Going On the Co-Working Road

The Fish Tank co-working space in Columbus is leading to a variety of business community collaborations.

Business dreams come in many shapes and sizes. A common denominator is having the resources available to help those dreams come true. And the places to make that happen, like the entrepreneurs themselves, are unique in many ways.Business dreams come in many shapes and sizes. A common denominator is having the resources available to help those dreams come true. And the places to make that happen, like the entrepreneurs themselves, are unique in many ways.

The Indiana Chamber’s BizVoice® magazine, in its yearlong series on innovation and entrepreneurship, hits the road in the current issue to learn about the people and places in four communities. They are:

While they vary in size and activity, these and other co-working space share the common bond of bringing people together. I’m confident you will enjoy learning about some of the entrepreneurs who are starting and growing their businesses.

The July-August issue also offers:

  • A continuation of the developing success story at Recovery Force. Three external advisors with varying backgrounds share their insights
  • A guest column that focuses on the green Internet of Things
  • Quick Hits that include a business attraction effort in Anderson; another unique space for entrepreneurs in Wabash; and a successful remote relationship for an ExactTarget alum who didn’t want to leave central Indiana

If you don’t receive each of the six bimonthly issues of BizVoice®, you can subscribe online. If you want to reach an audience of 15,000-plus decision-makers with your products and services, contact Tim Brewer (tbrewer@indianachamber.com) for advertising specials and packages.

TECH THURSDAY: Words of Advice from Business Founders

36886821EDITOR’S NOTE: BizVoice® has featured technology/innovation stories throughout its 18-year history. Look for these flashbacks each Thursday. Here is a 2013 favorite.

Lee Lewellen has concentrated on economic and business growth throughout a 30-year Central Indiana business career. Recently, that focus honed in on entrepreneurs – how they have grown their businesses and what they have learned along the way.

In a series of one-hour iFounders’ interviews, Lewellen tapped into the mindsets of 26 Indiana business leaders. They range from “veterans” such as Bill Mays (Mays Chemical) and Jeff Smulyan (Emmis Communications) to “newcomers” throughout the state, including Ryan Hou of LHP Software (Columbus) and Pete Bitar of XADS (Anderson).

“I was just incredibly humbled that these people who are very successful would spend an hour of their time talking about this,” Lewellen states. It was also a reminder of “how much really cool stuff is taking place in the state of Indiana, both in terms of the innovation and some of the connections these folks have all over the word in selling Indiana products, services and technologies. We kind of take it for granted.”

Lewellen points to Greenville-based Techshot, long known for its work with NASA and more recent diversification into different areas. “It’s out in the middle of nowhere doing some really incredible stuff. They’re there because Mark Deuser wanted to be close to where he grew up. You get a different geographic view of where people are doing these great things. It’s all about networks and mentoring.”

Read the full story online.

And learn more about the Indiana Chamber’s new Technology & Innovation Council. Our first meeting was in August, and was well-attended. Want to participate? Contact Mark Lawrance at mlawrance(at)indianachamber.com.

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Toyota Celebrates 500,000 Forklifts Built in America

Toyota’s forklift manufacturing company, Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, has been headquartered in Columbus since 1990. After Toyota’s forklift sales and distribution company relocated to Indiana (from Irvine, California) last summer, all of the company’s North American forklift operations are under one roof — and have now produced over 500,000 forklifts.

Congrats to Toyota on this milestone!

Time Magazine: Slider is No. 1 Most Influential Burger

Hungry? Maybe this will whet your appetite for a hunk of ground beef on a toasted bun. The White Castle “slider” has been ranked by Time magazine as the “most influential burger of all time,” beating out McDonald’s, In-N-Out, 21 and Burger King (Nos. 2-5, respectively).

My favorite part of this story, however, is how Time staffers came to this conclusion: They interviewed burger historians and experts. I didn’t realize that was an available job for people to have!

The White Castle corporate headquarters have been in Columbus, Ohio for 80 years and part of the reason the tiny sandwiches achieved the Time distinction, according to the Columbus Dispatch, is that the burgers paved the way for a fast food revolution (whether that’s good or bad for health is a discussion for another day).

So, while you think about what you’ll have to eat for lunch today, I’ll leave you with some fun facts about White Castle from the company’s web site:

  • White Castle burgers have been featured in four movies (probably most famously in “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” in 2004)
  • The chain was the first to sell a million, and then a billion, hamburgers
  • The first White Castle opened in March 1921 in Wichita, Kansas, thanks to a $700 loan
  • Originally, sliders were on sale for a nickel
  • During the Depression, White Castle offered a menu of bean soup, cheese and egg sandwiches, due to the rationing of meat at that time

As I was reminded driving past my local White Castle the other day, the restaurant is already taking reservations for Valentine’s Day, in which it transforms into a haven for lovebirds (or so I’m told) with decorations, table cloths, candles and the opportunity for a commemorative photo of your experience. Anyone ever celebrated this romantic holiday at White Castle? Share your experience with us in the comments.

And thanks, White Castle, for creating those delicious bite-sized burgers (and for the chicken rings, too)!

Columbus Earns Big Economic Honor

Columbus is known for its unique architecture, and for housing national headquarters for Cummins. But a national site selection magazine has given the city major kudos as the"Top Small City" in the U.S. for its economic attributes. Yet another asset for our great state.

Area Development, a national publication covering site selection and facility planning, today named Columbus, Indiana, the #1 U.S. city in its 2012 Leading Locations report. The publication ranked all 365 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) across 23 economic and work force indicators supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the U.S. Census American Community Survey.

Each MSA earned a best-to-lowest ranking, 1-365, within each of the 23 indicators, and the Columbus, Indiana MSA (which includes the city and surrounding Bartholomew County) realized the best overall performance across all indicators. Columbus also ranked as the #1 “Top Small City” in the U.S. (population under 160,000), the #1 “Top 20 Midwest City”, and received two top five and one top ten overall rankings in three sub-categories of Prime Work Force, Economic Strength, and Recession-Busting Cities.

“Accolades such as this are a very welcome acknowledgement of the type of business-friendly environment that we are working to provide in Columbus,” said Mayor Kristen Brown. “Even more important to us than national rankings, however, are the opinions of our local employers who ‘rank’ us each day by their continued investment and job creation activities.”

In its description of the local economy, the report referenced the sizable corporate headquarters of Cummins Inc., R&D and technology centers of Faurecia and Dorel Juvenile Group, and advanced manufacturing strengths exhibited by other leading employers such as NTN and Sunright America, both having announced hiring expansions in the last twelve months. Area Development highlighted the success this Midwestern community has had with local company expansions, noting that the community “has averaged one corporate expansion announcement a month since 2010, creating 1,840 jobs, and current employment figures there are the third-highest on record.”

“We are exceptionally strong in engineering talent, design expertise, and STEM-based education resources from grades K-16,” said Jason Hester, Executive Director of the Columbus Economic Development Board. “Combine those traits with our favorable business policies, a nationally recognized quality of life, and our central Midwestern location along I-65, and we like to think that we offer companies an ‘unexpected’ and ‘unforgettable’ place to do business.”

Area Development also announced the winners of its 2012 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards in recognition of projects undertaken in 2011 that are creating a significant number of high-value-added new jobs as well as investment. The ongoing Cummins headquarters office expansion in downtown Columbus, Indiana, was the state’s largest job-creation project cited in the report, helping Indiana win its fifth Shovel award in as many years. Once the new 130,000 s.f. office building is filled, Cummins will employ nearly 3,000 engineers, technicians, and professionals in a two-block area of downtown Columbus and more than 7,000 in total locally.

Other companies with recent expansions and hiring plans supported locally include Toyota Material Handling USA and Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, Enkei, LHP Software, Analytical Engineering, Rightway Fasteners, Nagakura Engineering, CAPCO, KAMIC, and several other Columbus-based enterprises.
 

Hey Indiana, Get on the Bike!

Indiana is home to seven of the 214 U.S. bicycle-friendly communities, according to the League of American Bicyclists. There are only three communities in the platinum grouping. In Indiana, Bloomington is a silver designee, with the following in the large bronze category: Carmel, Columbus, Fort Wayne, Goshen, Indianapolis and South Bend. Governing reports:

The United States is now home to 214 bicycle-friendly communities in 47 states, according to a new list released Monday by the League of American Bicyclists.

Municipalities are evaluated based on their efforts to promote bicycling, investments in bicycling infrastructure and bicycling education programs, the league said in a news release. They must apply to be considered for the list. Localities are also divided into four categories: platinum, gold, silver and bronze.

Boulder, Colo., Davis, Calif., and Portland, Ore., remained the only three communities to earn the platinum distinction on the 2012 list. All three ranked in the top 10 for their percentage of commuters who bike to work, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey, as Governing previously reported.

The league also singled out Durango, Colo., and Missoula, Mont., which were moved up from a silver to a gold designation.

More than 7 percent of Missoula’s commuters bike to work, according to the league’s report, well above the national average of 1 percent. The city has recently installed protected bike lanes, added bike path signage and created more bike parking. Durango has constructed more than 300 miles of mountain biking trails and continues to invest in city biking lanes, the league noted in its release.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans who use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation has doubled in the last decade, up to 730,000.
 

BizVoice Adds to Awards Total

Chalk up a couple more honors for BizVoice for work completed in 2010. Of four entrants in APEX 2011, two earned the Award of Excellence in their category. Taking the honors were:

  • July-August 2010 edition, Painting Indiana Green, in the Green Magazines & Journals category. The issue profiled numerous green initiatives and programs, in addition to offering analysis.
  • Editor Tom Schuman earned the award in news writing for "Breaking Down Walls: Columbus, Richmond Show the Way." The story features higher education collaborations in the two communities.

More than 3,300 entries were submitted in a variety of categories. Fewer than 30% earned the Award of Excellence.

BizVoice has received more than 50 national and state honors for editorial and design excellence over the past 12 years.

Purdue Helps Students Get “World-class” Degrees Near Home

It’s almost graduation time for college students across Indiana. Some of the least heralded gems are those mined right in our local communities, thanks to the Purdue College of Technology Statewide, with 10 locations across Indiana. Students stay home, continue their careers and get a world-class degree they can put to work right in their hometown.

In South Bend, 46 Purdue students will earn their bachelor’s on May 14. Class responder Curtis Damon, a major in industrial technology, paired his classes with a job as associate project engineer for PEI-Genesis in South Bend. And he plans to stay there.

"The College of Technology trains local professionals and young adults on new advanced topics in engineering, quality and design," he explains. "I have personally witnessed many individuals who are not looking for a particular degree but are taking classes for advancement at work and/or for a direct improvement at the workplace they are currently at. The classes in lean manufacturing and production, Six Sigma and inventory management are very straightforward and make it easy to take what you learn and implement it directly into your workplace.

"The College of Technology also allows individuals to stay at home, advance their education and build careers. This is a great benefit to both students and the local businesses in the area. It allows the local community to hire people who are from the area, who are highly educated and motivated to work. You can’t beat hiring individuals who don’t need relocation packages, know the area where they live and the community around them, and have the knowledge and education to help companies succeed."

You can read more about Curtis here. Statewide Technology is an extension of the College of Technology. Its degree programs follow the same curriculum requirements as the programs on the West Lafayette campus. Classes are taught by Purdue faculty or those approved by academic department heads. More than 1,350 students are enrolled at its sites in Anderson, Columbus, Greensburg, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Lafayette, New Albany, Richmond, South Bend and Vincennes. Of those, 53% attend full time.

