The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author. Photo courtesy of Visit Indy.
Indy is no longer a best kept secret for leaders in the tech industry. Entrepreneurs are moving here to grow their innovative ideas in a community that is ranked one of the 6 best cities to start your business according to Inc Magazine. The reason? At TechPoint, we identified that Indy’s tech ecosystem contains these seven key ingredients that shape the future of innovation in our city.
Access to talent is arguably one of the most important ingredients a tech ecosystem needs to grow. TechPoint’s talent pipelines were created to ensure that tech-skilled college students choose Indiana as their home after graduating by working inside tech companies for summer internships. Code schools like Eleven Fifty Academy are skilling up talent with immersive training for coders of all levels, and Purdue Polytechnic High School is engaging students as young as 14 to accelerate them into technical learning opportunities early on in their education path.
Of the $77 million invested in Indiana companies in 2016, two-thirds of all the dollars and three-quarters of all the deals were invested into technology companies. It is clear that technology is a rapidly growing sector, and investors from across the U.S. are looking to Indiana for the next big idea. Additionally, the Next Level Indiana Trust Fund was passed through legislation in 2017, which allows the state to invest up to $250 million in Indiana tech companies.
Our community is informed, inspired, inclusive, and connected. With networking and entrepreneurship groups like Powderkeg, The Startup Ladies, Ladies in SaaS, and dozens more, we foster continuous learning, partnerships and opportunities for innovative growth. Co-working spaces like The Speak Easy and Launch Indy give startups a home to grow, and the new scale-up tech space The Union 525 offers month-to-month leasing opportunities for companies in need of space that can change quickly alongside them.
Anchor institutions such as Eli Lilly and Company, Rolls-Royce, and Cummins are actively seeking relationships with our growing tech companies. Indy’s life sciences and manufacturing industries are ripe for disruption, whether it is happening from within or through a “buy-local” mentality of servicing Indy tech.
Indy is home to many accredited universities and colleges that are educating our next workforce. Butler University, Ivy Tech Community College, Purdue University, Indiana University, IUPUI, WGU Indiana and more have several innovation think-tanks and labs with hands on research and projects that are launching startups of their own.
A healthy tech ecosystem needs a mix of startups, scale-ups, and Big Co’s that can seek investment, go public and/or get acquired. TechPoint’s Tech Directory is a free online resource where you can search Indiana tech companies by industry, location or hiring status.
RESEARCH, STRATEGY, & POLICY
Among many resources available to tech entrepreneurs, the Indiana Chamber created a Technology & Innovation Council to advance public policy solutions that drive economic growth, innovation and talent while providing a new collaborative platform to address emerging tech issues and trends. The Indy Chamber’s Resource Navigator can match entrepreneurs with business services per their individual needs, and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is an active partner when tech companies seek capital or need to hire talent.
Indy’s business media outlets like the Indianapolis Business Journal, Inside INdiana Business, Xconomy and others are diligently reporting about Indy’s tech companies. BLASTmedia is a PR agency that specializes in B2B Tech SaaS and works with companies on a local and national level.
Indy is a vibrant community ripe for innovation. We hope to see you start your company here, bring your business here, or chose to create relationships in our tech ecosystem.