INDIANAPOLIS - The chief executive officer of TechPoint says the response to the "Wish You Were Here" campaign exceeded expectations. The state's technology accelerator has partnered with Indianapolis-based TMap LLC in an effort to bring former Hoosiers currently working out of state back to Indiana. Mike Langellier said they had hoped for 100-150 applicants and ended up with nearly 400 from throughout the country.

Nearly 30 applicants were chosen to come to Indianapolis this weekend to learn about the tech community, which included a red carpet experience Thursday evening. In an interview at the event with Mary-Rachel Redman, Langellier said looking for experienced talent is similar to the search for college talent.

"A lot of people don't know and one of the things we always say is once they come here, they love it; you just have to get them here," said Langellier. "This was us doubling down on let's just get them here and let's show them what's possible. There's enough interest, enough pain in other places and this place has emerged to a place of credibility where there are enough people that say, 'You know what, I am interested but I want to see it.' By packaging it all together, we gave them something easy to say yes to."

The initiative targeted tech employees with an average of 10 years of experience, who may have been working in areas that don't have as many industry resources as Indianapolis or traditional tech hubs where living has become unsustainable, according to Langellier. He says the highest number of applicants came from areas including California, Chicago, and Texas.

Langellier says the participants will spend Friday interviewing with 14 Indy-area tech companies and some have already received and accepted offers. They will also take part in tours along the Cultural Trail in Indianapolis and learning about housing, schools and other important aspects of moving to a new city.

"We have about a dozen Indy insiders that we've selected that are actually hosting small groups of the folks that are here for dinner, either at their house or at a restaurant, so they can hear real-life, what's it like to live here," Langellier said.

Langellier says their goal is to have at least 10 of the participants to make the move back to Indianapolis. However, because there were so many applicants, he says that has created a pipeline of people who are also interested in coming back and organizers will continue to connect those people with Indy-area tech companies.