Technology

DANIELS' DEAL CLOSERS: IEDC generating jobs, but economy shares part of creditRestricted Content

June 5, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
It would have been big. Just last month, a team of officials from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and The Indy Partnership, its local equivalent, were furiously negotiating with South Carolinabased fire-engine maker American LaFrance. Intrigued by a mix of economic incentives and Indiana's central location, American LaFrance considered moving its operations to Marion County. In formal negotiations, the company dangled promises of 653 jobs and a capital investment of $18.5 million. State records don't reveal what incentives Indiana offered...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Let's tax phone, Internet, TV usageRestricted Content

May 29, 2006
Morton Marcus
Felicity Futenmouth and I went to graduate school together. Her career in economics focused on consumer services provided by such first-class firms as MegaMedia, MegaMarkets and MegaMercenaries. We became reacquainted lately at our class's 35th reunion. Over a nightcap of hot chocolate and biscuits, she enticed me with a coy question: "How do you feel about local taxes?" "I am all for them," I responded. "If you don't have local taxes, you don't have a strong claim on the responsibility...
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Plug in professionals when tasks seem overwhelming:Restricted Content

May 29, 2006
Sharon O\'donoghue
Running a small business is daunting, to say the least. Small-business owners wear many hats and are expected to be a master of everything: from hiring workers to coordinating group health coverage, from developing marketing materials to hitting sales goals, from assessing technology needs to making tax and insurance payments, from issuing invoices to paying vendors-all while keeping an eye on cash flow. Whew. Larger businesses may rely on individuals or entire departments responsible for each task. For small-business owners,...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: RFID security not as secure as you think it isRestricted Content

May 29, 2006
Tim Altom
I work in a building that makes me use a cardkey to get into the building's back stairway. I can't even use a physical key. I must use the card I was issued. I fumble for the thing every morning. One morning, to my astonishment, I noticed that if I pushed hard enough on the door as I opened it, it would hit the end of its travel and thereafter stand open by itself. The first person through in the...
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Entrepreneurs keep day jobs: Moonlighting helps owners mitigate startup risksRestricted Content

May 29, 2006
Tracy Donhardt
Inventions at various stages of development are scattered around Qamar Shafeek's ranch-style home on Indianapolis' east side. An unnamed doohickey attached to a curtain rod pulls drapes open and shut along with the sliding glass door. A voice box gadget tells the single father when the garage or side doors open, alerting him to his children's comings and goings. And a plastic pinwheel with tennis balls attached to the ends is making its way from a napkin-sketch idea to a...
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VIEWPOINT: To be a logistics leader, state needs a planRestricted Content

May 29, 2006
Bob Palmer
Indiana is poised to become the country's logistics center. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion on that topic. Now is the time for business, government and education to come together and make it happen. SupplyNet 2006-the recent statewide conference that brought together not only transportation, distribution and logistics industries, but also representatives from manufacturing, retail, information technology, government and academia-detailed the broader picture of supplychain management. As a cutting-edge business strategy, supply-chain management integrates internal and external logistics...
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Good banking relationship can help business:Restricted Content

May 29, 2006
Ken Carow
Capital is the lifeblood of any business. But fresh infusions of money are particularly important for startup and small businesses, since they often can't fund new equipment, employees or facilities out of their cash reserves or profits. The top three sources of new capital for small business are owner's equity (33 percent) bank loans (20 percent) and trade credit (15 percent). Let's focus on bank loans and simple ways that small-business owners can improve their chances of getting a loan...
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My Favorite Cigar Bar: Bar offers stogies with its scotch Liquor license helped cigar store attract customers who may lingerRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Ed Callahan
"Cheers" in Brownsburg? Regulars at My Favorite Cigar Bar say it's just like that fictional Boston watering hole "where everybody knows your name"-or like it would have been if Cheers had sold cigars as well as drinks. Hendricks County's version of the popular pub occupies an old-fashioned brick storefront at 36 E. Main St. The brainchild of Brownsburg couple Bruce and Lisa Freestone, it is-as the name suggests-both a bar and cigar shop. "We're the only such cigar store in...
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Mira banquet honors excellence in Hoosier high tech: TechPoint awards often precede market successRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
TechPoint's Mira Awards, which were to be handed out May 19, celebrate excellence in Hoosier innovation. The annual awards banquet also serves as a pretty good bellwether of who's poised for a big payday. For example, TechPoint honored Indianapolis-based medical device-maker Suros Surgical Systems Inc. with a Mira award three years before Massachusettsbased Hologic Inc. acquired Suros for $240 million in April. In 2003, TechPoint also recognized Carmel-based banking software-maker Baker-Hill. California-based Experian bought Baker-Hill last August for an undisclosed...
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Area construction employment surging: Workers stay busy as industry experiences 15 consecutive months of job growthRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Scott Olson
Building tradesmen in central Indiana don't need a mind-numbing jobs report to tell them construction workers are in high demand. They need not look any further than their apprentice programs and union halls to gauge the industry's health. The way the barometer works is simple: Full apprentice classes mean contractors are hiring and empty union halls mean they're working. "When the benches are empty, that's a good thing," said Mike Kerr, a principal at locally based contractor F.A. Wilhelm Construction...
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WEB REVIEW: Is e-mail marketing the answer for you?

