Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

April 8, 2014

Lt. Governor: LaunchPad 'cool'

Sue Ellspermann visits Goshen's business incubator

GOSHEN — Sue Ellspermann liked what she saw in downtown Goshen.

“What a cool space!,” Indiana’s lieutenant governor enthused Tuesday afternoon.

Ellspermann paid a visit to LaunchPad, a business incubator on the second floor of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce. The stop was part of what Ellspermann dubbed a “tour of entrepreneurship” in the state.

“And I tell you what, this is really exciting, what’s happening right here on LaunchPad,” she said.

LaunchPad is a new venture aimed mostly at start-up entrepreneurs. According to Chamber staff, it offers collaborative work spaces, access to professional meeting rooms, speedy Internet and other amenities. LaunchPad is used by around 18 people representing 12 businesses.

Ellspermann recalled being an entrepreneur herself. She also said she hadn’t had access to a Launchpad-style space.

“How important it is for young entrepreneurs to be able to network together, to build the relationships, the partnerships and help you grow,” she said.

Ellspermann touted the efforts of Gov. Mike Pence’s administration, and the state’s Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, to support business in Indiana. She also talked with LaunchPad business representatives.

Among them was Rafael Barahona of R3 Design, a Web, graphic and logo design firm. He chatted with the lieutenant governor, and afterward described LaunchPad as a beautiful facility that allows for a concentrated workspace. Another plus, he indicated, was being able to network with other businesses.

Jillian Koeneman, chief executive officer and founder of Freshlime: Digital Marketing, described LaunchPad as a great collaborative space. The incubator allows her to work independently, she said, but then be able to work collaboratively with the other LaunchPad members.

“We kind of do brainstorming sessions together, bounce ideas off each other,” Koeneman said. “I really like that aspect.”

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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