Technology Power Breakfast transcript

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Indianapolis Business Journal gathered leaders for a Technology Power Breakfast panel discussion March 14.

Panel members included Christopher Clapp, president and CEO Bluelock; Greg Deason, vice president, Purdue Research Foundation; Marie Kerbeshian, vice president, Office of Technology Commercialization, Indiana University Research & Technology Corp.; Michael Langellier, CEO, TechPoint; Dustin Sapp, president; TinderBox; John Wechsler, serial entrepreneur, Launch Fishers founder

The following is an unedited transcript of the discussion:


HUMAN: Good morning, everyone. TGIF and
for you math nerds out there, today's date is 3-14, so happy
pi day.

HUMAN: I am pretty excited today. The
past year has been an unbelievable year for the technology
industry in Indianapolis. There has been some big, big news
so we have a lot to go over today. But first, please let me
introduce to you our wonderful panel that we have been able
to pull together for this event.

First we have Christopher
Clapp. He is CEO of Bluelock, a cloud based IT services firm
here in Indianapolis. Over his 30-plus year career, he held
a slew of leadership positions for tech firms in the city
while also investing in several others. He does dabble a
little bit as well in philanthropy including work at Teach
for America and Conner Prairie where he is chairman of the
board. He graduated from Purdue University with a degree in
industrial engineering.

Next we have Greg Deason. Greg is a vice president
at the Purdue Research Foundation and is also executive
director of the Purdue Foundry where he leads a team
dedicated to accelerating startup activity at the University.
Greg is a Purdue graduate himself and he has held several
other positions there at the university where he has helped
the school expand its technology and entrepreneurial

Marie Kerbeshian is vice president at the Office of
Technology Commercialization at the Indiana University
Technology and Research Corporation. There she works with
IU's researchers to identify, protect, and help commercialize
the technologies they come up with. She has worked in
technology commercialization for 16 years with almost five of
those at IU. She previously worked at the University of
Virginia where she was executive director and CEO of the
school's technology transfer program. She has a PhD from the
University of Texas at Austin and a Masters degree from
Wellesley College.

Michael Langellier is the CEO of TechPoint, the
nonprofit initiative that promotes the technology sector in
both Indianapolis and the rest of the state and fosters
startup activity. A Depauw University graduate, he worked
for Baker Hill which Experian Information Services aquired in
2005. He and a business partner later started the company My
Jibe, a personal finance software developer. The company
Money Desktop bought My Jibe within a year of its being in

Dustin Sapp, he probably knows about as much about
enterpreneurship as anybody in this city. He graduated from
Rose Hulman then first cofounded the company NoInk
Communication which he sold in 2004 to silicon valley firm
2 Every Path. The following year he launched Vontoo which he
led until 2009. Today is president and CEO of the up and
coming firm TinderBox, a web based platform that businesses
use to manage sales proposals, presentations, and

And last we have John Wechsler. He has spent most of
his professional life helping launch and run startups and
other high growth companies. In 2000 John, who has a
marketing degree from IU, founded Wishoo, one of the first
digital photo sharing web apps before he sold it to an Israli
venture firm. He also helped launch and run the company
Formstack. In more recent years he has been a partner at
Developer Town before he then started Launch Fishers, the
coworking space for startups below the Hamilton East Library
in Fishers. He has also taken the mentorship role statewide
with the recent unveiling of Launch Indiana.
So before we begin with the rest of our program, why
don't we please first give a round of applause for our

HUMAN: Well, thanks again everyone for
giving us your time this morning. To reiterate, I just want
to preempt everything by saying that we do have a lot of
ground to cover so I ask that we keep things pretty concise
in your responses and keep things within just a couple of
minutes. Everyone is welcome to weigh in after someone else
has, but we do need to keep things progressing forward fairly

I do want to begin our discussion this morning with
the big story of the year, ExactTarget and its two and a half
billion dollar acquisition by Salesforce. That's going to
have a huge ripple effect, but also there has been a lot else
going on in relation to that so I was hoping that we could
just have some of you weigh in a little bit in terms of just
what you are seeing in terms of technology activity, what
kinds of innovations are we seeing, what kinds of big changes
in business deals are we seeing in your respective career

CLAPP: I will be hapy to take that. We
have infrastructure business, we are not paying special
attention to the pure consumer side, but seeing as it made
headlines in our industry in things you read about in the
papers, availability and security issues, so we all have been
reading about airlines, reservation systems that are going
down, stopping flights, Target breach, and now of course the
NSA issues so the pressure gets put on us to justify as cloud
provider technologists how we are going to deal with these

So it has taken the issues that have typically been
in the back office up to the executive table and even the
3 board level because these are now so dependent on these
technologies that are day-to-day that it becomes newsworthy
when they no longer function. So right now it is a
double-edge sword for businesses like ours because people are
spooked and have extra concerns, but it is also good for
businesses like us because they will be looking for expertise
in addressing these very real issues.

DEASON: If I could just piggyback off
those comments. One of the very exciting things that
happened up in West Lafayette is the emergence of more
computer security firms that are moving next to the
university, specifically in the Purdue Research Park. EMC,
which is a large corporation there in the security division,
RSA, openened an anti-fraud center in the research park. We
also had Cyprus Electronics move into the park and that adds
to a growing number of companies in that area. So I think it
really echos what Chris is talking about, they are doing this
so they can leverage a lot of the computer security work that
is led by Gene Spafford at Purdue, but I think more
importantly, they are also trying to make sure that they get
a grab on the best talent that is available through the
university and by being close that's giving them that
opportunity. We are glad to see some big name companies make
that kind of move to leverage those kinds of assets as well.

LANGELLIER: You have startups as well.
Emerging threats that are up there in the security space,
too. I think that one for some context, you mentioned the
size of the ExactTarget acquisition, just for context on
that, in 2013 there were — it was a fairly active
acquisition year and from what I have been able to see
ExactTarget was the largest tech acquisition behind the
Microsoft acquisition of Nokia and also Sourcefire by Cisco.
So just in the national scheme of things, 2013 I would say
was very, very big acquisitions.
And I think that it has put an exclamation point
on — there has been a lot of talk about marketing
technology, and I think that that has put an exclamation
point on the fact of having to go through a large, large
concentration, specifically in that area, and we have — we
have not only ExactTarget but also Primo, Autobase, Pendium,
Angie's List, I Go Digital, that just had transactions or
acquisition or IPOs just since 2007. And so of that 4.5
billion, it is about 3.8 of that is just from those
companies, and that is about 3300 employees. And we estimate
it is about 50,000 businesses and millions of consumers that
are served by those customers. So it made a huge impact on
helping to kind of, again, further catalyze that element. We
have to be — we have to not only be focused on how are we
more efficient and both from a cost perspective, from a tax
perspective, things like that, but we also have to focus on 4
where are we good, and marketing technology is an area that
we are particularly good.

