If you work for a tech company in Indy, you likely know about the issues and which ones are most important to you. For those who don’t work in tech, it can be challenging to understand what some tech companies actually do, let alone what their biggest business needs and challenges are.
That’s why on Feb. 6, 2018, TechPoint assisted Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and staff with an inaugural Indy Scale-up Tour, designed to showcase rapidly-growing Indianapolis tech companies that are elevating the city’s reputation as a tech hub. Developing a greater understanding of tech companies and the people who work at them will help Mayor Hogsett and his team identify resources that can support the continued growth and success of our community.
“With all eyes now turned to Indianapolis, we have the opportunity to highlight the bold innovators, creators, and visionaries that have shaped our city’s tech ecosystem,” said Mayor Hogsett. “And as they share what has driven their success during the Indy Scale-up Tour, we can learn how to create an even better environment for tech development and acceleration in our city – one that solidifies our position as the best tech hub of the Midwest.”
First Stop: SmarterHQ
Marketing technology is no stranger to Indianapolis, and SmarterHQ is one of our city’s mar-tech pioneers. Founded in 2010, SmarterHQ is a behavioral marketing platform that utilizes data to help brands and retailers personalize email messages and customer website interactions in real-time. The company has been named one of America’s fastest-growing private sector companies two years in a row by Inc. magazine and employs 48 people in Indianapolis. They recently raised $13 million in funding to support the company’s continued growth and development in our city, and they won the Mira Award for Tech Startup of the Year in 2013.
SmarterHQ’s team and executive leadership welcomed Mayor Hogsett and his team with a tour where Mr. Hogsett met with individuals who shared their unique career paths into tech.
Jake is an implementation engineer at SmarterHQ. He taught himself to code with YouTube videos, and his natural curiosity led him to apply for this role at a fast-growing tech company right here in Indiana.
Mayor Hogsett met with SmarterHQ’s CEO Michael Osborne, their Chief Data Scientist Dean Abbott, VP of Marketing Kristen Hamerstadt, and other key leads who shared the vision of SmarterHQ’s product. The conversation led Mayor Hogsett to understand the value that SmarterHQ’s predictive behavior marketing tool brings to retailers like Finish Line, located right here in Indy, to make more sales.
Second Stop: DoubleMap
Some of the most important technologies developed in Indy are often under-the-radar innovations. DoubleMap enhances public transit rider experiences and operational efficiencies, providing GPS bus tracking and value-added services for more than 90 customers worldwide. Founded in 2011 by Indiana University alumni, the company received multiple accolades last year, including winning the Mira Award for Scale-up of the Year ($100K – $5M revenue) in 2017 and being placed on the Inc. 5000 “Fastest Growing Startups” list. The company has held a place on the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Fast25 for the past two years.
Co-founders Ilya Rehkter and Peter Servaas along with DoubleMap’s Chief of Staff Megan Dixon sat down with Mayor Hogsett to discuss Indy’s perception both as a tech hub and as a leader in transportation innovation.
When Mayor Hogsett asked “what could I be doing better,” DoubleMap’s leadership stressed that transportation is a backbone of our community, and that transit is everyone’s issue, not just those organizations who are currently involved in it.
Final Stop: Scale Computing
Our day concluded at Scale Computing, located in the Union 525 scale-up campus in downtown Indianapolis. Founded in 2009 by graduates of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Indiana State University, Scale Computing pioneered the term Hyperconvergence, which combines servers, storage, and software into a single piece of hardware, advancing computing power and reducing IT operational complexity for mid-sized organizations. The company holds 27 patents related to their Hyperconvergence technology. Scale Computing’s many recent awards include PC Mall’s Innovator of the Year, Network World’s Top Nine Storage Companies to Watch, and according to CBInsights is the most well-funded tech company in Indiana.
Scale Computing’s hardware and software solutions set them apart in Indy’s Software-as-a-Service hub, but their global customers and partnerships with companies like Google make them a well-known entity in their own niche.
What’s next for the Indy Scale-up Tour? Mayor Hogsett and TechPoint are considering continuing this tour on a regular basis to help the Mayor and his staff meet and connect with the next generation of our workforce through regular visits with rising tech companies. Stay tuned for our next tour.