Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneur’

Preparing for Failure: Getting Ready for FailFest 2015

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We’re all on our own professional journey, but it’s always incredibly insightful to get a glimpse into the journeys of those around us. At FailFest 2015, we’ll be hearing from some bright professionals who haven’t always made the right moves. FailFest is an annual conference where local Indy professionals can gather to celebrate every aspect of the journey, but especially the failures. Preparing for FailFest, if you’re new to it, is an easy process. Think of Your Own Journey Your personal journey surely isn’t riddled with successes alone. We’ve all made some mistakes along the way. The important thing is to recognize how those mistakes made for a better you. How they worked to also act as a learning tool. We all experience failure differently, but our guest speaker’s this year have something to say about how their personal failures have become an important part of where they are today.  FAILFEST14_IMG_0027 Preparing for Your Future Failures Your journey probably isn’t over. That being said, you’ve still got more to go. While you may have gotten to where you are today off of your past, where you’ll be in ten years is all determined in the future. Are you prepared to make the future mistakes that are set on destiny’s slate? Knowing that every success is in some part due to a failure and how you bounced back can help you become a better failure-maker in the future. Your journey is yours, but it’s not one that is completely tied to success. We’ll be exploring how failure is a very real part of everyone’s career and how those failures have shaped some of Indy’s brightest entrepreneurs and business people. Bring your notebook and a reflective mindset to this year’s FailFest and make the most out of it! For more information about Fail Fest 2015 or for tickets, visit    metonymylogo Written by our sponsor Metonymy Media. Metonymy is a union of creative writers dedicated to serving companies and agencies with practical and effective content marketing strategies for growth and success.          

What To Expect From FailFest 2015

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FailFest sprung up out of the desire to flip the way we all look at failure. Smart people realize that without failure there would be no success. It’s important that we each recognize our failures and what we can learn from them in order to move forward and past them to the end goal. FailFest’s inaugural 2014 conference was a huge hit and we’re bringing it back bigger and better. FailFest 2015 is coming to Fishers on December 9th. FailFest celebrates the role failure plays in moving companies, careers, and community forward to success. We’re adding a little extra twist of excitement this year by hosting the conference at Tom Wood Aviation at the Indianapolis Metro Airport.   

A shot from FailFest 2014

  Fail Fest is a one day conference honoring failure as a ticket to success. While failure is never the goal, it’s often the little hurdles we need to get there. Celebrating failure in innovation, we’ve got a whole new 2015 lineup of speakers that will be headlined by Jim Hallett, Scott McCorkle, and more. Hallett is Chairman and CEO of KAR Auction Services and was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014. McCorkle serves as the CEO for Marketing Cloud, Salesforce, and previously led technology and strategy for ExactTarget and was VP of IBM’s customer relationship management product group. We’ve got a full slate of speakers ready to spill about their own personal failures! Advance sale general admission will be $99 per ticket on sale at We’ll also be selling tickets at-the-door for $129. When: Wednesday, December 9th Time: 9AM-4PM Where: Tom Wood Aviation in Fishers, IN Get your tickets today and get ready to laugh and cry at some of the area’s most successful business people’s failures. For more information about FailFest 2015 or for tickets, visit  metonymylogo Written by our sponsor Metonymy Media. Metonymy is a union of creative writers dedicated to serving companies and agencies with practical and effective content marketing strategies for growth and success.          

Why is it Important to Talk About Failure?

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Of all the things in the world to hold a festival about, failure seems an odd choice. But failure is one of our biggest fears in life. Talking about our failures openly actually inspires three positive phenomena in our lives and the lives of others: insight, understanding and innovation.   Fail Fest 2 Color Reverse Banner   Insight When you fail big, it’s often tempting to hide it. You tuck the shame and self-doubt down into yourself, or just forge ahead without dwelling on your feelings. But pulling those often painful memories out and examining them offers a learning opportunity. It’s not just about unpacking what you did wrong; it’s about coming to know your motivations, habits, and choices that lead to failures. When you come to terms with one failure, it’s easier to avoid the next one. Understanding The reason talking about your failures helps you avoid them is that it teaches you something. Maybe it’s a lesson about humility, or organization, or taking outcomes for granted. However it comes to you, accept it as best you can. Applying these lessons to our actions is far more difficult that it sounds. Some personal elements that lead us to failure are habitual. Only with understanding of how they impact us can we be mindful when they emerge and start to sabotage us. Innovation “Necessity is the mother of invention” is a phrase that originated in England sometime in the late Middle Ages. As they grew toward the Renaissance, our ancestors understood that to fail meant something difficult, but also something magical: the ability to try again in a new way. Failure inspires us to step outside our comfort zones and take control. Once a project, invention, or relationship has gone bust, a second attempt has the benefit of all the understanding from the first attempt. Is there a failure from your past you want to re-attempt, or move beyond? We’re here to help spark your insight, grow your understanding, and inspire your innovation. Join us December 9 to celebrate the best and worst in all of us. For more information about Fail Fest 2015 or for tickets, visit    metonymylogo Written by our sponsor Metonymy Media. Metonymy is a union of creative writers dedicated to serving companies and agencies with practical and effective content marketing strategies for growth and success.          

