Hoyt Stafford ’24 — To start, I would like to thank Associate Dean Roland Morin, Anthony Mendez ’20, and the Center for Innovation, Business & Entrepreneurship (CIBE) at Wabash College for hosting the Business Innovation Program (BIP). I am extremely grateful to have had the chance to be in the BIP and work with LED Indy this summer. I also want to thank those who have helped fund the BIP and CIBE programs, as without them the experience I had this summer would not have been possible. I would also like to thank the team at LED Indy, John Melind, Trace Clifford, and Joe Dayan. This team did an exceptional job bringing in fellow intern Josh Fedorchak ‘24 and myself and truly making us a part of the team. Finally, I would like to thank all of the wonderful speakers that shared their experiences with the BIP interns.

This summer, I had the fortunate opportunity to work with LED Indy. LED Indy is a lighting contractor specializing in retrofitting interior and exterior commercial spaces with state-of-the-art LED fixtures and lighting controls. Although I worked virtually this summer, I was still able to gain a plethora of knowledge and experience. I was very fortunate to have an office space in my home that I used to work every day. We were also still able to maintain great communication, whether it was zoom calls, regular phone calls, or text messages. I was always able to get the help or materials that I needed.

I have worked on three major projects and a few other minor projects as well during my time with LED Indy. The first of those major projects was reaching out to a variety of school corporations and gauging their interest in UV disinfection and energy efficiency, specifically LED lighting. My job was to figure out which school corporations would be best suited for LED Indy to try and sell to. I learned a lot while working on this project, and hopefully, my research will lead to some major sales down the road. The second of the main projects that I worked on was reaching out to a variety of past clients who have worked with LED Indy and trying to get reference letters. I worked on formally reaching out to clients, the art of actually asking them for the letters, and was even able to write some pre-drafted letters myself. The final main project that I worked on was organizing a huge list of possible clients and figuring out which of them in the Indianapolis area would be the best to target. To do this I had to research lots of individual businesses and even reach out and make some sales calls.

I also did some other small research projects, as well as writing a few blog posts for the LED Indy website. All in all, this summer with LED Indy has been outstanding. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to work both with LED Indy and with the BIP program.