HUMAN: Now, with the deal like
ExactTarget and the other ones you just mentioned, Mike, $2.5
billion of a company being acquired, that is going to mean a
whole lot of things to a whole lot of people locally. Have
we seen any kind of immediate impact from this deal? What
are we going to be seeing five or ten years from now because
of this?

SAPP: There is no question we have seen
an immediate impact and it is all across the board. One of
the nice side effects that relates to your last question is,
those acquisitions all have a B2B component to them. But
what are we good at? We are midwestern, we are good at
servicing people. But what has allowed that to happen is a
little bit of focus off of the inflated value of consumer
applications that have no real strong revenue model and point
towards strong B2B ROI driven companies that, you know,
companies like ours that focus on increasing top line and
reducing bottom line businesses that have a much stronger
base and foundation. We are getting more attention to those
areas. So whether that's locally and more local dollars are
being invested in the community and in companies like ours,
employees branching out, either mentoring or starting with
other companies, or outside investors. My inbox, and I'm
sure several people here, my inbox and voice mailbox are full
with investors from the coast saying what's going on in
Indianapolis, what's happening. When you look at that list
and repeat that list over and over again, it is insane when
we are known for the Speedway and the Colts. So that will
continue to build more and more and get that flywheel
spinning faster and faster.

HUMAN: What do we need to do to ensure
that all this new capital stays local and keeps fueling our
businesses here in town?

WECHSLER: One thing I would add to the
discussion is not only the capital, there is a lot of money
obviously and a lot of wealth was created there for
individual investors and employees, but there is a wealth of
experience that was gained over that time frame and if you
look at — I have personally seen a direct impact with
companies like Blue Ridge Digital and Tim Hoff (phonetic)
spending, you know, an awful lot of time mentoring Santiago
and the team there. That translates into great potential for
fund raising down the road, but I believe that the experience
that was gained over this same time frame is equally

LANGELLIER: Smart money.
SAPP: And to your direct question, that
is how you ensure those dollars stay in Indiana. The last
thing you should do is try to guilt people to invest in
Indiana. That's the last thing that should happen. They
have a fiscal responsibility to themselves, their families,
their God if they have one to get the best return on their
investment possible. If that's outside of Indiana, frankly I
say they should do that. So our job is to create the best
companies here, and create the ecosystem that allows
investable growth in the city to encourage that investment.
If you have two companies of equal value, then yes, maybe
guilt it to stay in Indiana at that point in time. But if
they have got better investment opportunities, let them do
it. Don't complain. Build a better business here to keep
that money here.

DEASON: I think also just to add one
other thought there, you know, we want to recycle as well the
teams that have had these kinds of successes. If you go back
and look at some of the history that has been very well
covered by the IBJ on this All for Artistry experience, for
example, and what Don Brown did and many others with
Interactive Intelligence, we just had the announcement a few
weeks ago about Fritz French and Demarkey (phonetic) and
they're making another run, a new company. I mean I think
these are — these kinds of events also produce an
opportunity because investors want to invest in teams. We
all know that. They invest in the people and so I am very
hopeful that these kinds of activities not only put us on the
map but this is a great opportunity for some of the teams
that have been here and the experiences they have had to be
very compelling in their next venture to bring capital and
keep it here in Indiana.

LANGELLIER: To the point of the
recycling, too, that's where we have seen Battery Ventures is
a perfect example. They have won on ExactTarget and they
have won on Angie's List, and now that money is coming back
around to invest in a smarter market. So I think it is,
again, you can just point to and concentrate on things that
we are particularly good at it enables additional resources.

SAPP: Which we have the access in this
building right now and frankly it is up to us in this room
not to screw it up. That's what it amounts to.

KERBESHIAN: Well, it does lead to that
point that I do think the time is critical. When I first
came to Indiana, I heard a lot of, well, we don't have oceans
and we don't have mountains so we are going to rely on
home-grown talent, and I do think that's critical, but we
also have to keep in mind that there are other cities,
Minneapolis, Cinncinati, Nashville that are trying to stake
out their claim to a tech success and so I think we have
really got to focus on growing this ecosystem. From the
university standpoint, I see wonderful students that years

ago would have left for the coasts wanting to stay and what I
see from the successes we are talking about is that we now
have mentors in the community who are going to be able to
help those students stay in this area and grow their own

HUMAN: It seems like there is a pretty
large emphasis on the need for our experienced business
leaders to be able to continue growing this ecosystem that is
so needed. What do we need to do to ensure that we have more
of these mentor types that stick around and help?

LANGELLIER: I think we just need to
connect them. We just need to involve them and John is a
perfect example of that action.

WECHSLER: I think to that point, a lot of
this is just creating opportunities and then making those
connections. From there the relationships develop and kind
of take on their own. The initiative that Mike is
referencing is Launch Indiana that we have just recently
announced and it is really a — think of Launch Fishers and
Speak Easy and places like that as the place, Launch Indiana
are the people behind the places and it is basically
initiative to bring experienced entrepreneurial mentors in
touch with the high potential entrepreneurs throughout the
state with the express mission of creating more high
potential start-up successes in the state. I think that is
probably the best, kind of back to Dustin's point,
opportunity to repeat to create wealth and investment capital
back to the state, is to create more of those successes, do
them organically and not buy them and bring them into the
state, but let's create them here. The acquisition of cool
companies and bring them to the state is a big part of the
overall strategy, but a real lever in this equation is the
creation of heightened potential startups.

CLAPP: So I think one of the things that
shouldn't get lost, but talking about the context of mentors,
but actually most of these people that have had these
successes have stayed engaged and in control. They may take
a short sabbatical, but almost every company that you
mentioned in your list, those people were senior leadership
or director level leadership decisions in companies where
they were learning the ropes. So it is not just a matter of
staying out of the fray and mentoring and investing, it is
really about engaging and immersing in these businesses and
that can't be overstated how important when you build great
companies like ExactTarget and you see what a great culture
it is, what a high-performance culture it is, and that that
propagates. So it is actually staying engaged. I am glad
people like Scott Webber and all these other folks that
stayed, Don Brown, repeat the successes.

