Delivering ‘more and better’ for Indiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem
My first day in Indiana was the coldest day in 64 years. I came to do a campus tour at Butler University, and even though it was a typical cold and grey Indiana winter day, I immediately knew it would become my home. There’s a sense of growth and innovation here that is missing from many communities. In fact, more than half of all Hoosiers have participated in at least one entrepreneurial activity according to the recent survey Entrepreneurship in the Population: Indiana (EPOP-IN), which was commissioned by the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP).
NBC ranked Indiana #13 in America’s top states for business 2023. Our state is home to more than 50 colleges and universities, 34,000 engineers and the fourth highest concentration of industrial engineers in the country. We are also ranked #3 nationally for worldwide life sciences exports, and #1 in pharmaceutical exports. Indiana is home to some of the greatest minds of our time who are working to solve big problems and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
While working at a startup that went public and then leading a startup accelerator, I learned that Indiana punches above its weight in collaboration across the ecosystem. People are eager to help and generous with their own time, but Indiana still needs development in capital availability, startup support resources and talent programming. As I explored opportunities and considered what I wanted to do next, focusing on Indiana and doubling down on creating wealth and jobs in my home state were key factors I wanted to keep in mind. Driving impact through innovation and entrepreneurship is my wheelhouse, so joining the team at TechPoint to help expand those offerings and deliver more and better for the community was a mission-fit too ideal for me to pass up.
In my first 30 days with the nonprofit growth initiative, I’ve been amazed at how dedicated each member of the team is. We all hold inclusive, statewide economic development as our mission, and I’m truly looking forward to my future with this team.
The TechPoint team has been busy wrapping up its summer programming: the (IND)Venture Summit took place including TechPoint’s Venture Connect investor/startup matchmaking event. The talent team wrapped up its summer Xtern programming with more than 200 college interns working at central Indiana tech employers. The team also wrapped up their summer Xplore programming for high school students and published a Mission41K Report. Internally, we hosted a values workshop to refine and iterate on our organizational values, brainstormed new ways to bring revenue into the business, published a full primer on AI for Business, and started budgeting and planning for 2024. I’ve seen this team of 17 people create a demonstrable impact on Indiana’s economic development in four weeks, and I’m incredibly inspired to add value of my own.
I’ve been focused on two main areas of impact for Indiana within my role at TechPoint. My initial effort has been deep-diving into all of TechPoint’s entrepreneurship & innovation programming in order to begin collecting data on our impact and outcomes. In the coming months you’ll see TechPoint collecting and sharing more data about our efforts to support startups and investors across the state. I’ve also been working with the Innovation team to reimagine what our platform will look like in 2024. Next year we will focus on providing a true front door to the Indiana tech ecosystem for anyone looking to gain access or connectivity. We’ll continue to offer best-in-class experiences for founders, investors and community members throughout the year. You’ll see the return of our existing programming alongside new initiatives as well. We’ll drive focus on traction through supporting founders looking for their first customers and catalyze partnerships between our member companies and the startups in our network.
Overall, my first 30 days at TechPoint were wonderful. For the second and third months, I’ll be focused on building back-end data collection functions and strategizing deeper ways to support our ecosystem at large. The best is yet to come!