Jeanne Norberg is a spokesperson for Purdue University.

WSJ: Pence for President in 2012?

I know, I know. This is likely one of umpteen articles you’ll encounter on this subject, but it’s from the Wall Street Journal so I figure it warrants mentioning. Though Mike Pence is now considered by many to have a firm grip on the 2012 Indiana Governor’s race should he choose to enter, some speculate he may not be such a longshot to earn the GOP nomination for President.

A former radio personality, the 51-year-old Mr. Pence became a darling among fiscal conservatives for opposing two of President George W. Bush’s signature initiatives, the 2001 No Child Left Behind education act and the 2003 Medicare Part D drug benefit. He saw both as violating his party’s small-government principles.

Mr. Pence favors reducing the size of the federal government, and even the power of the presidency. He wants to amend the Constitution both to ban abortions and to allow marriage only between men and women. He says increased security along the Mexican border must precede any immigration overhaul.

Mr. Pence was also among the first congressmen to jump on the tea-party wave in early 2009, speaking at rallies across Indiana and in Washington.

It was his speech at the Values Voter Summit, a marquee annual event among social conservative groups, which did the most to rouse support. The speech, with its calls to ban all federal abortion funding and stem-cell research, drew standing ovations and chants of "President Pence."

When summit attendees cast ballots in a straw poll for president, Mr. Pence came in first, ahead of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and others.

For many conservatives, Mr. Pence holds much the same allure that Mr. Huckabee did in the 2008 campaign. Mr. Huckabee tapped into support from home-schoolers and evangelicals to pull off a surprise win in the Iowa caucus, though could never catch Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), the eventual nominee.

"The big question with Huckabee is whether he can raise enough money to be a real contender in 2012," says Tom Minnery, head of public policy for Focus on the Family. As a fresher face, he says, Mr. Pence "is someone who could generate a lot of enthusiasm" in Iowa and other early nominating states and possibly show more durability in the long presidential campaign.

The Indiana lawmaker, who first won election to Congress in 2000, also has the backing of budget hawks such as Chris Chocola, a former Indiana congressman who is now president of the fiscally conservative Club for Growth. "Mike has the retail appeal of Huckabee but is an across-the-board conservative with all the credentials. There is no one else like that," says Mr. Chocola.

Feeding speculation about his presidential ambitions, Mr. Pence has visited Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in the past year, all states with early roles in the nominating process. And yet Mr. Pence and others in his camp continue to drop hints that he’s shying from a White House run. The thought of a presidential campaign, Mr. Pence said in an interview, "is more humbling than tempting."He says he’s weary of Washington. "I prefer the Flat Rock River to the Potomac River, and the Flat Rock is about a half a block from my house," he said.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short; Be Proactive About Financial Planning

Whether they’re “in the money” or “in the red,” everyone can benefit from financial planning. An upcoming event taking place just before Thanksgiving (unbelievably, it’s right around the corner) couldn’t come at a better time. That’s when many people start thinking about holiday shopping (unless you’re like me and have joyfully purchased several gifts by then. I know, I know. Insert collective eye roll). At the same time, they’re thinking of something decidedly less merry: the impact spending will have on their wallets.

On November 13, Indianapolis Financial Planning Day will feature educational workshops covering topics such as debt management, tax planning, paying for college and retirement planning. In addition, there will be one-on-one meetings with financial professionals.

Did I mention you can attend for free?

The program will be held at the University of Indianapolis from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. View registration information.     

The event is just one financial planning initiative taking place throughout the state. The Bank on Indiana program, for instance, recently featured in a BizVoice® Web exclusive, helps individuals build relationships with financial institutions by connecting them with affordable financial products and education. Among participating communities are Evansville, Bloomington, Columbus, Greenfield and Indianapolis.

Learn more at www.BankOnIndiana.com.