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Advancing Hoosier Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Dear friends -

This year, as we celebrate Indiana's 200th birthday, we are also celebrating incredible momentum in innovation across the state:

  • Indiana patents increased by 30% from 2011 to 2015,
  • 72,000+ startups have launched here since 2011, and
  • Indiana's tech sector is adding jobs at a rate of 18% - three times faster than the national average.

To build on this growth, we must support Hoosier entrepreneurs and innovators to ensure that companies at all stages have the resources they need to not only succeed, but to thrive. That's why, through Governor Mike Pence's and Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb's innovation and entrepreneurship initiative, we will accelerate investments in early-stage, mid-market and high-growth Hoosier companies.

Earlier today, Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO Dr. Donald Brown shared his views with leaders in Indianapolis on how technology is shaping business. A true Hoosier innovator, Brown has launched not one, but three companies in Indiana. Interactive Intelligence has created 1,000 jobs in the state alone with 2,000-plus employees worldwide. We can't wait to see what else he has in store for Indiana.

Brown's narrative demonstrates the importance of continuing our commitment to Indiana innovators. These thought leaders are investing in Indiana, drawing skilled talent to the state and creating new opportunities for Hoosiers.

To be at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship, Indiana must attract great thinkers, give them the tools to grow, and ensure that they choose Indiana for their next big idea.

Victor Smith
Indiana Secretary of Commerce
Indiana Economic Development Corporation


Dr. Donald Brown: The Future of Innovation & Tech Lies in Indiana

John Wechsler: $1B Initiative a Great Move for IN Tech

Chicago Tribune Startup Raises $1.1M, Plans Move to Indianapolis

Inside Indiana Business Entrepreneurship, Research Rising

WLFI Learning Skills That One Day May Pay the Bills

Inside Indiana Business Ball State Opens at Launch Fishers


October 13
Day of Innovation 

October 17
How to Create a Business Plan to Fuel Success
Fort Wayne

October 19
Launch Your Own Business

October 20
Business Start-Up 101 Workshop
Crown Point

Learn more about upcoming small business workshops in Indiana.

“Interactive Intelligence is proud to be headquartered in a state that values innovation and entrepreneurship. We’ll continue to build on our 22-year history of investing heavily in research and development in order to help organizations transform the way they engage the world.”

Dr. Donald Brown
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Interactive Intelligence

A Blueprint for Building Momentum in Indiana
Accelerating Investments in Hoosier Firms
Indiana entrepreneurs and innovators are propelling industry advancements while creating quality new jobs across the state. Through Indiana's $1 billion innovation and entrepreneurship initiative, we will accelerate investments in Hoosier companies of all stages - from start-up to scale-up to acquisition - while encouraging further investment from private groups, communities and education and research institutes through matching funds. 
Indiana’s Venture Capital Investment (VCI) tax credit program helps innovators attract capital more quickly and efficiently by giving investors an additional incentive to invest in fast-growing, early-stage firms. 

The founders of Indianapolis-based Octiv – Dustin Sapp, Kristian Andersen and Mike Fitzgerald – utilized the program from 2010-2015, helping the company raise $5 million in venture capital and support the establishment of its sales and marketing software solutions operations. Today, Octiv is investing $3.2 million to expand its headquarters on Monument Circle and plans to grow its Indiana team from 60 associates to 332 by the end of 2021.
The Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center helps small technology firms and innovators connect with research and development funding through the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The state also matches federal funds awarded to Indiana companies.

Fort Wayne-based SkySight Technologies, for example, has secured SBIR grants from the National Department of Defense to advance the development and commercialization of its electro-mechanical components, assemblies and systems, which support ocean-based and underwater defense and security. 
The state's 21st Century Research & Technology Fund helps accelerate the growth of early-stage and mid-market Indiana companies, allowing job creators to invest in what matters most - their business and their employees. 

Since its establishment in 2013, South Bend-based Vennli has grown to 128 clients and $2.9 million in bookings for its choice analytics and data visualization platform. The state's support through the 21 Fund has allowed Vennli to attract highly-skilled talent, with 25 associates now in northern Indiana, including many out-of-state Notre Dame graduates.  
Indiana's tools for start-up and scale-up companies are designed to encourage additional investment. The 21st Century Research & Technology Fund, for example, requires co-investment. To date, every state dollar invested has yielded an additional $7 invested in Hoosier companies. And the VCI program utilizes a 4:1 match, meaning that $100 million in VCI tax credits yields a total of $500 million invested in Indiana firms.

Fishers-based IoT tech firm CloudOne has utilized both programs since relocating from Chicago in 2011. The company continues to expand and grow its client base, helping leading firms integrate the internet into their products. CloudOne is thriving in downtown Fishers and has been recognized as one of the top places to work in Indiana!
Established in 2012, Indianapolis-based cybersecurity firm Emerging Threats raised $2.15 million in three years to ramp up its advanced threat intelligence operations before being acquired by California-based Proofpoint last year. The state of Indiana had invested $840,000 in the company through the 21 Fund, resulting in a return of more than $6.4 million following the sale. Today, Emerging Threats continues to operate in Indiana while its leadership team - including former CEO Ken Gramley, who just joined Pondurance - is expanding its reach to support and advance the tech ecosystem as a whole.
...if you're an investor, business leader or higher education official anywhere in the world, we'll be calling on you for your guidance, leadership & commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship in Indiana.

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