While many parts make up our Indy tech ecosystem, universities across the state offer important pieces toward the development of new and innovative tech. Serving as a cradle for many startups, universities provide connections, talent, support and more to students and researchers launching their ideas.

Along with helping new businesses begin, universities help inventors and thinkers patent their ideas, and they provide new school programs and classes that encourage more people to join and learn about the tech sector.

In 2017, these centers of tech knowledge and innovation achieved some remarkable outcomes.

Indiana University

In 2017, the Hoosiers produced new inventions and patents while incubating several new startups. Named the most innovative university in Indiana and 27th in the world by Reuters’ annual ranking, IU positioned itself as a world-class institution that pushes its students to think differently and develop new ideas from right here in Indiana.

The IU Innovation and Commercialization Office reported their tech commercialization metrics for 2017:

  • Disclosed inventions: 156
  • Licensing agreements: 35
  • Generated revenue from licensing and royalties: Approximately $5 million
  • Startups formed: 9
  • Issued patents: 161 (49 U.S. and 112 International)

Purdue University

Through its Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue nurtured more than 20 startups and raised over $6 million from their licensed technologies. New startups were launched in diverse fields influenced by tech, from wine preservation with argon to IoT security. The Purdue Foundry, an incubator for university-based startups, continued growing and attracting support.

Purdue University reported their tech commercialization metrics for 2017:

  • Disclosed inventions: 345
  • Licensing agreements: 135
  • Generated revenue from licensing and royalties: $6.01 million
  • Startups formed: 21
  • Issued patents: 175 (123 U.S. and 52 International)


This year, IUPUI encouraged the growth of students and companies from Indianapolis. New developments like research into an app to increase doctors’ empathy for their patients kept the university focused on innovative tech throughout 2017. Students from IUPUI also contributed to the launch of a new artificial-intelligence-as-a-service platform.

While some Indiana universities have strong research and development components of their programs, others provide for the tech community in different ways. Preparation of students and development of their skillsets are just as vital to the future of Indiana tech as R&D is. Several universities had other significant tech-related accomplishments in 2017.

Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech continues to offer students, both traditional and otherwise, a path toward obtaining tech degrees and certifications that can open the doors to new and better jobs. With the introduction of an ethical hacking certificate this year, Ivy Tech created more opportunities for students to learn about key challenges facing the tech community and equipping them with the skills they need to succeed.

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

For the 19th year running, Rose-Hulman offered the highest-rated engineering program in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. Many tech jobs depend on the kinds of technical skills that Rose-Hulman provides. The university also offers plenty of internships, where practical experiences play key roles in getting students ready for their careers. The Wall Street Journal put Rose-Hulman fifth on their U.S. rankings for best schools to prepare students for their careers this year.

Thanks in part to the attention the university pays to these elements of education, 96 percent of their science, engineering and math students in the Class of 2017 are working in their fields of study. Some fields, such as chemistry, physics and international computer science, saw 100 percent placement.

WGU Indiana

WGU Indiana takes a unique approach to attracting and teaching talent to give them skills they need to succeed in their careers. That approach also directs their development of tech students, as the school provides degrees and certifications in several tech-related fields.

To support women on their paths to tech careers, WGU launched the Women in Technology Scholarships this year, with awards for up to 15 incoming students. The 2017 scholarship applicants represent the top talent who are seeking degrees and certifications through WGU’s online programs.