The tech community in Indianapolis is growing rapidly, and it shows no signs of slowing down. There are plenty of reasons why tech companies in Indianapolis tend to thrive.
But there’s more to it than that: some startup executives believe that the real reason Indianapolis is a great place for startups isn’t just because our founders and employees are willing to take risks; it’s also because they have access to resources that other cities don’t have.
The Indianapolis tech community has seen a huge growth in its tech community and is predicted to continue to grow. According to research from TechPoint, Indiana companies raised more than $378M in funding in 2022, which is on pace to be the second largest year for Indiana tech company investments. In the same report, TechPoint found that Indiana’s tech ecosystem appears to be outpacing national VC investment activity over the first three quarters in 2022.
Some of the reasons why we’re seeing this growth are because we have leaders who are willing to invest in new entrepreneurs here, we have a great combination of resources for both newbies and veterans, and our local leadership is unifying around the common purpose of creating a robust ecosystem for startups here.
Indy tech community resources offer diverse opportunities that may surprise you…
A recent article in Forbes ranked Indiana as the #1 best state to start a business in 2023. According to Forbes, Indiana’s low tax rate, an above-average business survival rate, availability of funding opportunities, and eager workforce provide ideal conditions for new companies to succeed. Forbes reports that Indiana’s cost of living is 15% lower than the national average, and Indiana’s unemployment rate is 2.8%.
Indianapolis is a hub for tech startups and innovation. It’s a great place to launch your startup, grow your business, and get involved in the community.
The city also offers access to major funding programs from local venture capitalists who have made significant investments in Indianapolis over time, through organizations like TechPoint, 16 Tech, and Launch Fishers. These organizations help local entrepreneurs develop their ideas into fully fledged businesses with access to mentorships, networking opportunities, legal assistance and more.
“We have a lot of companies, foundations, and associations that want to help you succeed. So you have Powderkeg, TechPoint, BioCrossroads, Nexus Impact Center, and many other organizations that are literally trying to connect people together every single day.”
–Christopher Day, CEO at Elevate Ventures
“Fishers is one of my favorite hubs here in the Indy area that supports tech entrepreneurs. Whether it’s Downtown or Broad Ripple, Indy has built a great tech scene that has the benefits of a small community while having big companies that actively participate in this tech ecosystem.”
–Darye Henry, Founder & CEO at AfterschoolHQ
“I’m not from Indianapolis. I’m actually from Michigan by way of Chicago, and moved here 10 years ago. The energy and talent specifically around B2B SaaS and MarTech is so strong and so vibrant.”
–Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO & Co-Founder at Casted
“Because of the successes we’ve had in the city, there’s an access to capital that is unique in the Midwest and in Indianapolis.”
–Brian Millis, VP Sales and Marketing at ADVISA
Indianapolis tech leaders are accessible if you know how ask for help
Indianapolis is also a great place to start—or join—a tech company because of its combination of resources for both newbies and veterans. Including a growing number of executives who have led tech companies from startup to acquisition.
Venture Capital firm M25 ranked Indianapolis the #3 Midwest Startup City in 2022, according to their annual Startup Cities Rankings report. A combination of factors contributed to the ranking, including strong momentum and exits, employee loyalty, accelerators, labor costs, cost of living, and government programs that support startups.
The best way to get started is by talking with other entrepreneurs. When you have questions or concerns, look for people who have already been in your shoes—they can share their experiences and help you avoid common pitfalls.
“I would describe the Indianapolis tech community with one word – accessible. You can quickly get plugged in and get access to people that would traditionally be inaccessible. As a founder, I’m constantly running into problems I’ve never seen before. With a single email or phone call, I can usually get connected to an expert, say in finance or data science, to be a sounding board and actively help me work through an issue. It continues to amaze me how open and accessible everyone makes themselves to help the entire indy tech ecosystem become better, stronger, faster.”
–Yaw Aning, Co-founder and CEO at Malomo
“The Indianapolis tech scene is so amazing because, unlike big cities, you have access to influential leaders and the titans of industry. You have people who go out of their way to make connections and help you get in front of the right people. That willingness to build community and pay it forward is unmatched. You don’t get that on the coasts.”
