Tech Year in Review: 2019
The year 2019 has been an eventful, even action-packed one for the Indiana technology ecosystem. Between marquee launches and acquisitions, major fundraises, awards won and new programs taking root, 2019 was a stellar year for Indiana.
TechPoint itself had several announcements–including new team members and executives in residence as we grow to achieve more in 2020. We hope you enjoy this recap of 2019 tech in Indiana, celebrate the successes with us and look ahead to the next year of growth and development for our tech ecosystem!
How does this year compare to last year? Revisit our 2018 Tech Year in Review to find out.
Launches and acquisitions
Red Carpet Experience
TechPoint launched the Red Carpet Experience, a multi-day program in October that invited select individuals from around the country (and one visitor from China) to visit Indianapolis and potentially walk away with ready employment. From unique networking experiences and meetings with potential employers to a series of events showcasing the recreational, entertainment and other quality-of-life benefits in Indiana, these participants were able to envision what life in Indy could look like for them.
Jobs in Tech 101
We launched Jobs in Tech 101, to educate and inform job seekers about the skills, interests and abilities that align with some of the most in-demand job roles within tech companies. The program was recognized at TECNA’s Innovation Awards as the winner of the Talent Pipeline and Workforce Development category.
Companies have been busy in Indiana, with 27 Indiana companies involved in completed acquisitions so far in 2019. Some notables include:
Salesforce made several large acquisitions:
- Salesforce made worldwide headlines with the announcement of its acquisition of Tableau for $15.7 billion in an all-stock deal.
- Salesforce also closed a $1.35 billion acquisition of Boston-based ClickSoftware.
Carbonite was acquired by OpenText for $1.42 billion.
Canvas was acquired by Jobvite—and then Canvas’ former CEO Aman Brar became Jobvite’s CEO.
Both ClearObject and KSM Consulting were acquired by equity firms.
Formstack closed on three separate acquisitions of its own this year.
Other organizations and companies also got underway with expansion plans and growth objectives:
The two Techstars accelerator programs officially launched with their cohorts. Companies are invited to participate in a three-month on-site program; several participating companies decided to relocate their HQs to Indiana after graduating.
gBETA, a pre-accelerator program that’s gained a lot of traction in Indianapolis, has launched its expansion programs in Fort Wayne and Terre Haute, along with a second agbioscience-focused program in Indy.
Lev, formerly based in Arizona, moved its official HQ to Indianapolis.
Franciscan Alliance Information Services opened its CONNECTOR facility in Beech Grove.
This year saw another increase in venture capital dollars invested in Indiana tech companies with over $206 million raised—with another quarter’s reporting out soon. For comparison: the 2018 funding season closed with $135 million overall.
Here are some of the largest raises so far in 2019, according to public data:
Indianapolis-based Kerauno’s $25 million Series A raise could be the largest ever Series A raise by a tech company in Indiana. Investors include IndyCar team owner and former driver Michael Andretti and The Joan Hanley (Steinbrenner) Trust.
Zylo secured $22.5 million in Series B funding led by Menlo Ventures, a Bay Area venture capital firm. Bessemer Venture Partners, another Bay Area firm, also participated in the raise as a repeat investor along with High Alpha, Rise of the Rest, the Slack Fund and Salesforce Ventures.
Indianapolis-based Springbuk quietly raised a $17 million growth round in August. Springbuk had previously raised $20 million in January 2018 and took home the Company Culture of the Year and Scale-up of the Year ($100K-$5M) “Best of Tech” trophies during the 2018 Mira Awards.
Sharpen announced a $15 million growth raise from three Indiana venture capital funds: Allos Ventures, Elevate Ventures and the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund. The raise also included Rodger Riney, founder and former CEO of Scottrade.
Intelligent Fiber Network announced a $13 million equity investment from its member owners and Wabash Valley Power. The funding will allow IFN to expand its high-speed fiber network.
Bloomington-based FormAssembly announced a $10 million Series A raise in early June with plans to add 30 jobs to the area in the next few months. Level Equity, a private growth equity firm in New York City, funded the entire round.
2019 Mira Awards
Viral Launch, Encamp, Cummins, GEICO, Raytheon, Innovative Neurological Devices, SIMBA Chain and Allos Ventures were among top honorees at the 20th annual Mira Awards Gala, held at the JW Marriott–Indianapolis on April 13. With a sold-out crowd of 1,400 attendees, this was the largest Mira Awards in the program’s 20-year history.
Inc 5000 list
This year, 18 privately-held Indiana tech and tech-enabled companies were recognized on the 2019 Inc. 5000 list, an annual collection of the fastest-growing private companies across the U.S. Eleven of the 18 companies have either been nominated or won a Mira Award in past years.
This year, we joined forces with Indianapolis Business Journal to co-host the Tech 25 and CTO of the Year Awards on August 22. Tech 25 continued to celebrate twenty-five individuals who are critical and exceptional performers helping to grow our community’s tech and tech-enabled companies, but who—not being the CEO or other top executives—don’t get celebrated publicly as often.
VC Speed Dating
In September, we hosted our VC Speed Dating event, connecting dozens of venture capital firms with Indiana tech companies seeking investment.
Xtern: The Ultimate Tech Internship Experience
The Xtern program hosted its largest-ever finalist class in November. Out of nearly 1,900 students from 212 universities and 45 home states, a total of 209 students who passed the rigorous screening process were invited to Finalist Day. Sixty-one companies sent representatives from 103 departments, and they conducted 796 on-site job interviews in a single day at the Indiana Convention Center.
Ten most viewed stories of 2019
Of the 124 stories we published in 2019, written by us and the community of tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, marketers, CEOs, venture capitalists and more, here are the top 10 most-read stories:
Can Indiana become the hub for the global esports phenomenon?
Collaboration software disruptor Passageways impresses with rapid growth, high potential
Republic Airways disrupts airline tech and talent pipeline with small, mighty team
Raytheon Indianapolis powers national defense with tech talent and innovation
Renaissance Electronic Services is a different kind of software company
Is Ruby on Rails ready for retirement or reset for growth?
TechPoint welcomes Cummins Vice President and CIO Sherry Aaholm as board chair and names new executive committee
Kerauno is moving beyond communications software and changing human interaction
DePauw University delivers entrepreneurs and leaders to Indy’s tech community
LifeOmic apps approach 1 million downloads, help shape healthcare’s future
TechPoint is hiring!
As the growth accelerator for Indiana’s tech ecosystem, TechPoint offers unique opportunities to create, develop and execute in a one-of-a-kind environment while making a difference daily. Learn more about our current openings: