Scott Fadness is the mayor of Fishers, Indiana, and the co-founder of co-working space Launch Fishers. He sat down with TechRepublic’s Alison DeNisco Rayome to discuss why he believes it’s important for cities to support entrepreneurs. You can watch the video above, or read the transcript below.
Scott Fadness: Well what we know statistically is job growth in America doesn’t actually come from large companies. It doesn’t come from midsize companies. True job growth comes from start ups and small companies, and so we have to be very intentional about the development and growth of our entrepreneurial scene in every community. Launch Fishers, where we sit today, is really our best work that we can think of to create this environment where entrepreneurs can pursue their entrepreneurial passion.
We don’t pick winners and losers. We just create the most hospitable environment possible for people to pursue their ideas. A good example of a company that came out of here was Emplify, which used to be called Bluebridge Digital actually. It was a young man, he was our first member of Launch Fishers. He grew his company to almost 50 employees by the time he was 27, and he sold that company for eight million dollars, and then reinvested into a new company. He still has 50 to 60 employees, right here in the heart of downtown Fishers.
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Another example would be Agency 360, which is Matt Molter’s company. A former police officer had an idea about developing software. He’s grown that company steadily over the last four or five years, and had some of the largest law enforcement agencies in the country using his software platform. Those are all great examples of kind of the organic, economic activity that’s occurring in this facility as well as our IoT lab. I think the key for any city leadership when they start to think about creating these environments is to be dedicated and committed to this being a long term vision. This is not a project. This is a vision.
It’s not a year-type project. It’s a decade-type vision. So you have to be willing to intentionally build this over a period of time, and be committed to the fact that it won’t be an instant gratification. That you have to work at it every single day in the hope and belief that by creating this environment, you will indeed improve the economic outlook for your city.