"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." – Benjamin Franklin
- Inside Indy's massive deal with Infosys
- Company automates social media
- A new way to track workers' safety data
- Turning organic waste into electricity
- Name that Flyover City!
February 19, 2020
Infosys invests $35 million in US education center
Photo courtesy of Infosys
IT giant Infosys is making a big investment in Indianapolis. The company is building a $245-million, 141-acre-campus on the site of an old airport terminal. The campus will include a 125,000-square-foot training center and a 250-person residential facility.
The U.S. Education Center will be a state-of-the-art training campus and residential center for Infosys employees. It will prepare the American workforce for the technology jobs of the future.
Infosys, which is based in Bangalore, India, is one of the largest IT firms in the world and ranks as the world’s 596th largest public company. The company, which had already moved part of its operations to Indy in 2018, has hired over 500 American workers and plans to hire 3,000 people in Indy by 2023.
Infosys made its fortune in the US by hiring Indian engineers and outsourcing their labor to US firms, but now plans to create 10,000 new American jobs. To woo Infosys, state and city officials are offering as much as $101.8 million in incentives, plus $17.8 million in real estate and infrastructure, which is the largest incentive package in state history.
“We’re so proud to call Infosys a key accelerator in our state’s thriving tech ecosystem,” said Governor Eric. J. Holcomb in a press release. “Infosys’ commitment to Indiana and their global clientele is making our capital city and state more connected than ever, and I’m thrilled with the progress we’re celebrating today.”
A social media startup with a $100B business plan
According to Smart Insights, 45% of the world’s population is currently on or has used social media, a 9% increase from last year. But according to Joshua Reid, founder of Cincinnati-based Inphlu, many companies are struggling to keep pace and seize new and expanding market opportunities.
Reid noticed this and came up with the idea to automate social media marketing and created an affordable monthly subscription-based service to jump-start businesses who are struggling getting the proper online exposure.
“Even for business owners that know how to create a Facebook page and keep it up to date, many don’t know how to study the data analytics to get the most out of their marketing. And they may not have the time or the resources to dedicate to figuring it out. That’s what Inphlu is for,” Reid told WCPO. He has named the company Inphlu, as in “influence.”
The firm has tapped into local resources such as Northern Kentucky University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship as well as Minority Business Accelerator Regional Chamber in Cincinnati, which have provided access to both young workers and needed funding.
Reid launched the company in December and said it’s on track to have 4,000 paid subscribers by the end of 2020 with millions of dollars in revenue. But he doesn’t plan to stop there. “Inphlu is a billion-dollar business plan,” Reid said.
He seems to have the right tools and resources in place to get Inphlu there.
Stenovate: Making life easier for legal transcript pros
Just when you thought life couldn't possibly be better for legal transcript professionals, KC legal tech startup Stenovate is set to go live this month—and founder Lauren Lawrence couldn’t be more excited. The project management platform for legal transcriptionists already has 860 wait-listed users who are soon to become paying customers.
The service is designed to simplify life for the legal transcript community—court reporters, transcriptionists, scopists, and proofreaders—by giving them a consolidated platform for managing their work.
A freelance court reporter herself, Lawrence is well acquainted with the challenges of the field. In an interview with the Journal of Court Reporting, she explained her reason for launching the startup:
“Have you ever tried something and then wondered how you ever lived without it? I know that’s going to be Stenovate. I’m so inspired by the court reporting community’s work ethic. My sole purpose right now is to save us time and headaches. I know how hard we work. I know how bad we need this.”
Lawrence gives major props to the Kansas City organizations that have helped her venture reach this point, especially the Fountain Innovation Fund, which recently provided a second investment. The funding enabled her to bring on a partner and gear up for more team growth and product updates.
Wearable tech to help keep your employees safe
Following a successful pilot program in 2019, West Des Moines-based startup MakuSafe is preparing for a major expansion in 2020. Loosely similar to Fitbit in terms of technology, the MakuSafe wearable device, once strapped to a person's arm, allows employers to track overall employee safety, measuring workspace environmental factors like room temperature, humidity levels, air quality, ambient light level, noise, and the like. The device will also record sudden abnormal movements, such as falls, or potentially problematic repetitive motions that could lead to long-term injury.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in the U.S. in 2018. 2018 figures from the Iowa Division of Labor, 42,500 workers in the state suffered on-the-job injuries and another 77 died from workplace accidents.
MakuSafe founder and CEO Gabriel Glynn, the son of a former machinist, was motivated to develop a device capable of automatically detecting workplace hazards to help protect workers while also helping companies save on workers' compensation claims.
With more than $1.5 million in investment this year alone, 2020 is shaping up nicely. Glynn plans to sell approximately 8,000 units to 100 companies, with plans to scale significantly in the following years once initial data is gathering and processed.
Bryon Snethen, a Des Moines-based risk improvement executive with EMC Insurance, was bullish on MakuSafe's prospects, stating, “I think it's going to change the game.”
Turning organic waste into electricity
Score another victory for renewable energy in Flyover Country. Enexor Bioenergy, a suburban Nashville company, will begin selling its Bio-200 renewable energy systems this year. The company makes small-scale energy systems that turn organic waste into electricity.
The units resemble a small trailer or storage pod and are ideal for commercial clients, especially those in remote areas. The company plans to hire 75 employees over the next three years. It’s raised $7.5 million since its founding in 2015 and is currently working on another round of funding.
The company’s modular units convert organic waste into electricity, generating 75 kilowatts of power per hour. In goes cardboard and manure and out comes electricity: win-win. The company expects the product to be popular with hotels and hospitals, with eventual plans to move into African and Asian markets, especially those located on islands. Islands typically have a strong demand for electricity and large amounts of organic waste to dispose of, so it’s a perfect fit.
It's ... Name that Flyover city!
Useless information that is strangely fascinating.
- This city is home to a sports stadium that holds the Guinness World Record for loudest crown roar.
- This city is home to the Dana-Thomas House, one of the best-preserved examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Prairie period” dwellings.
- The city is the site of the National Civil Rights Museum.
Click here for today's answers.
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