Entrepreneurial adventures offer lessons

December 20, 2011
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Michael Cloran is problem solver. And he knows how to turn the answers into viable businesses.

Cloran, 43, is an Indiana University graduate who built and then sold a successful Chicago-based Internet service provider before launching Interactions Corp., a Carmel tech firm that has raised $34 million in venture capital.

The founding partner of Indianapolis-based venture development company DeveloperTown, Cloran now wrapping up a cross-country tour promoting uFlavor, a startup he hopes will become the YouTube of the beverage industry.

His partners in the latest enterprise—Purdue University grads Nathan Altman and Mike Mitchell—will handle day-to-day operations, in part because Cloran knows his limitations.

“Twice I took a company above 50 employees, and both times I broke it,” Cloran said. “I’m really good at the first part: coming up with the idea and making it work.” But when it comes to what he calls “organizational science,” he has learned to let others take the helm.

His insight is admirable. Rather than push himself to do something he knows others do better, he is content to focus on his strengths and make a difference there.

OK, now it’s time for some reader participation: What have your entrepreneurial adventures taught you about yourself? And how can others learn from those lessons?

  • Limits
    I've learned that the more I learn, the less I know, and the more I want someone else to handle it. I'm also not terribly strong with fine details. To me, if it looks good and smells good then it must be good. That's why I surround myself with others who are better equipped to discover all the gory details. They tend to balance me out which helps us grow as a company and I, in turn, help balance them out because in a small company you usually can't take 6 months to go over every possible angle.

    Congrats to uFlavor's launch. Great idea with great minds behind it. Can't wait to see what they can do!

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  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1