Tech Momentum Continues in Indiana

The hits keep coming for Indiana’s growing tech sector. The announcement that San Francisco-based Appirio has designated Indianapolis as its corporate headquarters is the latest in a string of positive news for the sector.

The cloud services company says its goal is to add more than 420 employees in Indy over the next five years. In a text exchange, High Alpha Managing Director and ExactTarget co-founder Scott Dorsey told me it is “enormous validation” for the Indy tech community.

I agree.

Importantly, it is part of an emerging narrative, in particular about the Indy region, that I’m hearing both on and off-camera. Chicago-based Geofeedia opened an Indy office, in part because of what Vice President of Product R.J. Talyor calls the ‘tech vibe’ in central Indiana.

New York-based Return Path Chief Marketing Officer Scott Roth says he’s ‘blown away’ by the tech talent in the Indy region. The New York-based company, which opened an office here in January, is now at 40 employees, with plans to be ‘north of 100’ in the next couple of years.

Speaking of tech growth…the Purdue Research Foundation and its research park network continue to expand.

Look for the latest addition to the Purdue Research Park family, the Aerospace District, to announce its first major tenant soon. “We’ve tapped the keg, the music is on, now it’s who’s coming to the party,” laughs Purdue Research Foundation President Dan Hasler. “We’ve had a lot of good activity, it’s been a couple of months, and I hope to have an announcement sometime very soon.”

Hasler and his team at Purdue have been on a roll. He recently announced a $12 million, 60,000 square-foot expansion of the Herman and Heddy Kurz Technology Center in West Lafayette, which he says has been ‘bursting at the seams’ for several years. He tells me space issues at the Purdue Research Park in New Albany will likely result in an expansion there as well.

In July, Purdue reported record-breaking commercialization activity, including 40 startups, with more than half of them based on Purdue-licensed intellectual property. The university also reported healthy increases in global and U.S. patents issued, invention disclosures and licensing deals.

Congrats, Indiana State University. The Terre Haute campus recently reported its sixth consecutive record freshman enrollment and all-time record total enrollment of 13,600. The previous enrollment mark was set in 1970.

And more is changing at ISU than enrollment numbers. 

The campus has become markedly more attractive, the school’s academic mission more focused and there is an intentional effort to connect with the community.

 The university recently opened a $22.7 million student housing complex in the heart of downtown Terre Haute. In 2012, the historic former Terre Haute Post Office and Federal Building became home to the ISU Scott College of Business, following a $30 million renovation.

What’s driving the positive news at ISU?

Leadership.

Since arriving at ISU in 2008, President Dan Bradley and wife Cheri have been a breath of fresh air for a school that needed a boost of self-confidence.

Momentum at ISU is important for the Wabash Valley. So, too, is continued business and community leadership from people like Clabber Girl, Inc. President Gary Morris, Greg Gibson and Bob Baesler, to name a few.

Here’s hoping the positive winds of change, and collaboration, continue to gain speed in Terre Haute.

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