LANGELLIER: A perfect example, I mean
Scott out of — most recently out of Autobase, coming out of
Autobase, but even out of Software Artistry, through Halo
Capital, recognized the Bit Pal as a very small young company
and it needed that, kind of both the capital and experience
that he brought to bear. Now that company is one of the
fastest growing in this category in the state, so there are
mechanisms that happen today, Launch Indiana is another, so
we have got the machine.

HUMAN: For those of you who have raised
money for a company in recent years, can you — is there any
kind of a general climate that you guys can describe right
now for what it is like in Indianapolis?

SAPP: Sure. I would say barriers are
dropping a little bit. You still have philosophically a
difference between the coasts and here on what size of
company should be investable. Most folks don't realize that
a $5 million budget in the valley is equated to about a
million dollar budget here in Indianapolis. So there is
still a bit of that cultural shift in coastal money coming in
and trying to scale a business here. The reality is, as I
have had my companies and funded my companies, that the
number of inquiries that we have of folks wanting to invest
is going up. The number of folks willing to get on a plane
for board meetings or jump on a conference call, those
barriers are coming down slowly. I think it still takes a
little bit of time, Battery has figured it out, Scale has
figured it out, but a number of them still haven't quite made
the mental shift to say, okay, a 1400 square foot house
doesn't have to be a million dollars. You can grow an
aggressive inside sales team in Indianapolis for the price of
one executive in the Valley.

HUMAN: Why the midwest? What is getting
the investors' interest from the coasts or other states to
come here?

SAPP: Success begets success begets
success. I started my first company here in 2000. What was
the success? It was Auto Trade. All these other companies
are having success, we are starting then, and now you see
that momentum continue to build and that flywheel continuing
to spin faster and faster, and that's why I say the best way
to increase the investment here is to continue to push and
innovate and succeed and build good companies. The only way
you increase that momentum is by doing it yourself and
continue to grow them.

KERBESHIAN: On the university side, we
are often trying to help faculty and students who are
starting very early stage technologies, turning them into
companies with non-grant funding. And for years we have been
hearing from the grant sources, the federal granting agencies
their interest in translational research, moving things
forward, but to be honest, that often doesn't come back down
to reality. But we have just begun to see that change. In
fact, through our startup support program at IU Spin Up, we
recently received very favorable news from the NIH on one of
our tech companies, Demoda (phonetic), that if you had asked
me a year ago would a federal grant come to help this company
move things forward, I would have said no, it is really too
much on the development side of the research and development
pathway. But we have had several surprises in the past year
where it does seem like the granting agencies are finally
putting the money behind their comments. So from a
university standpoint, that's very encouraging.

DEASON: We are tryig to leverage some of
the same kinds of resources. I think many of us know about
the SBIR program but one of the things we are now doing at
the Foundry is a lot of times people just don't get around to
getting it written so we are providing support to that. Some
of them have gotten those funds. Now, how does that relate
to your specific question? When you look at that, these
companies are getting say 150,000, that runway is a little
longer in Indiana and so they are able to get further in the
development of their product making that more investable
because they are further down the road. I think the other
important thing that's happening on our end, we just
announced the Foundry Investment Fund, something that we have
worked on with Cook. We already had our first round of
applicants on that and there were some great science based
life sciences companies in there, just two of those were in
the process and had term sheets for $25 million and so we are
seeing interest. We want that fund to be a magnet though
because it follows, it follows that smart money and so we
want them to look at Indiana as a place where they can get a
little more leverage and it matches up to 30 percent of those
investments. So we are seeing some great things there. I
would also say that one of the great things that the
universities bring to this is we have got a wealth of alumni
that can be activated in this process. Purdue has about
450,000 living alumni. Many of them have gone on to start
venture capital funds. For example, Foundation Capital is an
example of that out on the west coast. We are leveraging
those relationships with the alumni, activating a different
kind of alumni engagement. They can get involved in
mentoring, they can get involved in investing. We hope that
that alliance, that they already have an affinity to Purdue,
will allow them to put some money here in the state as well.

HUMAN: So besides the money, besides the
people be they university alumni or experienced business
leaders, what else does this area need in terms of the
resources to foster more startup activity and technology?

SAPP: Well, and I actually want to not
correct but get on something a little bit. We say the money,
I don't want to miss the fact that we also have very good
infrastructure locally and regionally with all of those
elements as well, even from a money standpoint, the seed
state with gravity ventures or Halo Capital or Halo Ventures,
we have good investable dollars in this state and a very
strong angel community. We have got great talent, we have
got great universities, we have all the assets that it takes
to succeed. I think a lot of it is continue organization of
programs like what John and Mike are doing and frankly just
support. One of the greatest assets our city has, our region
has is this rising type of talent that says we will help when
asked. There is not a single person I have met in this
business community, as long as they have time and they are in
town, they will sit down with me and spend time with me and
help me solve a problem regardless of what they have at
stake. You won't find that in the coasts. So I think a lot
of it is simply visibility and organization around the raw
assets that we have because everything you need to grow a
business exists here, everything you need to build great
companies with rapid growth already exists here. I don't
want to lose sight of that. We should take a lot of pride in
that and be very aggressive in chasing it.

WECHSLER: And to kind of extend on that
point, if you look at The Rain Forest, the book by Victor
Wang, in some type of building the next Silicon Valley, he
looks at a lot of the nontangible parts; land, labor,
capital, entrepreneurship, all the traditional things that we
learn about and what builds an economy, that's one thing.
Things like the failure culture, the supportiveness of the
community, the risk tolerance, all those intangibles are that
next layer that give the entrepreneurs the confidence we will
need to step into that environment and try to start a
business. So I think we have made quantum leaps in a lot of
those intangibles over my business and Dustin's, our business
careers. It has really changed an awful lot. I mean it used
to be in Indianapolis, you know, 15, 20 years ago, if you
took a shot at a business and failed, you just packed up and
left because the culture here was such that it didn't accept
that kind of failure. Well, in the web and mobile and tech
and bio, you are not going to be right every time. A lot of
times you have to take a shot and sometimes now it is called
the pivot. So, you know, you find your way ultimately to
that right product market fit, and I think we are much more
accepting of entrepreneurs that come out with that mentality.

