Best Movers-and-Shakers Hangout

It’s not exactly a bar, not really a business incubator. But the Speak Easy, a members-only work lounge in SoBro, combines the best aspects of both into a 9-to-5 hotspot for the tech sector. On any given day, creative minds—like these six members—are hard at work at the reclaimed-wood desks developing websites, apps, and related services, craft beer from the self-serve taps in hand. $250/year. 5255 N. Winthrop Ave.,

Left to right:

Tony Dewan
Founder of Supermatter, a web software developer

“I really enjoy helping people start things. At some point, I’ll probably transition into helping people finish things. That might be more important.”

Janell Shaffer
Co-creator of My Best Friend’s Hair, a beauty website and app

“We had just gotten a proposal to partner with L’Oreal. Someone we know walked by, and we grabbed him and said, ‘Hey, give us your thoughts on this.’ He had gone through a similar situation and was able to tell us what he did at his company.”

Amy McAdams-Gonzales
Founder of Amy McAdams Design, a graphic-design company

“Everyone here wants to be their own boss, and Indy is an awesome place to start your own business. I’ve been doing this for seven years, and I don’t think I’ve done one ounce of marketing.”

Jason Becker
Co-founder of, a site for recording one’s memories

“I hope we can inject some of the creative energy here into companies that are well-established in Indianapolis. I don’t need to be in Silicon Valley or Chicago to be successful.”

Grant Glas
Co-founder of App Press, an app builder

“None of us is rich yet. We’re all just getting started. I like to think of the Speak Easy as an almost-hustlers’ headquarters. Everyone there is on the grind.”

Gagan Dhillon
Founder of, a marketing app for nonprofits

“The Speak Easy is a bit like being in a college setting again. The coolest thing is that it’s a nonprofit. There’s no ulterior motive here except to bring the community together.”


Photo by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the December 2012 issue.