It’s no secret that the bloom is off the rose in legacy tech hubs where congestion, living expenses, and difficulty making a name for yourself (along with the rise in remote work) are fueling an exodus as tech workers and entrepreneurs seek better lives and careers.
Indiana is perfectly positioned to attract people who are looking to leave overcrowded areas
Ravi Bhatt, a cofounder of Branchfire, said that Indiana wasn’t a consideration 10 years ago when he and his fellow Indiana University grads were planning to launch their software company that provides solutions for writing, annotation and citation. He didn’t feel there were enough job opportunities in the tech sector should a new job not work out.
“That’s completely changed,” he said.
Last year as he and his wife, an attorney, and two children were all working and learning from their Chicago condo, Ravi had a thought. What was keeping them cooped up and frustrated in Chicago?
“We decided to test drive whether we could leave the city and all the complications that came with it, and work from Bloomington for a month,” he said.
The Bhatts are now permanently living and working from Bloomington in South Central Indiana, and Ravi is planning to move the company as well.
“For the kids, it was a sheer upgrade,” he said. “And for us, it’s been seamless.”
The Branchfire team is scattered across four cities already, and Ravi sees no reason to pull them permanently into one location, though he is looking for new office space in Bloomington. For young talent, especially, he says in-person collaboration and mentoring is important.
“Indiana produces so much great young talent, we know that’s not going to be an issue,” he said. “The increase in venture capital investment in Hoosier companies is also encouraging.”
Ravi’s experience is echoed by companies like UGroup, (Washington D.C.) Celigo (Bay Area), Wunderkind (New York), Jobvite (San Mateo) and Tangoe (Parsippany N.J.) which each chose to relocate their headquarters or expand their presence in Indiana recently. For other entrepreneurs thinking it’s time for a better life in the Heartland, Indiana and its capital city Indianapolis offer the following:
Seven Reasons to Relocate Your Tech Business to Indiana
1. Indianapolis is a mid-sized city with huge reach and great quality of life
Tech is thriving in the Indy metro as well as in smaller cities like Bloomington, Terre Haute, Evansville and South Bend that are short drives away. Eighty percent of the country is within a day’s drive of Indianapolis, which boasts the best airport in the country. You take home way more of your paycheck here. You can own a home without going massively in debt. Your commute will have less congestion/traffic to fight. You can send your kids to better schools, and for employers, there are huge cost savings ($24M/yr) and a reduction in employee churn rates compared to legacy tech hubs.
2. Indiana is a legit tech hub
The city is home to Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud HQ, Infosys’ Technology & Innovation hub. Multiple (and growing) subsectors in cyber security, edge computing, sports tech and ed tech. Companies like Genesys, Jobvite, UKG and Tangoe that were involved in mergers and acquisitions chose Indy as their HQ or key tech centers rather than other cities where they were active. Companies like ActiveCampaign, Celigo, UGroup, and Wunderkind chose Indy to greatly expand their operations.
3. Indiana has a thriving startup community with venture capital
Startup activity here is hot and supported by nationally recognized organizations like High Alpha’s venture studio, two Techstars accelerators, Elevate Ventures and the state’s Next Level Fund.
4. Indianapolis is close to top research universities
The Talent Pool is robust and many tech entrepreneurs who’ve been successful stay to spin out new ventures. Top business and engineering schools like Purdue University, Indiana University, University of Notre Dame and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology produce thousands of young tech leaders each year, and unique internship programs and talent pipelines served by TechPoint and others are working hard to retain those students. Access to a deep talent pool is commonly cited by companies that have moved here, including UGroup, one of the area’s newest tech companies to expand to Indy specifically because of the “thriving tech climate and talent pool.”
5. Indiana has serious B2B SaaS strength
Having Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud HQ here deepened Indy’s reputation as a Martech town. Companies that work with Salesforce have clustered here, along with others that are breaking new ground in the subsectors.
6. Indiana is much more than just Martech
Other sectors also offer tech careers because tech is intersecting with every business now. Advanced Manufacturing (think Cummins, Rolls Royce, Raytheon, Subaru, etc…) LifeSciences (Lilly, Elanco, Regenstrief, Cook Medical) Ag Tech and Sports (NCAA, Colts, Pacers, Indy 500.)
7. Indiana has the quality of life tech talent wants
People who’ve never been to Indy are always surprised at how our Downtown has a big city feel, but the overall community still has a bit of small town charm. It’s an easy drive, walk, bike to just about any other part of the city. Nationally ranked museums, hotels, a great culinary scene, and sporting events are here. You can find some glimpses of that in our “Wish You Were Here” campaign. Amenities aside, an intangible but important factor is the opportunity to come in and be a big fish, to get involved and make an impact, even if you didn’t grow up here. It’s harder to get access to opportunity in a big city. Mid-sized cities often have a “where did you go to high school” clique-ishness. That’s not as present here Indy.
Indiana has long been considered a top destination point for affordability, friendliness, quality of life and work/life balance reasons. As the tech sector continues to expand across so many subsectors, that list is increasingly including great career opportunities as well. If you’re ready to explore Indiana, please let us know how we can help. Explore Life in Indy or reach out directly to us at https://techpoint.org/contact/.