February Theme: Diversity and Inclusion

Now that 2019 is underway, our team has decided to choose a monthly theme that relates to important topics within HR, especially for emerging technology companies. In honor of Black History Month, our first theme is diversity and inclusion. At FullStack, we support and empower our client companies to follow HR best practices regarding diversity, inclusion, and discrimination. That said, companies that are truly diverse in all senses of the word are definitely the minority in business, especially technology companies according to recent research (Winning 2018). On a positive note, McKinsey’s research (2015) shows that companies who have diversity, both in their leadership teams and employee population, have higher financial returns. We will be sharing some of this research and other thought leadership pieces through our social media channels in February, along with some stories of great people and companies in Indiana who are doing great work in this space.

We hope to not only shed light on this topic, introduce you to some great thought leaders and companies in this space, but also share practical tips for how you can take next steps toward growing diversity within your company. We believe that emerging companies who make this a priority are not only going to be more successful, but also have stronger, healthier, and more creative company cultures.


McKinsey & Co., 2015: “Why Diversity Matters.” https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters

Winning, Lisa, 2018. “https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisawinning/2018/03/13/its-time-to-prioritize-diversity-across-tech/#179bce0216f8”

Daniel Fuller
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