Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Indy an 'unlikely' hotbed of tech startups


This article originally appeared on Crunchbase
Salesforce’s $2.5 billion acquisition of email marketing startup ExactTarget in 2013 was a big deal. And for Indianapolis, it may have also catalyzed a burgeoning startup scene.
A number of former ExactTarget and Salesforce executives have gone on to start companies in the midwest city ExactTarget considered home. Former ExactTarget Co-Founder and CEO Scott Dorsey also launched a venture fund in the city as well.
In 2015, Dorsey launched High Alpha, a venture fund focused on investing in enterprise cloud companies that has already invested in more than two dozen startups. Another co-founder, Chris Baggott, started ClusterTruck, a fresh food delivery company in the city, the same year.
The central location, lower cost of living, and ability to hire talent for less money than other markets also makes the city appealing to founders and investors alike, Ziegler added.
“You can find direct flights to almost anywhere out of the Indianapolis airport,” he said. “And a recent study found that the city has one of the top five lowest rent to tech wage ratios. It’s a place where you can build a company capital efficiently. All these factors make for pretty interesting ingredients to build great companies, particular B2B tech companies.”
Indeed, in 2017, Inc. named Indianapolis as one of the “Top 6 Best Cities to Start a Business Right Now.” And in 2015, Fast Company ranked Indianapolis in its “Next Top 10 Cities for Tech Jobs.” And more recently, it named the city the tenth best for women in tech.
Edison Partners, which describes itself as a growth equity firm that invests in underserved markets and bootstrapped entrepreneurs, led financing rounds for two Indianapolis startups: Sigstr, a SaaS platform for employee email signature marketing and relationship intelligence, and Emplify, an employee engagement measurement company.
It put $2.35 million of a $4 million growth round in Sigstr, which the company will use to accelerate the rollout its newly released Pulse product and to scale sales and marketing. Sigstr has raised $11 million in funding since inception. 
Edison also put $3.5 million in a $7.5 million growth round in Emplify. The startup plans to use the injection of capital toward investing in engineering and developing a go to market strategy for its products. Cultivation Capital and Allos Ventures also put money in that round. The company has raised $10.5 million since it was founded in 2016.
Founded in 2014, Sigstr has 60 employees and nearly tripled its revenue growth and customer base over the last year. The company expects to grow an additional 150 percent in the fiscal year ending January 2019. It now works directly with 400 B2B companies across five continents, including Amazon, AT&T, Experian, GoHealth, and Snowflake Computing.
“Every company in the world runs an employee email system, with billions of emails being sent every day,” Bryan Wade, CEO of Sigstr, told Crunchbase News. “We saw a massive marketing opportunity to take over email signatures with every employee.”
For Wade—who formerly served as vice president of email product for ExactTarget, and as senior vice president and chief product officer for Salesforce—Sigstr’s ability to attract companies in any industry is a big advantage.
“There’s a lot of vertical and niche products out there, but it’s difficult to find a technology like this that every business in the world can use,” he said.
In July, Sigstr launched its new Pulse relationship marketing application that uses artificial intelligence to map and quantify the collective networks of all employees to better identify recipients, and send more targeted invitations and missives to appropriate customers and prospects.
“There’s so much potential for organizations to use relationship intelligence from employee email to unlock relationships and drive targeted marketing and sales efforts. Employee email is still the best predictor of business relationships,” Wade said. Ziegler agreed.
“We found that the use of relationship data to inform account-based marketing at the B2B level was sorely missing,” he told Crunchbase News. “Sigstr fills that hole and does in a very special way by unlocking the value of the email channel to drive revenue for B2B marketers.”
Naturally, Wade is also bullish on the Indianapolis startup scene.
“There is a renaissance happening here,” he said. “A couple of years ago, there were a dozen startups, and now there’s 70 or 80 in town. The city is becoming a hub for B2B technology and software as the access to capital has improved and a number of large software acquisitions in the city have created a pool of talented executives who have started companies.”

Monday, September 17, 2018

Best Suburb in America is...

Business Insider published a new ranking, proving once again which the best Suburb in the United States is. If you look closely at who landed at Numero Uno you'll see that not much has changed in the past decade or so.
Niche refreshed their calculations for 2018 due to the rising costs of big-city living and more millennials opting to steer away from suburbia. The major factors included to determine quality of living are: crime, unemployment rate, schools, new home price, income, amenities, and cost of living. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

America's Most Underrated City

It's that time of the year where Indianapolis takes center stage again - on ABC Sunday afternoon, to be specific. Forbes recently ran an article touting Indy as the most underrated, partly due to being the 35th largest city yet hangs with the elite, in terms of things like value, food, sports, steak, golf, and unique activities.  You might think it's weird to list both steak and food, plus golf and sports, but when you're ranked at the top of your class, you gotta give it its own press.


