Indianapolis Business Journal – March 8-14, 2019


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In This Issue

Front Page

Tech upstart Kerauno raking in the venture capital dough

The communications-workflow software is super-charging its growth with what many believe is a record haul of venture capital, in the form of a $25 million Series A round of funding.

Soccer stadium likely would find other uses—especially if it’s downtown

The Indy Eleven would likely need the $150 million soccer stadium proposed by owner Ersal Ozdemir for only about 20 matches a year.

Entrepreneurs using south-side food makerspace to create businesses

The Food Beauty Center, a new food-focused makerspace in Garfield Park aims to serve entrepreneurs two ingredients for success—collaboration and commercial kitchen space.

Top Stories

Partner on St. Vincent neighborhood hospitals had big ambitions but flamed out

Just 20 months ago, Tandem Hospital Partners had set up a joint venture with St. Vincent to develop a series of tiny hospitals. Today, the results are far different from what either company probably imagined.

Jim Shella: Why I’m pulling for Democrat Pete Buttigieg

There is a show business element to presidential politics that causes serious proposals and serious candidates to get lost.

Bills would let Whitestown, Greenwood, Danville impose 1 percent food-and-beverage tax

Three more suburban communities are seeking to impose a food and beverage tax to help fund infrastructure, public safety and quality-of-life improvements.

Biglari says Steak n Shake turnaround to start with speedy service

What's wrong with Steak n Shake? Sardar Biglari says a key problem is a failure to upgrade kitchen equipment and design, leaving the chain with “high-cost, labor intensive, slow service.”

Pacers, CIB talks could extend beyond legislative deadline

The president of the Capital Improvement Board said negotiations on a 25-year deal with the Indiana Pacers are progressing, but a final pact is likely months away.

‘Make ’Em Clap’ to legislative updates

Indy Chamber Chief Policy Officer Mark Fisher injects a little fund into the organization's legislative updates in the form of hip-hop references.

Pete the Planner coming to IBJ

IBJ has added comedian-turned-money-man Peter Dunn’s Pete the Planner column to its roster, starting March 15, when it will appear in the paper’s print edition and at

Barber, Catchings named executive leaders of Indiana Fever

The former chancellor of Western Governors University Indiana and a former superstar player were named Monday to oversee operations of the city’s WNBA franchise.

Little Nugget app turning into big business for new entrepreneur

Carrie Griffith thought there would be a demand for her photo editing and cataloging app, Little Nugget, which she developed during her first child’s nap time. But even she has been surprised at how quickly her new business has grown. Now she’s looking for funding to speed up growth even more.

Kurt Vonnegut Museum planning to buy building on Indiana Avenue

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library is hoping to raise $1.5 million to acquire the building, which would house the museum and a cafe operated by the owners of Bluebeard restaurant.


Allos Ventures’ focus, patience pay off reliably for investors

Allos Ventures makes investing in early-stage companies look easy. National data shows it is not.

Crypto companies complain they’re being shunned by banks

While top-tier banks are getting more crypto-curious—JPMorgan rolled out a prototype digital coin last month—most see the growing number of companies in the industry as they have since day one: ticking regulatory time bombs. 

Old National CEO stepping aside

Old National has undergone a transformation since Jones joined the bank, shifting from low-growth markets to entering markets that offered a better opportunity for growth.

Candlewood Suites lands $10M in financing

Candlewood plans to use the money for extensive renovations at its 142-room property.

Centier to open Greenwood loan office

Centier is a family-owned bank with 61 Indiana offices, including two in Zionsville and one each in Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers and Westfield.


Editorial: A more forceful governor is only hope for hate crimes bill

When the governor returns from a nine-day trade mission to France, Belgium and Germany, we hope he’ll not just testify in favor of a stronger bill but meet with legislative leaders one on one to emphasize the importance of passing the hate crimes bill that the business community wants.

NATE FELTMAN: Indiana: Flyover state or freedom state?

Our way of life, and government, breeds success, contrary to what the elites would have you think.

Francesca Jarosz Brady: What happened to Indiana’s business Republicans?

The GOP’s dogmatic approach will fail. In the short term, it will chip away at lawmakers’ credibility among voters until elected leaders’ lack of responsiveness drives citizens to demand change.

Brad Klopfenstein: It’s time for video gambling terminals in Indiana

The legalization of VGTs would generate millions in new revenue from gambling taxes and fees, money that could be used to fund local roads, schools, and other essential local and state needs without raising taxes.