New Launch Fishers Building is State’s First Entrepreneurial Coworking Space Certified as AT&T Fiber Ready

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FISHERS, IND., NOV. 19, 2015 — As part of AT&T’s continuing efforts to drive economic development and investment in Indiana, AT&T and local elected officials today announced that the new Launch Fishers building, which will house an even larger coworking space for entrepreneurs than its current location, has been certified as being AT&T Fiber Ready.  It is just the second site in Indiana to receive this certification, and the first coworking space.

“AT&T is investing in high-speed Internet in urban and rural areas across Indiana using the latest wired and wireless technologies, and we are proud to highlight the new Launch Fishers facility as one of many places in Indiana where AT&T’s fiber infrastructure is in place and ready to help local businesses grow,” said Bill Soards, president of AT&T Indiana.

“Positive, pro-business policies embraced by Indiana’s state and local elected officials continue to make our state a great place to invest, and I’m proud of the work our AT&T Indiana employees have done deploying fiber and other infrastructure that delivers high-speed Internet access,” he added.  “Their hard work and skills, combined with the nearly $2 billion we’ve invested in Indiana over the last 3 years, enable Hoosiers to connect and innovate.”

Fiber Ready Blue Logo

In today’s world, connectivity is vital to new employers and businesses of every type. There’s no such thing as a “low-tech” business today, so economic development leaders must be able to tout the presence of high-speed internet connectivity.

“Our resources in Fishers Hamilton Co. are extensive, but if potential investors aren’t aware of the impressive tech infrastructure in place, then we face the potential of missing many opportunities. This AT&T Fiber Ready designation helps to eliminate those missed opportunities, and furthers Fishers as an entrepreneurial, innovative city,” said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness.

“With this new designation, Launch Fishers will have a competitive advantage when talking to entrepreneurs and small businesses about their needs," said State Sen. Jim Merritt.  “Coupled with Hamilton Co.’s other great assets, this innovative facility will be even more attractive to those looking to launch a new idea.”

“The new Launch Fishers will be a dynamic catalyst for growth, and we want to be sure that it’s clear we also have the latest technology,” said Launch Fishers Founder John Wechsler.  “With the designation of being AT&T Fiber Ready, we can more confidently tell our entrepreneurs and high-potential companies that we’re ready to accelerate their growth with the availability of high-speed fiber.”

To learn more about Launch Fishers, please go to  For more information about the City of Fishers, please go to

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, mobile, high speed Internet and voice services. We’re the world’s largest provider of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. In the U.S., our wireless network has the nation’s strongest 4G LTE signal and most reliable 4G LTE. We offer the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider*. And we help businesses worldwide serve their customers better with our mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.

Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at and YouTube at

What Happened at Last Year’s FailFest?

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If you’re attending FailFest for the first time this year, you’re in for a real treat. At last year’s FailFest—the inaugural fest!—we had a great number of speakers tell us about some of their trials and tribulations as business leaders, and the way they learned lessons after experiencing failure.


A panel discussion during FailFest 2014

This year, you’ll hear plenty more lessons learned, and the ways successful entrepreneurs have led their businesses through failures, but what did we learn last year?

Last year’s list of speakers included some of Indy’s best known entrepreneurs, including the following:

  • David Becker - First Internet Bank
  • Michael Cloran - DeveloperTown
  • Eric Doden - Indiana Economic Development Corporation
  • Gerry Hayes - Slane Capitol
  • Scott Hill - PERQ
  • Scott Jones - Eleven Fifty
  • Mike Langellier - TechPoint
  • Andy Medley - PERQ
  • Clay Robinson - Sun King Brewing Company
  • Neal Rothermel - VMS BioMarketing
  • Jacob Schpok - Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Peter Shubert, Pd.D., P.E. - IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology
  • Shawn Schwegman - Gusto

From a wide array of backgrounds, all of these speakers learned valuable lessons about what it means to fail. The most important lesson overall is one that they all seemed to share: you will fail, but if you learn from the failure, you will head right back up.

