Alumni in LightSky

Anthony Showalter ’99,Bryan Smucker Falcón ’96, Amber Friesen ’99 and Ryan Hochstetler ’98

Business name:

LightSky, Goshen, Ind., founded in 1999; Showalter and Smucker Falcón are two of the founding partners.

Business description:

Creates web sites and interactive technology tools – offering services in e-commerce, application development, CD-ROM creation, sound production and more – for businesses and nonprofit organizations. In almost five years of existence, the company has served over 200 clients including businesses, education and healthcare organizations.

Showalter on the spirit of entrepreneurship:

“Pursuing an entrepreneurial venture immediately after college has been a thrilling adventure. The speed of learning, growth, and organizational change has been both challenging and rewarding. It’s important to have a clear vision of where the organization is headed, as well as plenty of flexibility to adapt to change.

“Our shared Mennonite background has greatly influenced the direction of the company. We try to ‘do well’ by ‘doing good’ in the world. This comes through in the very passion we have for our work and workplace, as well as some more tangible commitments we’ve made (like discounting our rates for good-hearted non-profits and tithing our profits).

“Goshen College was the catalyst for the creation of LightSky. It brought together the right people at the right time with the right mix of skills and abilities. Without Goshen, it’s likely LightSky wouldn’t exist. But Goshen did much more than bring together the right people: I think that in many ways it helped to set the tone for the entire organization.

Smucker Falcón on the spirit of entrepreneurship:

“The entrepreneurial learning curve is a steep one. I would be surprised if running a business is something anyone could ever completely master. I am awed everyday by what we have accomplished, and shamed by things that still could be done better.

“Goshen taught me how important responsibility to your society and community really is. The entrepreneurial world can breed greed and selfishness as you quickly try to crawl your way to the top. However, the only real way to succeed is by helping the people around you to excel. My GC theater degree encouraged teamwork and taught me the value of working with others.

Friesen on the spirit of entrepreneurship:

“Vision is important, as is the ability to translate that vision into specific strategies and tasks, and the follow-through to get the work done. Flexibility is important, and openness to the contributions and perspectives of your team. Desire for success is important too, though success can be defined so many ways; I think this translates into a desire to push yourself, those around you and your product or service to excellence.

“Being Mennonite calls me to look at my world critically, to question the assumptions and values held by broader society and to hold myself accountable to my community. One example of this is my commitment to working with nonprofit organizations. Supporting groups that work to improve people’s lives is very important to me, and frequently not as profitable. Yet I believe it is part of my responsibility to my world.

Hochstetler on the spirit of entrepreneurship:

“One of the big rewards for me has been learning to know and understand the people that we work for and with, especially the other partners of the business. Also, in working with a wide range of business, I have been able to better learn the key factors for other business and see how those same items apply to ours.

“Goshen College has helped instill the idea of using our resources and talents with people and agencies that are making a positive difference in the world.