News

SELFLESS.LY ADDS NEW BOARD MEMBERS | JOINS NEXT STUDIOS

Indianapolis, IN: Selfless.ly announces the addition of two new Directors to their Board and their inclusion as a portfolio company with NEXT Studios. Jay Love, founder of Bloomerang, and Vicki Bohlsen, CEO of Bohlsen PR, were recently added to the Selfless.ly Board. Selfless.ly is now a member of NEXT Studios’ portfolio of companies. Selfless.ly is focused on purpose-driven benefits for companies and employees. They make it possible for companies and organizations to integrate, administrate, and measure community impact all in one place.


“Personally and professionally, I am passionate about corporate social responsibility and believe that Selfless.ly is a tool that companies can easily and inexpensively integrate into their CSR programs to effectively communicate to stakeholders that they care about more than just making a profit,” says Bohlsen, who hosts the Taking Caring In Business podcast.
“Blending philanthropy with technology is a win-win scenario for companies and nonprofits,” adds Jay Love, a longtime champion for the charity sector. “The pandemic has accelerated the need for creative opportunities for corporate giving and Selfless.ly is uniquely positioned to capture the philanthropic cultural data of companies and displays its impact.”


Selfless.ly helps companies share their giving culture with others, appeal to new customers, and recruit and retain their people.

“In a world filled with new choices for philanthropy, it is smart business for a company to show its heart,” says NEXT Studios Managing Entrepreneur John McDonald. “Selfless.ly is what the world needs: companies showing their impact on their community and beyond, and nonprofits identifying their specific needs. Giving without data doesn’t move the needle of change. Selfless.ly changes that. We are delighted to have Selfless.ly in our portfolio.”

About Selfless.ly
In addition to connecting companies of any size with corporate social responsibility opportunities via volunteering, monetary donations and in-kind contributions, Selfless.ly provides a virtual foundation platform which utilizes data to change or improve corporate culture, attract new talent, and gain new customers. Selfless.ly is a certified LGBT Business Enterprise and Indiana’s first dual-certified domestic benefit corporation and B Corp. Our mission is to reshape corporate culture through technology that helps companies contribute to making their communities a better place. Think Selfless.ly, act purposely. Learn more at https://www.selfless.ly.

NEXT Studios Partners with Crossroads Education to Innovate Education

Venture studio teams with education disruptor to bring about new innovations in education technology

https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/clip/15136304/crossroads-education-new-partnership-with-next-studios

INDIANAPOLIS – Sept. 21, 2020  – NEXT Studios, an Indiana-based venture studio and corporate innovation partner, and Crossroads Education (CRE), an Indiana-based organization focused on innovating education and providing equitable access to quality education for all, today announced a partnership to infuse innovation and disruption in the education technology (EdTech) marketplace, leveraging NEXT Studios intentional venture studio process and CRE’s charter to disrupt the education (EdTech) market.

“This partnership is a dream for our team. We recognize the significant contributions of those who put Indianapolis on the map as an innovation epicenter for education,” said Kevin Berkopes, founder and CEO of Crossroads Education. We now move forward to build what the stagnated innovation models were missing: agility. Our ‘venture studio for education’ represents a pace of innovation that is required to build companies with the mission to disrupt while retaining the ability to adapt.”

Drawing on resources from NEXT Studios, the joint venture will enable CRE to incubate and accelerate ideas focusing on innovative solutions that help students, teachers and families access educational resources (regardless of their location) and transition from education delivery to meaningful learning. Virtual learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the existing education inequalities and the urgent need for digital technology solutions to effectively address existing inequalities. The initial focus of the partnership will be to launch and scale a new company called Crossroads Learning Pods, which will enable small groups of students to meet in-person and complete their eLearning with the assistance of a professional Learning Pod Coach (LPC). The partnership has tapped local education leader, Jenn Watts, to manage Crossroads Learning Pods as its founding president. Watts comes to the company with significant innovation and education experience, recently serving as the director of policy for the Indiana Department of Education.

Crossroads Education believes technology, collaborative peer-learning, distributed education through eLearning and high-quality instructional talent, when applied appropriately, can instigate breakthrough progress in advancing education. They also believe the collective work of many diverse partners—governments, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, foundations and others—can accelerate that progress.