Our inaugural FailFest was full of failure and was a great success, and we can’t wait for this one to be bigger, better and fail-ier!

For more information about FailFest 2015 or for tickets, visit  

  metonymylogo Written by our sponsor Metonymy Media. Metonymy is a union of creative writers dedicated to serving companies and agencies with practical and effective content marketing strategies for growth and success.

5 Things We Learned at the 2015 Indiana Coworking Passport Summit

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The second annual Indiana Coworking Passport Summit (ICPS) took place last week here at Launch Fishers. The ICPS serves to bring together teams from each of the 32 coworking spaces on the Indiana Coworking Passport for best practices exchanges and networking. The day was filled with speakers like Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann and Gerry Dick, but we also learned a lot from entrepreneurs like Matt Wyatt of Recovery Force. The day was full of insight that we can all learn from, despite our role in the coworking world. We highlight some of our favorite bits below.

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Coworking breeds “healthy distractions”

Matt Wyatt spoke on the ways coworking has contributed to the success of his company, Recovery Force.

Matt talked about the way that conversation as a distraction in a standard work environment can be unhealthy for the business and be counter-productive. But conversation as a distraction in a coworking space can lead to new ideas and new connections.

“This type of environment lends itself to healthy discussion when it’s appropriate,” Matt said.


“We’re all smarter than any of us”

If we had given an award for “Best Quote of the Day” it would have gone to Jason Tennenhouse, co-founder of MatchBOX Coworking Studio. Jason led the best practices workshop along with Launch Fishers founder, John Wechsler.

“We’re all smarter than any of us,” Jason said to kick-off the best practices session.

And how right he is. The summit allowed the brains behind coworking spaces to collaborate on ways to improve services provided to members and, as a result, propel the entrepreneurial culture being created in Indiana.


John Wechsler and Jason Tennenhouse


Indiana is becoming home to more and more tech companies

Gerry Dick of Inside INdiana Business spoke to the attendees about the growth of tech companies in Indiana. The list was impressive!  He rattled of the names of growing tech companies that were started here in Indiana as well as companies that have moved their headquarters to Indiana from San Francisco and companies expanding from New York City and Chicago to Indiana. If you questioned the growth of tech in our state before Gerry’s talk, there was no questioning it afterward.


The state and its support of entrepreneurship

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann spoke on the state’s support of entrepreneurship and fielded questions from the audience. It was easy to sense her enthusiasm for small business.  “If we’re going to have the success that this state can have, then efforts like this are needed,” she said.

BONUS: Check out the map of coworking spaces and incubators around the state on the ISBDC website here. 


Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann


It’s “Coworking” not “Co-working”

Last, but certainly not least, we decided to put an end to the “coworking” vs. “co-working” debate. The group decided the word “coworking” should always be spelled without the hyphen. So take this as your official invitation to jump on the “coworking” bandwagon!


To learn more about the Indiana Coworking Passport, check out the website here.  

Launch Fishers Interns: Meet Caleb!

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Hello! I’m Caleb Ostrander and I will be joining the Launch Fishers team as their fall intern. I just began my final semester at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion studying finance and business administration. I am passionate about community and economic development, entrepreneurship and nonprofits. Needless to say, I am stoked to be able to join the Launch Fishers community. In addition to my studies, I enjoy scuba diving, biking and reading. I also love to hear people’s ideas, stories and passions. So feel free to stop by if you see me around!  

