A recent report found that while the tech industry is growing in Indiana, a vast majority of young businesses have fewer than 20 employees. The Indiana Technology and Innovation Association wants to push state lawmakers in the upcoming session to help grow small employers into larger ones.
Venture capital activity in the state declined in the most recent Indiana Chamber of Commerce 2021 report card, moving the state from 30th to 36th in the country.
In 2017, the state legislature passed $250 million through the Next Level Fund to invest in businesses and venture funds.
Mike Langellier is the CEO of TechPoint, a nonprofit growth accelerator based in Indianapolis. He said while the industry has seen growth, there’s still a lot of potential waiting to be untapped.
“We're trending in the right direction of companies that have started – and since 2010 and still exist – we're seeing growth there,” said Langellier. “But at the top end, those companies are not translating into large employers at the rate that we want them to.”
One of the organization’s priorities is to accelerate the deployment of the Next Level Fund dollars and create new venture capital funds for Indiana-based companies.
The association also plans to push state lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session to create policies that incentivize attracting tech talent and remote workers to Indiana.
The group reports there were more than 180,000 tech jobs posted this year in the state generating an economic impact of more than $50 billion.
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Langellier said the state has an opportunity to attract more remote workers whether they are employed by an Indiana-based company or not.
“There's a real business proposition that Indiana needs to consider,” he said. “And there are some opportunities from a policy standpoint for how we can put Indiana in the best position to compete there.”
Other legislative priorities for the organization include broadband expansion in the state and more direct domestic and international flights.
TechPoint is part of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. CICP also provides support for Indiana Public Broadcasting.