Karl R. LaPan, President & CEO, NIIC
|Date Joining NIIC:|
October 16, 2000
Franklin Pierce University (B.S.)
55-Acre Campus adjacent to Purdue University Fort Wayne and Ivy Tech North Community College
|NIIC Annual Revenue:|
Indiana’s 5th Certified Tech Park
Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Customer Experience, Leadership, Strategic Planning, Business Growth
Karl R. LaPan is the first President & CEO of the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center. He has served in this capacity since the formation of the organization October 16, 2000.
Karl received his undergraduate degree in 1986 from Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, New Hampshire, where he was graduated with a B.S. degree in Business Management with High Honors, Summa Cum Laude. He was also Class Salutatorian. Upon completing his academic degree, he joined General Electric Company, and in 1988, graduated from its prestigious Financial Management Program. Subsequently, in 1993, Karl received his M.S. degree in Human Resources Development from The American University in Washington, D.C. and is a member of the Pi Alpha Alpha Honorary Society. Karl graduated from the Mahler Program for Executives in December 1998.
Why do you enjoy working at The NIIC?
I enjoy my job because of the endless variety of things to do. All of our companies are different–which is the nature of innovation–with unique sets of entrepreneurial challenges and opportunities. For someone like me who loves entrepreneurship and believes in its benefits, helping them find new and creative ways to succeed is a very enjoyable way to spend my time. Simply put, I have never had two days that have ever been the same!
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
My spare time is often spent with my family. Golf and tennis with my sons, family vacations in the surf and sun, visiting new places, sampling other cultures. Those are all my ideas of a good time. I’ve also made a lot of new friends in other non-profits and enjoy serving on other boards of directors. And, of course, my research and training travels on behalf of the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) is enormously satisfying.
What do you like to do in the community?
Everything! I’m constantly amazed at how our city has grown and all of it located less than 20 minutes from my home. We have some significant community assets, too. I love the quality of the Embassy performances, and Science Central reminds me of my internal curious kid. With opportunities like these for our kids to be exposed to, the wonders of nature, science and technology, it’s no wonder we have such a talented pool of aspiring, young entrepreneurs. Kids today are starting their own businesses while they’re still in school! How great is that?
Karl Lapan: Great Lakes International Innovation Summit Presentation, September 25, 2017:
Karl Lapan: Update to the Allen County, Indiana Commissioners, July 28, 2017:
Indiana Chamber Connect and Collaborate, June 22, 2017:
Student Entrepreneurship: Creating a Pipeline of Future Entrepreneurs, March 28, 2017
Critical Success Factors in Building a Best-in-Class Rural Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, March 8, 2017
Access to Small Business Capital, January 13, 2017
Books I'm Reading:
Disrupt by Luke Williams
In a business world of nonstop change, there's only one way to win the game: Transform it entirely. This requires a revolution in thinking--a steady stream of disruptive strategies and unexpected solutions. In Disrupt, Luke Williams shows exactly how to generate those strategies and deliver those solutions.Purchase on Amazon Smile
Career Magic by Lee Cockerell
When Lee Cockerell says "If I can do it, so can you," he truly means it. No matter where you are along your career path, you have an opportunity to climb the ladder of success by paying attention, asking questions and having a passion for your chosen career.Purchase on Amazon Smile
Grit by Angela Duckworth
In this instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”Purchase on Amazon Smile
Built for Growth by Dr. John Danner
Built for Growth decodes the interplay between builder personality and new business success. Using a patented analytic methodology, authors Chris Kuenne and John Danner discovered four distinct types of highly successful entrepreneurial personalities―the Driver, the Explorer, the Crusader, and the Captain. Each is motivated, makes decisions, manages, and leads their businesses differently.Purchase on Amazon Smile
The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney
The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a simple, repeatable, and proven formula for executing on your most important strategic priorities in the midst of the whirlwind. By following the 4 Disciplines—Focusing on the Wildly Important; Acting on Lead Measures; Keeping a Compelling Scoreboard; Creating a Cadence of Accountability—leaders can produce breakthrough results, even when executing the strategy requires a significant change in behavior from their teams.Purchase on Amazon Smile
Growing Pains: 3 Missteps to Avoid
Where are you in the business life cycle? Expanding—whether that’s via an additional location, increasing operating volume with new or existing customers or adding to a product line—can be a way to take your enterprise to the next level. However, the risk is real, and therefore it’s essential to be prepared for any roadblocks or […]Read More
Chick-fil-A’s success: What’s the secret sauce?
It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and the restaurant business is no exception. Quick service chains are vying for market share and the top three are competing neck and neck with each other, according to the 2018 QSR Magazine Report. Per the report, McDonalds, Starbucks and Subway took the top three spots in that order. […]Read More
The Understated Introvert Advantage
When you think of a business builder, what qualities or personality traits come to mind? Maybe someone who has high energy and can effortlessly work a room (A Gladwell connector type)? The truth is, while the business world can seem to acknowledge and value this sales and relationship orientation, we can’t forget the introverts – […]More
Five Habits of Highly Effective Business Builders
You likely have heard about Stephen R. Covey’s “7 Habits”…but I’d like to offer my own version, the business builder edition. First, I have a confession to make. Given how watered down the word entrepreneur has become and some of its stereotypical variants (intrapreneur, solo-preneur, sole proprietor, business owner), Going forward, I will alter the […]Read More
Is your venture REALLY investment worthy?
Many entrepreneurs yearn for the day when an angel or venture capital (VC) firm is interested in helping them get to the next level. But without a strong track record coupled with the right contacts, it can be hard to identify the right opportunities.Read More
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