TECH THURSDAY: Mickey’s Mantra

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EDITOR’S NOTE: BizVoice® has featured technology/innovation stories throughout its 18-year history. Look for these flashbacks each Thursday. Here is a 2011 favorite.

Michael S. “Mickey” Maurer says a common piece of advice for entrepreneurs is “find something you do well, you like, and do that forever.”

But all entrepreneurs do not fit into a nice, neat, one-size-fits-all package. The definition of the term, after all, typically includes the words “initiative” and “risk.”

Maurer follows his initial comment with this self-description. “I just don’t seem to follow that good advice. I have a short attention span, a big curiosity and I like to do things I’ve never done before. What I try to do is find something I’ve never done, do that and learn all I can, and then move on and do something else I’ve never done. And that makes every deal fascinating … and it makes every deal fraught with risks if you’re doing everything for the first time.”

Maurer’s business career has included cable television, racquetball facilities, film production, radio broadcasting, newspaper publishing, banking and much more. He served in the early days of the Daniels administration, making deals for the state as leader of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

In one 30-minute conversation, Maurer offers these recollections and pieces of advice.

Read the full story online.

And learn more about the Indiana Chamber’s new Technology & Innovation Council. Want to participate? Contact Mark Lawrance at mlawrance(at)indianachamber.com.

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Let’s Caucus: Candy, Cut Flowers and Concrete

caucus

What do these three items have in common? No, it’s not a Valentine’s Day gone bad for a mobster (though possible). All three subjects actually have congressional caucuses in their honor, during which legislators explore ways to promote their industries on Capitol Hill.

The newest entrant is the Congressional Candy Caucus – announced June 16 – which highlights “the economic impact, responsibility commitments and community involvement” of the candy manufacturing industry. One of its founders, Rep. Jackie Walorski (Indiana’s 2nd District) says: “Candy manufacturers like the South Bend Chocolate Company in my district have a long and lasting tradition of not only making Americans’ favorite treats but creating good jobs and growing our economy.”

No doubt that’s true, but I’m guessing there will also be some chocolate indulgence when the caucus members meet.

There are literally HUNDREDS of these congressional groups. Some lofty; others more frivolous – at least on the surface.

The July-August issue of BizVoice magazine examines caucuses that may leave you scratching your head or simply wanting to know more about what they really promote.

Tech Thursday: Don’t Worry; Just Be Successful

EDITOR’S NOTE: BizVoice® has featured technology/innovation stories throughout its 18-year history. Look for these flashbacks each Thursday. Here is a 2015 favorite.

Max Yoder talks – a lot. He is the first to admit that. But the 27-year-old CEO of Lesson.ly (the 2015 Mira Award winner as Tech Startup of the Year) has a great deal to say. And many people are paying very close attention to his words.

In the first five minutes of a 55-minute conversation, Yoder says he is a worrier. When asked to explain that seeming contradiction with leading an entrepreneurial venture, he clarifies:

“When I say I’m a worrier, that doesn’t necessarily mean I worry about everything. I don’t worry about my abilities. I often worry about things I can’t control; there are a lot of them,” he shares.

Read the full story online.

And learn more about the Indiana Chamber’s new Technology and Innovation Council. Want to participate? Contact Mark Lawrance at mlawrance(at)indianachamber.com and look for the #TIC4TECH hashtag.

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BizVoice Earns Three SPJ Awards for 2015

bizvoice coverThe Indiana Chamber’s BizVoice® magazine earned three recent Indiana Society of Professional Journalists awards for work completed during 2015.

The honors include:

BizVoice has received 78 national and state awards over the past 17 years. The bimonthly publications is Indiana’s leading statewide business magazine, reaching 15,000 decision-makers and a broader business consulting/site selection audience. Learn more at www.bizvoicemagazine.com.

Purdue’s Income Share Agreement Option Moves Forward

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In the latest BizVoice, we covered Purdue University’s recent exploration into the world of Income Share Agreements (ISAs). The funding strategy allows students to pay back loans based on their future earnings. It’s a way to mitigate the mountains of debt today’s college students often find themselves in after graduation.

Since the article’s release, Purdue has moved forward to the next phase of the process. Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) is managing and making the funding available for the program. This web site provides more information.

PRF is now focused on providing educational and informational sessions to students and parents. The application process for the Back a Boiler – ISA Fund will begin in May. PRF anticipates this will give students time to review all of their options and determine which best serves their educational funding needs.

Walker Words to Remember

walkerWhen it comes to employee loyalty and its impacts, the Walker consulting firm is king. I had the opportunity recently to talk to the second-generation leader of that company, now chairman emeritus Frank Walker, who was an early pioneer in the areas of corporate social responsibility, business ethics and more.

You can read more from Walker in the March-April BizVoice magazine (on p. 56). But here’s a bonus insight on the employer-employee relationship: and never totally shutting doors with prized team members

“Several people have been credited with this line,” Walker says: ‘You need to train your people so they have the skills to leave you, but treat them so well they don’t want to.’

Walker adds: “We have lots of people who left us and come back. We have some we have to say, ‘They’re growing faster than we are right now and we can’t hold them back.’ But it’s 10 years later and Brenda has the skills, she’d love to come back, we have a spot for her now.

“They become a fantastic resource. Other people are saying, ‘I don’t know about this place.’ They (the returning employee) can say, ‘I’ve been over on the other side; let me tell you something that goes on here that doesn’t happen there.’ “

VIDEO: See What’s in the New Edition of BizVoice

Our Senior VP and editor of BizVoice Tom Schuman explains what’s in the March/April edition. If you’re interested in higher education, corporate social responsibility or Vanderburgh County, we have information you can’t miss.

This issue also focuses on the “Outstanding Talent” driver of the Indiana Chamber’s Indiana Vision 2025 plan.

Read BizVoice online today.

Promise Receives Extra Boost

promise inCreating a college-going culture is the primary theme of the Wabash County Promise Initiative and the growing Promise Indiana network. Now, Wabash County students in grades four through eight are receiving additional financial assistance as the result of a $430,000 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

The Promise program allows parents to create a 529 college savings account for their children when they register for school. The new grant permits elementary and middle school students to earn additional funding for their accounts through academic accomplishments, family savings and postsecondary planning.

The work that started in Wabash County is earning national and international attention. The Indiana Chamber was pleased to help spread the word through its Indiana Vision 2025 regional forums in 2015 and additional outlets. Learn more:

Keeping the Skies Open for Drones

droneWill drone technology “transform the way we live and work” or prove to be an intrusive, security-filled hurdle to overcome? The Competitive Enterprise Institute is betting on the former, with its new report warning of federal regulations that could get in the way of substantial progress.

Also see Rebecca Patrick’s APEX Award-winning 2014 BizVoice article on drones and their potential business impact.