LANGELLIER: We do need a fundamentally
higher quantity of product builders and also company
builders. I think there are only so many Christopher Clapp's
that wins at Angel and then goes to run Bluelock. And
because of the recent successes we have more of those, but we
have to recycle them more quickly and think that's a huge —
on the business builder side, that's a huge opportunity to
interface with the university to directly identify
opportunities, hunt alumni that then could come in to provide
leadership in those specific companies. But then when it
comes to product builders, with all this tech activity, we
just need people to build product as well. I think until
last year in 2013 in the Indianapolis and Carmel in this
state alone, there were 9,000 computer-related job postings,
and our market is growing faster than the national average,
significantly faster than the national average. And so as a
result we need to fill that, and some of that is home grown
and some of that will be imported and we just need to be more
aggressive about it.

HUMAN: Mike, with some of what you were
just mentioning, I know all this stems from a lot of the
research work that TechPoint has been working on recently,
can you share with us more of the highlights of what you guys
have pulled together?

LANGELLIER: Sure. So everybody has on
their table a card, obviously the Mira Awards on May 3, and
that is on one side. If you guys want to come to the Oscars
of tech, right here.

SAPP: The nerd Oscars.

LANGELLIER: I will take it.

SAPP: That's what my wife calls it.

LANGELLIER: But on the other side the
study that Dan is referencing, we spent the second half of
last year with help from the Lilly Endowment and then also
Katz Sapper & Miller in affording us the opportunity to take
it a level deeper on something you may have seen last year or
a report that was released by CICP, the Patel Study, you may
have seen by Workforce. And one of the things I have
identified was that essentially it looked at do we need more
jobs or do we need more talent for those jobs, and what Patel
said that he found that particularly in tech, computer
related jobs, the demand for that talent outstrips the
supply. So we went a level deeper and we did a study which
will be rolled out in at least three different reports. The
first of which we are actually releasing today in partnership
with the IBJ. When you see the IBJ Daily today, we also will
be releasing the report. You can find that here, the
highlights from the study. But it will help — we did this
to help inform the community about what is the situation
right now, and this first bit is about this demand for talent
and particularly where that talent lies. So I mentioned
before about between 2009 and 2012, the computer related jobs
grew by 7.3 percent, which is more than three times 2 percent
growth across all occupations in that period. National
growth, national growth across occupations was actually
negative in that time period. So that speaks to that, the
significance of the computer related jobs here. We probably
all saw the Forbes ranking that came out a couple months ago
that ranks this area in the top ten metros in tech job
creation. So these all kind of speak to this opportunity.
We keep talking about more jobs, we need more high degree
jobs, we need more high wage jobs, and what we have learned
out of this as well is that the average computer related job
pays more than twice as much as the median job in this area.
The average software developer gets paid about $77,700. So
we are looking for these kind of jobs. It is just a perfect
opportunity for us to focus and step on the gas. We have got
this pent up demand to build.

HUMAN: Mike, one of the more grabbing
aspects of the report from my perspective is the fact that —
it is who is hiring these people, it is not just tech
companies as we know them. Looking at this list, the top ten
hirers of computer related employees, Interactive
Intelligence is the only true software company on this list.
We have got IU, Best Buy, Cummins, Ascension Health,
Wellpoint, CNO Financial. These guys all have very different
needs and expectations of their workers, can you weigh in a
little bit on this and what does this tell us about what we
need to do in terms of insuring that we are providing these
companies with the right kind of workers?

LANGELLIER: We all know that Marc
Andreessen article from 2011, "Software is Eating the World."
It is true. That's why we looked at product, tech companies,
tech service companies, and also tech enabled companies. We
were candidly actually really surprised about how many
companies are having to become tech companies that you
wouldn't traditionally think of them as such. And you
mentioned CNO Financial, you mentioned Cummins, you mentioned
Carlton Services, Indiana University a huge one as well.
These are all hiring a lot of talent so when we look at some
of the companies, you know, in the roster of companies we
talked about to date, we obviously think about them hiring
technical. We also have to think about the fact that there
are a lot of other companies that are hunting for that same
talent, and so it further reinforces the need for us to focus
on initiatives that help to meet that and fill that demand.

KERBESHIAN: I think that the university
side is seeing a lot of emphasis on educating people who can
do tech and what the company needs. The Kelley School of
Business has now for its undergrads a technology management
component events sponsored on campus. I went to an event
where you are getting together the programmers and the
psychologists and the music students and everyone is
recognizing that across the humanities, it is not just STEM
education, that everyone needs to understand tech, that's the
way to move it forward. I think that universities do a
fantastic job of integrating students across campus.

HUMAN: I do want to pause real quick andjust remind everyone that we are taking questions from the
audience either by Tweeting @IBJtech or you can write down a
question on a piece of paper and hand it to one of my
colleagues at the IBJ.
On that note, my next question, Dustin or
Christopher, you guys might be good ones to answer this one
because you are both running companies that are hiring quite
a bit these days. But the definition of a quote, unquote
high tech worker is changing quite a bit, pretty much every
day. One example would be maybe a marketer. They are
expected to have a lot more in the way of data, analytical
skills, a lot higher tech than those jobs traditionally would
have. Are we seeing this in any other kinds of jobs that you
guys are hiring for where maybe it was a non-tech position
traditionally that you now have a much higher expectation
these days for their tech skills?

CLAPP: I would be happy to take a cut at
that. It is very real. The vocabulary we use is that
everybody has to be comfortable with the technology domain at
least from the concepts level. So even the salespeople, the
finance people have to understand that all these issues as
well, marketing you pointed out specifically, so much data
analytics that we are trying to do in terms of an SEO and
understanding the hot spots, how people interact. And part
of that is so much of that interaction comes across
technology and the importance of our web site as
representative of us has increased over time. Well, now
enormous amounts of research before they will ever contact,
asked to be contacted, they don't want to go through the old
solution selling concept that was around for so many years.
Every single part of our business has got some technology
component even if it is only comfort with the language. And
so we are basically trying to grow our staff by 50 percent
this year and it has become a strategic issue and every
single week we are going to find some people, how do we reach
out to beyond our central Indiana area and that technology
comfort is actually essential.

