Of the 90-plus BizVoice magazines we have published since kicking off this journey in 1998, nearly all have included a roundtable discussion. Getting four people together in the same room for a 90-minute conversation always proves interesting.
While most roundtables take place in our Chamber offices, I recently traveled to South Bend to meet with four of this year's 33 Indiana Companies to Watch. (The magazine debuts at the awards event on August 22). No reason for each of them to make an approximately three-hour drive to Indy when we could hit the road and accomplish our objective.
This was a very interesting group — excellent representatives of what Indiana Companies to Watch is all about. Taking part were Sportula Products (Warsaw, producer of "hamburger flippers"; you will have to read the article), Royal Excursion (Mishawaka, transportation services), StrataShops (Elkhart, online furniture) and Integrative Flavors (Michigan City, food bases and flavorings). Sportula Products and StrataShops are the newcomers (founded in 2009 and 2008, respectively), Royal Excursion recently celebrated its 15th anniversary and the history of Integrative Flavors goes back to 1938 and supplying Army rations during World War II.
The companies reflect tremendous diversity in what they do, but there are strong similarities in how they have grown and dealt with various business challenges. How is that for a vague teaser? But trust me when I say it was a very good discussion, and I believe you will enjoy the article (online on the BizVoice site and in the interactive version on August 23).
Thanks to Dave, Shannon, Georgeann and John for their participation and insights. Check out the full story in a few weeks. And congratulations to all the Indiana Companies to Watch for 2013. The upcoming issue will help tell their stories.