In contrast, Regan said, Kentucky’s incentives were more focused on how much a company invested in things like equipment and machinery—metrics that aren’t relevant to software startups, Regan said.
When asked about the challenges they’ve faced as founders, Reynolds said he’d like to see more events like Rally—deliberate attempts to connect founders, funders and other resources across different parts of the state.
As an example, Reynolds said his rm has clients in South Bend who are eager to make connections in Indianapolis. “So we’re making connections there. But I’m just one person doing that. I just think there’s a real opportunity to convene the state, to have a vibrant state ecosystem and just kind of take that mentality [from] the local level, because it shouldn’t be absent from the state level.”
Mikell said he’d like to see more diversity represented in Indiana’s tech industry. He, and two of his three co-founders, are Black, and the company has diversity as one of its core values. “We felt that [diversity] was lacking in the tech community here, and for that reason I do think it’s an opportunity.”
Quali’s emphasis on diversity has helped it attract talent, Mikell said, and a similar approach could do the same for other companies. On the opposite side of the equation, Mikell said, failing to embrace diversity means a company is limiting its growth opportunities. “Sure, things can grow. But we’re limiting ourselves if we’re only focused on one community or on a small subset of communities.”
Oakley agreed on the importance of diversity, saying that the quality of a company’s workforce is often the differentiating factor between competitors. Whether it’s grocery chains or software companies, Oakley said, “the people are the only thing that really separates them.”
Written by Susan Orr for Indianapolis Business Journal.