Entrepreneurship ready to explode in eastern Indiana

Ellspermann makes stop in Muncie 

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - A driving force in Indiana's economy is small business and state leaders found the heart of innovation locally with dozens of entrepreneurs and those in training.

Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann too a first time look at the Muncie Innovation Connector besides watch what was going on at Ball State's College Business where new business and entrepreneurs receive training.

Last summer, the state created the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship to support those wanting to start a business. The survey says 64 percent of new private sector jobs are created by small business making up 49 percent of the private workforce.

Ellspermann was amazed at the high tech effort of the innovation connector, a partnership between the city and Ball State University. Twenty three businesses operate there with more than 60 employees.

Tom Steiner, business advisor with the Indiana Small Business Development Center, looked around the audience for Ellspermann and sensed that eastern Indiana was about to explode with more new entrepreneurs.

After a first quarter of stock market gains and consumer confidence rising, it appears more jobs and business will be found in the second quarter this spring.

Muncie has seen lots of small businesses in the last few months DWNTWN with a new coffee shop, CrossFit gym, and other unique stores.

B.J. McKay, a partner in the Arsenal CrossFit center, though the state was headed in the right director offering assistance to new small business that help drive the economy.

There was Wade Whitaker, sales and marketing for Reliant Imaging Solutions, a medical imaging equipment company out of Connersville.

He saw the partnership with the Innovation Center awesome and the answer to lots of small business needs and services.

Steve Weir, a partner in Prism Video Production, also liked the service offered by the IC in his role as a video storyteller for business and other groups. 

Ellspermann was an engineer with a consulting firm who was a lawmaker before becoming lieutenant governor.

 She said partnerships were the best way to grow businesses and it was apparent the local effort not only worked, but worked well.

In less than a year, the ISBDC spent $3.4 million that generated $179 million in bank, personal and private capital. And that translates into one new business opened by an ISBDC client every 33 hours

Ball State's College of Business also offers instruction and training to new business leaders besides offering plenty of examples of entrepneurship.

On Thursday, the university hosts Scott McCorkle, president of Product, Technology and Strategy for ExactTarget, revolutionary digital marketing company.

McCorkle will talk about the next step in the Internet revolution that drives companies like ExactTarget. Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud is a leading global provider of cross channel digital marketing used in email, mobile, social media, web and marketing promotions.