FullStack in the Community: zWORKS Partnership

Last week, we told Predictive Wear’s story as FullStack provided them a scholarship to cowork at zWORKS and interface with a great entrepreneurial community as they start up their company.  This week, we want to tell the story of our partner, zWORKS!

FullStack is a gold partner of zWORKS, a nonprofit organization whose mission “is to be an economic development engine for the Zionsville area by providing entrepreneurs and workers a coworking space, and to catalyze entrepreneurs in accelerating the establishment and growth of their startups through programming and resources.”

Launched in 2015 at one location in the heart of downtown Zionsville, zWORKS now has two locations within walking distance to have space for their growing number of members.  What we love about zWorks is its small, tight-knit community ambiance that is representative of the surrounding city of Zionsville. Members have access to coworking and office space with the benefit of a community of support as they grow their business.

FullStack has been grateful for the opportunity to be an HR resource to zWORKS entrepreneurs as they launch and grow their businesses.  FullStack COO, Dawn Lively, our resident HR expert, has held regular office hours in 2018 at zWORKS and welcomed questions from members about HR or payroll challenges.

We casually interviewed zWORKS Executive Director, Kate Swanson who shared about zWorks, the FullStack partnership, and Predictive Wear scholarship.  Enjoy the short video and contact Kate if you are an entrepreneur in the Zionsville area looking for coworking space!

Daniel Fuller
FullStack in the Community - Empowering an Indiana Tech Startup

One of our core values at FullStack is to be involved in the betterment of Indiana communities and the state as a whole.  We especially value supporting startup companies who are using technology for these ends locally and globally.

We’re excited to introduce you to Predictive Wear, a startup from Purdue Foundry with vision to make a global impact of saving lives through the combination of predictive medicine and wearable technology.  Their first project is a compression sock embedded with sensors that provide data to patients and orthopedic surgeons in order to prevent death in patients from blood clots after hip or knee replacement surgeries (Pulmonary Embolism).  In their research in Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University, Predictive Wear Founders Pablo Argote and Dane Albaugh and their team of engineers were astounded by the thousands of preventable deaths, and knew that they needed to band together to do something about it.

They began their research with expert advising while still students, and since graduating have been fully focused on launching.  When we at FullStack were introduced to Predictive, they were holding meetings for Predictive Wear in many different public locations between Purdue and the northside of Indianapolis, and had lab space in the basement of one of their houses in Zionsville.  In partnership with zWorks, a coworking space in Zionsville, FullStack is excited to provide a scholarship to Predictive Wear of a zWorks membership. In a recent interview, Albaugh spoke to the benefits of the zWorks membership for Predictive Wear in this stage of the company:

“At zWorks, there are individuals who do medical regulatory consultation, there are medical device startups, and medical software companies.  It is great being able to come to zWorks and receive mentoring and strategic advice from them as we launch. We are thankful to FullStack for providing a scholarship for a membership that would have been hard to justify at this stage of our launch.”  

Argote added, “It is also great to have access to professional meeting rooms at zWorks where we can host important Predictive Wear meetings with advisors, investors, and potential clients.”
Be on the lookout for Predictive Wear who have exciting plans to move their first product forward in 2019!  You can read more about them at www.predictivewear.com or on a recent interview with zWorks.

Daniel Fuller
Telling a Client Story Part 2: Iris Works

This Thanksgiving week we are thankful to tell the story of Iris Works (“Iris”).  Iris is an all-in-one studio management software made for photographers by photographers.  Iris’ client management tools were built for the creative in a simple system. Iris gives photographers the ability to succeed as small business owners; thriving and continually growing their business, without causing the headache that many systems cause. Most recently, Iris released a fully integrated online booking platform - allowing photographers to book clients online, collect payment, and automate contracts.

A photographer who uses Iris’ platform says it best: "Iris Works saved my sanity!  When a program can give you back time, it’s priceless. I never thought I needed a client management system until I found Iris Works, and I am forever grateful for it!"  On the note of saving time and sanity, we interviewed Iris’ Founder & CEO Meredith Gradle about her experience as a FullStack client. In the below video, Meredith speaks to how FullStack helps her to balance being a full-time mother and a full-time CEO, and offer her employees great benefits:

“FullStack helps me to be a fulltime CEO and business owner as well as a full-time parent.  And honestly I wouldn’t know how to do this job without it. It gives me the flexibility when I come home I can actually be at home and be present with my kids, and I don’t have to worry about all the other things.  It also gives my staff benefits that I otherwise would not be able to offer them.”

Here are a few questions we asked Meredith and her responses:

Q: How have FullStack's services helped you and Iris Works?

A: Being a startup in the technology space means we have to offer more than just a salary to attract talent. The ability to offer benefits, and a full range of benefits at that, means we can hire the right people for the job. As the CEO, my time is already stretched to the limit, so having FullStack handle all of the paperwork, benefits, paychecks, and more is well worth the investment.

Q: What do you appreciate about FullStack's service offerings?

A: I greatly appreciate having what feels like a full service HR rep for our company. I can ask questions, seek advice, and even direct my staff to our representative when needed.

Q: What have you liked about your interactions with the FullStack team?  How have we been helpful to you?

