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Jan 13

Smart Partnerships Foster Entrepreneurial Growth in Fishers

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 4:20 PM by Tom Dickey

Fishers is experiencing a great deal of new business activity within the city by local entrepreneurs. Attracting and maintaining fresh entrepreneurial activity doesn’t just happen on its own. Much of the activity is spurred by Launch Fishers, a co-working space where local entrepreneurs gather to grow and develop their business ventures, collaborate with other entrepreneurs and receive mentorship and coaching.  

The brainchild of serial entrepreneur and Fishers’ resident John Wechsler and Mayor Scott Fadness, Launch Fishers, and the activity therein, is the crux of Mayor Fadness’ vision of Fishers as an entrepreneurial city. In order to see the full fruition of this vision, Fishers has been committed to supporting Launch’s growth and development every step of the way. 

In the two years since its inception, Launch has experienced a tremendous amount of growth and success. With nearly 400 members and more than $3 million in venture capital and investment raised in 2014 alone now, many of the entrepreneurs who signed up with just a big vision and a one- or two-person team have grown rapidly. Having outgrown their space at Launch, they now need to seek their own office space.  

To help with this risky and sometimes scary endeavor for entrepreneurs, and to further the commitment made to our latest economic drivers, Fishers sought to devise a creative solution.

In 2013, Meyer Najem, one of the Midwest’s leading construction firms, was outgrowing its current office space in Fishers. As they explored relocation options, Fishers economic development team encouraged them to build their new headquarters in Fishers downtown area, the Nickel Plate District.

Fishers has worked diligently over the past few years to create a sense of place in the Nickel Plate District, where residents come to live, work and play.  In addition to being an exciting amenity for residents, the Nickel Plate District is becoming a significant tool for attracting new business to Fishers. 


While Meyer Najem’s plans for a brand new two-story, 40,000-square-foot headquarters in the Nickel Plate District started to take shape, Launch Fishers, also in the Nickel Plate District, was nearly bursting at the seams.During negotiations with Meyer Najem, the Fishers team saw an opportunity to further the strategy of attracting high-growth companies to Fishers. 

Meyer Najem_blog resized.jpg

As part of the City’s public-private partnership with Meyer Najem, the City agreed to lease the entire second floor of the Meyer Najem building. Then, in turn, Fishers would lease the space to businesses in or moving to Fishers. Through the master lease Fishers was able to provide incentive for Meyer Najem while absorbing risks for entrepreneurs with growing enterprises. The short-term leases with flexible terms provide a next step for entrepreneurs who have outgrown Launch Fishers but may not yet be in a position to lease their very own space.  

Before construction on Meyer Najem’s new headquarters was complete, the second floor was fully leased. The tenants include QuadMed, a provider of onsite health clinics; BlueBridge Digital, a mobile app company and Launch Fishers first member, which has since grown to more than 25 employees; and Memory Ventures, a consumer brands company relocating from California to be a part of the budding entrepreneurial culture in Fishers.

DSC_0139.JPGQuad Med tenants review construction plans in their new space on the second floor of Meyer Najem's new headquarters.

BlueBridge Digital CEO, Santiago Jaramillo, and Memory Ventures CEO, Anderson Schoenrock, chat with a local reporter in one of Meyer Najem's open meeting areas. 

Meyer Najem’s new headquarters is truly state-of-the art office space. The building features innovative building elements including a white roof to reduce solar heat gain and LED interior fixtures, locally harvested and recycled materials, three outdoor spaces offering a direct connection to Nickel Plate District amenities, bike storage facilities, indoor and water saving fixtures.

The master lease is a tool that surrounding communities are eager to learn more about and replicate.  Creative partnerships are essential to cultivating economic and entrepreneurial growth in burgeoning communities. 


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