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  • November 19, 2020 3:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    • Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA), the statewide association of Indiana’s technology-driven companies and partners, today announced its 2021 policy agenda during a virtual meeting with tech industry leaders and state legislators co-hosted by TechPoint.

      Technology is Indiana’s fastest growing sector, with more than 184,000 net tech jobs this year creating a $15.6B impact on our economy. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on innovation and entrepreneurship that fuels tech job growth. According to new Kauffman Foundation research, the pandemic caused a sharp decline (37%) in new business creation in the first weeks of the pandemic, yielding a larger impact on entrepreneurship than the Great Recession. 

      Key to ITIA’s policy priorities this year will be shoring up support for state programs and efforts that facilitate entrepreneurs, drive new business creation, help grow tech and innovation jobs and attract tech talent to fuel our state’s economic recovery.

      “Ensuring Indiana’s entrepreneurs and startups have access to capital, talent and resources to grow companies and create jobs is more urgent now than ever before as our state and local economies work to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said David Becker, President and CEO of First Internet Bank and ITIA Board Chair. “Now is the time to double down on Indiana’s support for entrepreneurs, innovators, startups and small businesses as an engine to fuel our recovery, and ensure that Indiana is best positioned to welcome the tech jobs and workers of the future.”

      ITIA’s policy priorities include efforts to expand access to capital for Indiana technology companies, grow the tech talent pipeline, enhance quality of life and place in Indiana, and improve diversity, inclusion and equity.

      ITIA formed a new Equity Committee this year to help identify and close equity gaps impacting underrepresented populations in the tech industry and beyond.

      “Absolutely critical to creating a thriving tech community are efforts to improve diversity, inclusion and equity in our state,” said Ade Olonoh, founder of Formstack and investor at Starting Line and Chair of ITIA’s new Equity Committee. “ITIA launched a new Equity Committee this year to do our part as an industry to combat inequities, and ensure Indiana’s growing tech and innovation community is vibrant, diverse and representative.”

      Below are highlights from ITIA’s policy agenda:

      Expand Access to Capital

    • Encourage robust investment in the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, which funds critical and proven programs to support entrepreneurs and early-stage tech companies, including the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants.
    • Strengthen commitment to the Venture Capital Investment tax credit program by raising the annual cap and supporting future expansions of the program to better compete with neighboring states that offer larger credits.
    • Invest in and accelerate deployment of the Next Level Fund, and focus on a dedicated state effort to promote, educate and facilitate the creation of new Indiana-based venture capital funds.

    • Grow Tech Talent Pipeline

    • Continued funding and resources to help Indiana schools meet the requirement to provide computer science education by 2021.
    • Incentivize and provide support for the creation of apprenticeships, internships and tech trade schools, and expand technology- and innovation-based Career & Technical Education (CTE) pathways.
    • Expand IT credentials offered through state workforce training programs including Next Level Jobs, and incentivize Indiana’s education institutions to offer IT credentialing.
    • Implement state- and local-based incentives for attracting individuals to move to Indiana who can work remotely, i.e. clarify that remote workers are eligible for EDGE tax credits.
    • Enhance Quality of Life and Place

    • Expand investment in the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program, and support the creation of state and local programs that help increase broadband adoption among consumers and businesses.
    • Continued support for high performing Certified Tech Parks (CTPs), and reauthorization of Indiana’s Entrepreneur and Enterprise District programs to encourage, develop and support entrepreneurship and small business development.
    • Identify and remove barriers to developing, testing and deploying autonomous vehicle technology.
    • Support efforts to make our state more friendly to clean energy technology and innovation, and oppose efforts to halt Indiana’s transition to clean and renewable energy sources.
    • Encourage the Indiana Destination Development Corporation to highlight companies, entrepreneurs and tech talent who have chosen Indiana as part of its efforts to rebrand and promote the State.

    • Improve Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

    • Require State-funded entities, such as the IEDC, Elevate Ventures, and Next Level Fund, that invest in Indiana businesses or venture funds receiving state dollars to record and report annually on the number of investments and the amount of money invested into women, minority and veteran owned companies.
    • Broaden Computer Science to be more representative of various tech disciplines to help attract girls and students of color to pursue tech credentials.
    • Support Governor Holcomb’s initiative to create a Public Disparity Portal to show how state programs are working and identify disparities.
    • Create a Statewide Public Law Enforcement Database and requirement for law enforcement agencies to collect, maintain and report data, including on egregious officer misconduct, detentions and use-of-force, as well as demographic information about arrests and detainees.

