“Invest in your people and your team, and treat them the way you would want to be treated. Do the right thing and it will come back to you tenfold. We have always done that and after 25 years we are very blessed to be where we are.”
An entrepreneur from an early age, Robert Haecker has come a long way since he started his first business Trixx Skate Shop at age 14. The skateboard and apparel shop, which first rented space inside a mini-mall toy store and eventually grew into a free-standing building, had a regional following in the days before the Internet, and solidified Haecker’s desire to become a business owner.
When he entered the Ball State Entrepreneurship Program, Haecker parted ways with the skate shop and took a side job at an audio-visual retail store. He began to offer personal delivery and installation as part of his sales pitch, and the idea for TRIPhase was born. He wrote the business plan while attending Ball State, and initially opened the business in Cicero, renting a small building with an office below and a showroom above. To make ends meet, Haecker slept in the showroom theatre on a pull out sofa, and his wife Shanna, who was still attending Ball State at the time, drove back and forth to handle the office. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without Shanna,” Haecker says, adding that she has been an integral part of TRIPhase since the beginning.
Haecker loves the ever-changing world of the technology industry, and has carved a niche with TRIPhase, offering turnkey, white glove, concierge style services for complete home automation and design. He remains involved with the Ball State Entrepreneurship Program as a mentor and board member, and in 2022 TRIPhase will host the program’s Evaluation Day and alumni reception.