Launch Fishers to host entrepreneurial mentoring program

January 22, 2014
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Serial entrepreneur John Wechsler traveled the state last year, spending time with like-minded Hoosiers looking to grow “innovation-driven enterprises”—small startups with big potential.

As the Indiana Small Business Development Center’s so-called entrepreneur in residence, his goal was to help company founders line up the necessary building blocks. He shared his experiences, made introductions and steered his charges toward possible funders.

Now Wechsler, founder of the Launch Fishers coworking space for entrepreneurs and a former partner in Indianapolis tech incubator DeveloperTown, will lead a statewide expansion of the mentoring program.

Launch Indiana SBDC aims to guide high-potential entrepreneurs by connecting them with others—like Wechsler—who have navigated the same minefield-laden path from idea to execution.

“We want to shorten the learning cycle, get them up and running fast,” Wechsler said.

The statewide program will operate from Launch Fishers, located on the ground floor of the Hamilton East Public Library in the town’s municipal complex. Plans call for a series of all-day boot camps, workshops and online webinars in addition to mentoring.

Indiana has pledged $100,000 toward the initiative in 2014, and the town of Fishers agreed to pitch in $50,000.

The town helped found Launch Fishers in 2012, making a three-year, $350,000 commitment to give promising startups an alternative to the extremes of coffee-shop squatting and long-term leases.

It wrapped up its first year of operations in November with more than 200 members and its first “graduate,” mobile app developer BlueBridge Digital, which is subleasing office space elsewhere in Fishers.

Using Launch Fishers as home base for the state’s program will help the town build its reputation as a hub for entrepreneurs, Town Manager Scott Fadness said.

“It pushes the community forward,” he said, by exposing the “brilliant” up-and-comers to what the town has to offer—and vice versa. “All boats rise with the tide.”

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann unveiled plans for Launch Indiana in a statement released Wednesday, saying the state’s Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship is committed to supporting high-potential enterprises.

"This partnership with the highly successful Launch Fishers team will provide important services to Hoosiers in an environment designed and staffed to service this special group of innovative entrepreneurs,” she said.

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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