    ITIA’s complete policy priorities can be found here.

  • October 28, 2020 10:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    • Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA), the statewide association of Indiana’s technology-driven companies and partners, announced today it has elected its 2021-2022 Board of Directors.

      ITIA has expanded its Board from 15 to 20 members to reflect its growing, diverse statewide membership.

      The following five individuals have been elected by the ITIA membership as new members of the Board:

    • Ted Baker, CEO & Executive Director, Muncie Innovation Connector
    • Linda Calvin, Vice President of the School of Information Technology & Workforce Alignment, Ivy Tech Community College
    • Mike Halbig, Founder & CEO, InGen Technologies, Inc.
    • Kelli N. Jones, Co-Founder of Be Nimble Foundation & Managing Partner of Sixty8 Capital powered by Allos Ventures
    • Randy Parmerlee, CEO & Managing Partner, Glassboard

    • “ITIA is excited to grow and welcome new members to its Board of Directors,” said President & CEO of First Internet Bank David Becker, who serves as Chair of the ITIA Board of Directors. “Our new Board members are incredibly accomplished tech leaders who will bring diverse perspectives to our association, and we thank them for stepping up to serve. ITIA is continuing to grow and expand its statewide presence as we work to create the best environment for Indiana’s technology companies to thrive.”

      Below are the members of the 2021-2022 ITIA Board of Directors:

    • Ted Baker, CEO & Executive Director, Muncie Innovation Connector
    • David Becker, President & CEO, First Internet Bank
    • Linda Calvin, Vice President of the School of Information Technology & Workforce Alignment, Ivy Tech Community College
    • Christopher Day, CEO & Co Founder, DemandJump
    • Pat East, Executive Director, The Mill
    • Erin Eberly, Partner, Katz, Sapper & Miller
    • Megan Glover, CEO, 120Water
    • Mike Halbig, Founder & CEO, InGen Technologies, Inc.
    • Darye Henry, Founder, AfterSchool HQ
    • Kelli N. Jones, Co-Founder of Be Nimble Foundation & Managing Partner of Sixty8 Capital powered by Allos Ventures
    • Shelley Klingerman, Managing Entrepreneur, NEXT Studios
    • Mike Langellier, CEO, TechPoint
    • Kristin Marcuccilli, COO, STAR Financial Bank
    • John McDonald, Managing Entrepreneur at NEXT Studios & Founder and Chief Evangelist at ClearObject
    • Brent Oakley, CEO, Vibenomics
    • Ade Olonoh, Founder of Formstack & Venture Partner at Starting Line
    • Randy Parmerlee, CEO & Managing Partner, Glassboard
    • Bill Soards, President, AT&T Indiana
    • Amy Waggoner, Senior Director of State & Local Government Affairs for the Eastern U.S., Salesforce
    • John Wechsler, Founder and CEO of Launch Fishers & the Indiana IoT Lab

    ITIA is Indiana’s premiere voice for technology in the public policy and political arenas. Membership to ITIA is open to all technology-driven companies and partners. For more information about ITIA and membership, visit www.IndianaTechnology.org.

  • August 18, 2020 9:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA) released the following statement today following Governor Eric Holcomb’s statewide address calling for greater action to address equity and inclusion. 

    “The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association applauds Governor Holcomb’s pledge to address racial inequities in our state and to drive systemic change across all of state government to remove barriers to access and improve outcomes for minority populations. The action steps announced today are an important start, and ITIA urges the Governor to build on this initial commitment by championing long-term, meaningful reforms.

    ITIA formed an Equity Committee to identify and advocate for needed reforms, and we hope to share recommendations and opportunities to partner with the State on these efforts. ITIA stands ready to work with the Governor and the State on priority areas such as improving minority access to high-quality education and workforce training programs, identifying and addressing gaps in minority entrepreneurs’ access to resources and capital, and combatting racism that harms quality of life for the Black community in our state.” 

    In June, ITIA released a statement in support of the Black community and pledging to advocate for meaningful change. You can read the full statement here.

    The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA) is a statewide association of Indiana’s technology-driven companies and partners. ITIA is Indiana’s premier voice for technology in the public policy arena. For more information visit www.IndianaTechnology.org 

  • June 19, 2020 3:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Indiana’s premier voice for technology-related public policy urged action to address systemic racism it said has plagued the nation for too long.