Founded by four Indiana entrepreneurs with extensive experience in technology, NEXT Studios operates from co-working spaces across Indiana. The Studio enables visionaries from around the state to develop their ideas and fuel them with talent and capital in their own local communities. 

“NEXT Studios has the expertise in birthing companies, Crossroads Education has the expertise in disrupting the education market,” said Joseph Cudby, managing entrepreneur of NEXT Studios. “We are excited to work closely with CRE to deliver on our collective vision for what’s possible in education.”

“Indianapolis is accelerating its education innovation and this new collaboration between Crossroads Education and NEXT Studios is the cutting edge initiative we need during these unprecedented times,” said Greg Ballard, former mayor of Indianapolis.

To learn more, visit CRE at crossroadseducation.org or NEXT Studios at next-studios.org.

About NEXT Studios

Founded in 2020, NEXT Studios is a venture studio that is a partnership of experienced entrepreneurs, including Joseph Cudby, Tom Kilcoyne, Shelley Klingerman and John McDonald, who help visionaries share their ideas, craft them through a repeatable process, and move them forward with capital and talent. The studio works with entrepreneurs across the state to move their ideas into products and their products into companies. The studio uses a proven process to reduce the risk for investors and encourage more local investors to get involved in our local innovation economy.

About Crossroads Education

Crossroads Education (CRE) is led by a team of experts ranging from education to technology. We aim to improve learning outcomes for all students by advancing innovation in education across the United States. We inspire breakthroughs that advance education by harnessing the potential of technology, collaborative peer-learning, distributed education through eLearning, and high-quality instructional talent.

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Media Contacts:

Robert Vane, Veteran Strategies

317.696.9443; robert@veteranstrategies.com

Jennifer Chan, Porch Light PR

317.490.3770; jennifer@porchlightpr.com

NEXT Studios Establishes Home at 16 Tech

New venture studio to fuel tech talent at HqO, 16 Tech’s Innovation Hub

INDIANAPOLIS – Aug. 12, 2020  – NEXT Studios, Indiana’s newest venture studio and corporate innovation partner, announced a partnership to become the first venture studio located in the 16 Tech Innovation District in downtown Indianapolis.

“As Indiana’s newest and most exciting technology center, it’s natural that Indiana’s newest venture studio would choose to call 16 Tech home,” said John McDonald, managing entrepreneur of NEXT Studios. “We look forward to partnering with 16 Tech and 1776 in creating programs and experiences for our corporate innovation partners and portfolio startup companies alike to meet, make and innovate.”

Founded by four Indiana entrepreneurs with extensive experience in technology, NEXT Studios operates from co-working spaces across Indiana. The Studio will enable visionaries from around the state to develop their ideas and fuel them with talent and capital in their own local communities. NEXT Studios’ home base for statewide Studio operations will be located in the incubator space managed by 1776 and located at HqO, the innovation hub in the heart of the 16 Tech Innovation District.

“We are thrilled that the NEXT Studios team has decided to be part of HqO, 16 Tech’s innovation hub,” said Bob Coy, president and CEO of the 16 Tech Community Corporation. “Their experience and repeatable process will add an incredibly powerful engine to the creation of new startups and corporate innovation in the 16 Tech Innovation District.”

As a Benefits (B) Corporation, the Studio will use a portion of the proceeds from operations to reduce or eliminate Studio costs for startup companies.  NEXT Studios will open its office at the same time as the opening of the HqO, slated for early 2021.

To learn more about NEXT Studios, visit the website at next-studios.org or contact Shelley Klingerman, managing entrepreneur, at shelley@next-studios.org.

About NEXT Studios

Founded in 2020, NEXT Studios is a venture studio that is a partnership of experienced entrepreneurs, including Joseph Cudby, Tom Kilcoyne, Shelley Klingerman and John McDonald, who help visionaries share their ideas, craft them through a repeatable process, and move them forward with capital and talent. The studio will work with entrepreneurs across the state to move their ideas into products and their products into companies. The studio will use a proven process to reduce the risk for investors and encourage more local investors to get involved in our local innovation economy.