HUMAN: What do we need to do to ensure
that our entire work force, not just our engineers and not
just technicians, are ready to meet these kinds of

SAPP: Well, it depends on what profile
you are talking about in the work force. If you are talking
about college grads coming into the work force your 22 to 30
year olds, nothing. I mean they are growing up in it. What
they need to be taught is how to work in a business
environment, right? How to write longer than 140 characters
and use punctuation. The little things.

SAPP: So in that age group and that
demographic it is assumed that there is a comfort level with
technology. Frankly in our hiring, do they have a web based
presence. If they do, they use social media then I know they
have at least some level of comfort from a technology
standpoint and frankly they have a leg up in that department
over somebody that's 40 or 50 years old in many cases. Now,
hopefully the 40-year-old can communicate more effectively.
So you don't have the same millinial issues that you have
with an older age bracket so you have got to find folks that
have — that have gone up that learning curve and made sure
that they have kept up speed and engage as well. It is
amazing when we get a job applicant that doesn't have a
Linked In profile, something as simple as a Linked In
profile, I won't pay attention to their resume. Won't even
look at it. And we are, you know, and Christopher are trying
to double our staff this year, and that is an immediate no-go
if they don't know how to work in a web-based environment. I
don't need them to know code. The reality is I am an
engineer, the best product typically doesn't win, it's the
best market strategy. But you have got to be — like you
mentioned, you have got to be comfortable selling in an
environment, in a technology environment. I could not care
less if you know code or not. I need a comfort level so that
we don't have to teach it.

HUMAN: Dustin, you just brought up an
interesting point a second ago with mentioning Linked In and
that just jarred my memory from a conversation a few of us
were having before breakfast this morning about how you guys
are using the various social networks to your advantage as
executives of a company. Can you just weigh in a little bit
in terms of what works for you and what doesn't in terms of
just how you use Linked In or Facebook or Twitter to run your
business day to day?

SAPP: I think an example I used this
morning, if you are dumb enough to put a half-naked drunken
picture of yourself on Facebook, a public forum, I don't want
you representing my company. So that goes back to just the
maturity level. You can learn so much about somebody by
Googling their name. And when I talk to college classes, I
explain that that is your resume. Your web profile is your
resume and you will get Googled by every smart employer in
the world. So that's a big way we use it is to vet
candidates to see how full of crap they are based on what
they said on their application they brought into us. You get
a much more real sense for if all they do is tag pictures on
Instagram, do we want that in the company? So we do a lot of
that, but we also do a lot of selling through social media
identifying who are the right buyers, profiles of certain
companies looked at from a sales environment. I would say if
you have got great technology but we are a sales and
marketing company, our job is to get our technology in the
hands of our customers and make money. God bless capitalism.
So we leverage those environments to really understand who we
should be selling to, how we should be selling it, what
people we need to bring in to a sale engagement to make sure
that we are talking to the right folks.

HUMAN: Okay. I am going to completely
change gears here and go back to something that was brought
up earlier and the strong presence of marketing technology
within Indianapolis, but besides marketing what else within
technology is a broader category do we have strengths in.

KERBESHIAN: I think certainly from IU's
perspective I think it is likely that the emergence of health
IT, you know, talking about the difference on are you capable
with using technology or not. You know, we have young
physicians who are using the medical records versus my father
who is a physician who just finds himself spending hours a
day trying to figure out the computer thing. But I think we
are seeing on the other side that we have a lot of people who
are taking things that used to be done on paper, used to be
done face to face, and thinking very broadly about how we can
turn that into a technology so that we are able to deliver
care faster, cheaper, better, more experienced. Again, I
think we are just at the cusp of the early doctors moving
things forward to now that it is becoming de rigor. I mean
you wouldn't even think of doing it without.

DEASON: I think when you kind of also
boil down the big three challenges facing society long term,
I think arguably you can say food and water quality, health
care related, and also energy, those are going to have
staying power going forward in terms of just categories. We
have got demographics suggesting how important those will be
over time, but I think one of the interesting things that
gets back a bit to the IT mode, we have the ability to
capture big data sets. We haven't always had the ability to
interpret those, so we are seeing a tremendous amount of
interest in how those are interpreted to produce health care
outcomes. For example, our college of agriculture at Purdue
is world-renowned and it is really a college of not only
agriculture, but it is science, it is economics, but even in
that arena we are seeing using those kinds of data points in
technologies to produce the opportunity to optimize inputs
and maximize in your profit margin. We are also seeing those
opportunities manifesting themselves and making precision ag
type decisions. In other words, that would limit the amount
of pesticides, for example, that you would apply to an apple
orchard. You have got a company that is able to monitor
insect populations in real time. I think the devices we all
carry around come very interesting to this equation because
you can have early identification in that kind of space.
So we are excited about that and I think some of these things
are going to dovetail very nicely with the ag and food
initiative that biocrossroads is working on right now. I
think that's going to give some momentum in these areas as
well. But we have been excited through the Foundry to see
the number of big data that are aimed at producing solutions
in those big three areas.

HUMAN: I do want to go back to marketing
technology because that undeniably is a big, big presence
here in this city, but how is it that we got here? How did
marketing technology of all areas of technology get to be
such a prominent cluster of business within Indianapolis?

WECHSLER: One thing we talked about last
year was a group of about a dozen or so of us with the
Startup America Group where this came through. There was
this discussion of trying to find that DNA and how did we
define ourselves with that, and I think for proper
attribution, this went back to Jeaneatte Tebow (phonetic),
the Extra Partners, she coined the term "Unsexy tech," and
the idea that our humble roots and our drive for customer
service and our willingness to quit and do a job that doesn't
necessarily seem really sexy or high profile, the web
consumer, all the headlines, but to actually take a step back
and say, okay, how do you build a strong enterprise and what
kind of software would make that go? And I just think there
is this ethos, this DNA inside the community here that will
look at businesses with a different perspective. Not how do
we get the headline or how do we do the really sexy thing,
but how do we build a strong, meaningful, lasting business?
And that is really probably at the core of a lot of these
companies that we are talking about and it is probably a big
part of our future. And if you look at emerging — you know,
you asked about beyond marketing tech, you know, mobile is a
really easy one to see kind of aggregating here as a
significant part, not only the transformative technologies
like Blue Ridge Digital, you think about absence of surface,
but at press or the team at Gusto, which is really a
transformative mobile app. You know, the ability to have a
cluster of that type of technology and to-market thinking, it
just creates more of that because the students in the
universities come in, they learn a little bit about it, they
have some ideas, and it just starts to build.