    “We simply cannot have a thriving tech community in Indiana without diversity, inclusion and equality. These values are key pillars of our policy advocacy, but we know we must do more,” the Indiana Technology & Innovation Association said in a June 5 news release.

    “Our Place Policy Committee will take a hard look at how we can identify and advocate for specific policy proposals for the next legislative session to improve diversity and inclusion within the tech community and beyond, and to combat systemic racism in Indiana,” it said.

    “We also urge our state and local leaders to do the same, and work to enact meaningful policy reforms. We pledge to foster these conversations within our own association, listen and do our part to affect change.”

    Read more.

  • June 05, 2020 12:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA) released the following statement today: 

    “The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association rises in support of the black community and urges action to address the systemic racism that’s plagued our country and its citizens for too long. We simply cannot have a thriving tech community in Indiana without diversity, inclusion and equality. These values are key pillars of our policy advocacy, but we know we must do more. Our Place Policy Committee will take a hard look at how we can identify and advocate for specific policy proposals for the next legislative session to improve diversity and inclusion within the tech community and beyond, and to combat systemic racism in Indiana. We also urge our state and local leaders to do the same, and work to enact meaningful policy reforms. We pledge to foster these conversations within our own association, listen and do our part to affect change.”

    The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA) is a statewide association of Indiana’s technology-driven companies and partners. ITIA is Indiana’s premier voice for technology in the public policy arena. For more information visit www.IndianaTechnology.org 

  • April 01, 2020 9:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It took an extremely short amount of time for a group of 16 churches and local technology entrepreneurs to purchase 200,000 N95-type masks for around $280,000.

    With such a shortage of lifesaving PPE, a local tech entrepreneur in Fishers named Michael Slate wanted to do what he could for those on the frontlines of the fight against the coronavirus.

    Through a collaboration of Heartland Church, Slate's company Vendorjump, Launch Fishers and 15 other churches so far, hundreds of thousands of KN95 masks from Slate's team in Asia are on their way.

    The first batch of those masks are expected to get here by the end of the week and will be given to hospitals, first responders and longterm care facilities in Indianapolis for the fight against COVID-19.

    "I think that now is the greatest opportunity for us to be the 'big C' church," pastor Darryn Scheske of Heartland Church said. "We all sit in different buildings, but now we're all at home. There's a chance for us all to come together and do something compassionate."

    If you, your church or your organization would like to take part in this collaborative effort, you can find more information on donations at www.covidsupport.life.

    Those behind the effort said the window to place orders is narrowing as we get closer to the anticipated peak for the virus in Indiana.

    "We've got to act now in order to be prepared for this," said John Wechsler, Indiana IoT founder and CEO.

  • November 22, 2019 5:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When lawmakers created a certified technology park program in 2002, they were aiming to attract technology-based startups and high-wage jobs to Indiana, while fostering innovation through partnerships among companies and researchers.

    And to encourage investment at the sites—for things like infrastructure as well as shared labs and co-working spaces—the law allowed the parks to keep up to $5 million in tax revenue over their lifetimes that would have otherwise gone to state and local governments.

    But as the program is maturing, 17 of the state’s 23 tech parks have either hit or about to hit that $5 million cap—and the people who run the sites say that puts all their progress at risk.

    “We have to maintain our momentum,” said Ted Baker, the executive director of the Innovation Connector, a tech incubator in Ontario Place Certified Technology Park in Muncie.

    That’s why the Indiana Technology & Innovation Association has put expanding revenue for tech parks on its 2020 agenda. It’s one of nine priorities the association outlined this week at a reception with tech leaders and legislators at Salesforce Tower.

    “Indiana’s technology industry is experiencing tremendous growth,” said the association’s board chairman, David Becker, who is also president and CEO of First Internet Bank. “To continue this momentum, Indiana must embrace and position itself as a leader in the technology and innovation economy.”

    The group developed its initiatives after months of work by committees and broke the list into three categories: capital, place and talent.

    Some of the initiatives are aimed at lawmakers—like the proposal to boost the tax revenue diverted to tech parks—while others don’t need legislation, such as urging Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration to negotiate more non-stop domestic and international flights in and out of Indiana.

    The tech park proposal falls under the category of place.

    That effort actually started several years ago, as the first parks started reaching the $5 million cap. The administrators of the sites proposed that lawmakers let them keep up to $500,000 in tax revenue per year—money that, again, would otherwise go to the state and local governments.

    Baker said that would allow the parks to continue building and updating infrastructure as well as administer incubators and co-working spaces where many new businesses get their starts.

