Bluebridge Holding Launch Party with Verge This Thursday

https_proxyHave plans Thursday? If not, you should hear one of Indiana’s leading young entrepreneurs, Santiago Jaramillo of Bluebridge, describe his experiences thus far in starting a business, and unveil his company’s new digs and new app technology in Fishers. (Get your tickets online.)

During this Verge event, Jaramillo will discuss raising capital in Indianapolis and give entrepreneurs advice on scaling their business to the first $1 million in revenue. Topics will include fundraising, scaling sales and marketing, and hiring.

Here’s a message with details from our friends at Verge:

We’re really excited to team up with Bluebridge for the month of July and celebrate the birth of the new Verge app. We’d love for you to share your feedback on the app experience for its test launch. We’ll be adding features in the months ahead.
Here’s the launch agenda:

– 5:30 pm – Doors open to public (Pizza & beer provided)
– 6:15 pm – Welcome announcement
– 6:30 pm – Pitches
Mobile App Studio – Santiago Jaramillo, Bluebridge
Verge App – Matt Hunckler, Verge
Future of Tech in Fishers – John Wechsler, Launch Fishers and Scott Fadness, Mayor of Fishers
– 7:00 pm – Fireside chat with Santiago Jaramillo, CEO of Bluebridge
– 8:30 pm – Doors close

As you know, tickets move fast, and we’re only releasing 300 spots for this special event. Reserve your spot today!

If you’d like more background, we’ve also covered Jaramillo and Bluebridge in BizVoice.

MDWise, Inc.: Maximizing Chamber Investment Through Employee Training

Lux_LindseyAre great leaders born or made? The answer is simple: Great leaders are “made” – and embracing learning opportunities is a key step.

The Indiana Chamber’s annual Human Resources Conference & Expo provides a variety of tools to boost leadership skills. Lindsey Lux, a regular attendee, enjoys the panel discussions, legal updates and collaboration with fellow HR professionals.

Lux is vice president of operations at MDwise — an Indiana Chamber member since 2007. Headquartered in Indianapolis, the Indiana nonprofit health insurance company is focused on giving uninsured and underserved Hoosiers the compassionate service and care they want and need.

“The legal presenters at the conference have given interesting presentations with real-world applicability,” she comments. “The conference is the best in Indiana to earn strategic recertification credits necessary to maintain my SPHR (senior professional in human resources).”

Lux participated in a focus group with other past attendees regarding ways to enhance the event.

“Most conferences ask you to complete a satisfaction survey once you are finished. This is the first time I’ve been asked to discuss (my input) face-to-face with attendees,” she emphasizes.

Reflecting on an especially memorable experience at the Human Resources Conference, Lux describes a session about leadership development.

“I walked away with a workbook full of information after having clearly identified my values, my company strategy, goals, etc.,” she recalls. “It’s nice to leave a session feeling empowered to improve in areas as an individual and as an organization.”

Science on Display: Dow Ambassadors Connect with Students

dowAsking 10-year-olds their opinions about school subjects sometimes can yield unenthusiastic responses.

But when questioned if she enjoys science, Kelli Woods – a fourth grader at New Augusta South Public Academy in Indianapolis – passionately nods and answers, “Yes, very much – because I get to learn about new stuff and find out how it works.”

Kelli describes the project she entered in the school’s fourth grade science fair, in which she tested how soaking white roses in colored water would impact their appearance.

“My hypothesis was that the red (would make the rose change colors fastest) because it stains a lot,” she explains. “But it was actually the blue one.”

Dow AgroSciences’ Science Ambassadors gave guidance and judged the projects of Kelli and her classmates in late January in the New Augusta South gymnasium.

The scene was not a unique one as Dow’s brigade of over 300 staffers volunteer their time each year, often on nights and weekends. Last year, the ambassadors visited over 25 schools during about 75 events. Dow developed the program a decade ago, but added a major emphasis in 2012. Since then, officials estimate the company’s outreach efforts to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education have impacted more than 4,200 teachers and almost 200,000 students.

Read the full story online.

Folk Fest in Indy to Draw Many Bands, Raise Funds for a Great Cause on May 9

folkfestSome socially conscious business owners and volunteers in Indy’s Fountain Square area are working hard to promote the inaugural Virginia Avenue Folk Fest, which will raise funds for Trusted Mentors. Set for May 9, the festival will feature over 70 local bands and is already creating quite the buzz.