HUMAN: Sticking with marketing technology
as a topic, there is some pretty interesting broader
international type trends that are affecting that particular
area of business. One that has caught my attention as of
late is just this greater concept of the Internet of Things.
I know most of us in this audience are probably familiar with
it, but in case you're not, this is the notion that pretty
much everything we own some day is going to be connected to
the internet, not just our phones or our computers. And
there is within marketing technology some pretty good
potential to use these devices connected to the Internet as
another marketing channel. I know ExactTarget is already
doing some work in this fashion. I guess what other kinds of
innovations or new develops do you think we can see from
Internet of Things working together with marketing
technology? Anything?

WECHSLER: We are seeing an awful lot of
Arduuino and Raspberry Pi tinkering and I think a lot of the
serious enterprise starts with just kind of tinkering and
people just want to start exploring how these new
technologies can put a $35 computer in your pocket and it is
already connected to the web with wifi and it already has
power off of a USB. It doesn't take anything special. It
really is now down to the hands of the everyday person that
can start tinkering with these new technologies. I would say
that that would drive additional — that Internet of Things
probably continues with Rasperry Pi and Arduino type —

HUMAN: Can you explain what those are,
Raspberry Pi and Arduino?

WECHSLER: Raspberry Pi is a computer that
is probably roughly about this size right here and it has
built-in wifi and built-in ethernet, it is powered off of USB
and has a processor that's as powerful as a computer you
would have paid thousands of dollars for just five or ten
years ago, and it basically is a platform to start building
anything you would like. It is pretty common for people to
put a lid external on it and start tinkering with it. But it
literally costs you 35 bucks and you can buy it on Amazon.

SAPP: It is like technology Legos. You
start with a base and build little things off of it.

WECHSLER: So Arduino would be kind of a
companion to that that allows you to connect to physical
things. So you see people that use, you know, kind of like
the old days of jumper switches where you would switch like
that and use wires to connect with outside things, but it
gives you technology to link it into a computer, and again,
you can buy an Arduino starter kit for 75 bucks, have all the
little things you want to play with, and it is amazing when
people start to think about it, and when I say people, I am
talking about kindergartners and first and second and third
graders, you know. I have got people that are doing classes
for a half dozen of these kids that will come in and spend a
Saturday morning to start playing with the Raspberry Pi. The
nice thing is, they can take it home, plug it right into
their HDMI TV and instantly have a computer where they can
start programming on and it changes their frame of reference
for what they are going to be when they grow up. And I think
introducing technology like this at an earlier age and doing
that not only as an accidental thing but having process and
people and institutions, government, non-profit, that are
focused on this early education in technology, and something
as simple as a $35 Rasperry Pi, it goes a very long way in
changing the future if we do that year in and year out over a

HUMAN: So with this type of technology
emerging and the tools it is giving to marketers, what's
going to be the better advantage on their end? Is it going
to be more of a better channel for them to interact with
consumers, or is it going to be more of a better way for them
to collect data in terms of knowing what their consumer
habits are?

LANGELLIER: Both. I think the power is
in the aggregate of all that data, but it also provides an
amazing number of advertising platforms for them to take that
knowledge and then be able to push that out to everything
from your computer to your refrigerator. That knowledge
creates really targeted marketing opportunities and I think
that's where — this is a big space and that's why folks like
Gardner say that CMOs are going to spend more on IT than CIOs
in 2017 is because everything is moving this direction and
digital marketing will involve all of these different
opportunities and that's kind of where the — back to your
question on the intersection of tech and marketing, that's
where the Internet of Things, that's where that opportunity

HUMAN: There are some pretty interesting
examples that are being thrown out there for the Internet of
Things and marketing potential. Mark Benninghoff from
SalesForce has used the example several times about the tooth
brush that connects to the internet and reports on your oral
hygiene habits basically, and with that kind of access that a
marketer or a company can have to a consumer, I guess at what
point are we going to have to draw the line and say, okay,
this is too much, this line is too far? Are we going to have
to have this conversation any time soon?

SAPP: I think most of us in this room are
too old to answer that question, to be honest. Because it is
not us that are impacted by it. My sense of privacy is a lot
different than what my kids' are going to be here in five or
ten years. So I am used to a lack of privacy that my parents
and their parents aren't used to. So when they try to
predict that, it is difficult.

WECHSLER: Dustin is wearing a FitBit so
he is connected to the Internet probably right now. Scott
Dorsey, his connection was keynote earlier this year. I
would say it is amazing. I love it. It is good guilty vice.

HUMAN: Let's change gears again here. I
am going to go back to acquisitions that we already touched
on the tech business. It was one of the biggest new stories
this year within not just tech but all business news was
Whatsapp and its $19 billion acquisition of — I looked it up
and put this into a little bit of context. If Whatsapp was a
country with a $19 billion GDP, they would basically have a
larger economy than half the nations in the world. That is a
massive deal. And with that big of an acquisition, what can
that do for the valuation of tech firms, especially the ones
in Indianapolis, is that going to be having any kind of an
effect, especially seeing these types of deals happen.

SAPP: I would use the ExactTarget
acquisition before I would use the Whatsapp acquisition. I
think we talk about the assets that we have and what we are
good at, we are good at Hoosier hospitality, we are good at
servicing businesses, we are good at building ROI driven
companies, and one of the challenges that young college grads
have is they see a Whatsapp and they don't realize that
Whatsapp is winning the lottery. That's not necessarily the
map for success.
So I don't think you can use that as a blueprint to
what you can build in a more consistent basis. I think
ExactTarget is a great example of what you build as a stable
fast-growing business that has good, solid core metrics
around it that doesn't have the Groupon scenario of making up
their own KPIs and working up to build greater valuation.
That is a solid business that you can blueprint on to take
real lessons for how to grow your business out of.

CLAPP: Building on that just a little
bit, this is an issue for me. The old soveriegn is that
great companies are bought, they are not sold. And, you
know, this headline that Whatsapp is winning the lottery, it
is actually a defocus of the real work that is going on. Too
often that becomes the principal objective of the business is
the transaction, whether it is the public offering or the
sale and, you know, my counsel is don't worry about those
things. Build a great business, build something that is
valuable to your customers, and build your team, that
valuation and the transactions will just take care of

SAPP: Worry about catching the ball
before you worry about getting in the end zone. Don't be the
Darrius Heyward-Bey of technology. Catch the ball first.

