Influential person: Bill Oesterle

Entrepreneur and community leader

Bill Oesterle co-founded Angie’s List in 1995 and built it into a consumer ratings powerhouse that expanded across the U.S. and went public in 2011. At its peak, Angie’s List employed nearly 2,000 people, most in Indianapolis.

Oesterle left the company in 2015 after canceling a $40 million downtown expansion project over his frustration about the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. And Angie’s was acquired two years later by New York-based IAC in 2017.

But Oesterle has continued his work to grow Indiana. He served as campaign manager for Mitch Daniels’ successful 2004 run for governor. He put together a group to buy the orphaned Angie’s List near-east-side campus, comprising four square blocks of restored buildings sitting in a depressed area, renaming it Elevator Hill. And he heads the startup TMap, which works to bring talent with Indiana connections back to the state.

Still, when asked to name his favorite project, he touts the Gov. Bob Orr Indiana Entrepreneurial Fellowship. “The program is now 20 years old and has helped inspire and educate hundreds of young Hoosier entrepreneurs,” Oesterle said.

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