–Heather Haas, President at ADVISA
“What makes the tech community great in Indianapolis is that it’s small enough to really feel like a community. We can have access to some amazing people that are generously willing to spend time and resources with us. And at the same time, it’s big enough to have a really wide array of diverse perspectives and resources that we can draw from.”
–Santiago Jaramillo, CEO & Co-Founder at Emplify (acquired by 15 Five)
Indianapolis tech entrepreneurs are collaborative and connected to enormous opportunities
Collaboration is key to the success of any community, especially one that has an emerging tech scene. In Indianapolis, there’s an eagerness to collaborate with other entrepreneurs and startups to build growth and opportunity. Entrepreneurs in Indy work together on a daily basis because we all have the same goal—to build strong companies that make our city a better place to live and work.
When you compete against each other, it creates an environment where only one person can win at a time. That doesn’t serve anyone well in the long run because it divides people into camps instead of bringing them together. In contrast, when everyone collaborates with each other, no one is left behind because they all benefit from the relationships that are built along the way.
“My favorite part about the Indy tech scene is how friendly and helpful everyone is. Anytime that I make an introduction or say, hey, can you help this new founder, everyone is so willing to help and they don’t expect anything in return. I really don’t think we get that in other places.”
–Angie Stocklin, Co-Founder at OneClick
“I’m a boomerang: from Indy, spent most of my career on both coasts, then moved back; so I was pleasantly surprised by how open and welcoming the Indy tech community was to me and my work.”
–Kelli Jones, Co-Founder & General Partner at Sixty8 Capital
“When I first came down here, I came from Chicago and I was really warmly welcomed by the tech community. It’s very inclusive and very welcoming.”
– Steve Johns, CEO at OneCause
“If you don’t know somebody in the Indiana tech community, they’re always just one degree of separation away.”
–Jim Goldman, CEO & Co-Founder at Trava
“Between the strong community of investors, entrepreneurs and homegrown talent, we’re making a real mark on the industry without sacrificing what makes the Midwest such a great place to live and work for so many of us. That doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t have more room to improve. We must continue working to make deep, systemic change in how our industry values people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and women/femmes/non-binary folk.”
–Sharmin Kent, Manager and Content Strategy Lead at Studio Science
Indy has top tech talent that’s ready to work for local startups
The Indianapolis tech community is special because there’s a high concentration of tech professionals who are eager to work for startups. So, you can find a lot of skilled talent here.
There are also lots of colleges and universities in the city that can produce some great talent for Indianapolis tech jobs. The low cost of living allows people to live here without breaking their bank accounts.
“We’ve always had great talent in the area because of local universities. But now with remote work, numerous company success stories, and access to capital (from successful startup acquisitions and outside investors), we’re at the tipping point for Indiana’s tech scene to be nationally recognized alongside the likes of Silicon Valley and Austin.”
–Ryan Greives, VP Brand & Communications at Formstack
“Everyone’s also really willing to help each other out, when it comes to projects or connecting you with the right person if it’s a role that you need filled.”
–Megan Noel, Director of Marketing at Trava
“I think everyone is rooting for everybody else. There is a healthy level of competition, but more than anything we cheer for one another. We are willing to help one another. I have never seen a community where young folks coming out of college can send an email to a CEO asking to have coffee and 90% of the time they are going to get a meeting. We’re in a very inclusive and generous community.”
–Mike Rutz, Co-Founder/CEO at MakeMyMove
“Indianapolis is a small big community. It’s easy to get from one person to the next. I like that I can make one or two phone calls and get to the person I need to get to for a conversation. By and large people are willing to help each other.”
–Brian Wolff, President and CEO at Parker Technology
“The network and the approachability of everyone makes the Indianapolis tech community special. Everyone’s looking out for each other.”
–Rick McGlinchey, Co-Founder at PureInsights
Indianapolis is a great place to be if you want to be part of the tech community. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, investor, mid-career or looking to break into tech, there are many resources available that will help you succeed. With so much support from the city and state government levels, as well as from private foundations and corporations who invest in local startups every day—there’s no better time than now to launch your next big thing in Indianapolis.
If you are interested in exploring jobs at fast-growing tech companies in the Indianapolis, be sure to check out our real-time job board for Indianapolis Tech Jobs.
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You can explore more resources at the Indianapolis Tech Hub.