Technology Industry Continues to Flourish in the Indianapolis Market
Indianapolis has a long legacy of innovating industries in a way that is distinctly its own—the technology sector being the latest example, which contributed $14.1B to the economy last year.
While partnerships with local universities and the resurgence of Indy’s downtown has done a great deal to help the tech industry expand by attracting young talent, we also have the culture to thank, which is distinctly un-Silicon-Valley. Unlike the coastal tech hubs, Indianapolis offers a collaborative, supportive, and trusting environment—Midwest nice, if you will—where work ethic and integrity are highly valued. It appeals to people who dream big and want the opportunity to see those dreams realized.
These ideals represent our own values, so when local venture studio High Alpha approached us about moving their headquarters to Bottleworks District, we knew we had a great partnership on our hands. We spoke with High Alpha’s Kristian Anderson, and other thought leaders in the tech industry across the Midwest to better understand what tech companies are looking for and what makes the Indianapolis tech scene stand apart.
On Finding the Right Space
Kristian Anderson, High Alpha
"We had come to a place of own volition where we knew we’d need more space. It most likely was not going to be where we are currently. What was important was to be downtown—we didn’t want to move to the burbs—we wanted to be in proximity to the energy and progressiveness in downtown Indianapolis.
After connecting with Isaac [Vice President at Hendricks Commercial Properties] and doing research around Hendricks, we really connected with their unique worldview when it comes to how they build and develop, not just buildings, but the local communities. We spoke to lots of people and one thing that kept bubbling up to the top was that the buildings Hendricks has had a hand in tend to stand apart. Thoughtful and world-class not just in their design, but in their bones. They really build for the long-term and that shows both in the design of the development and in terms of the quality of their development.
It became really clear to us that they were as much interviewing us as we were interviewing them. The way they build for the long-term is typified in their structures and their approach in building relationships. "
On TECH IN THE MIDWEST
Chelsea Linder, gBETA
"Values are a little bit different here. In the Midwest we have a work hard mentality—work as hard as you can to make it happen. That makes the Midwest really special. And we really value weaving the ladder down. Once you climb the ladder and have success, you need to give back and share your knowledge with those starting to climb."
Troy Vosseller, gener8tor
"The real benefit of the Midwest is the increase in grit. For example, we look at the annual seed accelerator rankings every year. There used to be a lot of organic Midwest accelerators in the top 15, but most of those have slid down the rankings. At gener8tor, we’ve managed to punch above our weight class and stay near the top the past 4 years. We can do this here in the Midwest and compete with the best in the business—it’s a David vs. Goliath mentality, it fuels us."
On THE DRAW OF INDIANAPOLIS
Tim Kopp, Hyde Park Venture Partners
"Pound for pound Indianapolis has become the strongest market we cover. Our firm is headquartered in Chicago, but we placed a big bet on Indy to be the next big tech breakout market. From amazing entrepreneurs, mentors, and access to universities, to talent, and now capital—Indy has all the makings of a major tech hub."
Kristian Anderson, High Alpha
"Among other things, great tech communities need to be open, progressive, collaborative communities that assimilate outsiders quickly. Indy is quite good at assimilating new people, but the reality is it’s a very meritocracy driven community. People don’t care who your daddy was or where you went to college, they’re interested in what you’re working on now. And that’s attractive to a lot of people.
At Bottleworks, we’re excited for the opportunity to provide a space for the local tech scene to grow and make their own, right in the heart of the bustling Mass Ave neighborhood. We look forward to welcoming High Alpha in the summer of 2020."