    “The $5 million helped get the parks established,” Baker said. “The $500,000 keeps them moving into the future. It’s propelling those tech parks that are in existence.”

    Ontario Place, for example, is home to more than 40 companies that employ more than 900 people, who earn an average of $68,000. Most of the companies, though, are small, Baker said, and need the services the park provides.

    But tech folks have struggled to persuade lawmakers of that need.

    After setting the proposal aside for two sessions, lawmakers this year agreed to give parks that have hit their caps up to $100,000 in annual tax revenue. But lawmakers also changed the calculation that determines what revenue the parks are eligible to collect, a move that significantly reduced the amount of money that could be available.

    Here’s how: The 2002 law set a base year for determining the revenue available for parks—with the goal of ensuring that only the taxes generated by new investment and activity could be captured.

    For example, say a community created a tech park in an area where a company or companies already existed. Whatever tax revenue was already being generated within the park’s boundaries would continue to flow to state and local government coffers. That amount became the baseline.

    In the following years, the parks were allowed to collect any additional revenue over the baseline—taxes created as new companies moved into the park or existing companies expanded and hired new employees—up to the $5 million cap.

    But this year, when lawmakers expanded the amount available to the tech parks by $100,000 per year, they set a new baseline. The results is that the parks can only capture the taxes paid on growth that occurs after they hit the $5 million cap.

    The change allowed the state and local governments to begin collecting revenue that had been diverted for years to the tech parks.

    But Baker said it’s just not enough revenue to maintain the work the parks and the incubators are doing.

    So in 2020, the association will ask lawmakers to reset the baseline to the original amount—and let tech parks collect up to $500,000 annually.

    “We believe that this would very beneficial to many, many communities,” Baker said.

    But it may also be a tough sell in a non-budget year. Lawmakers approve the state’s two-year budget in what they call long sessions, which occur in odd-numbered years. In even-numbered years, like 2020, they meet for less time and shy away from legislation that spends money or reduces tax revenue.

    That’s why most of the proposals on the tech association’s agenda for 2020 would not require new spending. The list does also include initiatives the group wants to pursue in 2021.

    “We were trying to narrow in on what we can accomplish in this legislative session but still be planning ahead,” said Jennifer Hallowell, the association’s manager. “We want to build toward the budget session in 2021.”

    Among the other proposals on the 2020 list:

    – Require state entities that invest in Indiana business—such as Elevate Ventures, which administers grants and programs for the Indiana Economic Development Corp.—annually report the amount of money they have invested in companies owned by women, minorities and veterans.

    – Add vendors of smart-technology products to the state’s list of contracted vendors to help local governments access the equipment more easily and affordably.

    – Encourage the state to develop cybersecurity guidelines and best practices to serve as a resource for local governments and help them access vetted cybersecurity products and providers.

    – Expand and update the state’s Next Level Jobs program—which provides training assistance for in-demand jobs—to include more technology occupations and certifications.

    – Allow companies that receive skills and training grants from the IEDC to use a portion of the money to pay relocation expenses for highly talented workers.

  • November 20, 2019 5:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association has released its 2020 Policy Agenda. The organization’s priorities include investing in more non-stop domestic and international flights to help connect Indiana businesses with industry leaders, recruiting and retaining talent, and supporting a statewide cybersecurity initiative.

     The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association is a statewide association of Indiana’s technology-driven companies and partners. The ITIA includes more than 120 technology companies throughout Indiana.

    “Indiana’s technology industry is experiencing tremendous growth. To continue this momentum, Indiana must embrace and position itself as a leader in the technology and innovation economy,” said David Becker, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Internet Bank, and Board Chair of the Indiana Technology & Innovation Association. “Our technology leaders have spent several months working on a tech policy agenda to expand access to venture capital, train and attract skilled talent, and make Indiana an attractive and supportive place to live and work in tech. We look forward to partnering with Indiana’s policy makers to advance this agenda and help Indiana’s technology industry and our state succeed.” 

    The ITIA’s 2020 Policy Agenda can be found below:  

    CAPITAL 

    • Innovation Research and Technology Transfer Grants: ITIA supports expanded efforts to promote the state’s 50% match of the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants, to provide support for entrepreneurs to help them navigate the application process, and to assist SBIR/STTR grant recipients with raising additional funding and commercializing their technology.
    • Investment Reporting: ITIA recommends that state entities that invest in Indiana businesses, such as Elevate Ventures and the 21 Fund, record and report annually on the number of investments and the amount of money invested into women, minority, and veteran-owned companies to encourage a focus on diversity.