Caleb Ostrander is a Senior at Indiana Wesleyan University


Indiana Wesleyan partners with Launch Fishers to open Business Center in central Indiana

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MARION, IN – Indiana Wesleyan University has partnered with Launch Fishers to establish The Refinery Business Center in Marion, Indiana.  The Refinery will be a 6,000sf co-working space for entrepreneurs, non-profits, small businesses, students, and all other types of independent professionals.  Marion native and founding partner, Shelby Bowen, said he believes The Refinery will be a great addition to the thriving entrepreneurial culture in central Indiana. “The Refinery team is excited to work with residents, students, and visitors, of all ages and trades,” said Bowen, “and to provide extraordinary local and state resources for entrepreneurs to continue to start and grow businesses in central Indiana.”  The Refinery will offer co-working desks, conference rooms, private offices, Wi-Fi, a café area, patio seating, and other professional office amenities for members and guests as well as educational programming for new entrepreneurs.  Bowen said the center will also house a large, versatile classroom intended for entrepreneurial-oriented youth and adult programming. Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 12.46.15 PM John Wechsler, founder of Launch Fishers and adviser on the project, said that Marion is a great place for an entrepreneurial center because of its central location between Ft. Wayne and Indianapolis, along with being the home to Indiana Wesleyan’s main campus.  "Drawing on the strengths of proximity to major metro areas and university presence, The Refinery will be well-positioned to be a valued part of the Indiana Co-working Passport network.”  Carol Brown, Associate Dean of Life Calling & Career, said the University continues to invest in initiatives that have a broad impact for their students and the communities they serve.”  “Indiana Wesleyan University is eager to support economic development in Indiana by encouraging our students to work within communities to provide world-changing life experiences,” said Brown.  Indiana Wesleyan plans to support the program in a variety of ways, including technical support, facilitating educational programs, university-to-business networking projects, and paid internships through the Lilly Endowment Grant, called “Accelerate Indiana.” According to Bowen, The Refinery Business Center was made possible in large part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Grant County.  “They have been a community partner in every sense of the word,” said Bowen.  Dawn Brown, Executive Director of the Foundation, said The Refinery was another great way to further the mission of the Foundation.  “The Refinery speaks to one of the Community Foundation’s core purposes, which is to connect people, resources, and causes to promote sustainable impact towards the betterment of Grant County,” said Brown. The Refinery, located at 2301 S. Western Ave, is scheduled to open September 24th.  You can learn more about The Refinery at or by contacting Shelby Bowen at or (317) 670-7997. About IWU: Indiana Wesleyan University is an evangelical Christian comprehensive university of The Wesleyan Church. The University, founded in 1920, is committed to global liberal arts and professional education. Nearly 3,000 students are enrolled in traditional programs on the University's main campus in Marion, Indiana. Nearly 12,500 adult learners attend classes at education centers in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, and online. About Launch Fishers: Launch Fishers is a launch pad for high-potential enterprises. Created by John Wechsler and Mayor Scott Fadness, Launch Fishers has grown to over 500 members in a wide array of industries ranging from startup to expansion-stage companies. More at About the Foundation: The Foundation is an advocate for local philanthropy and dedicated to improving the lives of people in the Grant County area.  Since 1984, the Foundation has been working with donors to establish charitable funds and has supported non-profit organizations through a variety of grantmaking efforts.  Learn more at

Internship Recap: Tanner Brumbarger

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This summer I spent my weekdays working at Launch Fishers as a participant in IWU’s Accelerate Indiana Internship Program, part of the Lilly Endowment’s effort to halt the ‘brain drain’ of talent in Indiana. As a participant in the program, Indiana Wesleyan has provided over a dozen interns to small startup businesses across Indiana in an effort to provide talent to startups in need, as well as develop bridges between college students and startup communities. As a participant, my work at Launch Fishers included day to day management of the 16,000 square foot coworking facility, while assisting in daily support for Launch Fishers members. Additionally, I developed and executed events designed to foster community both inside and outside of Launch Fishers, editing marketing and educational content for Launch Fishers’ website designed at educating the public on the concept of coworking and collaboration. But what I really enjoyed, is making sure all of the organizational pieces of Launch Fishers is up to date, specifically when it came to managing the 500+ entrepreneurs who call Launch Fishers home. So I researched trends & reports on the concept of coworking, acceleration and incubation among startup coworking spaces, while building a statistical report on Launch Fishers' member retainment rate, member diversity and member growth since Launch Fishers’ start. After that baseline was developed, I designed a self-sustaining system to keep track of the process after I left at the end of the summer.
Tanner Brumbarger begins his Sophomore year with Indiana Wesleyan University this fall

Tanner Brumbarger begins his Sophomore year with Indiana Wesleyan University this fall

