content

April 30, 2007
Chris O'Malley
In the village of Armenia, in western El Salvador, the Barahona Bautista family last month got a $246 loan to start a pig farm from Ambassadors for Children. Micro loans are new to Ambassadors, which assists children in more than a dozen countries.
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Admitted 'geek' builds product-development prowess at Priio

April 30, 2007
Tammy Lieber
By Larry O'Cull's own admission, his company's northwest-side office is staffed with "a bunch of geeks," including himself. But as clients of product-development firm Priio will attest, it's hip to be geek. A tour of the office offers a glimpse at a playground for engineering-inclined grown-ups. One of the firm's 12 employees fiddles with the trigger on a paintball gun, while another tinkers with a concept for a propane-tank vending...
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Entrepreneurs eager to pamper your petsRestricted Content

April 30, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Americans are spending more than ever on their four-legged friends, and savvy central Indiana entrepreneurs are among those cashing in.
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Embarking on a new Venture: New leader planning progressive changes at center, not a total revampingRestricted Content

April 30, 2007
Scott Olson
The new leader of the Indiana Venture Center is beginning to put his stamp on the not-for-profit that mentors promising startups. James Eifert, 64, is the former president of Terre Haute-based Rose-Hulman Ventures who took charge of the center in December following the July resignation of Steve Beck. Beck left to become co-managing director of IVC Equity Partners, a new local seed-capital fund. Chief items on Eifert's to-do list are broadening the donor base, revamping the Venture Center's proprietary network...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Whom will the state subsidize next?Restricted Content

April 2, 2007
Morton Marcus
Last week, I was walking on the Statehouse grounds and I saw some folks with large green pins on their lapels. "What do those stand for?" I asked. "Small businesses need Electronic Gaming Devices" one wearer told me. "That's for bars," I commented. The reply I got was not friendly. In the newspapers and on TV during the same week, there were features about horse breeders "needing" more state subsidies from slot machines at racetracks to "keep the industry alive."...
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Invoice-borrowing a growing credit optionRestricted Content

March 26, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Bank loans and credit cards are common solutions to small businesses' cash-flow crunches, but small-business owners increasingly have another option: using unpaid invoices as collateral to borrow money from investors.
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EYE ON THE PIE: Indiana less entrepreneurial than nationRestricted Content

March 26, 2007
Morton Marcus
For many people, owning a business is a dream. As a nation, we idolize such people as "entrepreneurs." We assemble data that show "small business" as the heart of the economy (even though the definition of "small" is fewer than 500 employees). Let's look at this segment of the economy. Oops. The data we have are not as good as we want. We do not know how many proprietors or business operators are full-time and how many are part-time. It...
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SBDC network gets new chief

March 26, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
After about seven months without a leader, the Indiana Small Business Development Center network has found one in Jeff Heinzmann. An attorney by training, the 39-year-old is charged with getting the statewide system of 11 regional centers on track in their efforts to help entrepreneurs get started and grow. Despite their connection, the Indiana centers for the most part have operated independently, and some-like the central Indiana office serving Marion and the surrounding counties-have struggled for stability. Heinzmann aims to...
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Sarbanes reprieve possible: Lawmakers consider extension for small bizRestricted Content

March 19, 2007
Scott Olson
Small public companies yet to comply with the stringent accounting provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act could receive a reprieve from federal regulators weighing a one-year extension. Section 404 of the act requires public corporations to assess their internal accounting controls to ensure their financial reporting is accurate-and requires accounting firms to vouch for those controls. To comply with the act, which was enacted in the wake of financial scandals at Enron Corp. and MCI WorldCom, public companies have devoted thousands...
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Tax break would reward patent producers: Indiana legislators view bill as way to attract young, innovative high-tech companies and solo entrepreneursRestricted Content