Sheri Fella: Trusting yourself provides your truest compass

Trusting in yourself means you can trust your inner voice. So when you hear it say, “I need help” or “I don’t know” or “What am I missing?”, trust it and look around your room of learning.

Ed Feigenbaum: The 2019 legislative session is less partisan. Here’s why.

After several years of Republican supermajorities and control of the Governor’s Office, the GOP policy agenda has little remaining that might be as objectionable to Democrats as, for example, right-to-work legislation, which sparked the historic 34-day Democratic walkout in 2011, or the repeal of common construction wage laws in 2015.

KIM: Buffett says to focus on the ‘forest,’ appreciate ‘The American Tailwind’

Rational people don’t risk what they have and need for what they don’t have and don’t need.”

BOHANON & CUROTT: Higher minimum wage hurts those it’s meant to help

full-service restaurants in New York City employed 3,000 fewer workers in December 2018 than in December 2017; the city increased the minimum wage from $11 an hour to $13 in 2018.

Letter: Restore bias bill

In today’s economy, the best way to build a broader tax base and a more dynamic business community is to embrace a diverse workforce.

In Brief

Lilly to introduce generic version of insulin at half off Humalog’s list price

The move comes at a time drug makers, especially those that make insulin, are facing withering criticism for raising prices.

Nuvo reinvents itself as not-for-profit, online publication

The founder of the local alternative weekly revealed Monday that the publication has radically shifted its business model in the wake of news that it has discontinued its print edition after 29 years

Dilapidated Castleton hotel to be revamped as senior ‘resort’ community

The developer behind the $5.4 million plan to convert Castleton Extended Stay into senior living units is seeking a three-year tax break on the project.

With $30M gift, Indiana University renames SPEA after O’Neill

Indiana University has renamed its School of Public and Environmental Affairs after alumnus and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.

Area sock maker acquired by founder’s daughter, private equity firm

Martinsville-based For Bare Feet Inc., a 35-year-old manufacturer and distributor of novelty socks, has been sold.


Greg Porter: Law must have a victims list to be effective legal tool

Those who oppose a hate crimes law are on the wrong side of history.

John Crane: A law without a list is inclusive; it covers everyone

Indiana already has in law, and practice, what proponents for a list-approach say they want.

Shariq Siddiqui: Senate action affront to death of Muslim-American

This was a chilling message to Indiana minorities who continue to suffer from bias crimes with little legal protection from their Legislature.

Curt Smith: Judges already have better tool than hate crimes law

Actually, factually, Indiana has a model approach to fashioning justice to the crime, including hate, bias or discrimination.

Deborah Daniels: Law must be crystal-clear about who’s protected

Isn’t it enough to say “bias” instead of listing specific protected classes? In a word, no.

Jennifer Wagner: A hate crimes law should be a no-brainer

We must shake off our apathy and be part of the debate.

Riley Parr: Less government equals more freedom

Looking to government to solve every ill should not be the first course of action.

Pierre Atlas: Let’s have an honest debate about socialism

Sweden is a prime example of the hybrid political-economic system known as the social democratic welfare state.

Megan Robertson: What does being Republican even mean?

The principles our Founding Fathers set forth—the ones Republicans used to hold up as resolute pillars of our democracy—no longer seem to be of concern to the White House or Republican leadership.

Abdul-Hakim Shabazz: Democrats have only themselves to blame

This is one of the most politically idiotic moves a party chairman can make.

Bill Oesterle: Bridge latest in ‘death by thousand cuts’ for 38th Street

About $4 million will be spent, and the street will be far worse off.

Glenda Ritz: Stop state money to virtual schools

Education decisions at the state level should be about serving students, not politics.

Marshawn Wolley: State must set high bar for minority student attainment

A lower proficiency goal for kids who look like my son means adults are planning for their failure instead of addressing our own failings.

Tom LoBianco: Determining the ‘best obtainable version’ of truth

Maybe it’s time for reporters and journalists to let the public know more about how we do what we do.

Michael Leppert: Halftime speeches can sometimes be game changers

Don’t forget to do the super-popular things that don’t cost anything and that everyone supports.

Dr. Richard Feldman: Lawmakers can do much more to stem infant mortality

This program enables more confident, capable mothers who can better assure a more successful and healthy future for their children.

Christina Hale: Caring for our elderly Hoosiers must become priority

Society can be accurately judged by how it treats its most vulnerable populations, including its children, disabled and elderly.


MIKE LOPRESTI: 18 Hoosier hoops standouts you might not have heard of

Former Indiana high school players are making a difference at schools large and small.