A: Interactions have all been positive - my staff appreciates the FullStack team, as well as myself. The advice and input when it comes to employee needs is very helpful.

We at FullStack are thankful for Meredith and Iris Works as a part of the FullStack client community!  If you are a photographer or know a photographer to refer, visit Iris’ website for more details!

Daniel Fuller
Telling a Client Story: Powderkeg

We are starting a series of sharing our client’s stories.  Our first client we want to highlight is Powderkeg.  Headquartered in Indianapolis, Powderkeg is the connections engine for tech founders, investors, and professionals at startups between the coasts.  They are tapping into the power of relationships with over 10,000 members in 11 cities outside of Silicon Valley who connect through events and online forums.  In addition, Powderkeg wants to equip tech companies with the resources and knowledge they need to be successful. For this end, they have developed 5 tech censuses this year alone for Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Denver, Boulder, and Tennessee (covering Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, and Knoxville).  These censuses explore the momentum, factors, growth and challenges facing these cities’ tech community.

We recently asked Powderkeg’s fearless leaders, Matt Hunckler and Kevin Bailey, to speak to how their company has been served by FullStack since the beginning of this year as they have grown to 8 employees.  We’ve included a video of Matt speaking to their experience with FullStack, and here’s how Kevin responded to a few interview questions:

Q: How have FullStack's HR services helped you and Powderkeg?

A: FullStack has basically made HR a breeze.  You made the hiring process very simple - I hire someone, give them your information, and you take care of the paperwork and everything else.  Your payroll links up very well with our accounting firm, it is a seamless integration.

Q: What do you appreciate about FullStack's service offerings?

A: FullStack is very savvy, especially in hiring and employee relations, and everything HR.  It allows me to focus on what matters in the business and not worry about things that other people can do easily.

Q: What have you liked about your interactions with the FullStack team?  How have we been helpful to you?

A: We are really impressed with your team’s responsiveness to our questions and needs - sometimes it seems like I can send an email and get a response within an hour!  You have been enjoyable to interact with regardless if the situation is challenging or not.

Powderkeg’s Founder and CEO Matt Hunckler had this to say on the included video below: “We have referred FullStack to a number of our clients and they are super happy with the service they get.  The thing for me that I appreciate the most is that it allows me to focus more on executive tasks, the strategic and big picture parts of team building, where FullStack is an expert in managing the tactical aspects and details of growing and scaling a team.  It has been immensely helpful and I could not be more thankful to be a customer of FullStack.”

We are thankful for Powderkeg’s partnership and look forward to continuing to serve them and other Powderkeg members.

Daniel Fuller
Why Use a PEO?

‘Tis the season for the holidays, where we are all making plans for how we will spend our time with family and friends over the next few months, what gifts we want to give to whom, and what who is going to cook what for the various holiday meals!  I personally am looking forward to making my pumpkin pie recipe that I make from scratch with baking pumpkins grown locally!

‘Tis the season also for business leaders making significant decisions for the next calendar year, including employee benefits open enrollment or shopping benefits providers to start providing new benefits.  You may be considering a PEO as your benefits provider, along with the other perks of partnering with one (payroll, compliance, strategic support). Therefore, as the newest member of the FullStack team, I want to share with you how I am answering the question, “Why use a PEO?”  Let’s look first at the statistics provided by a third-party research firm for the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) - see references cited below for the link to the research.

  1. PEO Expansion - As of 2017, approximately 3.7 million employees in the U.S.A. were served by PEOs, growing progressively every year since 2008 (1.8 million employees served)

  2. Financial Save - Companies save approximately $450 per year in administrative costs by utilizing a PEO.

  3. Survival & Growth - Companies who utilize a PEO are 50% less likely to go out of business, and grow 7-9% faster than companies who don’t use one.

  4. Employee Retention - Companies using a PEO have 10-14% lower employee turnover

Allow me to expand on the second and fourth points from my experience as an HR/OD consultant and leadership coach working with many business and nonprofit leaders, and as a small business owner myself. A PEO is a one-stop-shop for payroll, benefits, and compliance.  Many small businesses use separate vendors for all three, which means separate invoices, and having to communicate with CPAs, benefits providers, and attorneys respectively for their specialized services. Not only will working with a PEO save companies substantial costs per employee, it will also save leaders incredible amounts of executive time and energy to work with multiple vendors and troubleshoot challenges.  PEOs take care of this with all the respective vendors on behalf of our clients.

As a result of this time and energy save, leaders are less frenzied, and are freed to focus on the essentials of the business.  At FullStack, we believe one of these essentials is creating a healthy company culture where leaders are intentionally investing in the development of its team members.  Not only do we encourage our clients in this priority, coaching and consulting support in this strategic arena is a key offering we call “Empathy Services.”  As people who have started businesses and helped run them at early stages, we empathize with the challenges leaders are facing and strive to be a support to them in these.  This is not something you will find at every PEO, but something that differentiates FullStack. In the next few weeks, we will share stories of how we’ve supported our amazing clients.  Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to learn more.

References Cited

  1. NAPEO White Papers - Research conducted by McBassi & Company https://www.napeo.org/what-is-a-peo/about-the-peo-industry/napeo-white-papers -