McDonald: State Can Be More Tech-Friendly

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John McDonald is CEO of CloudOne. John McDonald is CEO of CloudOne.

Indianapolis-based CloudOne Inc. Chief Executive Officer John McDonald says he hopes the Holcomb administration will put a focus on making Indiana friendly to technology-focused and entrepreneurial businesses, and not just business in general. John McDonald says the industry's biggest potential threat is inaction, specifically in the area of the Internet of Things, which he calls "unquestionably the greatest opportunity" for the state.

McDonald says, since Indiana's economy is driven on manufacturing products, the state has a major interest in succeeding in IoT. He adds the state must be intentional to capitalize on the opportunity by working to attract venture capital and helping connect large and small companies that can come together to develop new technology.

Overall, McDonald says the tech community wants state leaders to focus on three things: talent attraction and retention, public polity to support entrepreneurs and capital. The industry continues to become more involved in the political process, indicated by last summer's launch of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce's Indiana Technology and Innovation Council. That effort is being led by chamber Vice President of Engagement and Innovation Policy Mark Lawrance, and is made up of representatives of the chamber and its member companies. McDonald says the council will help put the right education in the minds of lawmakers and the right bills in front of them.

McDonald says a 10-year plan announced last year to accelerate entrepreneurship in the state is also "a great place to begin." He says the $1 billion investment involved in the proposal is key, adding, "you can't get water from a well that's dry." The plan, announced in July at the Innovation Showcase in Speedway, looks to support government, education and research institution efforts to spark and grow innovation throughout Indiana.

CloudOne has been a prime example of Indiana's tech growth. In April, the company announced a $9 million round of funding, coming after four consecutive years of more than 100 percent revenue growth. The Internet of Things tech services company has attracted nearly $22 million in equity investments since its founding in 2010.

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