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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  • Guess who pays
    Politicians always applaud the way they spend other people's money. Guess who gets to pay for these bursts of creativity?

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