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Tech startup plans 150 local jobs by 2018

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Gusto LLC, a tech startup founded by former ChaCha and Overstock.com executive Shawn Schwegman, plans to grow operations in Indianapolis, creating as many as 150 jobs by 2018, the company announced Thursday.

The firm, which plans to develop applications for smart phones, tablets and desktop computers, said it will invest $975,000 to launch the company and its debut product: an iPhone app that combines mobile e-mail with built-in cloud storage.

“It’s like e-mail meets HootSuite meets cloud storage,” Schwegman told IBJ during a launch party at The Mavris in downtown Indianapolis.

Schwegman said the company, which has eight employees today, plans to hire as many as 35 people this year. The company made a commitment with the state to add 150 workers by 2018, but Schwegman said that number could be as high as 250.

“Success breeds success, and Indiana has proven that home-grown entrepreneurial companies can become national powerhouses,” said Schwegman, CEO of Gusto, in a prepared statement. “We are proud to build a company here and look forward to growing it with the support of Indiana."

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Gusto up to $2.65 million in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company's job-creation plans. The tax credits are performance-based and won't be paid unless the company meets job commitments, the state said.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Gusto up to $2.65 million in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company's job-creation plans. The tax credits are performance-based and won't be paid unless the company meets job commitments, the state said.
 
The company, which is beta-testing its app today, has not started generating revenue—nor does it intend to for a while.

Schwegman said Gusto, which will be free to download, with limits on use, needs to build up a fandom. Once people become “addicted,” the company will offer a premium version for a charge. The firm is also looking at business applications.
 
On top of the IEDC support, Gusto will fuel its growth and its hires with outside investments. Schwegman would not reveal who his financial backers were or who he is talking to.
 
“We’re very close to closing” a significant investment, he said.

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  • expects
    Cha-cha, you mean the ill-conceived money hole? Yes, I "expect" that whatever the "veteran" of Cha-Cha says must be true!
  • Really?
    I wonder how many of the folks who are busting on Shawn and Gusto are actually doing anything on their own to develop a new product, start a new business or bring jobs to the state. But then it's far easier to post a snarky comment than to actually DO anything I suppose. Good luck, Shawn!
  • There is no possible way
    This company builds a smartphone app. They will either get acquired or be out of business far before they ever create 150 jobs. This is what gives the IEDC a bad reputation.
  • Clarification
    Gusto's agreement with the state calls for 150 new jobs by 2018. The incentives are conditional on the creation of those jobs. The CEO said the number could actually be as high as 250. We've clarified that information in the story.
  • Silly
    This stuff already exists. And did the state agree to 150 new jobs or 250 new jobs? The article says "as many as 150 to 250". What does the actual agreement state? Who oversees these decisions? So far almost none of them have worked out.
    • So original!
      Can't wait for their debut product, "an iPhone app that combines mobile e-mail with built-in cloud storage." Sounds COMPLETELY different from Gmail, Outlook/SkyDrive, Apple mail, etc. etc. etc.

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