Hurt ’23 in the Local Selection Panel Interview

On my first day at Endeavor I had the opportunity to sit in on the Startup Genome Presentation which was created as a result of a partnershipbetween Startup Genome and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. The resulting report for Indiana included the following:

●Global Top 40 Emerging Ecosystem

●Top 15 North American Ecosystem in Affordable Talent

●Top 10 North American Emerging Ecosystem in Funding

Indiana’s greatest asset has to be our business-friendly climate and accessibility. It is easier to grow business through partnerships and mentorships that help guide entrepreneurs through market research, fundraising, and talent hiring. Nonetheless as a state, we need to be better salespersons. Again and again during meetings the question, “Why, Indianapolis popped up.” The typical answer would have been family friendly, hoosier hospitality, and nonsense such as “you can have a farm within city limits.” Another typical response I have heard many times throughout my time in Indianapolis has been, “There’s no big lakes, beaches, or mountains, but…” Hoosiers are awful at selling themselves. Yes, we may be hoosiers but our economy is attractive to startup businesses. The ecosystem is accessible and supportive as it is easy to get connected. The climate is business friendly; there is a low cost of doing business, tax incentives for investment and R&D, and public-private partnerships, which create local connectedness. We have huge opportunities to grow as the state’s startup companies, universities, businesses, and corporations are focused on some of the fastest growing tech sectors in the world. In 2021startups in Indiana broke records, as they raised $1.4 billion in 159 deals with around 30% of seed rounds clocking in at $1 million-plus (a larger percentage than in comparable startup ecosystems). Indiana holds unreaped promises. The blooming of our start-up ecosystem is only an indicator that there are many untold opportunities coming our way. Firms younger than five years old account for most of the new job creation, and as Indiana fosters a climate for entrepreneurship our economy will see the benefits of new jobs, talent, and markets. With that I commend those who have contributed to this massive segment within our economy, and I challenge my own peers and classmates to discover what creating a business in Indiana could look like.