Innovation accelerates business

November 6, 2012
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Days like this make me realize how lucky I am to write about entrepreneurship, to seek out and share the big ideas that often start in small business.

I started thinking about this last week, when I was preparing for a “quick-fire” presentation at TechPoint’s 2012 Innovation Summit. (My sincere apologies to anyone who ignored my advice to use those 10 minutes for a bathroom break.) If not for the persistence and passion of folks willing to try something new, we might still be voting by poking a sharp stick through a paper ballot.

Sound farfetched? Tell that to Florida residents who just 12 years ago found themselves at the center of Political Firestorm Chad. I was one of them, and I still get headaches when I hear the word “recount.”

Think about how far we have come since then—and not just at the voting booth.

Perhaps the most vivid local business example is ExactTarget, which in 2000 was a bootstrapped startup testing the relatively new e-mail marketing waters. Today it is an interactive marketing giant with a market value of $1.5 billion.

And it’s far from alone. As J.K. Wall reported in IBJ this week, Indianapolis produced 66 Inc. 500 companies from 2001 to 2010—more per capita than all but five other large U.S. metro areas.

High growth doesn’t necessarily mean high tech, but most of Indianapolis’ Inc. 500 entries use technology to accelerate their business in some way. Our world is changing so fast it’s easy to forget what life was like before e-mail or cell phones or push-button ballots.

Events like the Innovation Summit or last month’s Startup Bowl provide a valuable reminder not only of the progress we’ve made, but also how much farther we can go.

I look forward to following the developments. How about you?


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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.