About 16 Tech

The 16 Tech Innovation District is one of the largest talent attraction, retention and development opportunities in Indianapolis’s history. Located in downtown Indianapolis, 16 Tech leverages its proximity to top academic, corporate, and healthcare institutions—and a growing network of spaces, programs, and talent—to foster the cross-industry convergence and collaboration that make world-changing innovation possible. The nonprofit 16 Tech Community Corporation oversees the development of the district and ensures benefits of economic growth, new investment and job creation extend to nearby neighborhoods as well as the city, the region and the state. More information can be found at www.16tech.com.

About 1776 

1776 is the nation’s largest network of business incubators that cultivates and empowers companies and entrepreneurs to fuel innovation and growth. 1776 transforms markets by curating communities of entrepreneurs and enterprises in flexible work environments. Our members gain access to a dynamic network and focused programming to provide the knowledge and resources necessary to spur innovation and solve complex challenges. With eight campuses across five states, 1776 is the nation’s largest network of incubators. For more information, please visit http://www.1776.vc and follow @1776 on Twitter and @1776vc on Instagram. 

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Media Contacts:

Jennifer Chan, Porch Light PR

317.490.3770; jennifer@porchlightpr.com

Jacqueline Cromleigh Eckhardt, 16 Tech Community Corporation

614.390.9210; jeckhardt@16tech.com

Veteran Entrepreneurs Launch New Venture Studio

By Alex Brown, Assistant Managing Editor

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INDIANAPOLIS – Four Hoosier entrepreneurs have launched a new venture studio designed to help fellow entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground. Indianapolis-based NEXT Studios is the brainchild of Joseph Cudby, Tom Kilcoyne, Shelley Klingerman and John McDonald. The goal of the studio is to create a “customizable, repeatable process” that is designed to help entrepreneurs avoid common problems and get their innovations to market more quickly.

Klingerman, a founder and former executive director of Launch Terre Haute, tells Inside INdiana Business the studio’s benefit corporation status sets it apart from other studios.

“We’ll use a portion of our process from operations to reduce or eliminate studio costs for other startup companies,” said Klingerman. “We understand that sometimes a founder does not have the up-front money. As a Benefits Corp., we are going to offset some of those for some of the founders to relieve some of that cost burden.”

Klingerman says the studio is a combination of seasoned entrepreneurs who have come together to help others de-risk their ideas to make them more attractive for investors. 

While NEXT Studios is officially headquartered in Indianapolis, it will operate out of coworking spaces throughout the state. Klingerman says they want to tap into the innovative ideas being developed in smaller Hoosier communities.

“Sometimes when you’re not directly located in central Indiana, it’s hard to plug in. So what we’re really looking to do is be a bridge and be a resource for communities around the state to kind of get involved in this process because it can be kind of lonely. It can be a little bit frightening. So we’re going to be doing outreach to these communities to make a connection back into central Indiana where there are a lot of resources.”

Klingerman says, in addition to independent entrepreneurs, the studio also plans to work with in-house innovators at corporations.

“I think COVID has really put a light on this that companies need to be able to pivot pretty quickly. Some companies have lost markets…some have opened new markets by thinking a little bit differently. So we are getting a lot of interest as well in coming in-house to really foster that process and be intentional about innovation within corporations and we’re actually working on a program to do that.”

She says corporations are also seeking to connect with outside founders to foster more innovation exchange among them. 

Klingerman adds she and the studio have a goal of growing the number of female entrepreneurs, particularly in the tech space.

In addition to his experience at various startups, Joe Cudby is a former chief technology officer with the Indiana State Office of Technology and has been an active angel investor since 2013. 

Tom Kilcoyne is the former chief operating officer of Fishers-based ClearObject and previously served as an entrepreneur-in-residence for Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures. He also co-founded NewRoad Partners, a boutique merger and acquisition advisory firm in Virginia.

John McDonald is the founder and former chief executive officer of ClearObject, where he continues to serve as chief evangelist. He is also a founder and board member of the Indiana Technology & Innovation Association.

Read more on Inside Indiana Business.

New Company to Help Entrepreneurs Start and Grow Their Businesses

WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTHI) – A new statewide startup that will help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses is now available.

