Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

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.          

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.

Award-Winning FailFest Returns for Second Year

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Launch Fishers announced today their popular FailFest event will return this winter. The one-day conference will celebrate failure’s role in innovation at Tom Wood Aviation on December 9.

Launch Fishers recently received international recognition from the International Economic Development Council for FailFest 2014 and the supportive role the event plays in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship.  

Fail Fest 2 Color Reverse Banner

FailFest 2015 includes an all-new list of speakers headlined by Jim Hallett, Scott McCorkle and a host of other top entrepreneurial leaders. Hallett is Chairman and CEO of KAR Auction Services and was named national EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014. McCorkle serves as CEO, Marketing Cloud, Salesforce and previously led technology and strategy for ExactTarget and was VP of IBM’s customer relationship management product group.  

“The turnout for our inaugural event in 2014 was so amazing that we decided on the spot it needed to be an annual event,” said John Wechsler, Founder and CEO of Launch Fishers. “Moving the event to Tom Wood Aviation at the Indianapolis Metro Airport in Fishers will add an extra twist of excitement this year.”

Full list of speakers this year includes: Jim Brown formerly of Haven, John McDonald of CloudOne, Scotty Wise of Scotty’s Brewhouse, Financial Commentator Pete “The Planner” Dunn , Chris Byers of Formstack, Santiago Jaramillo of Bluebridge Digital, Brand Coach Thaddeus Rex, Jason Tennenhouse of 10 IN HOUSE Strategy & Design, Katie Culp of KSM Location Advisors, revenue and go-to-market expert Jenny Vance, Dante Ventresca of Theater of Inclusion, Brad Wisler of Sproutbox, Gabe Connell of Hotbox Pizza, Dr. Allen Bourff of HSE Schools, Jay Love of Bloomerang, Jim Hallett of KAR Auction Services, Dave Wortman of Diagnotes, Bobby Logan of K12 Mobility, Danielle McDowell of The Speakeasy, Ellen Rosenthal of Conner Prairie, Anderson Schoenrock of Memory Ventures and Scott McCorkle of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.  


A look back at FailFest 2014

“Like every good startup, CloudOne has experienced many failures, including at least two potentially catastrophic ones. I can’t wait to share that story at FailFest and, more importantly, how these failures directly led to our explosive growth and customer success," said John McDonald, CEO of CloudOne.

Early bird ticket pricing is available now at $79.00. Advance sale general admission tickets will be $99.00 and at-the-door sales will be $129.00. Tickets are now available at

FailFest is produced & presented by Launch Fishers and sponsored by Taft Stettinius & Hollister, Elevate Ventures, Launch Indiana, Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Indiana Small Business Development Center, Visit Hamilton County, Invest Hamilton County, The City of Fishers, AT&T and Metonymy Media.

About Launch Fishers: 

Launch Fishers is a launch pad for high-potential enterprises located in Fishers, Indiana. Created by John Wechsler in conjunction with the City of Fishers in 2012, Launch Fishers has grown to 530 members in a wide array of industries and ranging from startup to expansion-stage companies. More at

Press Contact:

Cassie Conklin

7 Launch Way

Fishers, IN 46038

(317) 537-7939


Sights and Sounds of #InnoShow15

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The seventh annual Innovation Showcase took place last week at the Dallara IndyCar Factory. Over 70 companies were given 60 seconds each to pitch to potential investors. At the end of the day it was Pi Lab and their product Edwin the Duck that took home the grand prize of over $70,000 in cash and prizes! Couldn’t make it to the event? No worries! Brian Brosmer of Brosmer Photographic captured all the action. Check out some of our favorite shots below. This first photo was taken high above the crowd that consisted of more than 900 attendees. If you want to meet with the best and brightest from Indiana's tech scene be sure to add the Innovation Showcase to your 2016 destinations.

Photo by Brian Brosmer

  Never witnessed a pitch competition before? You're missing out on some seriously exciting stuff! Numerous companies that took part in the competition are also Launch Fishers member companies. Brand Amper is one of those companies. Here's Jason Seiden during his 60 second pitch.

Photo by Brian Brosmer

  Bailey Paxton is co-founder of Paxton Medical. He also happens to be a former intern with us at Launch Fishers. This year Bailey became the first high school student to ever pitch at the Innovation Showcase. And, to add to his success, he made it to the final round of the pitch competition!

Photo by Brian Brosmer

  The afternoon consisted of conversations and networking at company booths. The Dallara factory was bursting with energy as time grew closer to announcing the grand prize winner.

Photo by Brian Brosmer

  At 4:00 p.m. the crowd gathered around the stage once more to hear which company would take home the $73,000 in cash and prizes. Congratulations to the team at Pi Lab and their product Edwin the Duck! Check out the details on the prize package here.

