“When I relocated from Philadelphia to Indianapolis, I looked for a way to plug in to my new city,” added Heath. “The Speak Easy was my point of entry. I joined a startup that I met through this community and I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to give back to this organization.”
Julie’s experience as a Speak Easy member has inspired her to focus on member experience and members’ successes.
“Our mission is to cultivate an entrepreneurial ecosystem in which our members create, collaborate and learn,” said Speak Easy chairwoman Jenny Vance. “Speak Easy companies have already made a significant impact on the region’s economy, and Julie’s vision for the future will only open new opportunities for our members. There is a community in our membership that is unmatched and because we are a nonprofit, we are uniquely positioned to make an impact and think bigger about collaboration.”
Since 2011, Speak Easy members have created more than 170 companies out of the coworking spaces in Broad Ripple and Downtown Indianapolis. One such member, Dustin Sapp, now chief operating officer of Formstack, ran TinderBox out of the Broad Ripple location before moving his growing team into a new office and later rebranding as Octiv. The company employs more than 50 employees in Indianapolis, and earlier this year was acquired by a Colorado firm.
“Octiv gained tremendous momentum in large part because of the support of The Speak Easy community,” said Sapp. “We were able to scale our team and build a successful company while leveraging the benefits of a coworking space. I know that by investing in members and helping them discover the skills and relationships they’ll need to grow a business, The Speak Easy will continue to help innovative new companies reach their full potential.”
After opening a new location in Downtown Indianapolis in 2016 and striking partnerships with Big Car Collaborative and zWorks, and Platform 24, The Speak Easy’s footprint is larger than ever. However, for the newest phase of the organization’s development, Julie Heath has set her eyes set on the depth of programming and assistance provided to members like Dustin Sapp.
Heath has been a Speak Easy member since October 2016. She will formally begin her tenure as executive director on Monday, June 11.