The company is called ‘Next.’ They say the will come to you and help you grow your business.

The company wants to help local entrepreneurs grow their communities.

They say they will help connect you to other entrepreneurs and investors.

Watch at more on WTHI-TV.com at https://www.wthitv.com/content/news/New-company-to-help-entrepreneurs-start-and-grow-their-businesses-572029981.html.

3 Questions: Demystifying Venture Capital with John McDonald

This is the first installment in our “3 Questions” series contributed by subject matter experts throughout the tech community in Indiana. This series takes complex tech topics and explains them in easy-to-understand ways without the dense jargon so every reader can learn a little bit more about our industry.

When we set out to build our first startup company, I had no idea how time consuming and confusing it would be to raise capital. I didn’t appreciate that it wasn’t just one of my jobs as the leader, it is the primary job as a leader of a startup company. 

Everything else flows from success in raising capital. It allows you to hire the people and partners you need to build the company and keep them aboard, which is the secret to any successful business. 

3 Questions:

What types of capital sources are available to startups?
What is the difference between the types of capital?
What are the keys to unlocking capital? 

There are primarily four types, and they align very nicely to the four stages of the development process of a new technology startup employed by venture studios everywhere like Central Indiana’s High Alpha and my own venture NEXT Studios. 

The first stage is ideation

This is where you create new ideas for startups, and “pressure test” those ideas by studying things like your target buyer and market and what problem you are solving for them. Typically, the venture capital employed at this stage is called “pre-seed funding,” which is often sourced from your friends and family. These people are investing in your company largely because of you—who you are to them and what they believe you can do with their investment when given a chance. Often, your closest friend and initial investor is yourself—this is called “bootstrapping” and is simply using your own money to start up your own company. An extremely limited number of “pre seed” organized funds also make initial investments at this stage, many of which are tied to local economic development or industry initiatives. In Indiana, you can sometimes start a company with as little as $25,000 in pre-seed capital (though $100,000 is more typical), especially if there is a physical device as part of the product idea. 

The second stage is productization

This is where you take your initial idea, which has been vetted in the ideation stage, and turn it into a “minimum viable product” or MVP. This is the first complete release of your offering, and while it may not have every feature you will ever want, it’s enough to get it in the hands of some pilot users and gather their feedback. You’ll use that feedback to improve the product and build your “go-to-market” strategy to engage and win customers, which you’ll use in the next phase. Typically, the venture capital employed at this stage is called “seed funding”, and often comes what are called “angel investors.” Angels are high-net worth individuals who deploy some of their wealth at this stage for many reasons, the most likely of which is that they are also successful entrepreneurs who want to help new startups take flight. These investments are high risk, and in some ways are like organized gambling, where they bet they are placing is on you and your idea. In Indiana, I’ve seen angel-backed seed funding rounds as small as $200,000, but more typically these are between $500,000 and $1 million, depending on how complicated the MVP is to build and test. 

The third stage is launch

This is where you take the go-to-market strategy you developed in stage two, coupled with the improvements you’ve made to your product through your pilot users, and launch a full-scale plan to attract, win and keep customers. This is where you start to grow your team substantially for the first time, largely by hiring business development representatives, inside sellers, outside sales representatives, marketers and customer success reps, depending on the talent needs of your go-to-market strategy. Typically, the venture capital employed at this stage is called your “A-round,” or the first of what may be many future rounds of venture capital, and it’s often sourced from organized venture funds. 

Venture funds are a unique type of investment vehicle. Unlike angel investors, where individuals make the decisions about what startups to invest in with their own money, venture funds are made up of “limited partners” or LPs who sign over money to the care of a group of “managing partners” who are employed by the fund to scour opportunities, make investments, and manage those investments for the LPs. They are paid management fees for this, and usually a “carry,” which is a share of the profits if any of those investments result in a successful return. Venture capital funds will have a stated focus for their investments, a range for the amount of investment they will make (called a “check size”) and some process for reviewing and scoring potential deals (called a “thesis”). These parameters are typically unwavering, as they are what was used to attract limited partners to invest in the fund, and therefore cannot be changed easily. Sometimes VCs will insist on “leading” a round, which is to say they are responsible for building and executing the deal on behalf of themselves and other investors, and in a deep review of the company’s structure, finances and team, called “due diligence.” 

