John Rockefeller. Henry Ford. Larry Page. These names you may know. They are the fathers of some of the most successful startup companies in the United States. They are very much the reason that certain geographic economies are known as hubs of business and innovation.
Don Brown. Bill Oesterle. Scott Dorsey. These names, while less likely recognizable on a national scale, are certainly some of the more well recognized names of whom founded their companies in Indianapolis Indiana and lit the spark that has catapulted Indianapolis as one of the fastest growing startup communities in the country.
During the early years of Indianapolis’ climb, the city was lucky to have people that could see the road ahead if we were able to be intentional about building an innovation hub. The concept for 16 Tech began circulating during this time. During these last two decades, we have witnessed explosive growth. In 2018, five big markets — San Francisco, New York, Boston, San Jose, and Los Angeles — still accounted for 77 percent of total capital invested into U.S. venture-backed companies. The city of Indianapolis has seen a higher compounded annual growth rate than these bigger hubs over the past five years, according to the National Venture Capital Association.
But it will take more than venture investment to truly drive a geographic innovation hub.
All this noted, the networks on each of the coasts have begun to take notice, and more specifically, the team at 1776 saw an opportunity to expand their network into the heartland. “When we learned of the opportunity to plant a flag in the midwest in Indianapolis, we did a swath of meetings with local leaders to identify if the city was ready to take advantage of our offerings and understand if we could make a difference. We found that there is a certain buzz to the Indy startup scene and it has just the right players at the table and the right ingredients to intentionally curate innovation and entrepreneurship.” said Jennifer Maher, CEO of 1776.
1776 is currently anchored along the eastern coast with 8 locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey. The organization focuses on providing space, programming, and connectivity to entrepreneurs. The draw to Indianapolis was clear; there was a growing community of entrepreneurs, clear strides in innovation, and an opportunity to come alongside community leaders that were interested in expanding the innovation footprint beyond tech.
As 16 Tech and 1776 work to open their location in the HqO building, you will see not only a place to plug in your laptop. You will find a place that delivers a common space to intersect the industries of technology, life sciences, food entrepreneurship, and makers. The location will be an epicenter of innovation and connectivity that will allow you to work, play, and eventually live. The teams of 1776 and 16 Tech are thrilled to have you join us along this journey!