“We’ve always done brick-and-mortar,” he said. “Now we’re trying to build four or five more Paul Ogles. It’s an educational opportunity, but it’s also an economic and workforce development opportunity. We’re seeing a need for this. I can give $1 million to a building, but is that going to move the needle in terms of improving the lives of folks in Southern Indiana?” he asked.
Lanum said depending upon what comes out of the accelerator program, it could lead to angel investment for the Ogle Foundation and launch entrepreneurs in the region.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s exciting. It’s kind of modifying the mission to the times.”
While Velocity is located in Jeffersonville, it is being viewed as a regional effort.
“We want Indiana to have a bit of an entrepreneurial center itself, but we still have to be part of Louisville as well,” Schy said. “So this is a nice, convenient location.”
The applications are being collected from across the United States and around the world. When the accelerator program is finished, those from outside the region can return home and launch their businesses. However, Schy admitted that the goal is to entice the companies to locate in the region.
“Right now, we’re the only program like this in the area,” Schy said. “We’ve figured out what causes companies to fail and we can walk them through a program to where they can move very, very quickly ... and we can help them over the course of the summer figure out whether or not they’ve actually got a business.”
He said the region is ideal for companies focusing on e-commerce, distribution and technology companies, but the program is not limited to those types of businesses.