The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association on Tuesday released its policy priorities for the 2023 legislative session. The organization said it plans to focus on topics including expanding access to capital, supporting a diverse tech workforce, and fueling tech job growth and entrepreneurship.
The ITIA said entrepreneurship is a key focus, citing Indiana being ranked 44th in the country for new entrepreneurs, according to the 2021 Kauffman Entrepreneurial Indicators.
“We need to do everything we can to support and accelerate entrepreneurship in Indiana,” ITIA Executive Director Jennifer Hallowell said in written remarks. “The State of Indiana can continue to lead by removing barriers to entrepreneurship and investing in the talent and capital needed to start and grow an innovation-based venture.”
The association says Indiana’s tech industry contributed $51 billion to the state’s GDP in 2021 with median tech wages 99% higher than the median state wage.
ITIA Board Chair David Becker, chief executive officer of Fishers-based First Internet Bank, said now is the time to accelerate the state’s commitment to supporting and growing high-wage, high-tech jobs.
“Indiana is well-positioned to embrace and be a leader in the innovation economy, but it’s going to take an intentional, collaborative effort to unleash capital, address our talent needs and dramatically boost entrepreneurship,” said Becker.
The association outlined its 2023 policy agenda Tuesday during its annual Legislative Update:
Policies that Expand Access to Capital at All Stages of Growth
- Continued and robust investment in the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, which funds critical and proven programs including Elevate Ventures and the SBIR/STTR matching grant program.
- Additional state investment into the Next Level Indiana Fund to further accelerate the availability of capital for Indiana companies at the growth stage.
- A focus on ensuring women, minority and veteran entrepreneurs have access to capital at all stages.
Policies that Develop, Attract and Retain a Diverse Tech Workforce
- Including computer science and technology as a high school graduation requirement to equip more students with technology skills, particularly girls and students of color.
- Funding and incentives for technology-focused career exploration and discovery programs, such as robotics.
- Support for apprenticeships, internships and other pathways into the tech industry.
- Incentives and efforts to retain and attract talent in Indiana.
Policies that Enable a Thriving Tech Ecosystem
- Removing barriers to entrepreneurship and a dedicated effort to support new business creation.
- A data privacy law that is interoperable with other state privacy laws in order to create consistent robust privacy protections and reduce implementation burdens.
- Continued expansion of high performing Certified Tech Parks (CTPs) by increasing the maximum allowable CTP capture.
- Efforts to accelerate broadband and fiber deployment.