When you think of industry in Indiana, you might think of agriculture or manufacturing – but the word "tech" probably doesn't come to mind. That's because Indiana has historically been considered a flyover zone for people traveling to tech companies on the coasts.
But Indiana – and the city of Indianapolis in particular – has emerged in recent years as something of a tech hotbed in its own right.
There are plenty of reasons for this unlikely trend. State universities are emphasizing innovation and entrepreneurship in their curriculums, and many talented college students are getting their feet wet with valuable internships at companies like ExactTarget and digitalrelevance.
Indiana generally has business friendly policies that have incentivized entrepreneurs to invest here. Finally, there’s the crucial workforce element; many younger workers interested in tech are choosing to stay here rather than move to the coasts – reversing to some degree the “brain drain” that’s concerned state leaders for so many years.
Many tech businesses in the Indianapolis area relate to some aspect of digital marketing. As of 2010, there were more than 70 “measured marketing” businesses statewide that involved technologies related to search, email marketing, social media and mobile, according to TechPoint, the state’s technology initiative. New tech startups continue to emerge thanks to a statewide network of tech incubators, as well as the availability of seed funding and startup communities.
Here is an alphabetical listing of some of the many tech notables in the Indianapolis area:
Aprimo provides integrated marketing management software and services. Aprimo was acquired by data warehousing firm Teradata in 2011; today Aprimo is part of Teradata Applications along with eCircle, which Teradata acquired last year.
Bluelock serves enterprise and mid-size clients with a portfolio of cloud computing products including virtual datacenters, hybrid cloud configurations and recovery-as-a-service. The company hosts datacenters in Indianapolis and Las Vegas, Nev.
ChaCha will answer your questions in real-time online and on mobile devices for free. With more than a billion questions answered in an “ask a smart friend” format, ChaCha has become a major player in the Q&A space.
Launched in 2007, Compendium offers a comprehensive content marketing platform. Clients like Indiana University and Bass Pro Shops use the company’s calendar-based tool for content planning, production, publishing, promotion and reporting.
Privately owned Delivra provides email marketing software and consulting services. Delivra software tools involve editing, segmentation, automation triggers, personalization, SMS/text messaging, real-time reports and integration with other marketing campaigns.
Among the best known of the Indy tech companies is ExactTarget, which sells interactive software for email marketing, social media marketing, mobile marketing and more. ExactTarget is well-known for its “Orange” culture and its presence in international markets.
Formstack is a privately held company that enables clients to build customizable online forms to collect information like registrations, payments and email addresses. Launched in 2006, Formstack has some 300,000 users in 110 countries.
Interactive Intelligence provides contact center, unified communications and business process automation software to enterprise and mid-size companies. In business since 1994, Interactive Intelligence serves brands including BMW, Coca-Cola, Honda Motor Company and Sony.
Right On Interactive is a marketing automation company that provides solutions for customer scoring, lead nurturing, reporting and analysis, email marketing, and more. Founded in 2006, Right On has more than 300 customers.
Parking technologies is the specialty of T2 Systems, which serves municipalities, colleges, medical facilities, event venues and other types of organizations. T2 Flex, the company’s flagship cloud product, unifies parking management tasks into one system that provides data insights into a customer’s parking operations.
These are just a few of the many companies that are turning Indy into a tech powerhouse. So what are your thoughts about Indy as a Tech hub? Which of these companies were you previously familiar with and which ones deserve the most credit for raising the city’s profile in the Tech space? And what companies have been left out that should have made the list?