With recent rankings such as The Top 10 Cities that are Secretly Great for Tech Grads, Best Cities for Women in Tech, and Cities with the Fastest Growing Creative Class, Indianapolis is making a name for itself as a destination for top talent.
Innovation is alive and well not only in Central Indiana, but the entire Hoosier state. To provide a space for entrepreneurs to work in a creative and collaborative environment, several coworking spaces have popped up to change the entrepreneurial landscape. Fostering home-grown entrepreneurs and attracting new talent, coworking spaces are helping pave the way for Indiana’s future economic success.
“Coworking spaces are an essential component of 21st century infrastructure. By making it easier for entrepreneurs to start Innovation Driven Enterprises, communities with coworking spaces are uniquely positioned to participate in the wealth creation that comes with an innovation-driven economy,” explains John Wechsler, champion of the innovative Launch Fishers.
Serving as a hub for like-minded people to share their successes and failures, coworking spaces are quickly becoming a staple for entrepreneurs accelerating their business. The Speak Easy in Indianapolis has been home to over 170 businesses launched in the four years it has been open. “The coworking concept is proliferating,” says Danielle McDowell, Executive Director of the Speak Easy. “Corporate businesses are embracing the concept of moving toward intrapreneurship, encouraging their employees to think out-of-the-box and approaching problems like an entrepreneur would.”
Co-working spaces are helping to fuel the tech surge in Indianapolis. A co-working space out of Zionsville, zWORKS has helped Jon Gilman, CEO of Clear Software, grow his business.
"zWORKS has been immensely beneficial to our rapidly growing company. We have met several employees, investors, and advisors over the last year through day-to-day networking and events held at zWorks, all of whom have played key roles in our trajectory," says Gilman.
In a creative and open environment like a coworking space, entrepreneurs collaborate and participate in idea sharing with people from diverse backgrounds they normally wouldn’t interact with in a typical office setting. Citing a collaborative environment, Nine13sports Executive Director Tom Hanley found his home at The Speak Easy in Indianapolis.
“For us, The Speak Easy was a home when we didn’t have one. It was a place to work alongside other entrepreneurs, visionaries, and dreamers and learn from their successes and failures. It was a community that was a safe place to be honest and share the struggles of building something from scratch. That community aspect is the reason Nine13 exists today, I would not have been able to survive those early days without that support system that helped me navigate the hardest moments and celebrate the best,” explains Hanley.
In the spirit of collaboration and true Hoosier hospitality, more than 30 co-working spaces across the state have joined together to create a co-working passport, allowing entrepreneurs to freely enter numerous facilities without paying an additional membership. Since the passport was launched in 2014, entrepreneurs have access to spaces spanning the state, from Valparaiso to Muncie to Evansville, and anywhere in between. This freedom of facilities allows entrepreneurs to meet with clients or other entrepreneurs in different locations across the state, expanding their network and growing their business.
In Central Indiana and the entire Hoosier state, coworking spaces are changing the future of entrepreneurship.
A full list of co-working spaces and incubators can be found here.