Breaking News: A Paradigm Shift
Tech firm moving HQ from Silicon Valley to Carmel - IBJ June 13, 2016
Indy lands another big-time digital marketing headquarters - Indy Star August 3, 2015
Indianapolis named one of 'America's most underrated cities for Millennials' – WTHR July 27, 2015
Indianapolis: The Midwest's Silicon Valley - OMMA Magazine July 12, 2011
Direct flights from Indianapolis (IND) to San Jose - Silicon Valley (QSF) $368.20 Roundtrip- Orbitz November 9, 2016 (68 flights leaving November 23, 2016)
It looks like the writings on the wall.
So, what exactly do these headlines mean to Madison County? I suppose nothing if you don’t think Madison County has anything to gain from all this growth.
Or perhaps you are thinking that Madison County could just ride the coat tails of our southern communities and hope the inertia eventually creeps past our boarders. Yes, but the term “Slower than molasses in January” comes to mind. After all, how long have those communities been growing and flourishing?
What if I told you that Madison County could really really capitalize on what has been happening in the Indy area? Think of it. Progress and growth has been knocking on our front door since before property values jumped in Fishers, Carmel, and Noblesville. Maybe it is time for Madison County to wake up and smell the coffee brewing at the downtown Anderson Coffee Shop. Oh, wait, we don’t have a coffee shop downtown.
Madison County needs a huge paradigm shift in the way they do business. It is starting to happen and I’ll explain that in a little bit.
Could Madison County take the initiative and look for opportunities to take advantage of Indy’s growth right now? Yes, but that would take planning, work and a huge change in perception, values and commitment to make it happen.
Here is what I mean. Take a look at the third headline. The one that mentions Millennials. Millennials are the generation after Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomer. Millennials are the ones entering the workforce now and they are not your average employee or entrepreneur. Jack Schultz, author, CEO of Agracel Inc. and founder of the Boomtown Institute defines a Millennial as, “those generally born between 1980 and 2000, dwarfs the GenXers in size. These young people are going to be the most entrepreneurial in the history of the United States. I’m finding incredible examples of what these young people are already doing. Communities need to be retaining and recruiting the Millennials.
Let’s focus on that last sentence. “Communities need to be retaining and recruiting the Millennials.”
That’s the key. That is the paradigm shift.
And, Madison County has the best opportunity to grow and provide a home for new Millennials but more importantly, keep the ones we have. In fact, the Madison County Chamber has taken the first steps in the process. They have rebranded the Young Professionals into HYPE 48. HYPE48 is an acronym for Helping Young Professionals Engage in 48. 48 is the county number assigned to Madison by the state.
HYPE48 is spearheaded by Alex Byers, Digital Marketing Specialist at Element 212, and Shane Bivens, Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of Vesuvius Co-Working. Together they have a vision of HYPE48 rocketing beyond the typical Young Professional group normally associated with the Chamber of Commerce. Byers and Bivens are creating an environment built around the ideas of building community, collaboration, sustainability, openness, and accessibility.
Byers and Bivens are typical examples of Millennials. Here is how they describe Millennials:
Millennials like to be engaged in their community, they want to see their own back yard grow and prosper. Madison County needs to recognize their passion for the neighborhoods in which they reside. By doing this, a place can be created where young professionals want to move to and create a community where they can grow, both personally and professionally. This also helps to keep the ones that are already here.
Guess what? Millennials civically engage with political and cause-based initiatives and believe these activities can make an impact. In other words, Millennials believe they can make a difference and make an impact where they live.
Jack Schultz describes the Millennial entrepreneur:
“Non-PMS Entrepreneurs and Leaders – The traditional “Pale, Male and Stale” entrepreneurs and leaders are being supplanted by females, minorities, immigrants and others. This trend will explode with the Millennial generation, the most entrepreneurial and tolerant generation in the history of the United States. Communities need to appreciate and use the full potential of every citizen.”
Hype48 is going to play a huge role in channeling this passion by connecting their individual optimism and entrepreneurial spirit into one vibrant group. Through this organic growth, businesses will start and grow as the members discover how they can fulfill the needs and wants of their community and find everything they want in their own back yard.
Don’t bring your business cards to a HYPE48 meeting.
Young professionals do not want to be bothered with the typical meet and greet networking. HYPE48 members are more in tune with what they have in common with each other outside of the work place. When they meet they are more apt to compare notes on wine tasting then the work flow and capacity of their business. Oh, don’t think it is all fun and games. This relationship building is more likely to build stronger work relationships. Members are more apt to do business with someone they know, like and trust.
Bivens has seen first-hand how other communities develop into thriving places by attracting and keeping Millennials. Coupled with the potential of what Madison County has to offer and the passion Millennials have, he sees amazing opportunities for growth and new businesses. Businesses like that coffee shop in downtown Anderson that I mentioned earlier, along with brewpubs, bakeries, boutiques, and a slew of new sustainable businesses will start because that it what it takes to keep a Millennial around.