The tech industry is known for its polarizing, divergent nature — and not without good reason. It’s true that the industry contributes enormously to the nation’s economic wealth: according to the Brookings Institute, tech industries generated more than half of the country’s new “advanced industries” jobs from 2013-2015. However, that economic growth is largely concentrated in just a few dense hubs, chiefly San Francisco and San Jose. For example, 28% of the nation’s tech growth from 2010-2015 was concentrated in only 5 metropolitan areas: San Francisco, San Jose, Austin, Dallas and Phoenix. 17% of that growth can be attributed to San Francisco and San Jose alone.
This aspect of the industry seems to be bad news for smaller metropolises in “fly over country.” In spite of this, there is some hope for Main Street communities. Over the past few years, several exciting new hot spots in the tech industry have emerged — and Indianapolis is one of them.
The Brookings report cited Indianapolis as one of 20 metropolitan areas with the greatest growth in tech in recent years. Furthermore, this is not merely a “jobless recovery.” Thanks to social media, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, the tech industry overall has seen a yearly employment growth of around 6%. More specifically, from 2013-2015, the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson area created almost 5,000 tech jobs, a 13.9% increase. In addition, since 2006, central Indiana has seen a 68% increase in employment at tech companies, and Forbes ranked Indianapolis fifth in the nation for tech job creation. According to the Brookings report, this job growth is largely in software publishing, data processing, computer systems design and web publishing. The report also credits cloud-based tools for entrepreneurial business with this Midwestern growth.
This growth can be seen first-hand with the more recent news from Greenlight.guru. Greenlight.guru develops quality management software for the medical device industry and has experienced an annual revenue growth of over 350% since 2015. Originally based in the Stutz Business Center in downtown Indianapolis, the company recently expanded its operations to a new, much larger office space at Union 525. At this new hub, Greenlight.guru plans to create up to 120 new tech jobs by 2020.
While much of the tech industry growth continues concentrate in the coastal meccas, Indianapolis and other smaller metropolises are experiencing impressive tech growth. Furthermore, it seems likely that this momentum will continue in the future for the Circle City. Governor Holcomb has pledged to invest one billion dollars over the next ten years in this continued economic development. The establishment of Indianapolis as an up-and-coming tech hub demonstrates that, however slowly, the tech industry is beginning to diversify; the growth and wealth are spreading further across the nation.