    PLACE 

    • Nonstop Flights: ITIA supports continued investment in adding more non-stop domestic and international flights to help connect Indiana businesses with major industry hubs. 
    • Certified Tech Parks: ITIA supports the expansion of high performing Certified Tech Parks (CTPs) by increasing the maximum allowable CTP capture per year from $100,000 to $500,000 and removing the automatic reset of the CTP base year once the initial $5 million cap is reached. 
    • Smart Cities: ITIA supports a dedicated effort by the state to add smart technology products and providers to the state’s list of Quantity Purchase Agreements to help local governments access and implement these technologies to more effectively and efficiently deliver city services. 
    • Data Privacy: ITIA supports the adoption of federal data privacy legislation to protect consumer data, rather than a patchwork of state-by-state regulations in order to provide certainty and consistency to both consumers and businesses. 
    • Cybersecurity: ITIA encourages the state to facilitate the development of cybersecurity guidelines and best practices as a resource for local governments and help them access vetted cybersecurity products and providers. 

    TALENT 

    • Next Level Jobs: ITIA supports efforts to update and expand the Next Level Jobs program to ensure that the definition of in-demand jobs and trainings that are eligible for grant funding includes the technology jobs of tomorrow and to increase the number of IT training providers of high demand credentials (i.e. Comp TIA A+, Security+ and Network+) available to applicants.  
    • Talent Recruitment: ITIA urges the state to incorporate talent recruitment as a core tenet of economic development similar to how traditional strategies have focused on company relocation, and implement targeted and data-driven approaches to attract tech workers to relocate to Indiana.  
    • Relocation Costs: ITIA supports updating existing tools and incentives, like the IEDC’s Skills Enhancement Fund which provides assistance for employee training, to include employee relocation costs to assist in bringing high-value talent to Indiana, in particular for smaller employers.  

     


  • November 20, 2019 9:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association announced its 2020 Policy Agenda today during a reception with tech leaders and legislators at Salesforce Tower, hosted in partnership with TechPoint. 

    The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA), which launched on Organization Day last year, is a statewide association of Indiana’s technology-driven companies and partners. ITIA represents more than 120 technology companies and partners across the state, and Indiana’s fastest growing industry.   

    Technology job postings in Indiana increased by 85% over the last year, with more than 184,000 new tech jobs added to our economy (CompTIA Cyberstates 2019). Indiana tech employment is projected to grow nearly 7.6% between 2018 and 2026; more than Illinois (5.1%), Michigan (5.6%) and Ohio (4.6%) (CompTIA Cyberstates 2019).  

    ITIA’s policy priorities address three core pillars critical to advancing Indiana’s technology industry – Capital, Place and Talent. 

    Indiana’s technology industry is experiencing tremendous growth. To continue this momentum, Indiana must embrace and position itself as a leader in the technology and innovation economy,” said  David Becker, President and CEO of First Internet Bank, and Board Chair of the Indiana Technology & Innovation Association. “Our technology leaders have spent several months working on a tech policy agenda to expand access to venture capital, train and attract skilled talent, and make Indiana an attractive and supportive place to live and work in tech. We look forward to partnering with Indiana’s policy makers to advance this agenda and help Indiana’s technology industry and our state succeed.” 

    ITIA’s 2020 Policy Agenda includes the following priorities: 

    CAPITAL 

    • Innovation Research and Technology Transfer Grants: ITIA supports expanded efforts to promote the state’s 50% match of the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants, to provide support for entrepreneurs to help them navigate the application process, and to assist SBIR/STTR grant recipients with raising additional funding and commercializing their technology.
    • Investment Reporting: ITIA recommends that state entities that invest in Indiana businesses, such as Elevate Ventures and the 21 Fund, record and report annually on the number of investments and the amount of money invested into women, minority, and veteran-owned companies to encourage a focus on diversity.

