$1.3 Million Lilly Endowment Grant to Launch Techpoint’s Ultimate Tech Internship Experience
CICP Foundation has received a $1.3 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support the Xtern program at Techpoint, Indiana’s technology growth initiative. The program attracts top university talent and immerses them in a one-of-a-kind summer internship experience.
TechPoint is using the grant to launch the Xtern program, which the nonprofit economic development organization promotes as “the ultimate tech internship experience.” Beginning this June, 50 college students — software developers and engineers initially — will live together downtown on the campus of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and will work at 12 tech companies around Indianapolis — companies including:
- ExactTarget (tech company of the year Mira Award winner acquired by Salesforce)
- Interactive Intelligence (two-time tech company of the year Mira Award winner and Glassdoor best places to work winner)
- Apparatus (Inc. 5000 fastest growing company)
- Angie's List (marketing tech Mira Award winner used by more than two million U.S. households)
- HC1 (health tech company of the year Mira Award winner and Red Herring award winner)
- Smarter Remarketer (tech startup of the year Mira Award winner that recently raised $7 million), and
- Tinderbox (tech startup of the year Mira Award winner that recently raised $3 million)
Forbes noted last year that Indianapolis is one of the top 10 metros for tech job growth. Local tech companies have had significant recent success and need to keep adding highly skilled talent in order to fuel future growth, but they are in a national battle for this talent. The Xtern program gives talented college students a one-of-a-kind experience and the real-world skills that they need, while introducing them to participating local tech companies that compete with the corporate tech giants for top graduates.
Mike Langellier, TechPoint’s president and CEO, said that immersing the most promising tech students into the unique, vibrant Indianapolis tech community will give the interns real-world experience with local employers that are in the recruitment race with larger out-of-state players like Google, Apple or Facebook. “This is not a typical internship. This is a summer-in-the-city experience with hack-a-thons, special guest speakers, exclusive company visits, arts and cultural activities, mentor matching and community-service opportunities. Also significant, these Xterns are working at companies where the work they do can actually make an impact. We had students turning down offers from Yahoo! and IBM in order to be Xterns this summer. I can’t thank the Endowment enough for this incredible support of our exciting Xtern program.”
“Internships and other forms of experiential education are increasingly important,” said the Endowment’s vice president for education, Sara B. Cobb. “The Endowment is pleased to support Techpoint’s Xtern program, which should enhance the education of the interns and make them aware of the exciting tech career opportunities that are available in Indiana companies. The interns also will learn more about Indianapolis’ appealing quality of life,” added Cobb.
Selected in collaboration with area colleges and universities, the inaugural class of IndyXterns includes students from Purdue University, Indiana University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Ball State University, IUPUI and Taylor University, as well as out-of-state schools Texas A&M and the University of Illinois.
"Interactive Intelligence is really proud of our work opportunities and culture that made us number seven of Glassdoor's Best Places to Work in the US, ahead of companies like Google and Apple," said Debbie Linville, Intern Program Manager, Talent Acquisition, Interactive Intelligence. "The Xtern program is a tremendous complement to the work and educational experience we provide. It has opened up a whole new level of opportunity for our students."
"Smarter Remarketer is a high-growth startup company. Moving really fast, everyone needs to make a big impact so every hire has the opportunity to learn a lot," said Matt Tyner, Director of Finance, Smarter Remarketer."Without the Xtern program, it was difficult to make college students aware of the opportunity and attract the caliber of candidates our growth demands."
The Xtern program is just one part of a larger talent attraction and retention collaboration called The IndyX Initiative, which has received significant support from some of the city’s largest, most influential technology companies, HireUp Indy and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC).
IndyXpat, the second major IndyX program, targets expatriates and out-of-towners with computer-related, executive, sales, marketing, product/project management and startup leadership skills. Many of them are in that life stage between late-20s and early-40s where raising a family, quality of life, and cost of living matter more, and they want to move to Indiana. Xpat connects them with tech jobs to help them do that. The first event, IndyXmas, was December 27th, and showcased the community and jobs and attracted a sold-out crowd with attendees from 14 states. A handful of attendees already have returned to Indiana with jobs as a result of the event.
To learn more about IndyX, to apply for next year’s Xtern class or to suggest an Xpat who we should contact, visit www.IndyX.org.
TechPoint is Indiana’s technology growth initiative focused on being a powerful voice for Indiana’s tech sector through marketing and thought leadership, and being a catalyst for strategic growth initiatives – specifically talent recruitment, entrepreneurship, and marketing tech and health information technology (HIT) cluster development. Visit techpoint.org for more information.
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly and his two sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., with gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical company. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.