Raising a Glass to The State That Raised Us

Posted: Updated:

INX3, starting today in Indianapolis, puts the full force of Indiana's thriving startup community on display. It also provides a chance to reflect on the many wonderful elements of this state’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and how Indiana has helped me and my team grow our company Go Electric into what we are today.

Building something from scratch is challenging, and having the proper support and guidance in the earliest stages is pivotal for success. Go Electric makes energy resiliency systems. Our profile is quite different from Indiana’s typical “tech startup,” but all the same we’ve been nurtured by a highly supportive environment. Our surroundings played no small part in growing the company from an idea into a thriving company that has added more than 20 high-skill, high-paying jobs to the state.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) served as an especially important foundation for Go Electric’s early growth. We benefited from the IEDC’s 21 Fund, a crucial injection of capital that helped us and many other Indiana tech startups complete product development and begin scaling up.  But the support went well beyond funding. We participated in IEDC’s Small Business Investment Research (SBIR) workshops, and received feedback on our proposals, guidance that helped us to secure millions in SBIR awards. The IEDC continues to be an excellent source of mentorship for innovative companies throughout the state.

Indiana’s private entrepreneur-focused organizations were also behind us from the start. The Venture Club of Indiana’s networking events put Go Electric in front of investors for feedback and funding.  TechPoint and Verge provided further networking opportunities and pitch events that are invaluable for connecting tech startups like ours with investors.

The local infrastructure in place in Anderson, where we are based, was also an indispensable factor as Go Electric got on its feet. Anderson is home to the Flagship Enterprise Center, one of several accelerators throughout the state devoted to cultivating innovative businesses. The FEC was the source of essential support — mentorship, grant funding, and most importantly, a roof over our heads that has served as the company’s headquarters since its founding in 2011. With team members spread out between Indianapolis and Muncie, Anderson and the FEC allowed us to gather in a central location during our bootstrapping period, allowing commercialization to progress much faster.

In Anderson we found other local parties ready to extend a helping hand. While still in the research and development phase, one generous engineering firm provided us with testing time at their facility. When we were building out our test cell, the Anderson mayor’s office and local utility stepped in to support the construction. With their assistance, we are able to conduct our research and development and product testing locally.

Although advanced energy is still a very young industry in Indiana, the opportunities afforded to companies in this space have already proliferated since Go Electric was founded.  The Energy Systems Network was established in 2008 to help foster the growth of the energy sector in Indiana. Its creation sent a powerful signal to aspiring energy innovators: Indiana fully recognizes the value of and is committed to promoting the new energy economy. ESN is paving the way for collaboration, innovation adoption and building an energy ecosystem throughout the state.

For all these reasons we are grateful to the state that raised us. Indiana is an incredibly friendly place for tech entrepreneurship, and we can’t envision Go Electric becoming what it is today without the broad spectrum of in-state resources and opportunities.

Lisa Laughner is chief executive officer of Go Electric Inc.

  • Perspectives

    • Scott Flood is the owner of Scott Flood Writing.

      Kvetching Employees Kill Reputations

      There's a lot to bemoan about the state of customer service, but one particularly disturbing trend I've noticed is a growing number of employees complaining in the presence of customers.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Ivy Tech Promotes Monroe to Provost

      Ivy Tech Community College has promoted Kara Monroe to provost/senior vice president. The position was previously held by Dr. Steven Tincher, who will retire in June. Monroe currently serves as vice president, academic innovation and support. In her new role, Monroe will provide overall leadership for academic affairs and serve as the chief academic officer for the college.

    • Construction to Start on Tech Park Hotel

      Groundbreaking on the first hotel at WestGate@Crane Technology Park will take place Wednesday in Odon. Officials say the $7 million Sleep Inn and Mainstay-branded hotel will employ more than 20. Owners Mike and Debbie Hicks also own the Comfort Suites in French Lick and the Legend of French Lick Resort Boutique Hotel and Event Center. Plans include...

    • Kroger Hires Eric Halvorson

      A former longtime Indianapolis television anchor and reporter has been hired by The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR). Eric Halvorson, who left WISH-TV last year after 33 years, will serve as public affairs manager and media spokesman for the company's Central Division. He succeeds John Elliott, who will become the chief executive officer of Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis later this year.

    • Another Major Development Coming to International Marketplace

      Officials in Indianapolis will Friday break ground on a $24 million mixed-use development at the International Marketplace on the city’s west side. The International Marketplace Coalition says the Pyramids at 35 Hundred will include residential and commercial space, creating 75 permanent jobs.

    • The teams will be competing for $15,000 in total prizes.

      State's Largest Hackathon Targets Public Safety

      Launch Fishers and the Indiana IoT lab will this weekend host what organizers call Indiana's largest hackathon. This year's At&T #IoTCivicHack will focus on public safety solutions. Fishers Police Chief Mitch Thompson says new, cutting-edge technology ideas are especially helpful in an industry where "we tend to surround ourselves with other professionals that are in public safety and we all tend to think alike."