Indy’s Incubator Dream is a series of articles looking at the rise of co-working spaces and incubators around the country and the world. Economic development, community creation and city growth all await at the end of successful incubator and co-working ventures, but how does Indianapolis get there? [For more on Indy co-working, check out Pattern’s pop up design co-working space, The Bindery!]
10-15 years ago, the terms “technology” and “Indianapolis” wouldn’t have seemed particularly connected. Fast forward to today, however, and you will find that companies like ExactTarget Marketing, ChaCha information service and FormStack have all blossomed right from this very city. Indy is now known as one of best cities for launching a tech startup. It just took a little bit of time and effort to get there.
Just announced last week by the Pattern team, the Bindery hopes to put in that same time and effort to create a creative space for fashion and design minded individuals in Indianapolis and make the Circle City a fashion destination like our tech friends started. Pattern sees the design community that it is cultivating in Indy where the technology group was a decade ago before local startups made it big. The success of these companies has opened the door for a discipline-specific co-working space, the Speak Easy, to help facilitate more technology startups in Indy. If you are looking to do tech in this day and age, a co-working space is the place to be. If tech can do it, why not design as well?
Cities like New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Las Vegas all have spaces where members of the city and community can come and work to create and design fashion their way. However, you don’t need to be one of the top cities in the country to do this. Dayton, Ohio’s Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) has taken on the challenge and showed that it can be done anywhere.
“The first thing that goes into starting an incubator is building a team that believes in the ultimate goal and vision of the organization and having open communication,” Caressa Brown said. She’s in charge of the incubator in Dayton that is pioneering the idea in a town that isn’t really known for its fashion.
“Dayton was a huge manufacturing city, we had General Motors, we had Delphi, Chrysler, and DHL. None of the companies are still here,” Brown said. Those companies’ absence devastated the local economy but left behind the legacy of a manufacturing and textile industry. Brown said these factors in addition to Dayton’s central location to big cities like Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit and others lead her to ask, “Why not start something here in Dayton?”
DE-FI also works with models to make sure that new models have the best experience they can in an industry that is riddled with scammers. They show that a fashion incubator can be more than just sewing machines and cutting tables. The DE-FI shows that this kind of initiative can be put together and accomplished in a city that isn’t on one of the coasts. The Bindery is looking to replicate that success with its pop-up location through the month of August. Bringing together the tools to create and design, the Bindery hopes to fill its space with creative people to show the city that this kind of community can be great for the city.
Whether or not the Bindery will become a permanent installation within Indianapolis still remains to be seen, but the city could benefit greatly from it. There are numerous incubators, co-working spaces and accelerators out there that have had wild success in producing and nurturing startups from ideas to complete businesses, which we will cover in our next article. What will it take for the Bindery to get to that point in Indianapolis?