After approximately two years of operating in downtown Westfield, the Union plans to close its doors before the end of the year.
Curt Whitesell began the company when he believed there was a need for a co-working space in Westfield. Start-up organizations could rent office space in the Union, similar to Launch Fishers or The Speak Easy in Indianapolis.
“I’m closing because I can’t afford to keep it going; I went too big with it,” Whitesell said. “I thought Westfield was ready for a business incubator in general, and it’s just not the right time so I’m closing it.”
Whitesell will move his real estate company WKRP Indy to another location in downtown Westfield. He plans to operate a smaller version of a business incubator out of that new location.
“I’m going to put a business incubator in it, but it will be focused on Westfield High School students wanting to start a business,” he said. “I was surprised by how the business side is simple to me and what a barrier of entry it is for a high school kid. I am partnering with Joel Bruns (from WHS) and creating the next step. (Bruns) has the Idea Farm (in the WHS library) and encourages kids to come up with ideas and build stuff. I’m going to encourage kids who have come up with ideas and built stuff to start a business. I’m going to connect them with local people – accountants, attorneys, local entrepreneurs that will want to business-mentor these students.”
Whitesell served in a similar role with Communicode, a company that connects nonprofits with web designers, which is operated by college freshman who launched the business when they were high school students. Communicode operated briefly out of the Union.
With the move, Whitesell said he plans to refocus his brokerage on real estate, specifically commercial real estate along Ind. 32.
“I want to focus on my core business, and that was the real estate,” he said. “I got distracted the last couple years trying to build another side of the company and it took away from what built my company, which was focusing on Westfield and my commercial business. I still think the timing is good to be that advocate for brining businesses to Westfield. Park Street has been very, very successful, but it’s small in the grand scheme of things and future development here will be awesome.
“With some of the products coming up, there’s no local real estate expert and that’s what I wanted to be. I’m excited to go back to what I’m really good at and what Westfield can benefit from for sure.”
For those who have events scheduled at the Union or have questions, contact Whitesell at 317-698-2700.