Photo by Brian Brosmer

  Here's one last photo of Launch Fishers founder, John Wechsler as he speaks with WISH-TV. We were all proud to be a major sponsor of this year's event. We can't wait for #InnoShow16!

Photo by Brian Brosmer


500 Members and Counting

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We’re excited to share that the Launch Fishers member community has officially hit 500! Actually, we’re at 518. But who’s counting? When we opened in November of 2012 we set a goal of 200 members by the time we hit our two-year anniversary. When November 2014 rolled around the membership number had grown to over 300! And a short seven months later another 200 have been added to that. Launch500MembersBlog It’s amazing to see such growth in numbers, but it’s just as great to witness the environment created inside of Launch Fishers as a result of so many great minds working in the same place. We're inspired each day by the amount of innovation and creativity on display. Our members are a great reminder of how alive and well entrepreneurship is in Fishers and throughout Indiana. So, a big THANK YOU to all of our members. We can’t wait to house all 500+ of you in our new facility opening this fall. We promise to provide you with the same culture and atmosphere, but with a bit more legroom. And parking spaces.

Mark Your Calendar for the Entrepreneurship Week Celebration!

Join us at the new home of Launch Fishers for the Entrepreneurship Week Celebration on Thursday, June 18! We’re bringing together the leading supporters of innovation and entrepreneurship in Indiana for an evening filled with live music, local food and socializing. The party begins at 6:00PM at the new Launch Fishers facility that is set to open in September. Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the new building and get a feel for the new 52,000 sq. ft. layout. EweekLogo Food will be provided by local names like Hoosier Mama, Mathoos and Nameless Catering and beverages will be available courtesy of Sun King Brewery. And don't  miss your chance to take a ride in a hot air balloon thanks to Midwest Balloon Rides! More activities to come. We’re excited to partner with TechPoint, Venture Club, Verge, Rainmakers, Centric, The Innovation Showcase, Launch Indiana, ISBDC, Indiana Coworking Passport and Visit Hamilton County to bring this great event to life. Tickets are just $10 and can be purchased at So, in short, here’s what you need to know: WHAT? A celebration of Entrepreneurship Week including: live music, local food and drink, hot air balloon rides, tours of the new Launch facility and socializing. WHO? Anyone and everyone who wants to celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship in Indiana! WHEN? Thursday, June 18, 6:00PM – 9:00PM WHERE? The new home of Launch Fishers located at 12175 Visionary Way, Fishers, IN, 46038 TICKETS? $10 at

Noblesville Innovations Class: Jacob Reks

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It's one thing to talk about how education should be changed, but it's something completely different to actually experience it. This past year, I've had the pleasure of being a part of a revolutionary class called "Innovations." Instructed by Don Wettrick, this class teaches students to find what they are passionate about and then to do something with that passion. Going into this class with absolutely no expectations, my life has completely changed. Surprisingly, the hardest part was figuring out what I was passionate about! Having the capability to actually work in a school setting on what I WANTED to work on was so foreign to me. One of my best friends and I had a problem with powdered products (i.e. baby formula, lemonade, proteins, pre-workouts, etc).  Being avid weightlifters, we hated how much of a mess was made when you pour out the scoop of protein powder, the annoyance of lugging that big tub/bag of protein out every time we needed it, and how, if any liquid got in the tub, part of the product was completely ruined.  Since that first Pitch Day in Innovations class, a lot has transpired.  It's been incredible to see how much the product has changed; from drawing the first sketch and "knowing" that that was it, to the product being a completely different shape, idea, and design. The product idea has changed a dozen times building up to the amazing product I have today!  

Jacob Reks is a senior at Noblesville High School and a student in the Innovations class led by Don Wettrick.

  Mr. Wettrick has had two rules throughout the school year:  1. Showcase your projects through social media  and  2. Find mentors. I've realized how much of a tool social media can be. The connections I've made and the knowledge I've learned from those already successful in their own business endeavors is astounding to me. Collaborating with some of the best people in their respective professions is a cumulative advantage unlike any I've ever experienced.  I now have an extensive list of contacts on whom I will be able to rely for the rest of my life. Through this entire process, I've not just learned a lot of life lessons, I've experienced them. I've learned what types of partnership agreements there are (LLCs, PLCs, etc) but also experienced how hard it is to negotiate (and dissolve) a partnership. I've learned to never be absolutely set on a product design and consequently the incredible value of feedback and constructive criticism.  I've learned the importance of planning and goal setting but I've experienced the reality of things not always going according to plan.  Above all,  I've learned to seek opportunities instead of waiting for them to find me. If it weren't for the Innovations class, I wouldn't have discovered the love I have for being an entrepreneur.  I have decided to attend IUPUI's Kelley School of Business after high school and look forward to taking advantage of the entrepreneurial "playground" that is Indianapolis! As much as I'd like to tell you even more about my product, there's only so much I can say before my patent process is completed. If you would like to learn more about what I am doing or if you'd like to see the other projects my colleagues are working on feel free to follow me on twitter @Jacob_Reks . A link to my blog can be found in the description.  If you have any advice or want to talk with me, I'd love to chat!   Written by: Jacob Reks jacobreks300Jacob is a senior at Noblesville High School.  He has been a resident in Noblesville, IN for 17 years, but was born in Zanesville, OH in 1996. Jacob loves public-speaking and being with people. His favorite organization that he is currently involved with is Noblesville Police Department's Stranger Danger Program. For over 15 years this program has taught elementary school kids how to act around strangers. Follow Jacob on Twitter at @Jacob_Reks and view his blog here.      

