Governor Daniels Interview Validates TechPoint Four-Pillar Strategy for Accelerating Indiana’s Tech Sector

By Jim Jay, President and CEO of TechPoint

In an interview on Inside Indiana Business this weekend, Governor Mitch Daniels said he didn’t expect the recent growth of Indiana’s software and IT sector. He was expecting to see positive results from historically strong sectors like advanced manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, and life sciences, but he didn’t initially pick IT to be such a bright spot in our state’s economy.

After a handful of high-profile announcements about new jobs and investments, including the first expansion location of San Francisco-based Appirio, Daniels is declaring the “arrival” of Indiana’s tech sector and counting on IT for more growth.

Quotes from Governor Daniels:

"It's their [Appirio's] first office in the U.S. outside their home in San Francisco and they picked  Indiana for it – that's to me very significant.

"There's been a lot going on with the sudden and, I don't mind admitting, unexpected growth of the software and IT sector, particularly in Central Indiana. It's a great example of 'don't try to outguess the market.'" We always said we'll build the best sand box in America. We thought we  knew certain sectors you and I have talked about that we do well in – advanced manufacturing and logistics, agribusiness and life sciences – but we didn't pick IT. We just didn't think that would be as likely and we were wrong.
"So Appirio, I believe, is a moment of arrival for the Indiana IT community. When a coastal-based company looks all over the U.S. and picks here for their first big expansion, I think it signals that this pattern we've seen is real and going to get bigger."

Indeed, Indiana is rapidly gaining the reputation of being a viable alternative to the cut-throat coasts and their exorbitant cost of doing business. High-profile initial public offerings, several Indiana-based technology firms breaking into national “Best Of” and “Fastest Growing” lists, and we’d like to think the efforts of organizations like TechPoint, IEDC, Verge, numerous university outreach initiatives and others to be sure, have contributed to the rise of Indiana’s tech sector.

Beyond playing a small direct role in attracting companies like Appirio, TechPoint is focused on building and strengthening the foundations of Indiana’s tech sector – the basic building blocks that make our state attractive to technology firms looking to expand or relocate.

Our goals include:

  • Building partnerships to exploit emerging tech markets
  • Enhancing connectivity within the technology community
  • Expanding access to capital for high-tech start-ups
  • Promoting the importance of technology to Indiana’s economy
  • Advocating for pro-growth public policy
  • Enhancing human capital for high-tech/entrepreneurial ventures

We organize these TechPoint goals into four foundation pillars, all supported by advocacy at state and local levels. (See foundation pillars graphic.) You may be familiar with some of the programs and initiatives we manage or contribute to such as the Orr Fellowship, university curriculum design, HALO Capital Group, The Speakeasy, Indiana Entrepreneur Bootcamp, Mirra Awards, Innovation Summit and more than 40 educational networking events annually.

It is encouraging to see the governor supporting and praising Indiana’s tech sector in a very public way. We see a critical mass of talent, top universities, mentors, startups and early- to late-stage software and IT companies in our state. This critical mass is a story that needs to be told statewide and beyond our borders.

Do you have an Indiana technology success story to tell? Please contact us and perhaps we can work together to contribute even more to the growing reputation of Indiana’s tech sector.

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