Dozens of Indiana companies got a crucial opportunity Thursday to meet face-to-face with high-level representatives from venture capital firms from throughout the country. TechPoint’s Winners’ Circle, part of inX3 in Indianapolis, allowed 2017 Mira Winners to meet with 35 out-of-state firms. Michigan-based Grand Ventures Principal Maitlan Cramer said he was very impressed with what he saw, adding that the firm could be part of a local deal in the next six months. inX3 continues today with Indy Civic Hack.

Cramer spent the last five years in Silicon Valley, but believes there is plenty to offer in the Midwest for VCs. "Everybody is impressive," Cramer tells Inside INdiana Business, "and everyone is collaborative, so that’s another great piece."

He says one of the biggest challenges for Indiana and the rest of the Midwest has been retaining top entrepreneurial and tech talent.

"The problem is a lot of those engineers are leaving to go to the coasts, New York, San Francisco," says Cramer. "What we want to do is we want to be fresh capital to let these entrepreneurs know that you can stay here in the Midwest and build a great business because Fortune 500 companies that are early paying customers are here too."

Indy Civic Hack runs from 5:30 p.m. this afternoon to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Union 525 in downtown Indianapolis. As part of the event, teams of innovators, coders and developers will tackle challenges posed by the City of Indianapolis.

inX3, billed as a celebration of innovation in Indiana, also included "An Almost Fail" event, which drew a standing-room-only crowd to discuss the role of failure in entrepreneurship success. It also featured a pitch competition, won by Jeffersonville-based Inscope Medical Solutions