    PLACE 

    • Nonstop Flights: ITIA supports continued investment in adding more non-stop domestic and international flights to help connect Indiana businesses with major industry hubs. 
    • Certified Tech Parks: ITIA supports the expansion of high performing Certified Tech Parks (CTPs) by increasing the maximum allowable CTP capture per year from $100,000 to $500,000 and removing the automatic reset of the CTP base year once the initial $5 million cap is reached. 
    • Smart Cities: ITIA supports a dedicated effort by the state to add smart technology products and providers to the state’s list of Quantity Purchase Agreements to help local governments access and implement these technologies to more effectively and efficiently deliver city services. 
    • Data Privacy: ITIA supports the adoption of federal data privacy legislation to protect consumer data, rather than a patchwork of state-by-state regulations in order to provide certainty and consistency to both consumers and businesses. 
    • Cybersecurity: ITIA encourages the state to facilitate the development of cybersecurity guidelines and best practices as a resource for local governments and help them access vetted cybersecurity products and providers. 

    TALENT 

    • Next Level Jobs: ITIA supports efforts to update and expand the Next Level Jobs program to ensure that the definition of in-demand jobs and trainings that are eligible for grant funding includes the technology jobs of tomorrow and to increase the number of IT training providers of high demand credentials (i.e. Comp TIA A+, Security+ and Network+) available to applicants.  
    • Talent Recruitment: ITIA urges the state to incorporate talent recruitment as a core tenet of economic development similar to how traditional strategies have focused on company relocation, and implement targeted and data-driven approaches to attract tech workers to relocate to Indiana.  
    • Relocation Costs: ITIA supports updating existing tools and incentives, like the IEDC’s Skills Enhancement Fund which provides assistance for employee training, to include employee relocation costs to assist in bringing high-value talent to Indiana, in particular for smaller employers.  

    To download ITIA’s full Policy Agenda which contains 2020 Agenda items and Looking Forward policy priorities, click here  

    The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA) is a statewide association of Indiana’s technology-driven companies and partners. Our member companies put technology at the heart of what they do. ITIA is Indiana’s premier voice for technology in the public policy arena. For more information visit www.IndianaTechnology.org 

  • August 14, 2019 5:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Indiana Technology & Innovation Association officials visited Fort Wayne late last month for an Aptera-hosted event explaining the organization’s mission and how the region’s tech community can help shape public policy.

    Hundreds of industries have organizations at the Statehouse representing their interests, but until ITIA was formed in Indianapolis last year, the technology industry did not have one, Jennifer Hallowell, ITIA manager, said during the visit.

    Techpoint works on the development of Indiana’s tech ecosystem, helping it build community and attract talent and resources, but it doesn’t get into government advocacy and lobbying. Instead, it supports ITIA efforts along those lines, she said. Mike Langellier, Techpoint’s president and CEO, serves on ITIA’s board.

    To maximize ITIA’s impact, “it’s really important to have voices from all over the state of Indiana — not just central Indiana — advising, guiding, shepherding, changing, fixing, educating our legislators on what we need in all parts of our state,” said John McDonald, Clear Object CEO and ITIA board member.

    “The people who make those policies, the state legislators, need to hear from them about what’s important to them. And, if they’re not there, their voices have not been heard,” he said.

    The regional tech community’s involvement with ITIA also is important as a means of keeping up with new resources and opportunities that become available through the organization’s advocacy for the technology industry, McDonald said.

    Discussion at the event included a review of programs “that are available through the state to assist technology companies and unfortunately, very few people that were here tonight knew about them, let alone knew that they were for them,” he said shortly after the event.

    A 2019 legislative recap the organization presented boasted ITIA helped secure $3 million per year in state funding for the Next Level Computer Science Program, which will make sure every school in Indiana is offering computer science education by 2021.

    It also helped restore $30 million per year in state funding for the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, which supports tech-related entrepreneurship and research as well as academic technology transfer.

    “There were a couple of different times during the legislative session that some of those funding mechanisms were challenged. So, when the Senate version of the budget came out, there were cuts in computer science education for schools and cuts in the 21 Fund,” Hallowell said.

    “Our members mobilized and worked to get the funding levels restored to what they originally were,” she said.

    ITIA also advocated successfully for legislation that made venture capital investment tax credits transferable to third parties, which was designed to help Indiana attract more out-of-state venture capital investment.

    Other legislation and initiatives receiving ITIA support included those providing tax incentives for data centers, Gov. Eric Holcomb’s $100 million rural broadband initiative and a bias crimes law allowing judges to increase criminal penalties for hate crimes.

    ITIA also supported the governor’s initiative to double funding for Next Level Employer Training Grants and Workforce Ready Grants designed to upskill Indiana workers in high-wage, high-demand fields.

    https://www.fwbusiness.com/fwbusiness/article_7d7240f8-a386-5529-b6cf-0acbeeaa1804.html

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