Entrepreneurs seek to bolster Hoosier startup community

Five Indiana startup advocates were in our nation’s capital Tuesday, pitching a plan to bolster the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The representatives of Startup Indiana were scheduled to meet with administration officials to discuss the importance of fostering vibrant startup communities. They were among 11 regional groups there on behalf of Startup America Partnership, a national initiative launched in 2011.

Locals who made the trip were TechPoint President Mike Langellier, DeveloperTown partner Michael Coffey, TinderBox co-founder Dustin Sapp, Verge founder Matt Hunckler and LocalStake co-founder Kevin Hitchen.

They know the topic. Langellier co-founded personal finance software firm MyJibe LLC and sold it last year to Utah-based MoneyDestop for an undisclosed sum. Coffey raised $2.5 million in 60 days and started a niche marketing company. Sapp has been part of three Indianapolis startups. Hitchen aims to help other founders line up private investors. And Hunckler built a 2,000-member network of Indiana entrepreneurs.

Indiana’s plan calls for establishing the state as a hub for “customer development,” the group said in a prepared statement. Broad strategies include attracting Fortune 500 companies, partnering with universities and making corporate connections.

Interested observers who weighed in on TechPoint’s Facebook page had other priorities for “making Indiana the best sandbox for entrepreneurship.” On their wish list: better access to capital, improved transportation infrastructure and help building a base of customers.

What’s your take? What can Indiana do to encourage entrepreneurship? Join the conversation below.
 

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