An Entrepreneur's Open Letter to Terre Haute

We strive to keep good relations with the members of Launch Terre Haute.  We solicit feedback and look for ways we can better support the growing entrepreneur community.  An open email was recently sent to us from a member and we wanted to share it with the community.  The email is insightful and validates our work in the growing Tech Haute startup community we are building.   We are building a better future for our community and families.  If you agree, then please consider supporting us.

Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and talk through some of the upcoming opportunities in Terre Haute.  I am especially excited about the possibility of a new bigger Launch Terre Haute co-work space.  I think this could lead to some very big and exciting opportunities in Terre Haute that we desperately need.  As per our discussion today I think Terre Haute has some very big economic issues today that Launch Terre Haute and our local government could address and help solve to further our whole community. I apologize in advance for the lengthy email but I just really want to inform you and anyone in the decision making process why supporting Launch Terre Haute and similar programs in our community is so vital for our communities future.

If opportunities are not created and success is not fostered in our local community then talented driven individuals will leave this community and go elsewhere where they feel they have a shot at success.  I have especially noticed this in the younger population (my age group) and truthfully I have left Terre Haute in the past to pursue opportunities.  Honestly, if there are not more tools to become successful in Terre Haute I will probably be forced to leave again.  I love Terre Haute I was born and raised here and want to help create a better and stronger community, but I am driven to be successful and if the opportunities are elsewhere and not here I will leave.  I do not think I am alone in thinking these thoughts. Let me be clear, I do not think Terre Haute lacks talent.  Some of the brightest minds, hardest workers, kindest individuals, and passionate people I know have all grown up in Terre Haute.  I look at where they are now and many are investment bankers in New York, lawyers in Indianapolis, or working with startups in Chicago.

If we do not create opportunities and more jobs that require a degree from a higher educational institution then I believe we are doomed to grow, doomed to innovate, and doomed to foster leaders in our community.  How does Launch Terre Haute help solve this issue? I think it does in a variety of ways.

By having an entrepreneurial Launch program in our community we are creating new and exciting opportunities for individuals in our community.

  • More local income and profits
    • More money to be taxed locally
    • More money to be spent in our local economy allowing other local businesses to better flourish
  • More jobs
    • Increased jobs that require an educational degree
    • Increased earning potential for local citizens
    • Decreased unemployment 
  • It makes our community much more exciting, unique, and profitable
    • Our community is so franchised out it is kind of ridiculous. 
    • Franchised and similar non local business drains money from our community through franchised fees and non-local suppliers.  For example spend a local dollar at a franchise some stays local because of the employees, the facility, taxes, and if the owner is local but the rest leaves to the franchise owner and non local suppliers.
    • Texas Road House, Mcdonalds, and Walmart does not make our community exciting to visit or keep money local
    • Now flip the switch - A member of of Launch Terre Haute created the next Taco Bell, Ihop etc. (Sorry food always on the brain) now we have just created a huge income and job creator locally
    • It gives our community more to be proud of and a greater sense of success, builds a more unique culture, and gives us a greater sense of community.  People want to be around other people who band together to create a better community and it allows us to be proud of what we have built. Who brags on their community because a 2nd Walmart has set up shop? I think the answer is no one.  
  • Keeps better talent and leadership local
  • Launch will help foster entrepreneurial businesses not just local business. There is a huge difference in business types I would love to explain further but in a nutshell an entrepreneurial business is an income positive creator for our community where as just a local business is usually an income neutral creator.

 If we want to create jobs, bigger businesses, better leaders, and keep talent local we have to get behind movements such as Launch Terre Haute. Just look at communities such as Bloomington, Indianapolis, and Evansville they are all doing it and seeing a great amount of success and return on their investment.

It is my personal belief that if you are not innovating and pushing a community forward you are allowing it to be at a stagnant state which will eventually lead to decline. I want to foster innovation in our community and hope Launch Terre Haute can be the 1st big step in that direction.

Do you still listen to 8-track tapes and take polaroids? Me neither I stream music wirelessly and upload photos from my phone. 

I hope we can be the next innovation and not the forgotten 8 track tape.

- Launch Terre Haute Member

Posted on March 12, 2015 .