MatchBOX Will Host July Launch Indiana Bootcamp

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matchbox logo


Launch Indiana SBDC is heading to MatchBOX in Lafayette for our July 25 bootcamp.

MatchBOX Coworking Studio opened on April 11 and has already reached its two-year membership goal! MatchBOX is a nonprofit venture that draws together creative people pursuing new ideas. Space is flexible and includes 15 reserved, flexible desks, and room for about 150 others to work in open areas. The collaborative shared space accommodates everything from independent work stations to useful conference rooms.

Ashley Scott is the operations manager at MatchBOX. “Since our grand opening on April 11 we have blazed past our two year membership goal of 50 members, launched #FoodTruckFriday’s at MatchBOX as a community engagement initiative, started preliminary work on our K12 outreach, welcomed new sponsors to the MatchBOX family, and hosted the first of many “Meet the Members” mixers where community members get a glimpse of what life is like Coworking within the space.”

Wabash National Corp. recently gained naming rights to the workbench space, now called the “Wabash National Lab.” Harbor Freight Tools will be stocking the Wabash National Lab with everything from small hand tools, to large and useful prototyping equipment. The Wabash National Lab will also feature a 3D Printer and a laser cutter among other supplies.

MatchBOX is part of the Indiana Coworking Passport that allows members of a participating space to cowork at a participating space in Indiana one day a month.

MatchBOX will host The Branding Thing bootcamp on July 25.  

Join Jeanette Thebeau and Peter Lockhart for an entertaining breakdown of that little word with the big meaning--BRANDING. The afternoon will provide entrepreneurs with actionable advice for positioning their company and products and developing their brand; examine strategies for creating an impactful identify and a consistent voice; and then we'll tie it all together and talk about how to use it. Click here for more information and to register.





Launch Terre Haute Co-Working Space Creates Open Collaboration

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By Cathy Langlois, Launch Fishers Program Director

This is an exciting time for the Terre Haute startup scene. Our March road trip crew, made up of Launch Fishers, TechPoint, and ISBDC leaders, made a stop in Terre Haute to get a first-hand tour of the initiatives coming together to make Terre Haute a hub of startup activity.

Launch Terre Haute is Wabash Valley's first and only co-work space with a goal of creating and encouraging an environment of open collaboration. The co-working space is located above the Corner Grind, at the intersection of 7th and Wabash. While in the beginning stages of development, the main workspace provides an open and collaborative workspace for freelancers, independents, and start-ups.  If you want to work with a few people or get help on a code problem, you can move the desks around to create just the right configuration. A breakout room is available for brainstorming or collaborating with a group.

Launch Terre Haute will open in early June and is open to anyone in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. From creative and technical types who are launching their startup to entrepreneurial service providers and corporate types planning their escape — anyone with a desire to contribute to the world of entrepreneurship is welcome! Launch Terre Haute also collaborates with other groups such as Verge IndyLaunch Fishers and Launch Indiana, to create synergies that foster a statewide effort of entrepreneurism and innovation. 

The annual membership is just $399. If you want a dedicated workspace of your own, that is an additional $150 per month. Follow @LaunchTH or checkout their website Launch Terre Haute.

Launch Indiana's first bootcamp will be held at Launch Terre Haute

Launch Indiana will hold a bootcamp in Terre Haute on May 14th. Kyle Shipley will lead the bootcamp focused on the lean movement. Join us as innovation driven entrepreneurs connect in Terre Haute! Register for the bootcamp here.

The Future of Entrepreneurship & Business

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The future of entrepreneurship and business is dependent on multiple factors, including changing technology, cost of business, and leadership skills. Jason Nazar, a Forbes columnist, highlights five ways the future will look different in the entrepreneurship world. His predictions include:

-The workforce will be 50 percent distributed

-Two out of five U.S. workers will be entrepreneurs

-The office will be the classroom

-Entrepreneurs will be engineers

-The most critical aspects of business will always be completed face to face

Nazar believes the business world is dramatically different even from a generation ago and thinks it will be more pronounced over the next 30 years. 

For Nazar's full presentation, watch the video below.