  One of the most underrated parts of working at a place like Launch Fishers is the community that one can experience. In this role, I made strides in maintaining my own professional network, while growing it exponentially through my presence at Launch Fishers. This takeaway is not only paying dividends this summer, but I know it will be tremendously helpful next summer and beyond as I look to develop specialized skills and connections. My professional goals, at the moment, are still undetermined. I don’t know quite what I want to do ... or even where I want to do it. However, I have a growing interest in marketing, a knack for project management and a thirst for learning product development. Ultimately my main goal is to find a team of great people to work with. Working with great people interests me and  brings me happiness. Great people make great work, therefore my goal is to work with great people.   Intern Q&A: Q: How do you see your internship during college preparing you for the workforce? A: I think the best thing my internship has done for me is put me into a position to succeed, both through flexible work schedules, challenging ideas and a great opportunity it network. Q: Will you share one or two of your most memorable internship experiences? (i.e. accomplishment, funny story, learning moment, etc.) A: Probably one of my favorite Launch Fishers memories was an event celebrating entrepreneurship. Nearly 600 people showed up at our new location, eager to learn more from other entrepreneurs, while also seeing the future of Launch Fishers. That was a bonding experience for our staff - even if it was exhausting to put on. Q: Why should college students participate in internships? A: College students should participate in their respective communities as much as possible. Interning at a startup during college is a great opportunity to do that. Startups tend to be very involved in their community, usually for survival. Plus, most startups are in a position where they need to be adaptive and forward thinking, lest they fall behind and fail. College students should jump on this opportunity because of the immense benefits that a startup internship has. Q: What advice do you have for students that want to get the most out of their internship? A: Get out of bed. That means two things. It’s a figure of speech, but those who put in the most effort will get the most reward. What you put in is what you’ll get out. Perhaps you may not remain at that particular organization, but you will quickly know what you want to do and how you want to get there. Q: Who are some key influences in your life? A: There are so many, but the popular figures who stimulate me: C.S. Lewis, Roger Scruton, Peter Thiel and my father. When reading the The Weight of Glory by Lewis over spring break I stumbled across this quote: “If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work.  The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come." This has been my summer mantra: work hardest at what you do, one step at a time. But who inspires me on a daily basis? Those who are willing to meet me at some obscure hole in the wall in Broad Ripple at 7AM to talk you through a challenge. Those are the people who I am thankful for and it’s these people who influence me the most.  

Inspiring Leaders of Coworking Spaces around the World

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The modern workforce doesn’t spend thirty­ years at the same job, for the same company, working out of the same building. The modern workforce has changed. At the forefront of this change are the people who are working to build a way of working that fits with our modern time. Co­working spaces have become so popular, and are still gaining popularity, because they make sense. Here are some inspiring leaders of the co­working world. Jeremy Neuner He’s co­author of "The Rise of the Naked Economy" and CEO and co-­founder of San Francisco-based NextSpace, one of the most popular chains of co­working spaces out there. Neuner said in an interview that the shift in the workspace will affect many other areas of life: “We’ll see changes in where we live, how we educate our kids, how we get around and what we ultimately value in our lives.” For Neuner to shift to co­working spaces is a signifier of bigger, better things in the world. Simon Schaefer He’s the founder of the 170,000 square-­foot technology­-based co­working space campus named Factory in Berlin. Some of his first tenants at Factory include Twitter, Mozilla, SoundCloud and Zendesk. Schaefer’s choice to build the facility on a site that sits where the former Berlin Wall used to be is no accident. Schaefer wants to provide a space for companies to move the world forward. He was quoted saying he wants the Factory to be “a playground for entrepreneurs that will help to transform Berlin.” Schaefer has plans to keep building more facilities of this size, and you can bet that he won’t stop with just transforming Berlin. factory-simon-schaefer Sharon Ann Lee A former trend analyst, Sharon Ann Lee strives to make the space that people work in conducive to the work they’re doing. After working in a traditional workspace for many years, she founded Jellyfish Cartel. It is a bright, colorful and playful place for getting work done. The space was called “The Coolest Co­working Space We’ve Ever Seen” by Wired magazine. Lee was inspired by the workspace she saw in the documentary about Charles and Ray Eams called The Architect and the Painter. That space is what helped her create her own co­working space: “I liked the idea of people doing totally different things and butting up against each other in those accidental serendipitous moments.” Lee’s space is like no other co­working space, and her DIY décor and brightly colored, outside­-the­-box approach to creating a co­working space is attractive to many entrepreneurs and startups.   metonymylogo Written by our sponsor Metonymy Media. Metonymy is a union of creative writers dedicated to serving companies and agencies with practical and effective content marketing strategies for growth and success.