I’m proud to say that I was involved with Trusted Mentors as an adult mentor for three years, and now serve on its board of directors.

The program creates mentor/mentee matches to help at-risk adults establish stable lives by reducing the chaos brought about by poverty, homelessness, under-employment and the effects of incarceration. These person-to-person mentoring relationships improve lives by developing life skills and positive social networks that empower people to:

  • Remain housed
  • Make a positive contribution to the local community
  • Remain or become employed
  • Advance their education
  • Stay out of jail
  • Improve parenting skills

For more details about the event, check out this helpful FAQ. And we could still use more volunteers as well!

Hope to see you there, and please help us spread the word if you plan to attend by using the hashtag #folkinupindy. Folk yeah!

Indiana Chamber is Proud to Honor Our Volunteers of the Year Today

Our Indiana Chamber board members gathered in Indianapolis today and honored three volunteers of the year whose efforts have made a tremendous impact on our organization.

Phil Bounsall
Walker (Indianapolis)
A financial background allows Bounsall to not only guide a strong organization but serve the Indiana Chamber as treasurer and leader of the finance and audit committee. A 2013-2014 challenge included a balanced approach in winding down the organization’s defined benefit pension plan.

Bounsall brings leadership and clear communication to the table no matter the issue.

“The more successful the businesses are in the community, the more vibrant the community will be. The more opportunities we have to improve education. The more opportunities we have to provide better health care for people. Everything works better in a community when the business community is vibrant.”

Jill Ritchie
Indiana Beverage (Valparaiso)
Jill Ritchie has called Northwest Indiana home since 2008. Through her work on the Indiana Chamber board and several policy committees, as well as being an Indiana Vision 2025 regional partner, she strives to connect that part of the state with broader goals and initiatives.

The alignment with the Chamber allows her to be an advocate – just as she is each day in her legal and government affairs work.

“Organizations like the Indiana Chamber are really important. The key to businesses’ success is providing family-sustaining jobs and the Chamber creates an environment in which that can occur.”

Heather Wilson
Frost Brown Todd (Indianapolis)
From chairing the Civil Justice Committee to helping expand the annual Human Resources Conference, Wilson has worked to assist Indiana Chamber members over the past eight years.

She brings the same energy she carries in serving her clients to these volunteer efforts.

“I have a passion for helping employers and businesses – that’s what I love to do. I want businesses to understand what their obligations are from a legal standpoint. And then, if there’s something in statute for example that is not fair or is being interpreted in kind of an unfair way, then having the opportunity to make change (is critical).”

Indy Eleven Hosting Craft Brew Night at Aug. 23 Match; Get Your Tickets Now!

Indy Eleven will host “Craft Brew Night” (presented by Kroger) on Saturday, Aug. 23 at Carroll Stadium 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. prior to the match vs. Ottawa Fury FC.

The event, dubbed “The World’s Game, Indiana’s Beer,” will feature offerings from many of the state’s top craft brewers. On hand will be:

  • Barley Island (Noblesville)
  • Carson’s Brewery (Evansville)
  • Chapmans (Angola)
  • Cutters (Avon)
  • Daredevil (Shelbyville)
  • Flat 12 (Indianapolis)
  • Fountain Square (Indianapolis)
  • Oaken Barrel (Greenwood)
  • People’s Brewing (Lafayette)
  • Quaff On (Nashville)
  • Scarlet Lane (McCordsville)
  • Sun King (Indianapolis)
  • Taxman (Bargersville)
  • Tow Yard (Indianapolis)
  • Tin Man (Evansville)
  • Triton (Indianapolis)
  • Upland (Bloomington)

A highlight of the evening’s festivities will include Flat 12 Bierwerks’ unveiling of the name and logo for their new English Pale Ale, created in honor of Indy Eleven and the team’s independent supporters group, the Brickyard Battalion. Fans are encouraged to visit Flat 12 Bierwerks’ blog to see the five name and logo pairings for this delicious new addition to the Indy Eleven corporate partner’s stable of beers.

