Fishers tech firms promise to stay put, add jobs

October 8, 2013
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Two high-potential companies will stay in Fishers under the terms of a pair of economic development agreements the Town Council signed off on Monday.

Councilors lauded the companion deals, calling them a creative—and cost-effective—way to retain promising businesses, which ultimately enhances the community’s tax base.

“I don’t think this is the last new idea we’re going to need to come up with,” said council Vice President Pete Peterson.
 
The Fishers Redevelopment Commission agreed to take over a portion of digital marketing firm BlastMedia’s space in the Forum Credit Union headquarters, saving the company about $150,000 and getting its 26 employees into the same (albeit somewhat cramped) office.

Blast, which had been considering a move to Broad Ripple, also will get below-market rent in a development planned for the current site of the Fishers Train Station, assuming it’s ready for occupancy by August 2015.

The company, in turn, promised to add 25 jobs over the next five years.  Blast also agreed to relocate to the train station development when its lease expires, leasing at least 6,500 square feet of space for a minimum of five years. (It has an out clause if Fishers hasn’t broken ground on the project by next August.)

Growing tech startup BlueBridge Digital, meanwhile, is moving its 13 employees out of the town-backed Launch Fishers coworking space—and into the offices Blast is vacating. The redevelopment commission will sublease the space to BlueBridge at a reduced rate in return for the mobile app developer’s pledge to more than double its staff.

If BlueBridge makes all the scheduled payments, the public investment will total about $55,000, said Tom Dickey, the town’s director of community development.

Even such a relatively modest sum can make a big difference to a startup. BlueBridge founder Santiago Jaramillo said getting a company off the ground is a constant battle for momentum, and any boost is most welcome.

BlueBridge is the first company to “graduate” from Launch Fishers, a communal office that opened last year to draw entrepreneurs to the suburban community with an alternative to long-term leases and coffee shop squatting. The coworking space has proven even more popular than expected, with more than 200 members so far.

What's your take on Fishers' "grow-our-own" economic development strategy?

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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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