March 12, 2007
Scott Olson
A bill weaving its way through the Indiana General Assembly could give the state an edge in attracting and growing the type of high-tech ventures several states covet. Indiana House Bill 1461, introduced by Rep. Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, advanced to the Senate after sailing through the House of Representatives on Feb. 26 by a vote of 95-3. The legislation that was referred to the Senate's Economic Development and Technology Committee would provide a tax incentive that would shield income from...
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Making connections: Networking groups help business owners reach outRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
Cory Schouten
Small-business owners know building relationships helps build business. But cultivating strategic connections also takes time-one commodity that's always in short supply. That's where networking groups come in. A growing number of such organizations are working to connect busy business owners so they can trade advice and customer leads in a short span of time. With weekly or monthly meetings, the groups promise a one-stop opportunity to make dozens of contacts that can lead directly to sales. One of the fastest-growing...
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New NFIB boss knows politics: State chapter to devote more time to campaignsRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Kevin Hughes cut his teeth in the political world. Now he's taking a bite out of small business, as the new state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. Hughes, 30, has never owned his own business, but he worked for six years at the Ohio State Legislature as a legislative aide and for the Senate Republicans there. He also worked on several campaigns. In 2004, Hughes took a job as the Midwest regional political director for NFIB in...
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Interstate 69 corridor luring more distribution buildings: Unlike busy Plainfield market, where projects are huge, Fishers, Noblesville attracting smaller warehousesRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Scott Olson
Two massive developments with sizable retail components along the Interstate 69 corridor in Hamilton County are helping to spur the construction of several nearby distribution centers. The light industrial space rising near Fishers and Noblesville is unlike the monstrous warehouse projects prevalent west of Indianapolis in Plainfield and popping up within the Anson project near Whitestown. They instead are mediumsize warehouse or showroom space meant for small businesses expected to populate Hamilton Town Center and Saxony at the Exit 10...
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Cross-border investment in real estate on the rise: Local brokerages playing a role in growing trendRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
In 2006, $645 billion was sunk into real estate investments across the globe, according to a recent Cushman & Wakefield report. Of that, $187 billion was sent across borders to invest. And companies everywhere are chasing the most cost-effective spots to locate factories and needed hubs for office space. With all that cash changing hands, several locally based companies have made sure they're positioned to help play a part. Take Indianapolis-based HDG Mansur, for example. In the field for 25...
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Forensic engineering firm seeks defense work: New initiative hopes to help other local firms follow in Wolf Technical's footstepsRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
After 30 years in the forensic-engineering business, Wolf Technical Services Inc. has analyzed everything from deadly car crashes to patent infringement. Now, Indianapolis-based Wolf is hoping to diversify into a new area: federal defense contracting. It's a field local corporate leaders hope Indiana will tap much more frequently in the years to come. "We don't quite know at the moment where this could lead," said Wolf Director of Client Relations Joseph Ward. "And that's the fun part." The 30-employee Wolf's...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: It's déjà vu all over againRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary It's déjà vu all over again Every once in a while, I'm struck by the same-ness of things. My last column was filed from Florida, as was last year's second column in January. This week's is being written upon my return from a publisher's meeting in Puerto Vallarta, as was last year's first February column. That's a little scary. Is my life getting to be that predictable? Remember my passport debacle from last year? This year in...
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Small-business optimism drops: National business group forecasts slow-but-steady growth in 2007, unlike torrid pace that kicked off last yearRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Cory Schouten
Small-business owners aren't nearly as optimistic about 2007 as they were heading into last year, thanks to a slowing economy and lower spending rates, a report from the National Federation of Independent Business shows. Still, many small businesses in Indiana and elsewhere expect to grow steadily and add to their work forces in 2007. In the next three months, 14 percent of small businesses plan to create jobs and 26 percent plan to make a capital expenditure, the NFIB says....
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Program to offer cyber help for charities: IUPUI initiative creates database of consultantsRestricted Content

January 8, 2007
Tom Murphy
The IUPUI Solution Center soon will expand into cyberspace, launching a free Web site not-for-profits can use to network and find consultants. Its new Nonprofit Solutions Initiative will run the site and provide a database of consultants grouped by 25 areas of expertise. The site also will offer advice on how to work with them. The Solution Center, launched in 2003 with the help of a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant, helps bolster small businesses and not-for-profits. The new initiative, which...
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Small talk with new SBDC chief: Central Indiana counseling office gets fresh start after years of uncertaintyRestricted Content

December 25, 2006
Cory Schouten
Victoria Hall this year took over the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, which counsels more than 500 Hoosier entrepreneurs annually. Hall, a former vice president for H&R Block Tax Services, oversees four employees, including three business counselors. She also teaches part-time at Ivy Tech Community College, which hosts the local SBDC. She earned her MBA from the Indiana Institute of Technology in Fort Wayne. One of 11 regional centers in Indiana, Central Indiana SBDC has been plagued in recent...
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Small biz unsure about '07: Legislative agenda is clear, but advocates still worriedRestricted Content

December 25, 2006
Cory Schouten
Big changes at the Statehouse, including a shift to Democratic control in the House of Representatives and a leadership switch in the Senate, mean there are more unknowns and more unpredictability. Meanwhile, top issues such as health insurance, tax reforms and regulatory changes provide a minefield of concerns for small-business owners. New health insurance mandates could add to already skyrocketing premiums. New local taxing authority could increase the burden on small businesses. Changes to the state's regulatory structure could dramatically...
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TOM HARTON Commentary: Business in a hole climbs outRestricted Content

December 4, 2006
Everyone says owning a restaurant is hard work. But for Tracy Robertson, not owning one has been much harder. Robertson's restaurant, the 745 Bar & Grill, hasn't served a burger or a beer since the afternoon of Jan. 25, 2005. That's when the 745 literally fell into a hole. A cook, a bartender and five patrons escaped just moments before the restaurant collapsed into the excavation pit for what is now the 757 Mass Ave condominium building. In an instant,...
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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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