A limited number of tickets will be available for this Craft Brew Night event, so fans interested in securing their spots can go online to purchase their $25 game/tasting ticket combo pack or $11 Craft Brew tasting event passes or call (317) 685-1100 during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Fans should also be on the lookout for contest offerings surrounding Craft Brew Night on Indy Eleven’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels and Reddit throughout this week, including free ticket packages and Indy Eleven merchandise.

Velodrome/Indy Cycloplex a ‘Major’ Asset for Central Indiana

The soon-to-released July/August BizVoice will feature a series of stories on cycling in Indiana. One piece will feature an interview with Dean Peterson, head coach of Marian University’s dominant college cycling program (which now boasts 26 national championships).

In addition to the hard work of Peterson and his staff, one asset the team has parlayed into a big advantage is the Indy Cycloplex and Major Taylor Velodrome. Visible to those driving on I-65 on the city’s north side, the bike park is operated by Peterson and the school to serve the public. He explains:

The Velodrome is a unique asset for a school, and three years ago, Marian entered into an agreement with the city to manage the Indy Cycloplex park (over 40 acres). We wanted to retool and revitalize the park and invite the community in a little more – and maybe re-energize to a new level. The city recognized it was hard for them to do that with the money they had, but they looked at us because we could be more autonomous in how we could raise money and be more creative in our operations.

It’s certainly a great synergy and it helps us recruit – and the community gets to come in and race and ride with our riders. We do run this as a city park in a unique setting.

There’s very few Velodromes in the country with the amenities we have here. It was built for the International Sports Festival and the Pan Am Games, and this is an amazing set-up with bathrooms and fountains and places to change. Usually tracks are out in the middle of nowhere. But it is expensive to keep it all going. But I think we were the right people to take it over and have been very happy with our partnership with the city.

He adds that developing the BMX track has been a benefit, as well as a challenge.

That’s been a challenge financially, but we’ve learned a lot and that has more capacity to generate income while making a lot of young riders happy and generate great cyclists. They learn skills there that are very hard to teach anywhere else.

Furthermore, Peterson says the school strives to communicate the history surrounding the Velodrome’s namesake, Major Taylor, as well. For more on this champion cyclist who overcame racial prejudice, visit the Major Taylor Association’s web page.

Pass the Torch for Women Luncheon Set for Aug. 14 at Ivy Tech (Indianapolis)

Mentoring Women’s Network is hosting the Pass the Torch for Women Luncheon August 14 at the Ivy Tech Corporate College and Culinary Center in Indianapolis.

Join us for the inaugural “Pass the Torch for Women Luncheon”, with proceeds to benefit the Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation.  Pass the Torch for Women will inspire women everywhere to support one another through mentoring relationships.

This event is chaired by Traci Dolan and will feature Billie Dragoo, CEO of Repucare and acting CEO of NAWBO, as the honoree.

Keynote speaker will be Dottie Gandy of Dallas, Texas.  Ms. Gandy is the founder of The Up to Something Group in Dallas, TX, whose members choose to be intentional about designing the lives they want – and create extraordinary results in the process.

The agenda includes a panel discussion on mentoring and networking opportunities.  Plan to join us for a delicious lunch and silent auction, with proceeds to benefit the Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation and the Pass the Torch for Women campaign.

You can register to attend online, and corporate sponsorships are still being accepted.

For more information, Sunny Bray, director of corporate partnerships, penned this guest blog for us in February:

Mentoring Women’s Network, a community of empowered women supporting one another personally and professionally through mentoring relationships, is holding their inaugural event, “Pass the Torch for Women Luncheon,”  August 14 at the Ivy Tech Corporate College and Culinary Center.

Pass the Torch for Women is chaired by Traci Dolan of ExactTarget and an executive leadership team including senior representation from women from Angie’s List, Fifth Third Bank, Simon Property Group, First Merchants Bank, and many other companies.

The Pass the Torch for Women event is intended to inspire women to pledge to mentor and help develop one another personally and professionally, in order to create new opportunities and advance women in the workplace. Women are making advancements in the workplace and in business, yet we have much work to do to continue to advance women leaders.

Sponsoring this event provides your company with positive visibility and association with a well-regarded national organization. Sponsorship also creates access for your female employees to year-round programs and resources aimed at leadership development, connections and social responsibility.

More than 475 women of the greater Indianapolis business, medical and civic communities will attend the 2014 Pass the Torch for Women Event. Your participation in the Pass the Torch for Women Event affords you networking opportunities and additional benefits.