In Indiana we have a unique organization called Elevate Ventures, which is funded in part by the State of Indiana to make equity investments in startup companies. They are a venture fund, but often work with angel investors and other funds to co-invest in companies at this stage to help them succeed and pull together smaller sources of funding who may not be in position to lead the round. Because of Elevate, “A-Round” investments can often be as small as $500,000 and be made up of multiple smaller investments, but typical launch-stage investments are in the $1 million to $3 million range. 

The final stage is the scale stage. 

This is when you’ve proven your go-to-market strategy works, and you’re seeking funds to scale up the company’s operations to grow its market share and continue to improve the product. This is the primary domain of most later-stage venture capital firms, who like to see success in the marketplace (called “traction”) and financial stability and sales growth that suggest that the company might be able to make a profit (called a “pathway to breakeven”). Each venture capital round at this stage will be labeled the “B-Round,” the “C-Round” and so on, and can grow in size from $2 million to $10 million or more, until the company has reached a scale where venture capital is no longer required to fuel growth initiatives. 

Venture capital in all its forms is the oxygen that makes technology businesses live. Success in raising venture capital is largely tied to clear objectives as to how the money will be used to advance the company to the next stage. It’s a necessary part of growing a company faster than normal business cycles would, because technology rapidly becomes obsolete. It’s effectively a “growth hormone” and like any medicine, it should be taken as directed by an educated patient.

Read more on the TechPoint Index.

Indiana Technology Entrepreneurs Launch Venture Studio

Seasoned Entrepreneurs Creating Robust Portfolio Focusing on Digital Transformation in Traditional Industries

INDIANAPOLIS/TERRE HAUTE, IN – Aug. 5, 2020 – Four Indiana entrepreneurs with extensive experience in technology startups have partnered to launch NEXT Studios, the Midwest’s newest venture studio, designed by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, with entrepreneurs. 

The Indianapolis-based Studio, comprised of Joseph Cudby, Tom Kilcoyne, Shelley Klingerman and John McDonald, will help visionaries shape their ideas, craft them through a repeatable process, and move them forward with capital and talent.As a Benefits (B) Corporation, the Studio will use a portion of the proceeds from operations to reduce or eliminate Studio costs for startup companies.

At the heart of the Studio is a customizable, repeatable process which is designed to reduce risk for investors, encouraging them to participate in our innovation economy. For entrepreneurs, the process helps them avoid common problems and speed their innovations to market.  

“We are amazed at the capabilities of the founders of our initial portfolio companies, and honored they have selected us to help them craft their dreams into reality,” said Klingerman, who most recently served as executive director of Launch Terre Haute. “We are moving the needle by supporting a diverse group of founders in areas of our state that have traditionally been outside the mainstream of the technology economy.”

NEXT Studios will operate from co-working spaces across Indiana. As new innovations can come from anywhere, the Studio will enable visionaries from all parts of our State develop their ideas, and fuel them with talent and capital in their own local communities.

“The Studio helps visionaries move their ideas into products and products into companies,” said Cudby, who was most recently the chief technology officer for the State of Indiana. “Visionaries aren’t limited to startups, and neither is the Studio: we intend to help corporations bring their innovations to market, too.”

To learn more about NEXT Studios, visit the website at next-studios.org or contact Shelley Klingerman, managing entrepreneur, at shelley@next-studios.org.

About NEXT Studios

Founded in 2020, NEXT Studios is a venture studio that is a partnership of experienced entrepreneurs who help visionaries share their ideas, craft them through a repeatable process, and move them forward with capital and talent.  The studio will work with entrepreneurs across the state to move their ideas into products and their products into companies.  The studio will use a proven process to reduce the risk for investors and encourage more local investors to get involved in our local innovation economy.

About Joe Cudby, managing partner, NEXT Studios 

Joe Cudby has over 20 years of experience in intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial roles. Originally from England, Cudby has spent over 25 years working in technology in Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C. and moved to Indianapolis in 2016. 

With a deep technical background, Cudby has worked in and around Cloud, managed “multi-tenant” hosting, professional services, product management and federal government security. 

