2021 was a challenging year, but a strong one for Indiana’s technology sector. While final numbers for the year are still being tallied, the state set a new record for venture capital investment during the third quarter and TechPoint Chief Executive Officer Mike Langellier says the growth can be attributed to a blossoming startup community, as well as VC firms having more funds to invest. “They had to go through a lot of uncertainly at the beginning of COVID. It meant there was pent up capital to deploy going into 2021,” said Langellier.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Langellier said Indiana has companies that are poised for growth.
“We had three companies that raised over $100 million in one year: Greenlight Guru, OnBoard and then Formstack,” said Langellier. “Those are massive amounts of investment that signal big ambitions by the executives and entrepreneurs at those companies and big market opportunities for growth as well, and that means more and more opportunities for Hoosiers and big expectations for those companies as well.”
Langellier says the increasing number of startups contributed to the tech sector growth in Indiana last year. However, he says talent attraction has to remain a priority for the growth to be sustainable.
“With tech talent able to live in lots of different places around the country, it’s going to be increasingly important for communities to focus on quality of life and amenities to attract and retain that kind of talent,” he said. “That’s why the READI grants that the governor and the IEDC have championed are going to be really important and timely vehicles.”
He says TechPoint will increase its focus this year on boosting the tech talent base by developing talent within the state in addition to attracting from out of state.
“[We’ll have] an increased focus on bringing out tech community involvement earlier on into the education system to define the tech occupations that are available and then help to bring skilling programs and opportunities for people to get into those jobs and bring the educational system into even closer alignment with industry job needs.”
Langellier adds he hopes to see the return of in-person events within the tech community, such as the Mira Awards, in 2022.