Indianapolis Business Journal – February 22-28, 2019


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In This Issue

Front Page

Flush with funding, Scale Computing chases ‘multibillion-dollar opportunity’

A partnership with Japanese personal-computer maker Lenovo—to be rolled out Feb. 25—and $34.8 million secured in October has the software firm poised for explosive growth.

Amazon’s latest target is pharmacy disruption

As the online retailer has moved into new industries over the years, consumers have flocked to it and numerous traditional retailers have closed their doors, unable to compete.

Challenger sees Carmel’s debt debate as way to topple Brainard

As the mayor seeks a seventh term, the city owes $1.3 billion, according to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.

Top Stories

East 10th Street pursues status as arts district; some neighbors brace for change

A new, $4.3 million Lilly Endowment grant is poised to spark the transformation of a one-mile stretch of East 10th Street into a hotbed for the arts.

Morgan Stanley’s Kathy Birk is a by-the-book ‘maverick’

When Kathy Birk retires next month as manager of Morgan Stanley’s local operations, she’ll achieve a rare milestone in a stressful industry where most people wash out or get fired first.

Q&A: McDonnell builds pathway for computer science education

Codelicious currently has 14 schools as customers, but founder Christine McDonnell is confident that will grow dramatically as the trend toward requiring computer science education expands.

Business leaders say they’ll fight for changes in what is now ‘not a hate crimes bill’

The Senate amended Senate Bill 12 so it no longer specifies that crimes motivated by bias based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and other categories are eligible for stronger penalties.

Promising beer-service technology firm files for bankruptcy

SteadyServ Technologies LLC, a Fishers-based company identified as one of the most innovative startups on the planet just a few years ago, now is now struggling to survive.

Fishers firm buys Joe’s Crab Shack site in Clearwater with plans for new HQ

A real estate developer has purchased the former site of the seafood eatery and applied for a property tax break from the city of Indianapolis on its planned $1.6 million renovation.

Columbia Club launches $3M campaign for interior, rooftop revamp

The private club has been ensconced in its current home on Monument Circle since 1925. The high-end upgrades to its interior and amenities, including a wine vault and co-working space, are aimed in part at attracting new—and younger—members.


After embracing Indiana, immigrant helped state land huge Infosys deal

Raju Chinthala had never heard of Indiana before he came to the United States from India in 1994. In the 25 years since, he has become one of the state’s greatest champions.

MATTHEW NEFF: When doing business overseas, watch out for the ‘red envelope’

U.S. companies operating in foreign lands are still bound by U.S. laws, and U.S. laws can create a significant competitive disadvantage in certain circumstances.


Editorial: Legislature must strengthen hate crimes bill before session ends

Indiana is currently one of a few states without a hate crimes law and getting off that list is important to the state’s economic development and talent-recruitment efforts.

MICKEY MAURER: Pence isn’t as bad as enemies suggest

Some of his positions are indefensible, but bad judgment doesn’t make him evil.

Marie Mackintosh: Businesses must engage early to build talent pipeline

The bottom line is that we have a responsibility as parents and leaders in business, community and school to come together to help all young people understand the myriad careers available to them in their own back yard.

Mike Smith: Greet ‘Alice’ and her companion, poverty, with compassion

Alice—an acronym for asset-limited, income-constrained and employed—is the waitress, busboy, hotel housekeeper, repairman and similar individuals who work but live paycheck-to-paycheck.

Maggie Phelps: Being an influencer is about more than position

The best influencers build relationships because they want to, not because they “should.” It’s not about landing the next promotion or climbing the ladder.

Ed Feigenbaum: Will Senate action prompt Holcomb to testify on hate crimes?

Since shaming isn’t Gov. Eric Holcomb’s style and social conservatives have their message heard clearly in the House, the governor’s options for persuading House Republicans to amend the hate crimes bill are limited.

BOHANON & CUROTT: What Amazon could’ve expected from Indiana

We welcome you but won’t worship you nor give you everything you want.

KIM: Savers shouldn’t settle for abysmal interest rates

the only risk-less option giving you immediate access to your funds is a traditional bank savings account earning essentially 0 percent interest. Or is it?

Consider unified district

Voters had enough

In Brief

Mixed-use project planned for Speedway’s main drag

A Fishers-based developer is planning two buildings with retail storefronts, office space and condos that could draft on Main Street’s recent momentum.

Marketing tech firm moves HQ from Arizona to Indy

Lev—formerly Levementum—has a close relationship with Salesforce, which maintains its marketing cloud unit in Indianapolis. Lev established offices here in 2016 and plans to add 70 employees this year.

Year gets off to slower start for Indianapolis-area homebuilders

A slowdown in home construction that began in central Indiana in late 2018 continued into the new year.

IU Health Foundation raises $19.1M in first full year

The new fundraising arm of IU Health said it exceeded its first-year goal by more than 300 percent, allowing it to expand its grants program statewide.

Payless ShoeSource to close all stores, report says

The chain, which is preparing to file bankruptcy for the second time in two years, has more than 50 locations across Indiana.


Carey Hamilton: Why do we make it hard for working people to vote?

If voters demand sensible, responsible leadership, I’m optimistic we can overcome reflexive partisanship.

Kyle Hupfer: To increase the vote, let’s talk civics

We need to ensure that every student, before he or she enters adulthood and the rigors of daily life, has a basic understanding of our form of government.

Una Osili: Misperceptions about inequality hamper debate

Many Americans hold overly optimistic beliefs concerning the current state of racial disparities.

Dana Black: Black History Month education is for white folks, too

We have contributed at every level to make this nation what it is and you can’t ignore it because the ugly parts make you uncomfortable.

Deborah Hearn Smith: Here before the Mayflower ever arrived

It pains me to know a young person can graduate with honors from high school and not know the importance of anyone of non-European ancestry.

John McDonald: Let’s expand the definition of ‘teacher’

We have to train data workers in skills like individual entrepreneurship, design thinking, software coding, blockchain, machine learning and the gig economy.

Leah McGrath: More important than straight A’s

Somewhere in time, we separated morality and mindfulness from academics in schools.

Ed DeLaney: The new attack on common schools

The transition from educating broadly to training for careers would call for a dramatic reconsideration of the purpose of public education.

Claire Fiddian-Green: Education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty

Poverty does not have to equate to destiny.

VW money available soon for air-quality projects

The primary goal is to produce sustainable, transformative projects.

Karen Celestino-Horseman: Gun ownership should come at a price

The Constitution might promise the right to bear arms, but that right is not unlimited.

Anne Hathaway: IndyGo has not made safety a priority in Red Line project

IndyGo officials have offered little in the way of solutions or partnership—replying with nothing more than verbal shrugs.

Adrianne Slash: Legislators need to get out of their echo chambers

The more representative voices in the elective process, the better.

Brad Rateike: Leaks undermine good governance

Imagine if every private conversation you had at work were made available to the press, to your customers, to your boss.


MIKE LOPRESTI: This sectional might as well be the state finals

Lawrence North field loaded with four state championship contenders.