HUMAN: I am going to make another pretty
radical direction change here because we just got a pretty
good question in; which as another reminder you are welcome
to tweet @ibjtech or write down a question on a piece of
paper and hand it to an IBJ employee, but we just got this
one in a few minutes ago and that is what kind of jobs will
the tech sector need in four to five years and will these
hires be any different than the current needs?

LANGELLIER: I think that we can bet on
the fact that we are going to increasingly have tech
companies and existing companies that are increasingly
becoming tech companies, so I don't think tech jobs broadly
are going to do anything but increase. And even if you look
at the reinforcing factor that says in 2012 — and you can
look at where bets are being made, you can look at where
venture capital dollars are being invested, in 2012 national
across all industries, venture capital dollars total, 50
percent of them were invested into IT companies, and about 31
percent of them were invested into software companies. So if
you assume that that is where the money is going, that is
where growth is happening, you are going to need more people
that can grow those kind of companies. So obviously with the
new — you know, with languages continuing to change, tech
sats continuing to change, the skill sets that are required
are going to continue to kind of evolve, the fundamental
skills and talents that are either folks that can build tech
product or at least people who can build companies that
understand technology. I don't think it is going to change.

SAPP: It is not just software developers
and it is not just software development, you look at the
sales operations role and most companies didn't exist five or
ten years ago and the idea of taking data science and
applying it, a strong technology plan and applying it to a
sales organization, you have got solutions consultants, you
know, sales organization and sales engineer could come into a
company and piece these together, that's a sales job. That's
not a development job. So you will see the need for comfort
in technology to build use technology creep into pretty much
every area of the business. We just brought on a new office
manager and how comfortable are they in SaaS technology? Can
they use Can they help us in SaaS based
financial system? This trend is going to continue in every
area of the business.

DEASON: From a university perspective to
build on Dustin's comment, Purdue already uses very
technology based STEM or if you want to call it STEAM as well
and add agriculture, very tech focused. But I think some of
the big studies that have been done in this area and of the
APLU which is the association of public and land grant
universities, they did a study on this, but the reviewers,
the difference maker is communication and problem solving
skills. And I think those individuals that have those kinds
of skill sets are going to be valuable because they will find
the technical knowledge, they will find the other knowledge,
that they need to be effective. And I think one of our
responsibilities within the university is to do
interdisciplinary activity and that may mean that in a
business plan competition you have got technical and you have
got management and you have got liberal art students and
others working in tandem in order to produce the best
outcome, and I think that produces some great opportunity for
those people even if they don't have a technical background,
the person that is interpreting what the company needs are, I
know Tony Denhart is here with General Electric today and he
does a lot of recruiting at Purdue. I guarantee he assumes
everyone is technically sound. If you get the degree, you
are technically sound. What he is looking for is where are
the leaders, where are the problem solvers, where are the
communicators that can differentiate themselves. We talk
about this all the time and I know that's how the big
companies of the world are viewing this as well. So I hope
that that whole concept of university will continue to bring
that together. We want students that are also engaged with
the community. Engagement is a big part of that as well,
they get engaged, they understand what problems are out there
to be solved, and we see a lot a passion and coming to be
problem solvers and communicators and to use the undergirding
of the technical backgrounds to support that.

HUMAN: What other types of on-campus
activities do we need, be they in the classroom or
extra-curricular non-class activity; what else do we need to
keep fostering this entrepreneurial attitude among students
in college?

KERBESHIAN: I just am delighted about the
progress at Indiana University on this front. In the past
two months there have been two competitions that have kind of
captured the beginning and the end of the goal of introducing
entrepreneurship to students. In February the best
competition out of the school of Informatics and the Kelley
School of Business spearheaded by the Dean Bob Schnabel just
had their third competition and it was delightful to see the
winner, an IU business student with a technology invented by
an IU faculty member now being mentored by IU alumni who are
putting in both time and money to see this company move
forward. And so we are really seeing these efforts on part
of the students and faculty and the alumni to come together
and create these companies.
On the other end, this last week there was a
competition on the IUPUI campus really focused much more on
the beginning stage, on getting students across the IUPUI
campus to be able to get up and pitch an idea in the social
and economic change area. And that was out of the Office of
the Vice Chancellor for Research on this campus. It was
great to see some students who were polished, who were
engaged, who had gone far to getting their idea actually
being enterprised and then you could clearly see those
students who had never been up before a group of people and
you are sitting there just hoping that they make it through
the presentation and they did and it is a wonderful
opportunity for students of all experiences to start exposing
themselves to entrepreneurship.

DEASON: I think the competitions
certainly is one of those ways where you have got some prize
money so there is some incentive there. The Certificate of
Entrepreneurshi program we have at Purdue has a large number
of students in it from all disciplines so they not only learn
entrepreneurship, but they learn commercialization process,
the patenting process, and so forth. But part of the reason
we created the Foundry at Purdue was to really walk the talk.
We really wanted to give them a place where if they wanted to
try, they could do that. And so our team of entrepreneurs
and residents, the services we have really are there to help
them pull the trigger on that and move forward. I think one
of the great things that kind of came out of just this
creative thinking is we brought Governor Daniels in to be our
president, Dan Hasler who is our chief entrepreneurial
officer, which I think had been the chief entrepreneurial
officer says a lot about Purdues attitudes here. But this
has enabled other things in the ecosystem to bubble up that
we didn't know were as active as they would be. For example,
there is now a student incubator called the Anvil. That
particular organization is one that we don't oversupervise.
We are trying to let them do what they want to do. But there
are lots of IT and tech startups that are working on their
ideas. In the Anvil, they are actually doing accelerated
programs on their own with guidance from us and adding alumni
where we can to make a difference. But I think what is
happening there is there is just great excitement in building
not only what happens in the classroom, but then supporting
it by giving them real opportunities to work forward. The
business plan competition plays a key role in that and we
gather people every Friday morning just to give them an
opportunity to pitch in front of an audience and get feedback
and those kinds of activities really are getting the whole
community ecosystem involved.

