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Vickie Hall
Executive Director

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85 East Cedar St.
Zionsville, IN 46077

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Featured Startup: Parker Gwen

zWORKS startup redefines online shopping experience

The cacophony of a typical shopping experience can be overwhelming. From hundreds of different TVs at Best Buy to 12,000 Amazon results to the endless pages of Google.

One zWORKS entrepreneur is changing the online shopping landscape.

Matt Phillips has worked in the retail industry over a decade. He went from Best Buy to Groupon to H. H. Gregg. For him, online shopping needed a more personalized touch.

“I felt that there is opportunity, not only from my retail experience but as a consumer, to really focus in on how you create an online environment that also has a personal touch,” Phillips said.

He has spent a long time watching the digital transition in retail and in 2017 he and his business partner, Tiffanie Rosencranz, decided to take matters into their own hands.

Partner Dinner Recap

Thank you to everyone who came out for the Partner Dinner on Aug. 22! We appreciate our partners and members for making zWORKS possible.

During the event, we heard from our recently appointed board chairman, Paul Dreier, along with Jon Gilman of Clear Software, Will Dantzler with DefCon Cyber and Ben Worrell with the Boone County EDC about some of the success stories from the past 3 years at zWORKS. A few growth points included:

  • 10 scaleable startups working out of zWORKS
  • 9 graduate startup companies
  • over $15 million invested in startups to date

Here are a few pictures. [Photos by Sara Baldwin Schatz, property of Current Publishing]

Featured Member: Ed Novit

Business developer traverses pharm world

Ever wonder how Ibuprofen is made?

One zWORKer works daily with equipment that makes drugs like Ibuprofen possible. Ed Novit has experienced all aspects of the pharmaceutical industry. From selling equipment for pharma companies to coming up with new ways to use that same equipment, he has seen it all.

Novit is the business development manager for Freund-Vector based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His job is to find new ideas for the capital equipment Freund-Vector makes. The type of machine that makes those little Ibuprofen pills can cost anywhere between $100,000 and $6 million.

The pharmaceutical world is constantly evolving and once Freund-Vector develops new processing equipment, Novit keeps the ball rolling – or rather – keeps the pill rolling.

Featured member: Lucas Moser

zWORKS developer brings napkin drawings to life

You can get lost in the world of coding. And that’s exactly what member Lucas Moser does at zWORKS.

Moser works remotely for a business analytics consulting firm, PMsquare, based out of Chicago. He leads the software development and operations of their new products team.

Basically, what this means is that he takes napkin drawings and ideas and creates something tangible that users can interact with on a daily basis.

PMsquare is an IBM business partner and works mainly with a data-driven software for businesses called IBM Cognos and IBM Cognos TM1. This software analyzes different data points within a company then allows interaction with those points like filtering company reports, analyzing trends and deviations, sending notifications if a specific data point is triggered, and so on.

Featured Startup: Mix

Data marketing company launches at zWORKS

A new startup company at zWORKS likes to mix things up – quite literally.

Mix is a data-driven marketing company that helps businesses get across the chasm between sales and marketing. They push for digital marketing alongside human intelligence.

“Sometimes you have to add the human element back in,” COO Gene Cottingham said. “Someone in the industry for 10 or more years may see trends that the computer doesn’t or some companies don’t have the $100,000 tool to assess the data.”

He described the cyclical process in five steps – creating the content, placing the content, evaluating the results, running those through the filters, and making recommendations to the changes in the content.

Featured Partner: Apprenace

zWORKS startup builds internship programs

Chris “The Brain”

Chris Hoyt saw a need and filled it.

What was that need? A term that has grown into a buzz word over the past few years – internships.

Hoyt, otherwise known as Chris “The Brain”, had co-founded a marketing company in Carmel and found himself  helping companies run their internships programs.

In 2015, he decided to turn his passion for the intern concept into a full-time job.

“I hated marketing but I loved the intern programs so I wanted to see if we could start a company that just does this,” Hoyt said.

Parker Gwen receives GROW scholarship

Congrats to Matt Phillips with the online lifestyle retail corporation, Parker Gwen, for receiving our 3rd annual GROW scholarship! This scholarship is presented in conjunction with the Boone EDC and awards an annual membership to an entrepreneur or small business looking to grow in Boone County. Check out the full press release.






Featured Member: Whitney Vredenburgh

zWORKS member stages, redesigns homes

It’s another classic zWORKS startup story. Whitney Vredenburgh went from corporate to startup and hasn’t looked back.

The mother of two turned from marketing and sales with an agriculture company to a home staging and redesign startup in 2016. Two years later, and Vredenburgh is a proud mother of four with a blossoming company called Nested Spaces.

Nested Spaces will work with realtors on home staging, whether vacant or occupied, and clients on redesign. Vredenburgh said the ideal situation is to stage a client’s home during the sale then help redesign when they buy a new house.

For staging, she says it’s about neutralizing the house so it appeals to the most potential buyers, while redesigning is more personal.

“The goal is to make their home feel like THE home,” she said.

Entrepreneurial Bootcamp kicks off Summer Internship Program

The second annual zWORKS summer internship program officially started today with an eBootcamp focusing on local entrepreneurship. This summer’s interns are both high school and college age and will be working for zWORKS startups like Zio, Try It Tiny and Mix It Out.

They got to hear from a variety of speakers including Mayor Tim Haak, MOBI President Josh Garrett, Apprenace’s Chris Hoyt, zWORKS co-founder Dan Moyers and Jacob Schpok with Elevate Ventures.

Mayor Haak discussed why bringing startups to Zionsville is important. Garrett told the story of how MOBI was founded and what goes into building a startup from nothing. Hoyt talked about how students can make the most of their internships.

“The zWORKS Summer Internship Prgram offers a fabulous opportunity for students to work firsthand with local entrepreneurs,” zWORKS Executive Director Kate Swanson said.