Tech Effort Looks to Provide 'Tailwind'

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Organizers of a new statewide initiative are looking to bolster Indiana's tech startup community through education and promotion. TechPoint and the Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship say Tailwind will help entrepreneurs be more prepared and successful in the marketplace and with investor groups. The effort will include entrepreneurship bootcamps throughout the state and promotion of high-potential startups through TechPoint's social media and e-newsletter platforms.

August 12, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- TechPoint, Indiana's technology growth initiative, in partnership with the Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE) is launching Tailwind, an initiative aimed at growing Indiana's most promising innovation-driven tech startups. The new initiative aims to increase entrepreneurial education, startup promotion and investment to help tech startups accelerate their growth.

"The Tailwind initiative ensures that all rural and urban Indiana tech-startups have access to Indiana's full portfolio of resources for accelerating business growth," said Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann. "This is yet another way the Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship is working with partners to ensure that our best programs are accessible statewide; confirming that Indiana is a state that works for entrepreneurs."

The name pays homage to the Tailwind Group, led by Jeff Cristee, area vice president at Cisco, who in the early 2000s helped companies including startup success stories like ExactTarget and Performance Assessment Network connect with critical customers and resources.

Tailwind is a two-pronged approach.

• Education: For several years, thanks to support from Ice Miller, TechPoint has hosted a planned annual educational event called Entrepreneur Bootcamp, which provides tech startups with information on critical topics including fundraising, product development, staffing and investor relations. The support from OSBE catalyzes a partnership with Launch Indiana and expands the Entrepreneur Bootcamp to an 11-event statewide series.

• Promotion: Through TechPoint's blog on TechPoint.org and through TechPoint's social media channels and e-newsletters (13,000 active subscribers), TechPoint will profile and promote more than a dozen startups to help them get the necessary visibility.

These activities will help equip Indiana tech startups to be prepared and more successful in the marketplace and in front of investor groups.

"TechPoint is a natural partner for the Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship," said Jacob Schpok, executive director of the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. "Every day, we receive over 1,000 points of contact from entrepreneurs starting and growing businesses. Tailwind ensures Indiana IT startups and existing businesses, who reach out to TechPoint or our offices, will receive the full range of resources available to support their efforts."

The technology sector in Indiana continues to grow at a steady pace. Earlier this year, a Forbes article named Indianapolis as one of the top 10 metro areas for technology job growth. In March, TechPoint released the first in a series of workforce reports, TechPoint Workforce Report: Employment Trends and the Demand for Computer-Related Talent in Central Indiana showing that computer-related employment from 2009-2012 in the Indianapolis-Carmel Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) grew 7.3 percent while job growth of all occupations in the same area grew 2 percent.

"Finding innovative ways to support our entrepreneurs and provide them with the right tools and resources will continue to fuel the growth of the tech sector not only in Indianapolis but statewide," said Mike Langellier, president and CEO of TechPoint. "This is about defragmenting the startup ecosystem and accelerating through collaboration the flow of resources that startups need. Bringing together organizations like TechPoint, OSBE, Launch Indiana and others helps to make that possible."

For more information about Tailwind, visit www.techpoint.org and click on the Tailwind tab.

About TechPoint

TechPoint is Indiana's technology growth initiative focused on being a powerful voice for Indiana's tech sector through marketing and thought leadership, and being a catalyst for strategic growth initiatives – specifically talent recruitment, entrepreneurship, and marketing tech and health information technology (HIT) cluster development. Visit www.techpoint.org for more information.

About Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Under the leadership of Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, the Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE) oversees the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and the Indiana Small Business Ombudsman. The OSBE staff helps grow the Indiana economy by assisting entrepreneurs and small businesses through programs and personal consultation. For more information on OSBE and to see how Indiana is "the state that works" for entrepreneurs visit www.osbe.in.gov.

Source: TechPoint