Editor's note: We've been taking a virtual tour of U.S. cities to see how the 2008 financial crisis changed the entrepreneurial landscape, for better or worse. See other installments here.
Bluelock cofounder John Qualls was meeting with a client's legal team in New York when he sensed that his company’s Indianapolis roots was the source of snickers across the table. “I said ‘I know we’re from Indiana, but we’re wearing shoes year round now,’” says Qualls, whose company was an early supplier of on-demand virtual data services.
Like a lot of his fellow Indy entrepreneurs, Qualls is used to jokes about corn, the flatlands and other clichés popular among people who’ve maybe never stepped foot in the state. Laugh all they want. Indiana’s capital city is quietly rolling out solutions for everything from scientific data analysis to digital course material.
This city of about 830,000 people had its share of economic black clouds during the recession. (Please see related story, "Indy's Entrepreneurs Make a Full-Court Press."). The unemployment rate more than doubled to 9.1% between 2007 and 2010. But without the crazy highs of the housing boom and debilitating lows of the bust, Indy is a city on the move.
Here’s a look under the hood at some of Indy’s startups.