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Underrated entrepreneurs

February 5, 2010

Indianapolis has a host of entrepreneurs who are household names in local business circles if not the larger city. Dave Becker, Don Brown, Albert Chen, Scott Dorsey, Bill Godfrey and Scott Jones in technology. Richard DiMarchi and Jim Pearson in health care. Jim Bremner and Al Kite in real estate, Bob Laikin and Bill Mays in distribution. Martha Hoover in restaurants. You get the idea.

But behind the scenes, myriad entrepreneurs are running interesting companies, making money and creating good jobs.

Ask anyone to tick off a list of unsung entrepreneurs in the Indianapolis area, and you’ll get lots of different names. Mark Long, a consultant and former head of the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp., the university’s tech transfer organization, is quick to rattle off his own list.  They are, in no particular order:

Jim Strickland, the former owner of DynoMed and current president of Fast Diagnostics, which is developing a device to detect kidney injuries. Strickland is good at sales, raising money and quietly doing “his own thing,” Long says. “He toils away in obscurity, but he gets the job done.”

John Gibbs made a bundle at Interactive Intelligence, and now he’s launching another software company, Qtrac Software, which focuses on electronic medical records. “John just kind of does his thing and doesn’t get out in the public a lot,” Long says.

Mark Kosiarek runs a semi-conductor company in Fishers called Vai Technology. “Nobody knows the guy,” Long says. But Kosiarek has cracked a beachhead in a big industry and is doing pretty well at it, thank you.

Those are Long’s picks. What are yours? Who are the most underrated local entrepreneurs?


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