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Launch Indiana

Launch Indiana - WechslerIn a recent press release, a partnership with the State of Indiana and Launch Fishers was announced by the Lt. Governor, Sue Ellspermann.  ‘Launch Indiana’ will connect Indiana’s innovation-driven entrepreneurs with mentorship, education, and assistance from successful entrepreneurs.

The model for this effort is based on the success of Launch Fishers. Serial entrepreneur John Wechsler is expanding the mission of Launch Fishers, through a partnership with the state of Indiana. “The mission of Launch Indiana is to increase the number of successful Indiana-based innovation-driven enterprises.” says Wechsler.

Launch Fishers has quickly become a successful model for other cities around the state.  What began only 16 months ago, has quickly expanded to nearly 300 members and growing.  Located on the ground floor of the Hamilton East Public Library in Fishers, members enjoy the comforts and conveniences of big business amenities without the overhead.

BlueBridge Digital was the first member to join Launch Fishers, and as a double shot, they are the first to ‘launch’ out of Launch Fishers and into their own office space.  BBD also announced recently they will be hiring an additional 200 employees in the near future.  Santiago Jamarillo, who founded BlueBridge Digital, gives credit to Launch Fishers for helping incubate his success.  There are many other small businesses ready to “launch” as well. The hope is that the trend will continue as Launch Fishers continues to add new members and watch them grow into their own space throughout Fishers.

The accessibility of resources, capital, mentoring and connections available to entrepreneurs at Launch Fishers is being emulated or plans are in development around the state in cities such as Lafayette, West Lafayette, Evansville, Muncie, Bloomington, Terre Haute and Shelbyville.

Launch Indiana brings a human capital element to the rapidly maturing collection of co-working sites statewide.  The idea being, if we can create an environment hospitable for start-up businesses, and combine that with the right support, these promising young companies will stay, grown and flourish in Indiana.  The efforts of mentors to assist with these entrepreneurs will bring immeasurable benefits to our state, the least of which is jobs.

The future of business is changing – as illustrated by Jason Nazar, a Forbes Columnist. The workspace model is changing.  More open floor plans and fewer walls separating co-workers – many large Indiana companies are already functioning this way.  According to Nazar, the office will be the classroom and his most striking prediction: 2 out of 5 workers will be entrepreneurs.

Launch FishersEase of use, enabling easy access to resources to help fuel entrepreneurs is what Launch is all about.  Having created many successful businesses, and having worked and lived out in Silicon Valley, Wechsler moved back to not only be closer to family, but to create a thriving entrepreneurial atmosphere at home, in Indiana.  Through Wechsler’s efforts and foresight, he has created the basis of fundamental change in the way entrepreneurs seek help:  he’s made it almost too easy.

Wechsler gives credit for the Launch Fishers success to Scott Fadness, who’s shared vision and values for the Launch idea helped facilitate the entire idea. “The success of Launch Fishers has elevated Fishers’ profile as a leader in how to create strong communities with entrepreneurship as a core value”, says Wechsler.

Launch Indiana is important for our state.  Through the efforts of this project, future leadership, fueled by innovation and focusing on human capital, is working on fostering the next generation of high-profile high-growth companies right here in Indiana.  “Our people are our best resource.  Why not nurture their ideas?” adds Wechsler.

Town Manager Scott Fadness says of the Launch Indiana project, “We are very excited for the next chapter (Launch Indiana) of Launch Fishers and our overall entrepreneurial initiative.  I think this announcement further solidifies this community’s commitment to job and wealth creation and puts us front and center stage at the state level.” And perhaps beyond.

The timing has been perLaunch Fishers-Indiana Teamfect from inception.  Renewals of Launch Fishers memberships are strong, with over 90% retention of members.  Ideas exist, companies just need the help to foster their growth.  With resources like Launch Fishers now available to other areas of the state, is Indiana the next hot bed of capital funding and technology?  Nazar believes the business world is dramatically different even from a generation ago and thinks it will be more pronounced over the next 30 years.  Launch isn’t even two years old – how many changes will take place in the near future?  and with Launch spin-offs around the state, the possibilities are as endless as the imagination.  Get ready, Indiana, to Launch!

About Kara Kavensky

Kara Kavensky lives in the Geist area with her family. In addition to writing, she owns Geist Pilates.

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