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By Tim Monger on July 02, 2015
I may be a little bit biased, but I believe that Launch Fishers along with its public partner the City of Fishers has created an entrepreneurial ecosystem that minimizes the risks faced by innovation-based startups and maximizes job creation and private investment in the region.
 
A recent article from the Stanford Graduate School of Business describes the findings of a multi-country study by professor George Foster. The subtitle of the article is Entrepreneurship can be personally rewarding and good for the economy, if we wipe the stardust from our eyes. Foster goes on to say, “My experience with early-stage companies — and what I’ve heard from all the many entrepreneurs that visit Stanford — is that there’s a lot of carnage, and even the most successful CEOs have a roller-coaster existence.” In the article Foster is describing the risks and rewards that many communities face when one of their economic development strategies is supporting the growth of new business and the entrepreneurs that lead these companies. But perhaps Foster hasn’t visited Launch Fishers.
 
Hamilton County, Indiana is fortunate to have Launch Fishers, a collaborative co-working space that serves the unique needs of entrepreneurs and their “roller-coaster existence.” One might describe Launch Fishers as an entrepreneurial theme park. Another way to describe it is an environment that offers members an opportunity to connect and collaborate with like-minded individuals and mentors. Serial entrepreneur John Wechsler produces this entrepreneurial theme park with support from Mayor Scott Fadness and the Fishers City Council. And it’s working.
 
Foster makes a number of points that need to be considered when creating the most successful entrepreneurial ecosystem. The findings of Foster’s study suggest a different policy approach, one not based simply on tax breaks by government, but rather on improving the success rate of startups. “To me, one of the big messages is that public policy needs to be more oriented to sustain the scaling of ventures,” Foster says.
 
Foster’s study of more than 158,000 startups worldwide suggests, “The reality for most startups is a lot of jarring ups and downs, more like a high-speed game of snakes and ladders.” Or, perhaps like the Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World Resort. From the study we learn that entrepreneurs experience the roller coaster ride from year three to year five. The bottom-line is that Launch Fishers has the right formula for success as shown by the astronomical growth in the number of members and the success of members like Bluebridge. The City of Fishers should be applauded for accommodating in the Nickel Plate District companies like Bluebridge that graduate from Launch Fishers.
 
-Tim Monger
President & CEO
Hamilton County EDC
Categories: "City of Fishers", "Economic Development", Entrepreneur, "Hamilton County", Indiana, "Launch Fishers"