LANGELLIER: Many of you have heard about
the Indy X Initiative, specifically the Indy Extern program
inside that that a lot of us banded together, Angie's List,
Shelly's here, ExactTarget, Interactive Intelligence
Apparatus, Lilly Endowment, PSM, kind of all banded together
to get this thing off the ground. The reason why we did that
is this is the Indy Extern Initiative is the ultimate summer
tech internship. So it is 50 students living together in
downtown Indianapolis working at a variety of companies
around Indy and so they are creating social relationships,
they are getting great job experience, and these are
sophomores, juniors in college primarily, from universities
all over the place, and they are getting a kind of wholistic
social experience, they are getting career skill development,
we have a speaker series, company visits, and things that
they can't get in a normal job and the reason why is because,
to your question, the feedback we heard from companies was we
need students who have more internship and real world job
experience. And so this is a double-edged, this is kind of a
two-prong effort in order to be able to, one, attract and win
talent from the universities for the tech companies in our
community and also to make sure that they are properly
skilled and equipped. And it is working. We were at Purdue
a month or two ago at Boiler Days, I was there and Intel was
there, Google was there and Apple was there, Microsoft was
there, and these kids were flocking to the Indy X table; one
because Sally had energy drink slushies, but also because
this was a unique experience and it helps to put — for some
of these kids who are growing up with Apple devices and doing
searches on Google, and so that's the names that they know.
This is helping to raise the awareness for the TinderBoxes of
the world that otherwise, you know, they are the beginning
enterprise behind-the-scenes type of companies, and we can
win that way.

HUMAN: I am going to read off another one
of our audience questions here. How are our legislators and
city preparing an infrastructure that supports rampant
expansion and should they do more?

SAPP: I go back a few years and tell you
that the venture capital tax credit has been a major impact
on our ability to attract the local angel investment and
venture capital. The idea that someone can invest in a hydro
potential company and get a 20 percent tax credit at the same
time reduces some of that risk in investing in companies,
especially when we were at a much earlier stage than where we
are now. So legislation like that that encourages local
investment so that if you do have a company in Indy and a
company in California and equal potential, well, I have got a
20 percent reason now to invest in a company in Indiana.
That makes a big difference.

LANGELLIER: For Halo investments, for
example, it is like check the box, you have got to have it.
I think it is getting kind of indoctrinated enough that
everybody knows that is just something they need to do to get
it. The thing I would love to see and we are starting to
see, IDC is also a huge partner in this Indy X and it is
because they are getting this type of hunting mentality. You
can go with the passive governmental approach and say, hey,
how do we be as cheap and easy as possible. We have got to
be better than cheap and easy, we have got to be good.

SAPP: You don't marry cheap and easy.

WECHSLER: Would somebody tweet that,

LANGELLIER: I just self-sensored right
there. Wow. But now we have to be aggressive. We already
know that we are friendly, we already know that we are easy
to do business with, we already know that we are inexpensive,
now we just need to concentrate on being really effective.
And I think that now the way that I would love to see more
governmental involvement is in helping to stimulate and
actually we have seen great example — Jacob Schpok gets it
with the ISBDC in that it doesn't — you can help utilize
those resources to help drive programs that enable us as a
community to be more effective by throwing the weight of the
government behind it but doing it without getting in the way.

WECHSLER: I would say to the venture
capital tax credit would be — something we heard a lot this
week, well, southern Indiana companies is an SBIR, matching
grant opportunity. It is something that will really help
pull additional grant money from the federal level and it is
something that we have over and over and over again from
companies that especially order a state where they do have
it, puts them at a really significant competitive advantage
over if they don't have something like that. So that would
be another one that would be interesting to see come back.

DEASON: I think especially from the
companies that we are seeing, I think early seed stage
capital is really a need that they struggle to come up with,
so to John's point, that gets them double the runway if they
can get match or get them some percentage extra on that and
makes them more competitive in the next round, the next round
of big money in the SBIR for a small company in particular.
I think in general, though, Mike had an event after Christmas
this year to encourage people that were back in town for the
Christmas holiday to come and hang out, big event, great
event, you know, it just makes me think what more can we do
to lower the barriers for people to come back and get
involved and if that's tax policy or if there are other
incentives that we could put even in front of those
individuals that are thinking of joining a tech company and
making it easier for them to do that, it will pay huge
dividends for us down the road.

KERBESHIAN: I think the growth of brew
pubs and breweries in the area must mean we are doing
something right.

HUMAN: One more question on this topic of
the broader economic development strategies that we need for
technology, are there any specific efforts that we have or
that we need to have to tailor these toward inner city areas
at all?

WECHSLER: I think on the municipal
investment side in this ecosystem we have to point to — I
think most every community is investing in some way to create
places or opportunities, the Speak Easy, Launch Fisher,
Lafayette Matchbox is investing a significant amount of money
with the county there. Everywhere, again, that we went, we
saw a lot of public/private partnership. I think
specifically to the inner city, I don't know of any specific
programs, but I — places, but I think there are a lot of
programs. There is outreach to try to connect through the
Tech Point Foundation, I know they do an awful lot to expose
kids that might not otherwise be exposed to technology

DEASON: We are right now, my colleagues
from Engagement are here today. One of the programs in
Engagement is a program that relates to science bound
students that are typically in the demographic you just
described and the incentive is to capture their minds. Now,
it is a long-term bet, but someone that has come from an
inner city neighborhood that now has an opportunity to get a
STEM education through this program, the odds are they are
going to want to make a difference in their community. I
think that's a piece of it. I think we also reach into the
juniors and seniors in high school and try to get them
opportunities for an entrepreneurship academy so that they
can understand more about the dynamics of starting a
business. What we are hopeful is going to happen is these
individuals will already have a long view that some day that
will be them, some day they will be like Chris, they will be
like Dustin, or they will be like John. We want them to have
that initiative as they come into the university that they
are going to start companies and do something significant. I
think many of them will want to make a difference in the
neighborhoods they grew up in.

LANGELLIER: We have got to jump into
place. It is not just about the business, we have got to fix
the place where they live as well, and that kind of goes to
the income tax issue as well. That's a problem that we have
to fix is it is great to have the companies that are located
together in these — whether that's urban environments or
whether that's in lower income environments or whatever, but
we also have to create places where they live not only
because it is to create community but also because we have to
fix the income tax challenge where we need that revenue to
ultimately flow back into that community to fix potholes, for

HUMAN: Well, guys, it looks like we are
about out of time here. So I think on that note we are going
to go ahead and wrap everything up.

WECHSLER: There was one question that
wasn't asked but I know everyone wants to know, I want to
know the answer to, and that is what belt buckle is Mike
Langellier wearing today? What do we have?

LANGELLIER: This is a TechPoint — thank
you to my team, they had one made for me with the Indiana
map — this is really awkward.

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