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Vickie Hall
Executive Director

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85 East Cedar St.
Zionsville, IN 46077

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Featured Partner: PNC Bank

PNC provides resources for zWORKS startups

What makes Ryan Blakley so perfect for his job? He’s been there. And done that.

Blakley grew up helping his parents transform Blakley’s Flooring into a flourishing company on the northside of Indy. He was there when they didn’t have the keys to their brand new building. One of the garage doors was cracked and he crawled under to let them in. He was there for the good times and bad and knows what startups go through.

You have probably seen him around zWORKS on Wednesdays during PNC’s office hours. Or perhaps at different Happy Hours. Blakley is the Business Banking Center Manager and VP at Zionsville’s PNC branch. He specializes in businesses who earn less than a million annually.

And he can relate to those businesses.

“I got to learn what it’s like when your last name is on the outside of the building,” Blakley said. “And how much harder you have to work than everybody else just to be even. Having watched that small business turn into something bigger was inspiring.”

Featured Startup: Venue Intelligence

zWORKS startup offers high-tech answer to event emergencies

It might be a marathon, it might be a concert or it might even be election day. One zWORKS founder wants to make sure events like these are as safe as possible.

Whether it’s as dramatic as a shooting or hurricane, or as simple as a power outage or verbal altercation, President and Founder of Venue Intelligence, Jim Martin, wants people to feel safe, and know the answer to “what to do if…”

Emergency planning is a top-of-mind issue for event managers and venue owners worldwide, and increasingly, that awareness isn’t limited to just the paid professionals.

Featured Partner: FullStack

zWORKS partner offers HR consulting to startups

An HR position turned into a startup company for one Indianapolis entrepreneur.

Dawn Lively worked at DeveloperTown as the Director of Culture and Talent. So many companies she worked with while at DeveloperTown – a software solution company in Indy – continued asking her for HR help that she decided to make a full-time business out of it.

Lively is now the COO and Co-founder of FullStack, which provides HR support to companies, specifically early-stage companies. Services include payroll & compliance, health, dental, vision and supplemental benefits, 401(k), administrative & operational HR support, strategic HR consulting & ancillary HR support and health and wellness.

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.