Another week down at the EAC and once again I come away with a feeling of accomplishment and newly garnered knowledge. My daily tasks have remained much the same, mainly that I make sure that the EAC website remains active with continual blog posts and that we maintain a strong presence on social media. However, what really left an impression on me were two separate meetings I attended with Cathy.
The first was on Tuesday. I went with Cathy to the Starbucks off 116th and Allisonville and had the pleasure to meet local entrepreneur Heidi Wolf, founder and creator of Lollies Candy Shop. Cathy has been working with Heidi for a while, first meeting her when Heidi won 2012 Community Business Competition. Heidi came off as a real go-getter. She has a background in marketing but with Lollies Candy Shop, she has started to take control of every aspect, from finances to operations. What amazed me the most was how detailed her plan was to get her business off the ground and the ingenious way she plans to receive funding. Lollies Candy Shop plans to go from being a candy stand in the local Flea Market to a fully-fledged store in the newly developed business area in downtown Fishers. As a candy lover myself, I personally cannot wait to see Lollies Candy Shop Lollipops up-and-running.
On Wednesday, Cathy and I met up with Ron Brumbarger. Ron started his first business, called Bitwise Solutions, as a web development company in 1991. What he found after years of trying to recruit college graduates to work for his company was that, in general, they weren’t prepared to enter the work force. So he decided to have his own hand at the educational system, a solution that he believes better develops successful employees, a solution he calls Apprentice University. Apprentice U works as either an alternative or a supplement to college. It is a 30 month program that places students under the tutelage of actual business leaders. Instead of paying tuition, kids get paid for their work while learning the skills to successfully conduct themselves in a business environment. Ron’s unique take on the educational system was a real eye-opener and made me reflect on the value of my own education.
As I continue to meet local entrepreneurs, I start to develop a sense of what makes for a successful business and how organizations like the EAC can help people realize their vision. My introduction to the entrepreneurial community has been a process, but a process that I’ll enjoy as I continue interning here at the EAC.