Fishers weighing deal to land high-potential startup

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A Colorado-based startup is poised to move its headquarters to Fishers, where it plans to open a lighting-production facility in the former Diamond Foods plant on Exit 5 Parkway near Interstate 69.

VoxLumen Corp. says it has developed lighting that requires less energy than existing LED technology, and the company is in the process of acquiring an area sign maker that will put the “illuminated material” to use.

The unidentified sign company would move its 85 employees to Fishers by mid-May under the terms of a proposed economic development agreement with the town. It also calls for VoxLumen’s local operation to employ at least 168 workers (making at least $24 an hour) by May 15, 2018.

VoxLumen would spend $12 million on equipment and building improvements, according to the proposed deal.

The first $1 million would trigger an $800,000 contribution from Fishers—part of the proceeds from $10 million in industrial revenue bonds the town would help the company secure.

Fishers plans to use tax revenue generated by the project to repay its portion of the bonds. VoxLumen would be on the hook for the remainder.

Members of the Fishers Town Council were scheduled to vote on the incentive package Monday, but the meeting was postponed because of weather.

Town Manager Scott Fadness called the VoxLumen deal "small, but potentially quite significant.”

“We’re pretty excited about this one,” Fadness told IBJ last week. “It fits into the entrepreneurial city we’re developing: a new, innovative, high-tech, high-growth enterprise married to an established company. It’s the best of both worlds.”

VoxLumen has two employees now: CEO Steve Ramos, a former IBM executive who lives in Fishers, and Chief Financial Officer John Bielefeld, who held a similar position at Marsh Supermarkets.

The 160,000-square-foot building at 11899 Exit 5 Parkway has been vacant since California-based Diamond Foods closed its 100-employee plant in early 2013. VoxLumen plans to sublease the space for at least six years.

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