Spring and Rudy Rouhana had been living and working in the Bay Area for more than a decade when Rudy got an email from TechPoint, asking if he would be interested in relocating back to Indiana where he’d grown up.

Spring worked as a finance executive at companies headquartered in California, including HGST (now Western Digital), WageWorks and Mainspring. Rudy co-founded StoredIQ in Austin before working in risk management and security positions at a variety of companies, notably Credit Karma and Drift in California. The Golden State was their planned forever home, and their tech bona fides were solid.

Spring, who emigrated to the U.S. from China to pursue her master’s degree in finance, had already lived in Arizona, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She enjoyed frequent visits to her in-law’s home in Indianapolis, but neither she nor Rudy were tuned in to the tech opportunities that awaited them there.

“My in-laws encouraged us to move to Indiana,” Spring said. “Especially my father-in-law. He would drive me around and show me homes we could buy if we moved here.”

But until that email from TechPoint and subsequent participation in the Red Carpet Experience, “We didn’t know the tech world existed here.”

Indianapolis is a growing tech hub

Their plans to settle in California changed after visiting Indianapolis that weekend in 2019. They made their move to Carmel in June 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. Spring now serves as DemandJump’s Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, while Rudy works in Cyber Security at Cummins.

Spring and Rudy Rouhana.

“There’s just so much here that we didn’t realize,” Spring said, listing off things like TechPoint and other organizations that work to retain and recruit young tech talent, the growing venture capital activity and employment opportunities from a vibrant tech sector.

“But more than that, there are so many great educational opportunities from grade school through grad school,” she said. “And we are an active family, so things like state and local parks, the hiking and biking trails, and the ability even in a pandemic for my son to safely take part in sports was really attractive. I can’t imagine having a young child and not being able to let him play as we were able to here.”

Factors to consider when moving to a new tech hub

Spring advises other tech workers—wherever they live—to make a pro and con list to determine what they want in their lives and what they can give up before making a relocation decision. With remote work flexibility being offered by so many tech companies, some workers may not even have to change jobs to gain the benefits of living in Indiana.

Don’t overlook accessibility to things like schools and healthcare when making that list, she advises. In a more congested area, it’s harder to get to the head of the line for those kinds of services.

“We can’t go to the beach every day here,” she pointed out. “But we can easily fly anywhere in the world from the Indianapolis Airport which is so clean and convenient and friendly. And we are outside a lot. Once the pandemic lifts, we’re eager to visit local museums, the Carmel Performing Arts Center and downtown Indianapolis attractions and restaurants.”

Using Spring’s advice, we’ve compiled a short “pro” list. We expect your “con” list is much shorter. If you’re interested in learning more about Indiana’s thriving tech sector and quality of life, please check out the Wish You Were Here campaign. That carpet is still out for those who are interested. Or just send us an email.

Reasons to move to Indiana

Indy is a mid-sized city with a huge reach.

About 80% of the country is within a day’s drive of Indy. Don’t want big city life? Smaller cities like Carmel, Fishers, Greenfield, Columbus and Bloomington are short drives away. You’ll also take home way more of your paycheck here. You can own a home without going massively in debt. You’ll have less congestion/traffic to fight wherever you’re headed, a huge array of school options for your kids, and lots of outdoor or indoor activities to keep you entertained.

Indy is a legit tech hub with marquee employers.

home to Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud HQ, Infosys’ Technology & Innovation hub. Multiple (and growing) subsectors in cyber security, edge computing, sports tech and ed tech. Companies like Genesys, Jobvite, UKG and Tangoe that were involved in mergers and acquisitions chose Indy as their HQ rather than other cities where they were active. Companies like Active Campaign, Celigo, UGroup, and Wonderkind chose Indy to greatly expand their operations. Startup activity is hot and supported by nationally recognized organizations like High Alpha’s venture studio, two Techstars accelerators, Elevate Ventures and the state’s Next Level Fund. That means you have options should it turn out that the position you relocated to take doesn’t turn out to be your forever job.

Indy has global bonafides in B2B SaaS strength.

Are you a savvy marketer? Indy has tons of marketing positions at great companies. We’re home to Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud HQ, which only deepened Indy’s reputation as a Martech town. Companies that work with Salesforce have clustered here, along with others that are breaking new ground in the subsector.

Indy is the intersection of tech and growing industries.

Other sectors also offer tech careers because tech is intersecting with every business now. Advanced Manufacturing (think Cummins, Rolls Royce, Subaru, etc…) LifeSciences (Lilly, Elanco, Regenstrief, Cook Medical) Ag Tech and Sports (NCAA, Colts, Pacers, Indy 500.)

Indy is a bonanza of higher educational options.

Just as there are a lot of school options for your kids, Indiana boasts some of the best business and engineering schools in the nation, and they’re all close to the capital city. Purdue University, IU, Notre Dame and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology are short drives away from Indianapolis and each other.

Indy is what most places aspire to for quality of life.

People who’ve never been to Indy are always surprised at how our Downtown has a big city feel, but the overall community still has a bit of small town charm. It’s an easy drive, walk, bike to just about any other part of the city. Nationally ranked museums, hotels, a great culinary scene, and sporting events are here. We compiled some great snapshots of life in Indy for our “Wish You Were Here” campaign.

Amenities aside, an intangible but important factor is the opportunity to come in and be a big fish, to get involved and make an impact, even if you didn’t grow up here. It’s harder to get access to opportunities like this in a big city. Mid-sized cities often have a “where did you go to high school” clique-ishness. That’s not present here in Indy.

“There could be trade-offs that you make—the beach or mountains, for example,” Spring said. “But Indianapolis is up and coming. There’s so much more here than outsiders likely know.”

Are you ready to make the move to be part of a thriving tech ecosystem? Click here to learn more about Indianapolis and Indiana and begin your journey!