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TinderBox woos executive away from Groupon

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A small Indianapolis technology firm has recruited a top manager from Internet giant Groupon Inc.

David Kerr, who was a vice president and general manager for the Chicago-based digital coupon service, traded his post there for the chief operating officer position at TinderBox Inc., a sales software developer in downtown Indianapolis. TinderBox announced the appointment Wednesday morning.

It’s a return to the city for Kerr, who in the early 2000s ran Indianapolis software firm NoInk Communications alongside TinderBox cofounder and CEO Dustin Sapp. NoInk was sold in 2006 to Global Health Exchange, where Kerr remained until he moved to a general manager’s job at Angie’s List in 2011, then to Groupon a year later.

Kerr told IBJ he decided to move from publicly traded Groupon to the four-year-old Indianapolis firm of about 40 people because recent successes and growth plans convinced him it was time to “take advantage of the opportunity” at the up-and-coming firm.

TinderBox in late March announced it secured $3 million in a round of venture capital led by Carmel-based Allos Ventures. The funding stacked onto $2.1 million from previous investments.

The company also reached an incentives agreement with the state in early 2013. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. agreed to provide $1.4 million in tax credits, plus $55,000 in training grants, as long as the company hires more than 95 people by 2016.
 

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  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

  3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

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