Startups, Scale-ups and Technology Thrive in Indiana

June 13, 2018


Indiana and technology make fine bedfellows. The state’s momentum, particularly in Central Indiana, continues to spike each year. Startups in the Indianapolis area are everywhere. According to the 2017 Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship, this area moved to 10th from 20th place in city rank for the highest startup growth – up 72.9%. Our ecosystem is rich for a whole host of reasons.

 

National startup and scale up initiatives plugging into the Midwest

Powderkeg started in Indianapolis and is quickly branching out to other cities including Cincinnati and Denver. The Powderkeg platform is designed to help its members connect and scale their companies with impactful resources and technologies. A first of it’s kind, Powderkeg’s Tech Census has been completed in Indy and the Cincinnati and Denver markets are next. The inaugural FUSE50 in Cincy was a conference hosted by Powderkeg and Cintrifuse that sharing the best in tech and innovation outside of Silicon Valley. gener8tor, a nationally ranked accelerator that invests in high-growth startups dropped roots in Indianapolis around the same time that the organization bought The Brandery in Cincinnati.  Steve Case and Rise of the Rest included Indianapolis in a quest to invest $500,000 in tech startups across five regions. And we’re seeing a lot of collaboration in these Midwest cities that will benefit the overall startup and scale-up communities outside of the west and east coasts.

 

Indiana’s Universities

Purdue and Indiana University both rank in top 100 universities receiving U.S. utility patents in 2017, according to the Intellectual Property Owners Association. Notre Dame has Innovation Park and the IDEA (Innovation, De-Risking and Enterprise Acceleration) Center is designed to bring the best Notre Dame faculty, staff, and student ideas and innovations to market. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is ranked No. 1 in Undergraduate Engineering Programs for the 19th consecutive year by 2018 U.S. News & World Report College Guide.  Indiana University’s School of Medicine has the largest enrollment in the country and Indiana University Health is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for the 20th year in a row. The Hoosier STEM Academy is an initiative that partners Ball State University, IUPUI, Valparaiso University and Purdue University. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) degree holders who are seeking a teaching master’s degree can take courses which will allow dual-credit classes in Indiana High Schools through the Teachers Program.

 

TechPoint

This organization’s mission is to be the growth accelerator for Indiana’s tech ecosystem. Their holistic approach encompasses attracting and developing talent for startup and scale-up companies. It’s a competitive recruitment environment on a global scale. By bringing together tech companies, philanthropies, government, talent, and universities – TechPoint is making Indy’s tech ecosystem one of the strongest among mid-size cities, while making Indiana one of the strongest states in the Midwest.

 

Entrepreneurs banding together

Allos Ventures, which focuses on investing in early stage Midwestern tech companies is planning a $50M-plus VC fund. High Alpha is a Venture Studio that creates and funds companies through a new model for entrepreneurship that unites company building and venture capital. John Weschler’s leadership with Launch Fishers, Launch Indy, and The IoT Lab continues to find ways to further support and nurture new tech companies. The Speak Easy was an early entry into Indy’s thriving co-working echo system and many others have followed suit. Michael Cloran and Michael Kelly operate DeveloperTown, a unique initiative to help companies (startups and established) successfully understand the viability of potential software solutions and quickly bring them to market.

 

There is a generosity of spirit in Indianapolis and the Midwest in general. This spirit is growing and the technology startup and scale-up communities continue to be beneficiaries. Coupled with innovation fueled by top notch universities, we should continue to see Central Indiana and the Midwest tech companies grow and flourish.