Indy & MarTech | Ann Arbor nurtures XR technology | Purina invests in startups
“Instead of one-way interruption, Web marketing is about delivering useful content at just the right moment that a buyer needs it.” — David Meerman Scott, online marketing strategist
February 18, 2021
LAYOVER IN INDY
Tracing the DNA of Indy’s Martech startup boom
Image courtesy Pixabay
The big bang for a burgeoning tech hub is sometimes hard to pinpoint, but for Indianapolis it was definitely the $2.5 billion acquisition in 2012 of ExactTarget, a locally funded email marketing automation company, by sector giant Salesforce.
Since then, tech startups have exploded in Indiana's capital. Accelerator TechPoint lists 350 startups in the 2 million metro. Much, but not all, of the activity has been around sales and marketing tech, a booming sector.
ExactTarget wasn’t Indy’s first tech startup success. Angie’s List moved to Indy in 1996, just a year after being founded in Columbus, OH, and IBM spent $200 million to purchase Software Artistry in 1999. (Bob Compton, the prime mover of Software Artistry and investor in several dozen other tech companies, is considered the Johnny Appleseed of the Indy tech boom.)
But after the Dot.Com 1 bust, economic leaders in a lot of towns were leery of tech startups, and Indy was no exception. Local firms that weathered the bust continued to show steady growth, and then came the ExactTarget deal.
The more, the merrier
Back in the real world, Indy keeps landing deals:
Canopy, a SaaS platform that can identify and alert sales and revenue leaders to risks and opportunities that might impact their pipeline, raised $2 million in seed funding in 2020.
Pattern89, an AI and tech marketing company, raised $2 million in growth capital funding to gain more insights into the elements that drive advertising success.
SmarterHQ, an advanced segmentation and orchestration engine for enterprise eCommerce, was acquired in November 2020 by retail marketing tech company Wunderkind.
Money always helps
What’s driving this growth? In 2018, VentureBeat talked to former ExactTarget execs about the tech startup climate in Indy and found that the SaaS deal brought more than just an enormous influx of capital to town. But it was an ENORMOUS influx, and it’s fostered a climate that embraces risk.
ExactTarget’s leadership DNA can be found in a slew of Indy marketing SaaS startups, Including Sigstr, Zylo, and Conga. And this success has fueled ongoing interest from coastal tech giants; Salesforce and Infosys have been steadily adding more jobs year after year.
If you'd like more insight from an ExactTarget founder, the Fast Frontiers podcast interviewed Scott Dorsey this past December.
As the health insurance industry shifts to data-driven quality measurement, health systems are aligning around value-based care. Toward that goal, Pittsburgh-based UPMC Enterprises has spun out a digital health care quality company called Astrata.
New way to deliver drugs
Researchers with the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center and North Dakota State University have designed a new way to deliver pancreatic cancer drugs that could make fighting the disease much easier.
Healthcare innovation in Indy
Indy’s Regenstrief Institute is partnering with Boomerang Ventures in order to expand the reach of healthcare-related innovations and help bring research from concept to market. Boomerang Ventures is also locating its headquarters within 16 Tech’s Innovation hub.
Ann Arbor nurtures XR technology
Ann Arbor SPARK, in partnership with the University of Michigan, has created an internship program to connect students with growing startups in gaming and XR.
Early detection of COVID in children
Wayne State University researchers are working on an AI-assisted cloud and mobile system that would help with early detection of severe SARS-CoV-2 illness in children.
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FUELING THE FUTURE
What is fueling Flyover Country innovation? In this weekly feature, we share a variety of announcements covering funding, acquisitions, exits, grants, and everything in between. Got something to celebrate? Click here to share your story.
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NAME THAT FLYOVER CITY!
It's time for our favorite trivia game!
From World War I through the 1960s, more than 6 million Black Americans migrated north in search of better jobs and to escape violence perpetrated by domestic terrorists like the KKK. Today’s trivia looks at some of the cities that played an important part in the migration. Here are the questions:
Click here for today's answers.
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