Top Indiana Innovators and What Important Lessons You Can Learn from Them

Indiana is home to some amazing businesses!

These companies are run by forward-thinking, passionate leaders who consistently generate innovative ideas. It’s how they confront hurdles and leverage opportunities which arise within their industries.

Being open to new ideas and seeing how people in different markets tackle challenges can help you change your business for the better.

The Indiana innovators we’ve included in this article might be from a different industry than yours. Still, you can get inspired by their vision to drive innovation in your organization.

Let’s get started.

Indiana innovators

Dr. Michael Goldsby About the Creative Side of Bussiness

Dr. Michael Goldsby is the chief entrepreneurship officer of Ball State University, Indiana. He is also the co-author of Innovation Acceleration (Prentice Hall) and the Design Centered Entrepreneurship (Routledge).

He has had a lifetime passion for learning and is confident “big innovation doesn’t always require a big investment upfront“.

For instance, finding a clever way to approach a customer issue your competitors are neglecting can help unleash tremendous business opportunities. The financial investment needed in the future can come from that.

In the long run, creativity doubled by hard work can offer significant financial rewards.

It’s an essential lesson all entrepreneurs should be mindful of. Regardless of the type or size of your business, using a creative mindset to tackle challenges and welcome opportunities is an asset.

Brian Graham About the Importance of Embracing Growth

President and founder of Four Day Ray Brewing, Brian Graham has about nine years of experience owning, managing, operating and selling restaurants. He’s also worked in marketing and sales.

One of the most valuable lessons he’s learned along the way is you should never assume you know it all. As the former owner of Dick’s Bodacious BBQ/Hot ShotzBrian ended up going bankrupt.

Looking back, he came to realize his failure was an unfortunate result of poor choices and lack of experience.

However, proving it is possible to learn from your mistakes, adjust your approach and build a better, stronger business, Brian went from failure to success.

And as most successful Indiana innovators, Brian Graham learned it’s essential to keep up with the times and adapt when the facts about your industry change.  

Jim Ittenbach About Understanding Consumer Dynamic

Jim founded SMARI, a custom market research company based in Indianapolis. As he said in this interview, one of the main forces behind SMARI is a desire to understand “the motivating mysteries driving consumerism”.

Jim realized pretty early in his career it is crucial to invite the consumer to engage whenever you have to deal with go-to-market decision making.

It’s an essential lesson everybody who is interested in growing their organizations should learn sooner rather than later.

The most efficient way to deliver a meaningful and rewarding experience for your clients is to base your decisions on relevant, researched data about them.

Indiana innovators

What Do All These Indiana Innovators Have in Common?

Indiana has a culture of innovation. There are a lot of great ideas being born here, but unfortunately, not enough people get to find out about them.

We think it’s something that should change. That’s one of the main reasons behind the PIVOT conference, an Indiana-based event for entrepreneurs, business and community leaders looking to drive innovation in their organizations.

We’re honored to say all the Indiana innovators mentioned in this article were a part of the 2016 edition.

You can watch a short recap of the event here.

We’re planning a 2017 edition, so make sure to keep an eye on our site for more upcoming details about the event!

Patrycja Thomas

Author: Patrycja Thomas

Fortune 500 sales and marketing veteran dedicated to helping small businesses change the world with technology.