The guiding board for Launch Fishers, a co-working space for start-up businesses located in the Hamilton East Library, officially formed and met this month.
The five-person board, Fishers Entrepreneurship Center, Inc., consists of town councilors John Weingardt and Pete Peterson, Town Manager Scott Fadness, Fishers Chamber of Commerce President Dan Canan and Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation President Joseph Eaton.
The board’s goals are to provide oversight for Launch Fishers, encourage the right entrepreneurs to sign up and “making sure that we spend the money judiciously and appropriately for what we set out to do,” Weingardt said.
Weingardt said he’ll operate as the board’s treasurer. Canan is the board’s president, and Fadness oversees day-to-day operations of Launch Fishers.
Canan said the board’s dynamic is to create and keep jobs in Fishers, as well as to encourage new companies to grow.
“I don’t know that you can define really everything that’s going to come out of it,” he said.
Canan continued to say that Launch Fishers’ consultant John Wechsler, who was part of the initiative from the start, is a creative individual that isn’t “putting anything into a box.”
Canan said, “As creative people get together it’ll be a creative environment, and who knows what will come out the front door.”
Weingardt said he foresees good interactions amongst the board members as they state opinions and make decisions for Launch Fishers.
“It’s not got to be a quiet board,” he said.
Councilor Pete Peterson volunteered to hold the other seat representing the council.
Weingardt said there was a want to get the Fishers Chamber of Commerce involved, so Canan was brought into the fold.
In addition to his work with the chamber, Canan served as Muncie’s mayor for 12 years.
“Those types of experiences are invaluable,” Weingardt said.
Eaton is representation outside of the council and chamber.
Weingardt said the mix of viewpoints should complement each other on the board, as well as “give it the teeth that it needs to accomplish its task.”
He said there are as many as 20 businesses or businesspeople interested in the venture and could be more.
Canan said Launch Fishers is going to be an important piece of downtown redevelopment by driving activity and keeping businesses nearby.