May 22, 2006
Jim Cota
If you're running a business, there's a good chance you've been frustrated with marketing. You've spent time and money on ads here and there, but the results were unpredictable-or worse-questionable. You're in the phone book because you feel you have to be, but the cost goes up year after year. Word of mouth works, but it's too slow. Direct mail works, but it's too expensive. Radio and TV are difficult to do well and nearly impossible to track for results....
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Stadium architect beats 'dark horse' status: Experience with other sports arenas wins HKS first pro football projectRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Scott Olson
The imprint HKS Inc. will leave on the city with its design of the new Indianapolis Colts stadium will reshape downtown for years to come. But the high-profile project is also significant for the Dallas-based architectural firm because it represents the first time HKS has designed a professional football arena. Any questions the selection team might have had about the firm's credentials were quickly put to rest, however. "[They] came and visited and said, 'When you guys start looking for...
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Pepper, others commended for their safety programs: Area contractors turn to technology to track job-site performanceRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Scott Olson
Hand-held computer devices are becoming as common as hardhats and heavy equipment on the job sites of Pepper Construction Company of Indiana Inc. The Chicago-based contractor's Indianapolis location began using the hightech gadgetry about 18 months ago to track job-site safety and tie the results to bonus amounts awarded to supervisors. While the company has tracked safety performance for years via written reports, the new system lets everyone from executives to subcontractors view the information almost immediately after it's loaded...
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BULLS & BEARS: Sage investor: Time to buy commodities has passedRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Dave Gilreath
In February, I mentioned the Legg Mason Value Trust, managed by Bill Miller, as the fund with the longest-running winning streak vs. the S&P 500. The streak runs 16 years. A couple of weeks ago, Miller put out his quarterly market letter. I'm beginning to think I'm profound because I agree with his thinking. Below is a paraphrased summary of what he wrote: The Financial Times'' headline on April 10 read, "Commodity Prices Set to Soar." Then Miller thought back...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Improving state's economy requires a team approachRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Patrick Barkey
More than 50 years ago, the famous economist Joseph Schumpeter told a simple story that perfectly captured the essence of market capitalism. It's a turn-of-the-century tale of a railroad being built in a part of the country where none had existed. The new investment rapidly upsets the order of everything-once ideally situated towns are left high and dry, while others move up in stature as they exploit newfound advantages. It's messy and it's painful, but the result is for the...
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Cherrymasters' luck might turn next year: Proponents argue that state regulators could electronically monitor slots in taverns around IndianaRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
In past years, legislators have proved unwilling to expand gambling outside Indiana's riverboat casinos. But Indiana Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director Brad Klopfenstein, who has been leading the push to legalize electronic "cherrymaster" machines, thinks his luck could soon turn. "The legislators we've talked to, they don't seem to have the steadfast 'no, no, no' attitude they used to have," Klopfenstein said. "We're hoping we'll get a bill filed and it'll get a fair hearing next year." And new technology...
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Daniels seeks to copy key-clusters strategy: Industry initiatives would mimic BioCrossroads planRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, BioCrossroads has been vindicated. Gov. Mitch Daniels hopes to see a series of similar industry initiatives sprout around key clusters in Indiana's economy. He envisions parallel initiatives for manufacturing, transportation and logistics and a series of other crucial business sectors. "We'd love some company," said BioCrossroads CEO David Johnson. As outlined in Daniels' "Accelerating Growth" economic development plan released last month, the initiatives would be based on proven Indiana strengths and identifiable...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Does your Web site need an SEO to boost it up?Restricted Content