If you’re interested in supporting this program, contact me at sunny@mentoringwomensnetwork.com or (317) 575-4077.

Parent: School Choice Voucher is Changing My Son’s Life

The following is the final post in a week-long series of blogs in support of National School Choice Week (Jan. 26 – Feb. 1). This is authored by Patty Scheitler, whose son has benefited from Indiana’s school choice voucher program. (This blog was submitted via Hoosiers for Economic Growth.)

The School Choice Indiana voucher program has opened up many doors for my son. He is able to attend a private high school (Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis), which has already provided him with the tools to succeed. He has very high hopes and dreams of becoming a doctor one day and it would be difficult to reach these goals at the public school he was to attend.

He is now able to take advanced classes, participate in community service projects throughout the city and travel through Brebeuf’s enrichment programs. He has already grown educationally and is challenged appropriately. He has been recommended for a self study program during his sophomore year and is so very excited about it. This opportunity will enable him to qualify for summer programs focusing on medicine and will enhance his chances of being accepted.

The teachers have been amazing and are available, caring and invested in the learning of each student. They take the time to meet and get to know each student on an individual basis and really want to see the student succeed. The voucher program also allows my son to grow as a person. He is exposed to more diversity at his new school and meeting students from all over the Indianapolis area. He has made friends with kids from different backgrounds, religious beliefs and educational experiences.

The main mantra at Brebeuf is “Men and Women for Others” — this quote really explains the feeling my son has at his new school. They really allow the students to reach out to their community and serve in many ways. They feel it is important to grow each student, spiritually, emotionally, physically and educationally. I love this approach and have never experienced anything like it in the public school setting. My son is also given the opportunity to participate in many sports and extracurricular activities. His school really encourages all to participate and most clubs meet during the day instead of after school, which provides more opportunities to participate.

We are so blessed to have received the choice voucher. Every day, my son says how much he loves Brebeuf and is so lucky to be able to attend such a wonderful school!

Klipsch: School Choice a Driver to Build Economic Success in Indiana

The following is the fourth in a week-long series of blogs in support of National School Choice Week (Jan. 26 – Feb. 1). This is authored by Fred Klipsch, former chairman and CEO of Klipsch Group, Inc. — one of the nation’s top speaker companies. He is chairman of the School Choice Indiana board of directors.

I received a solid education through the public school system in Indiana from elementary schiool through college. Both Indianapolis Public Schools and Purdue University provided me with a quality education that prepared me to succeed in business and in life.

Like all things, our public education system has dramatically changed over the last few decades since I was a student, and in my opinion it is no longer delivering the quality education today’s students need to compete in a global economy. At this stage of my life, I sincerely believe that every child, regardless of zip code or income, should have the opportunity to receive the same high quality education that I had. School choice is a tool to provide quality educational options to all parents. By creating competition in the education marketplace, it clarifies the need for public school systems to improve.

Business leaders are sometimes wary of supporting school choice, specifically “vouchers,” and they should not be. Indiana’s voucher program allows low and moderate income parents access to a private school education for their children — an educational option which previously was not available to them. Now parents can choose a quality education for their child in an environment that best meets their educational needs rather than, in many cases, having that child trapped in an underperforming public school.

From a businessman’s perspective, Indiana’s voucher program caps the voucher amount at no more than 90% of public school cost, thereby producing economic savings for the state. School choice is about much more than vouchers, however, and it is about options and competition in the education marketplace. More importantly, vouchers are fulfilling the state’s obligation to provide access to a high-quality education for all children to help deliver the skilled workforce needed for our economy to thrive.

As a nation, we have built our economic success on our belief in free markets. Why, as businessmen and businesswomen, would we not believe that educational success is best achieved through a similar setting? The startling truth is that Indiana students are performing in the middle of the pack when it comes to math and science. As a nation, we are not much better when compared to our global competitors.

We must constantly be working together to improve the quality of education that our young people are receiving, as they are the future business leaders of our state and nation. Supporting policies that provide families with educational options, allow for innovation in the classroom and free our teachers from unnecessary regulations, thereby allowing them to focus on the children, are some of the key initiatives of the education improvement movement. These are examples of why I chose to become more involved in promoting school choice in Indiana — and I urge other business and civic leaders to join me.