Developing and Building for Entrepreneurs

Although possible for entrepreneurship to succeed in isolation; increasingly, it abounds in interconnected networks of business partners and other organizations.  Browning believes that creating smart development and construction projects bolstered by the proximity of universities and research institutions, availability of venture capital, skilled labor force, infrastructure, and attractive living conditions allows us to work with partners and communities to transform real estate into opportunities and environments for entrepreneurs to thrive.


Starting any project with the mindset to develop intentionally and finding the right partners is key, especially for office buildings with co-working spaces to ascend beyond offering entrepreneurs “cheap rent and small footprints” to become incubators and accelerators, providing start-ups and small businesses a true entrepreneurial environment.

Convergence at Discovery Park District:

The Convergence Center is the business front door of Purdue University and the hub of the Discovery Park District, a 400-acre launch pad where businesses of all sizes can access a business-minded university, global talent pipelines, and advanced R&D facilities to solve pressing business problems. As the hub of innovation, Convergence was built from the ground up as the first 5G neutral host network and living laboratory in the nation, creating a connected community.

Convergence creates a place for entrepreneurs to thrive by bringing the amenities of virtual and private office spaces, meeting rooms, business services, and event spaces to Purdue Research Foundation’s mission of advancing Purdue University’s quest for discovery, learning and engagement.  Bringing anchor tenants like Purdue Foundry and Office of Technology Commercialization together with industry partners, entrepreneurs, innovative researchers, and talented students allows PRF to foster new startups, advance new innovations through patents, cultivate new commercial partnerships and collide with great innovators and dignitaries in one dynamic space. To learn more about Discovery Park District, including leasing information in Convergence or other development opportunities, visit:

HqO at 16 Tech:

Located at the heart of the 16 Tech Innovation District in downtown Indianapolis, HqO is an innovation hub designed to foster innovation, creativity and connection. The building, previously the headquarters of the Indianapolis Water Company, now boasts three unique activity centers including flexible office space, a makerspace and an artisan marketplace. The 54,000 square feet of flexible office space is managed by 1776, a global innovation partner that offers programming and resources to empower entrepreneurs. The makerspace, Machyne, offers hobbyists, artists, makers, corporations and entrepreneurs high-tech tools to bring big projects to life. The AMP is home to colorful shipping containers featuring more than 20+ restaurant/retails concepts – both emerging and established – as well as event and community gathering space.

Across the street in Innovation Building 1, the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) and 76 Forward offer an open space lab design that supports collaboration, access to state-of-the-art equipment and bench space for life sciences startups to build and scale up. The IBRI’s headquarters in the 16 Tech Innovation District serves as a nexus point for academic institutions, industry, community and government to come together and plan the future direction for life sciences in the Midwest. Additionally, the IBRI is home to the AXIS mentoring program, which focuses on developing Indiana’s life sciences entrepreneurial talent and works with 76 Forward to offer workshops dedicated to the needs of life science entrepreneurs. Learn more at:


For entrepreneurs leveling the playing field means closing the opportunity gap and creating solutions to persistent problems.  For Browning it starts with listening to communities at the beginning and ends by bringing companies to the jobsite and creating new workspaces for entrepreneurs.

Creating Opportunities:

Browning wants communities to feel included in our projects; we are there to build relationships, not just structures.  Intentional communication with interested residents, neighborhood associations, and community stakeholders are opportunity to spread the word about our projects, but also for us to listen and improve our process.  As a result of feedback here are some of the steps we’ve taken to create more opportunities:

  • Intentionally designed bid packages with highly segmented scopes of work to allow smaller and newer companies to have a better opportunity to win bids.
  • Pushed bid information out as early as possible to allow those same companies ample time to put together a competitive bid.
  • Held “matchmaking” events and fostered connections with larger prime bidders.
  • Worked with the City of Indianapolis Office of Minority and Women Business Development to incorporate certification workshops into our pre-bid meetings.
  • Worked with partner organizations to bring funding and construction training to jobsite residents – Build Your NW

These inclusive approaches have allowed us to incorporate community businesses, exceed XBE participation and local workforce goals, and has also created partnerships, resources and opportunities for future entrepreneurs to leverage.

Creating Space:

We have also been a part of the core and shell work for spaces built out to serve organizations and companies who are creating space and providing capital for entrepreneurs.  At 16 Tech, HqO is providing the space for organizations and companies to thrive.

  • Melon Kitchen, a black restaurant accelerator with a fully-operational ghost kitchen, has located at the
  • Lightship Capital, a venture capital firm focused on funding underrepresented founders is in a 76 Forward’s startup garage.
  • Purdue University’s Marion County Extension has located in Machyne private studio space to offer maker curriculum for nearby students in neighboring communities.


Regardless of industry, businesses utilize real estate daily, but many do not appreciate its potential impact on company performance.   Here at Browning we get excited to see entrepreneurs evaluating their current real estate in a long-range, company-wide context to realize how facilities affect business strategies, and how real estate can be used to improve your competitive position.

frēijē Engineered Solutions Company:

Entrepreneur Michael Webster, built frēijē to be a design/build/service mechanical, refrigeration and plumbing company that focuses on building a work environment that creates careers and leaders, not jobs and employees.  Having a physical environment in a centrally located, modern, functional building customized for the unique needs of the industry and in-house training center to teach mechanical, refrigeration, and plumbing skills will further frēijē’s cultural mission. To that end, Browning worked with the City of Lawrence and frēijē to locate their new corporate headquarters in the Lawrence Trades District as an anchor and the first new construction for Lawrence’s initiative.

First Internet Bank:

First Internet Bank has always been driven by an entrepreneurial spirit.  That has been true since 1999, when it became the first state chartered, FDIC-insured institution to operate entirely online and continues as the Bank “imagines more” by working with Browning on the construction of new headquarters in Downtown Fishers to help further its strategic growth plan.