May 15, 2006
Tim Altom
Every time I see the term "SEO," I cringe a little. It stands for "searchengine optimization," a supposed service offered by many "SEO companies." Such companies claim to be able to boost your Web site up the pages of major search engines so customers can find you. To a limited extent, they can help. Most Web sites are so poorly designed that they almost defy search engines to look through them, a process known in the trade as "crawling." The...
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CD-burning kiosks debut: Four years of work on the line for local media-technology companyRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
As the after-work rush of customers came into a south-side Karma music store on a recent Wednesday, some wandered up to a new kiosk and gave it a whirl. It was the public's first look at CD-burning technology, developed by local entrepreneurs, that allows customers to pick songs and immediately burn a CD mix before leaving the store. If consumers like the kiosks, backers hope to sell video games, movies and even concert tickets through the terminals, which could be...
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Daniels' economic development plan calls for pricey tools: Three incentive funds would cost more than $100MRestricted Content

May 8, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Indiana's days of economic development on the cheap may soon be finished. Three major new business-incentive funds are on the Indiana Economic Development Corp.'s wish list, each bearing a significant price tag. The General Assembly will decide next year whether to provide the more than $100 million IEDC requests to form them. Plans for the three funds are tucked into Gov. Mitch Daniels' comprehensive new state economic development plan, "Accelerating Growth," released April 25. It aims to bring Hoosiers' lagging...
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NOTIONS: Readers weigh in on the quest for 'something more'Restricted Content

May 8, 2006
Bruce Hetrick
Two weeks ago, I asked readers whether they'd witnessed what I have: More and more folks wanting "something more" from life and work. And if so, why? And why now? And how might "something more" manifest itself? Many responded-so many that I'll share this week some of the "whethers" and "whys" and next week some of the "hows." I heard from several readers who've dealt with this issue professionally. An Indianapolis placement consultant said, "I talk to people every day,...
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Biz incubator out of room: IU Emerging Tech Center needs $20M or more for expansionRestricted Content

May 8, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
In its quest to develop high-tech startups, Indianapolis has established a healthy pipeline. But there's a bottleneck that's poised to become even more congested. Located at the head of the Central Canal, Indiana University's Emerging Technologies Center is the city's primary business incubator, chock-full of labs and equipment. Established in 2003, the 62,500-square-foot building is now crowded with 26 promising young firms. A handful have outgrown their space, and are on the cusp of "graduation." IUETC CEO Mark Long reports...
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Special events pay off: Growth seen in career opportunities, event numbersRestricted Content

May 8, 2006
Shari Held / Special to IBJ
Special events aren't just fun and games-they're big business, generating careers and economic activity that are anything but frivolous. Special event spending in Indianapolis is nearly $3 billion a year, according to Bob Shultz, public relations director for the Indiana Convention & Visitors Association. Annual spending for special events worldwide is $500 billion, according to research conducted by the Chicago-based International Special Events Society. In Money Magazine's annual "Best Jobs in America" survey, meeting and convention planners were ranked in...
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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Should we invest in ethanol or education?Restricted Content

May 8, 2006
During times of high gasoline prices, the investment made by the Daniels administration in six ethanol plants would seem prudent. The touted benefits of ethanol plants are that they create jobs in rural communities, support Indiana corn growers, improve air quality, and lower dependence on foreign oil. As an Indianapolis resident with little exposure to our farm economy, my first question was, "How do you make ethanol?" Ethanol is made by fermenting and distilling simple sugars like those found in...
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New funds target life sciences: MidPoint concentrates on agricultural technology; Heron aims at broader marketRestricted Content

May 1, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Two new locally based venture capital funds believe Indiana is ripe with opportunity for biotech deals. With $20 million under management, Heron Capital LLC is broadly focused on the whole Hoosier life sciences market. Attempting to raise $30 million, the Mid-Point Food & Ag Fund LP has a narrower concentration: high-technology related to farming and nutrition. "We're very excited about our prospects," said Heron Managing Director Greg Maurer. "We have a number of deals in the hopper, some of which...
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  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

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