    • #1 football stadium (LucasOil)
    • #1 basketball stadium (Fieldhouse)
    • #1 Superbowl experience (2012)
    • #1 sporting event (Indy 500)
    • #1 Final Four host (8 times)
    • #1 NFL Combine host
    • NBA All-Star 2021 2024 host
    • BCS Championship 2022 host 
    • Annual NCAA Championships for Swimming, Gymnastics, Track & Field. And best of all...


    • Pete Dye courses (The Fort, The Brickyard, Maple Creek)
    • PGA events (Crooked Stick)
    • #2 city for public golf courses (Fishers)
    • #1 rated public course (Eagle Creek) & only $25 w/ cart after 3pm. Speaking of value...


    • Top-10 hottest destination in 2018 (Conde Nast)
    • Top-50 places to travel in 2017 (Travel and Leisure)
    • Luxury hotels (Conrad, Alexander) cheaper than Nashville, Cincy, Minny, & KC
    • #1 convention center 
    • #1 airport in North America (ACI)
    • mansion-like homes listed as the most affordable in the nation (sq/ft)
    • #1 in downtown walkability, including covered skyway to hotels and...


    • Most Underrated Food City (Conde Nast)
    • Top-7 most impressive city (Thrillist)
    • Top-20 US Food city (Food & Wine)
    • Top-15 Hottest Food Cities (Zagat)
    • the Martha Hoover empire
    • exploding brewery scene with award-winning craft beers (SunKing, DareDevil's LiftOff)
    • the Kimbal Musk empire & farm-2-table movement, which may or may not include...


    • Award-winning St. Elmo's
    • Renowned: Prime 47, Char Blue, Red the Steakhouse
    • Other Favorites: Shula’s, Ruth’s Chris, McCormick & Schmick’s, Morton’s, Capital Grille, Hyde Park Prime

Unique Activities

    • Children's Museum, Medical History Museum and NCAA HQ
    • Award-winning Indianapolis Zoo
    • Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, Newfields (IMA), and Lilly House
    • World's largest mini Marathon
    • White River, Monon Trail, Pogues Run, Downtown Canal
    • more war memorials than any other city outside DC, including the USS Indianapolis
    • Eagle Creek, Geist Resevior

Wednesday, May 09, 2018


If you're a stock investor, you've probably seen the FANG acronym being used. Google is now Alphabet so it needs a revision. Allow me to sprinkle some § flair on Jim Cramer's original by adding some other can't-pass-up tech stocks:

So there you have it, FANTASMA. My new favorite word is actually a Spanish word for GHOST or PHANTOM.  Hmm, Indy happens to be home to a certain Pro Bowler who calls himself the Ghost. And he wears a spooky number that supposed to be unlucky. But the horseshoe hung upside-down represents luck and the guy feeding him the ball is named Luck! Just like (another "Indy")  ND up-state uses the clover, which when found as 4 petals (Four Horsemen? Horses again!) means luck! And a Leprechaun with his lucky charms and a pot of gold!! 
What does all this mean?
Duh. Bet on Colts to win the Superbowl. Almost all the pieces are there (still missing rOL and ILB) and we've got the GOAT (AV) and Ghost (TY). The Vegas odds are at +4000. Put $125 down to get $5k? That's the price of a single lower-level seat. Are you willing to make that sacrifice?

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Indy among Most Impressive US Cities

Thrillist recently reached out to expert travelers and writers to find out which American cities are the best. Seeking to find the friendliest, cheapest, tastiest and most innovative spots led to where else: Indianapolis.

If you're staying downtown, at first glance you'll see a lot of chain restaurants. But if you look a little harder, you'll find a hotbed of culinary masterpieces. In 2017 Condé Nast Traveler named Indianapolis the most underrated food city in America, thanks in large part to Martha Hoover's empire.

No other city hosts an event like Indy does; whether it's the Superbowl, Indy 500, Final Fours, NBA All-Star game, NFL combines, B1G Championships or proudly serving millions at the convention center.

What if you're not just travelling here, but looking to move here to improve your life and/or career? Good news: Glassdoor ranks Indy #2 on the list of best American cities for jobs. Our northern suburbs Carmel and Fishers have both been ranked as "Best Place to Live" over a dozen times in the past couple years. What more do you need?

Top 12 Comedy Podcasts

I'm not calling this a list of my favorites, because I know this to be fact, not opinion: Kill Tony T.Y.S.O. Bad Friends Are You Garbage...