Launch Fishers founder John Wechsler says the growth of co-working in Indiana may be the biggest "under-the-radar" tech story this year. During an interview at Launch Fishers, he told Inside INdiana Business more than 2,000 workers are served by around 40 coworking spaces throughout the state, "bringing our state’s entrepreneurs and innovators together in a common network." Wechsler says it’s a trend he expects to continue in 2017.
Launch Terre Haute is among the coworking spaces reporting growth. The site is celebrating its one-year anniversary, and says it has reached its first-year target of 60 members. Launch Terre Haute opened its doors at the renovated, historic Deming Building in the city’s downtown in January.
Also this year, Start Fort Wayne opened a coworking space in downtown Fort Wayne, targeting entrepreneurs, startups and tech-based businesses. In June, Kokomo opened The HuB Downtown. At the time, owner Laura Cardwell told Inside INdiana Business she believed the concept is "where business is going." Greencastle was also among the communities to open a coworking space this year.
Wechsler says Governor Mike Pence’s plan to invest $1 billion into accelerating entrepreneurship in the state is also at the top of his list of 2016 tech stories. Pence made the announcement in July at the Innovation Showcase in Speedway. He said the idea is to ensure Indiana "plays a leading role" in taking on long-term challenges and supporting economic growth, job creation and talent attraction along the way.