Karl LaPan, President & CEO of The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center is no stranger to the world of company building.  As the first president and CEO of the NIIC, Karl has been able to shape the organization with his core values surrounding entrepreneurship, helping it grow into one of the top entrepreneurial resource centers in the country. The center is built with advising at its heart; from unique business building resources, the Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center (WEOC), the connected health lab, and programs that reach deep into the community.

I recently sat down with Karl at the entrepreneurial table. The great thing about chatting with Karl is you can cover a wide range of topics – and we did.  From his thoughts on global entrepreneurship trends, to his latest book Guard Rails, his perspectives on advising and coaching entrepreneurs and of course, his deep passion for creating inclusive communities.  Sprinkled throughout our conversation are dozens of tips, insights and advice for those of us who support and inspire entrepreneurs.

You can pick up on these topics at these points in our conversation:

Start:  Intro

4:00 – Supporting and developing entrepreneurs – the reality

8:44 – The life-long learning journey for both advisors and entrepreneurs

9:25 – Advice for navigating the potholes on your entrepreneurial or innovation journey

19:00 – Getting real with entrepreneurs: real information, real resources, and real help

29:30 – The NIIC – levelling the playing field for all types of entrepreneurs – programs and resources to build inclusivity

41:10 – Community Building

46:00 – Final thoughts, fun facts, and book recommendations


This Podcast is also available on the Podbean desktop site, the Podbean mobile app, and the iTunes store.

The Entrepreneurial Podcast showcases high energy, positive, entrepreneurial thinkers and doers. On the show, host Wendy Kennedy, looks for unique and unusual stories of entrepreneurial success – people doing inspiring and amazing things to ignite entrepreneurs, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. Each interview unpacks tools, tips and lessons learned mixed with laughter, fun, and casual, coffee bar conversations. Wendy is recognized internationally for her entrepreneurial toolkit, So what? who cares? why you? used by inventors to turn their novel science and tech ideas into start-up success.