1 year later, Calif. startup Litebox still not in Indy

Co. promised more than 1,000 jobs

INDIANAPOLIS - It's been a year since the announcement that a California startup company was going to bring more than a thousand jobs to Indianapolis, but the offices and land reserved for Litebox remain vacant and the company is nowhere to be found in Indy.

Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Litebox owner Bob Yanagihara were all in Indy to announce the new facility on Oct. 26, 2011.

"As far as logistics go, Indianapolis, and I studied quite a few different areas that Litebox was going to set up in, Indiana was within reach of the majority of the population of America, and I believe the ethics and the workforce in the Midwest is very strong," Yanagihara said the day of the Litebox announcement.

The idea was for Litebox to build massive mobile television screens, a sort of traveling tailgate party.

"Well, as you can see, there has not been the investment that they said they were going to make," said Mark Fisher, with Develop Indy.

So Fisher said Develop Indy is smarter and more diligent now when it comes to assessing startups like Litebox.

"In hindsight, we could have done maybe a better job in screening, and we've since implemented some changes in our internal process how we vet companies, especially focused on the startup community," Fisher said.

The city and state offered Litebox $11 million in tax incentives, but Fisher said that because Litebox never followed through, it didn't cost Indiana taxpayers a dime.

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