CELEBRATION: Even if you haven’t yet built it, they will come.
This week is all about entrepreneurs in the state of Indiana. At events across the state, entrepreneurs are being recognized and celebrated for turning their passions into reality and igniting Indiana’s economy. Nearly 1.2 million Hoosiers are employed by a small business and more than 97 percent of all Indiana businesses are classified as small.
Indiana Entrepreneurship Week celebrates all things entrepreneurial in the Hoosier state. Proclaimed by the State of Indiana, Entrepreneurship Week highlights those individuals who have dedicated their lives to entrepreneurship and small business.
Launch Fishers hosted an event during the week-long celebration at their future site, which is slated to open in September. A previously occupied 52,000 square foot space can be lonely and depressing, but not when you fill it people who are jazzed about being part of something. Close to 700 attendees from the tech and startup community gathered to hear from a range of leaders, including Teradata CTO Tommy Richardson who spoke about his career and the future of the tech industry. TechPoint also was able to get an interview with Tommy before he stepped on stage that captures his take on the changing CTO role and risk-taking.
The host of Inside Indiana Business, Gerry Dick, couldn’t contain his excitement about being part of the celebration. He took a stage selfie before sharing his own thoughts about what’s happening in tech and entrepreneurship in the state.
“You go back 15 or 20 years ago, which I think was kind of the start in the state of Indiana when it comes to entrepreneurship and technology … there were people with these grandiose ideas about creating companies and attracting talent — all those types of things — and there were a lot of people who doubted that in a big way, and I had my doubts that it could happen in Indiana. The old song was you can’t create technology, you can’t grow technology here because you can’t attract people because you don’t have oceans or mountains or those types of things.”
“Well look at what has happened over the past number of years — those traditional companies, if you will, like Interactive Intelligence that continue to grow on a global stage and add employees. A little company by the name of ExactTarget started from nothing and grew into a company that was acquired for more than $2 billion. And how exciting is it that there are entrepreneurs like Scott Dorsey who are now reinvesting back into the tech community?”
“We saw last week the launch of High Alpha venture studio to create those next generation software companies right here in Indiana. Interesting, $35 million they raised for that, a lot of that money was from the East Coast or the West Coast. And they were very intentional. Kristina Andersen said on the show this week that they wanted to invest because it is in Indiana, that is the vibe they are getting from the tech and startup scene here. You are part of something very real and special.”
Jacob Schpok, Executive Director of the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, took time out to recognize Launch Fishers and Launch Indiana Founder John Wechsler for his tireless work to support entrepreneurship in Indiana.
“What John (Wechsler) is doing here at Launch Fishers and with the Launch Indiana program is the poster child not only for Indiana, but I would go as far as to say the Midwest and even serve as a national leader in looking at ways of supporting innovation and entrepreneurs who have an idea and need to really chart a course to take that idea to fruition. When its an idea that’s as nontraditional as an idea can get, John’s the guy who can really help steer you in the right direction — either by giving you a place to go or by giving you someone to talk to that’s been there and done that. So my hat really goes off to you, John, really for just getting in there and getting it done day in and day out. Thank you so much for what you are doing.”
CAPTION for featured image: Jacob Schpok (top), Gerry Dick (left) and John Wechsler.