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North of 96th - Lindsey

Welcome to North of 96th, your source for business news from Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield and Zionsville. Your host, Lindsey Erdody, can be reached at lerdody@ibj.com.

Fishers / Hamilton County / Regional News

Memory Ventures CEO: 'Everything just kind of clicked' in Fishers

December 19, 2014

It was difficult for Memory Ventures CEO Anderson Schoenrock to articulate what he wanted in a site for the growing company’s headquarters, but he was confident he’d know when he found it.

And he knew it wouldn’t be in Los Angeles, where Schoenrock and Dartmouth College classmate Mike Mothner launched Memory Ventures predecessor ScanDigital in 2007.

“The business environment in California is very challenging,” he said, citing the tax structure, government regulation and the high cost of living. “Over time, that grinds on you and your employees.”

So the company set out to find a new home, initially considering eight Midwestern states before narrowing the list to three, including Indiana. Then Schoenrock and others on the site-selection team got to Fishers.

“When we saw [co-working space] Launch Fishers, met [town leaders] and heard their vision for building an entrepreneurial community, I knew this is what we were looking for,” he said. “Everything just kind of clicked.”

On Thursday, Schoenrock joined Gov. Mike Pence and executives from 15 other companies announcing plans to create more than 2,000 jobs in Indiana over the next several years.

Memory Ventures was among the bigger deals, with plans to have 134 employees in Fishers by 2018.

The company, which includes eight direct-to-consumer brands that digitize old-school media (remember slides, photos and reel-to-reel movies?) and produce home decor, will move its executive office first, leasing 2,657 square feet of space in the under-construction Meyer Najem headquarters at 11787 Lantern Road.

As IBJ reported last year, Fishers is master leasing the 17,500-square-foot second floor of the $5.5 million building, acting as landlord for high-growth companies in need of flexible lease terms.

“That building encapsulates what attracted us to Fishers,” Schoenrock said.

Memory Ventures expects to move in beginning in March and have 22 employees earning an average of $40,000 here by the end of the year.

Moving its labor-intensive processing operation will take more time—and will require much more space, Schoenrock. He hopes to find a permanent location in Fishers (at least 10,000 square feet, with room to grow) within the next 12-18 months.

Having an interim site without a long-term lease allows company leaders to get settled before bringing in the rest of the team. Memory Ventures has more than 50 employees.

Revenue is expected to surpass $6.5 million this year, Schoenrock said. The company has earned a spot on the Inc. 500 list of the country’s fastest-growing companies twice—No. 347 in 2012 and No. 295 in 2013, reporting more than 1000-percent revenue growth over a three-year period.

It dropped into the Inc. 5000 this year with 2013 revenue of $5.6 million, up 302 percent since 2010. Sales peaked at $7.6 million in 2012, according to the data compiled by Inc. Schoenrock said 2012 was an outlier due to a very successful national Groupon offer.

The CEO expects sales to increase 20 percent to 25 percent in 2015.

Memory Ventures' portfolio has grown largely through acquisitions, but Schoenrock said the firm also is committed to innovation. Its new Eureka business incubator is about to produce its first graduate: BiographyNOW, which offers consumers custom books telling their life stories, is expected to launch under the Memory Ventures umbrella in February.

Schoenrock said the program helps entrepeneurs handle back-office tasks such as HR and accounting so they can concentrate on growing their businesses.

Other Meyer Najem building tenants have not been announced, but the FIshers Redevelopment Commission solicited sublease offers last month. The commission also was looking to fill two other spaces: 9,094 square feet and 3,285 square feet.

On Friday, FIshers officials announced another corporate relocation: Restaurant franchise support firm Ultra Steak Inc. will move from Anderson to FIshers in February, taking over 15,000 square feet leased space Meyer Najem is vacating at 13099 Parkside Drive, near 131st Street and State Road 37.

That company, founded in 1979, provides services to regional and naitonal franchises including Texas Roadhouse, Little Caesers and Aspen Creek. Ultra Steak will relocate 20 jobs and plans to add another seven, the town said in a news release.

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