During his career, Cudby worked at bootstrapped startups, explosive growth venture funded startups, private equity funded scale ups, publicly traded enterprises and the public sector where he spent 15 months as CTO with the Indiana State Office Of Technology. 

Cudby is a member of the Indiana Governor’s Executive Council on Cyber Security and has been an active angel investor since 2013.

About Tom Kilcoyne, managing partner, NEXT Studios

Tom Kilcoyne has delivered successful exits on five startups over the last 20 years and raised over $100M in capital.

As former COO of ClearObject, Kilcoyne helped grow their managed services business and support the growth of the company into a leader in the Internet of Things, before helping to sell the company to two private equity firms in 2019.

Prior to his work at ClearObject, Kilcoyne was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Elevate Ventures, where he helped portfolio companies develop and execute funding strategies and create strategic business plans. He was also the co-founder and managing partner of NewRoad Partners, a boutique merger and acquisition advisory firm based in Reston, Va., where he helped companies devise capital strategies.

Additionally, Kilcoyne is a three-time CEO of technology companies, including Simplexity, a communications marketplace that was successfully sold to In Phonic, a publicly traded company; Red Creek Communications, a company he helped sell to SonicWALL; and Veritect, a security company to Red Siren, a privately held company based in Pittsburgh.

Kilcoyne was part of a select team at VeriFone, a leading Silicon Valley payment technology company, that created a new internet payment system, which was sold to Hewlett Packard for $1.3B. 

About Shelley Klingerman, managing partner, NEXT Studios

Shelley Klingerman is an executive leader with more than two decades of experience in marketing, brand awareness and project management. In addition to her work with NEXT Studios, Klingerman leads Stiletto Agency, a firm she founded that focuses on teaching everyday vigilance, team building and leadership development.

Klingerman has developed an expertise through her initiatives at the Stiletto Agency as well as the documentary she produced, “Terror in American Schools: Are Your Kids Safe?” and author of “Vigilance: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Personal Safety, Self-Protection Measures and Countermeasures.”

She frequently speaks to groups and train teams looking to increase their situational awareness and provide safety skills for organizations.  In addition, she has opened and sold a women’s boutique, Cocoa Boutique, and co-founded a non-profit for entrepreneurs. 

Klingerman was a founder and most recently served as executive director of Launch Terre Haute, a co-work space and collaborative think tank for business leaders and start-up companies. She is also a contract advisor to various startup and legacy companies.

About John McDonald, managing partner, NEXT Studios

John McDonald is founder and chief evangelist at ClearObject, Indiana’s leading Internet of Things company. McDonald has over 20 years of experience as both an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur.

He is a founder and board member of the Indiana Technology & Innovation Association; chairman of the Technology & Innovation Committee of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce; and a board member of TechPoint, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and the Indiana India Business Council. 

Furthermore, McDonald is a member of the IBM PartnerWorld Global Business Partner Advisory Council, the Social Enterprise Alliance, the advisory council for Hamilton Southeastern Schools, the Workforce Alignment council of Ivy Tech Community College, and the Dean’s Council for the Purdue Polytechnic and President’s Club at Purdue University.

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Media Contact: Jennifer Chan, Porch Light PR

jennifer@porchlightpr.com; 317.490.3770

First 16 Tech Building Set to Open

(rendering courtesy of 16 Tech)

(rendering courtesy of 16 Tech)

INDIANAPOLIS – 16 Tech Community Corp. in Indianapolis will Tuesday cut the ribbon on the first building in its $500 million innovation district. Innovation Building 1 is a 120,000-square-foot facility will include, among other tenants, the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute with three floors of laboratory space.

The building will also be home to the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering, as well as the new headquarters of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

When the company held the “topping out” ceremony for the building a year ago, 16 Tech Chief Executive Officer Bob Coy told Inside INdiana Business the project has generated interest from companies in the life sciences, tech, engineering, and financial services sectors, as well as some universities.

Innovation Building 1 is the first of several projects planned for the district. Plans include a 140,000-square-foot Innovation Building 2, as well as a residential building that will feature more than 250 units.

