Archive for September 2018

Ellie Symes, a rising star in the Indiana's tech ecosystem, leads The Bee Corp., a data-analytics firm that helps bee keepers and growers optimize the pollination of their orchards and fields.

Symes, who started the company while a student at Indiana University, appeared on stage at the Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis and the company was part of the event's startup showcase. 

She talks with podcast host Mason King about being a young entrepreneur, taking risks and pivoting when you have to to make your company stronger. We also learn she's become allergic to bees! 

Photo courtesy of The Bee Corp. 

Music credit: Boogie da Bee by texasradiofish (c) copyright 2017 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: Sprezza, tiltededge, Kara Square, ElRon XChile, Stefan Kartenberg, rocavaco, Javolenus, reg7783


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Indianapolis has about 2,800 new hotel rooms slated to come online downtown in the next five years.

Some of those hotels — such as the 316-room Hyatt Place/Hyatt House project across from Bankers Life Fieldhouse — are under construction and nearing completion. Others — such as a long-discussed 800- to 1,000-room convention hotel — are only in the planning stages. 

If all are completed, those projects will add to the roughly 7,500 rooms already downtown.

Can Indy support all that growth? Host Mason King talks with Mark Eble, the managing director of CBRE Hotels Advisory and an expert on the hotel industry in the Midwest, to find out.

You can also read about Eble's view on the market and get more details about hotel growth in a story by Hayleigh Colombo in this week's IBJ.

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Just two decades ago, Indiana had no grape and wine industry worth talking about. But today, more than 100 wineries dot Indiana.

The annual harvest (and the 2.4 million gallons of wine it makes) generates an economic impact of $600 million, sustains 4,000 full-time jobs, and pays $37 million in state and local taxes and $38 million in federal taxes.

The growth is thanks in part to the Purdue Wine Grape Team, a group funded by a 5-cent excise tax on every gallon of wine sold in Indiana. Founded in 1991, the team is an agricultural extension program composed of enology, viticulture and marketing specialists who assist Indiana winemakers and grape growers.

IBJ Podcast host Mason King talks to two of them — Bruce Bordelon and Jill Blume — about Indiana's wine industry, what makes it special and what to expect in the future.

You can read more about the Indiana wine industry at IBJ.

Photo for this episode by Tom Campbell, courtesy of Purdue Agricultural Communication .

Music for this episode:

Jazz Shuffle Blues by texasradiofish (c) copyright 2014 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: Bluemillenium, Copperhead, David Merrick, ElRon XChile, Jeris, Annon, Rey Izian, Javolenus, Speck, Kara Square, Chuck Berglund, Nickleus, Fireproof Babies, My Free Mickey, DJ Snyder

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Where tens of thousands of motorists every day saw just another scrubby little hill along an interstate, Tom Battista saw a park. A place for reflection or respectful debate, to the soundtrack of hundreds of wheels on pavement. Maybe more importantly, a place that could connect residents of foundational Indianapolis neighborhoods separated 50 years earlier by interstate construction.

Indianapolis residents probably know Battista best as co-founder of Bluebeard in Fletcher Place, one of the key restaurants in reforming the city's culinary reputation. He also has a separate, legendary career in concert production, working on tours for artists such as Jimmy Buffett, David Bowie and Parliament Funkadelic.

The idea for the little park got stuck in Battista’s mind like a pop music earworm. To make it happen, he learned he would need to work through the city, state and federal government, while many folks told him he was nuts to even try. After five years of negotiating and planning, The Idle opened earlier this month. The access point is on the Virginia Street bridge between Fletcher Place and Fountain Square. Battista led podcast host Mason King on a walk-and-talk tour through the promontory and its history.

Music: "Drops of H2O (The Filtered Water Treatment)" by J.Lang (c) copyright 2012 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Airtone


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Eli Lilly and Co. pulled its Lilly Diabetes brand name off a race car driven by Conor Daly after his father — Derek Daly — was fired from his job as a WISH-TV Channel 8 racing analyst for a racial slur he uttered 35 years ago. 

The move raised questions about why the Conor Daly should be punished for something his father said before he was even born. And even WISH-TV's move came under some scrutiny, after Derek Daly said he used the n-word in an interview when he was new to the United States. He said the word was part of what was then an often-used phrase in Ireland, and once he found out it was offensive in America, never used it again.

In this week's IBJ Podcast, host Mason King talks with two local marketing experts — Bruce Bryant, president and creative director of Promotus Advertising and Ken Ungar, president of Charge — about whether Lilly made the right move and about the risks associated with sponsorships.

You can also read IBJ's take on the issue in this week's editorial.


Sound from WTHR-TV Channel 13 and WRTV-TV Channel 6.

Music from Transmutation by Kara Square, (c) copyright 2017. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Spinningmerkaba

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