From Pennsylvania Amish country to Upland, Indiana to Florida to Turkey to Indianapolis (and lots of places in between), Austin Stoltzfus developed a love for computer science, stories (and the people who tell them) and true entrepreneurial spirit.
After he graduated from Taylor University in 2013 with a degree in Computer Science – New Media/Systems, he moved home to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he started looking for work. He spent several months doing contract work and job-hunting in cities like Denver, Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis. Late in 2013, he searched “Indianapolis tech jobs,” found TechPoint and IndyXmas and decided it was worth the trip. His dad (who is conveniently a pilot) flew him into town for the night to attend IndyXmas.
On IndyXmas: “[The people in attendance] showed so much passion and enthusiasm for their place of employment. And that was something that was pretty much common between all the people there. They really love where they work.”
It was a whirlwind trip. “We landed and I checked into the hotel and went to IndyXmas right away, bang, bang, bang.” he said. “I was so surprised by the diversity of people who were there. I found people who were started their own companies and others who were not involved in technology that were just curious about what Indy had going on. I heard about a lot of passions; businesses and non-profits.”
On ExactTarget: “ExactTarget culture is so rich and prevalent…It’s such a big deal. You’re Orange from the very beginning. The energy is just constantly high and you’re always learning something new each day. Plus, I have the privilege of working with a bunch of awesome people every day!”
He jumped into conversations with Indy tech companies on-site at IndyXmas and ExactTarget was an immediate fit. He came to Indy for two interviews. Two weeks after receiving his offer to work on the Predictive Intelligence team at ExactTarget doing UX work for the company’s guided selling and predictive tools, he loaded up his car with everything that would fit and made the drive to Indy.
On Indianapolis: “So far, I think what I didn’t know is really how much of an entrepreneurial spirit and tight-knit community lives here.”
Within the first few weeks of being in town, he and a roommate moved into an apartment on the northwest side. Of getting plugged into Indianapolis, he says, “My friends in other cities haven’t gotten nearly as involved as I have here. I don’t know that there are the resources to do that there.”
Advice for people thinking about moving back: “I didn’t know much about Indianapolis specifically before moving here, having only visited a couple of times. There’s a lot to do. I’ve been blown away by the amount of Indy-specific events and great local businesses. Don’t be hesitant.”
Some Indy favorites: