About Innovatemap — 04.18.2024

How Teamwork Can Boost Indiana’s Tech Ecosystem

Mike Reynolds, CEO

CEO Mike Reynolds welcoming founders and tech leaders to Innovatemap's event at The AMP in Indianapolis.

The Indiana tech scene has gained traction over the last decade, earning national accolades and recognition, but ensuring its future success requires a continued, strategic team effort from the entire community. Maintaining—and growing—Indiana’s thriving tech industry will require every player in the ecosystem putting in the work to keep Indianapolis and the state topping lists, attracting talent and generating dollars.

The most successful tech communities have three pillars represented well: 

Indiana has all three players. However, the key is having founders, partners and investors working together to establish relationships, cultivate connections and grow the entire community in a way that benefits everyone.


Not long ago many tech founders in Indiana were serial entrepreneurs. A handful of these excellent founders were creating most new tech companies. That isn’t the case now. 

Many current founders didn’t begin their careers in the tech sector. Instead, they are experts in their fields ranging from healthcare to construction and more. This is incredibly valuable because that first-hand expertise allows them to create ideas they know will truly impact their industry. 

The biggest challenge for these founders is finding the right people to help bring their ideas to life.

Founders, especially first-time founders, need to plug into the tech scene that surrounds them to get to know the community that can support them moving forward. Often, I’ll talk to a founder who spent too much time trying to hit the ground running before knowing there was solid ground below their feet. 

For example, not all investors make early seed round investments. Spending too much time pitching an investor focused on later-stage companies is not going to be an efficient use of time for someone seeking early seed dollars. But that information doesn’t always present itself clearly. 

There is a vibrant community that exists for founders to lean on to get plugged in and meet the people who can help turn their ideas into reality. By attending tech gatherings, founders can connect with and better understand the local tech community. Seasoned founders and entrepreneurs can act as mentors to first-timers while continuing to deepen connections of their own within the community.


In addition to providing excellent services to help companies excel, partners also have an obligation to play the role of connectors between founders, investors and other partners. Over the last decade at Innovatemap, I’ve learned that not all founders realize the number of partners they may need to start and grow a company. 

This includes experts in industries like product, design, marketing, engineering legal and HR.

In Indiana, we’re fortunate to have several companies in these industries specializing in tech. These specialized partners should be working as a community to support founders. Strategic introductions are an important part of that. 

When partners are excellent in their craft and prioritize being a community connector, they can significantly accelerate a tech company’s growth. Indiana tech partners must continue to be active in the local communities they serve, making relevant introductions and recommendations and offering strategic advice not only when a contract is on the line, but anytime.


A challenge for investors today is knowing where to find promising founders. There isn’t a database that can be searched. Likewise, founders don’t always know where to find the right investors. This is in part because some Indiana investors aren’t investing full time so they’re not publicly sharing that they’re seeking investment opportunities. That’s why relationships are so valuable when it comes to investing. 

Investors must continue to come together and gather often. The best tech communities in the country know this winning recipe. One-to-one introductions are important, but large gatherings can ignite the right relationships much faster. I’ve been in the Indianapolis tech scene for more than two decades, and I’ve seen Indianapolis be exceptional at this. 

But there is room to grow.

There are growing tech communities in places like South Bend, Bloomington and other cities outside of our state’s capital. Investors must stay plugged in to these communities to continue financing the best tech the state has to offer.

The Indiana tech community is known for its collaboration and support, and that must continue to scale and meet the ecosystem’s growing needs. Founders, partners and investors should be aware of the roles and responsibilities we have in raising all our ships. Giving time, advice and introductions is essential to bolstering the tech industry as a whole. 

Consider leaving conversations both with an appreciation for the dialogue and a continued commitment to creating more connection within the community. Asking something like, “who is someone else you think I should meet,” is not a transactional statement. It’s a commitment to connection that will strengthen the journeys of founders, partners and investors alike and allow Indiana’s tech ecosystem to thrive.

Want to join efforts to boost our tech community? Let’s connect.