Inside INdiana Business will be on location for Tuesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony. We’ll have interviews with 16 Tech leadership and new tenants on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.

Read more at Inside Indiana Business.

16 Tech announces names for innovation hub, artisan marketplace

In a nod to the site’s history, the 16 Tech Community Corp. has chosen the name HqO for the innovation hub now under development at the former Citizens Water headquarters northwest of downtown.

The HqO name, announced Wednesday, is a play on words that combines the chemical formula for water, H2O, with the idea that the 109,000-square-foot innovation hub will serve as the effective headquarters of 16 Tech.

The innovation hub, expected to open early next year, is part of a $500 million, 50-acre campus along Indiana Avenue. The first part of the project is an adjacent office building that’s set to open in August.

HqO will house three separate areas under one roof, and the names of two of those three areas were also announced. A 40,000-square-foot artisan marketplace, to be called The AMP, will feature seven restaurant stalls, a full-service restaurant, a community kitchen, a food lab, and vendor space for local retailers and artisans. The space will also host events and programs.

AMP will be an artisan marketplace 16 Tech. (Rendering courtesy of 16 Tech)

The name The AMP is meant as both an acronym for “artisan marketplace” and a shorthand for the electrical term “ampere,” to convey the creative energy the space is meant to generate.

A separate area within HqO is a 15,000-square-foot maker space that will be called Machyne.

HqO also will include more than 50,000 square feet of flexible office space managed by 1776, which oversees seven business incubators in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

Read more at the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Indiana Chamber Announces Mentoring Partnership to Help Companies Skill Up Their Workforce, Engage With Employees

July 14, 2020 (INDIANAPOLIS) — The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is offering a new service to help Hoosier employers skill up their workforce and keep employees further engaged as remote work continues for many.

The organization is partnering with Indiana-based Engage Mentoring to connect employees with mentors to help them grow their skills on a variety of topics. The model uses a proprietary software system to assist employees in career development by forging relationships with qualified mentors throughout the business community as well as acquiring the necessary skillset to become good mentors themselves.

“We believe this company-to-company mentoring program can be an important resource for our members to address the continual call to better attract, retain and develop their talent,” says Jason Bearce, Indiana Chamber vice president of education and workforce development.

“Beyond that critical mission, employers are now, more than ever, looking for meaningful ways for employee engagement and inclusion. This program can be a powerful strategy to achieve that within their workforce.”

This effort is part of the Indiana Chamber’s Institute for Workforce Excellence resource center. Through the partnership, the Indiana Chamber is able to offer the Engage Mentoring model to its

member businesses at a discounted rate. The actual cost is based on the number of employees. Don Cates, CEO of 3Rivers Federal Credit Union in Fort Wayne, has already utilized the program.

“What I enjoy most is the opportunity it provides our team to mentor and be mentored by a broad and diverse group beyond your organization. It expands our experience, knowledge and influence that supports our culture and brand. Personally, I enjoy mentoring because of what I continue to learn in the process, and what I remember I should be doing in leading my leadership team.”

Today’s announcement follows the Indiana Chamber’s June release of the Indiana Vision 2025: 2020 Snapshot, which showed Indiana still ranks 38th among the 50 states for post-secondary credential attainment. This mentoring program marks another effort to improve that ranking.

A free webinar is scheduled for Thursday from 10-11 a.m. EDT where employers can learn more about the program and the latest on the Indiana Vision 2025 plan for the state.

The Indiana Chamber is the first statewide business group to join forces with Engage Mentoring. An early version of the model has been utilized by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education in conjunction with its 21st Century Scholars program.

For Engage Mentoring, the new partnership accelerates the goal of building the largest and most effective company-to-company mentoring program in the country; a statewide steering committee also was formed in support of that effort.

“With our plug-and-play software, Engage Mentoring simplifies the mentoring process for participants and gives them convenient ways to connect and grow personally and professionally,” explains Alison Martin, founder and CEO of Engage Mentoring. “We are excited to team with the Indiana Chamber to bring the benefits of professional mentoring to more companies and individuals.”

Additional details on the Engage Mentoring workplace model are available at www.indianachamber.com/workforce and www.engagementoring.com/companies.

Read more at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce website.