Celebrating great product in Indiana
Watching the quality of digital products and tech services improve in Indiana has been a pleasure. The bar has been raised in the tech space, and while it’s not news to anyone that Silicon Valley continues to be the leader pushing the industry forward, Indiana has really started making a splash in this space. This year we are seeing higher-quality SaaS products coming from even earlier stage startups, mature software companies entering into the mix with innovative offerings, and a few fantastic hardware products. While you may not see these grace the front page of Product Hunt, the annual Mira awards put on by TechPoint perfectly reflects this evolution with their nominees for Best New Tech Product (take a look at all the nominees).
Without further ado, here’s my take on some of the best tech products in Indiana.
Historically, Indiana has not been known for its food scene or consumer-facing software. ClusterTruck is changing this reputation by bringing restaurant-quality food, cooked to order, delivered right to you. Indiana’s food scene used to be a cluster-you-know-what but is now on the rise, and ClusterTruck is shifting Indy into the next gear.
DemandJump won two Mira awards last year. They are quickly becoming the Meryl Streep of the Mira awards. They bring data analytics to marketing in a way nobody has and recently brought their talents to downtown Indy with a spiffy office right off the circle (downtown Indy is not just for banks and law firms any longer!). DemandJump is building a disruptive product in marketing tech and it certainly doesn’t hurt that their Chief Data Scientist is also nominated as a Rising Star: Tyler Foxworthy.
We have no shortage of law firms in Indiana, but we have a real shortage of innovation in that space. As a son of a lawyer myself, I can attest that law firms are inefficient and a bit slow to adopt tech (my dad is probably emailing me a question asking what his firm’s wi-fi password is right now). Doxly is bringing some of the client transaction magic that creative agencies have enjoyed to law firms to make the legal process much simpler for firms and their clients.
PERQ is not a newbie to the marketing game. But they are a newcomer to marketing tech. Their new product, FATWIN Web Engagement, capitalizes on their vast experience helping retail and automotive clients engage with customers in new ways. FATWIN helps customers manage their interactive web experiences by turning web traffic into foot traffic. PERQ is further evidence that Indy is a marketing software mecca.
Is radio dead? Well, maybe — but a better answer is that it’s evolving. The same is true for radio advertising. FUZIC provides a platform and offers DJ-as-a-Service (DJaaS — a term I think I just invented) for businesses to create high quality, customized ads. While I’m no expert in radio advertising, it’s easy to see the value this would bring to small companies that rely on local radio for marketing but don’t have the experience in creating ads (and if this means no more horrible car dealership jingles, I will be forever grateful).
Time for a break from digital products. Hydro Grow is a young company started by Purdue students in the Purdue Ag-celerator that makes a hydroponic growing device which lets people grow vegetables at home. I am personally excited to see more tech products come out of the wide-open agriculture space in Indiana. The concept looks fantastic and has a bright future for the growing number of urban farmers out there. Now, if these guys can get my kids to EAT vegetables, I will fund them myself.
I first saw PactSafe present at a VERGE event last summer. To say PactSafe is in the legal space would sell them short as they reimagine the world of online contracts. Yes, the annoying terms of service that nobody reads are also big headaches for companies that have to manage them. They cause friction for end customers trying to make a purchase, and they are a pain for companies to manage among internal groups. The genius of PactSafe is in its simplicity — removing friction for end customers, while giving in-house legal teams insights they otherwise wouldn’t have.
PAN’s value clearly isn’t a secret after announcing acquisition by PSI in late January. It’s easy to see why. PAN’s talent assessment platform helps large companies hire new talent and assess their own to find opportunities for employee development. As a hiring manager myself, I can attest to the frustrations in being able to properly assess candidates in a rapidly evolving knowledge economy. PAN is a fundamental piece of the hiring puzzle.
Ok, I’m really out of my comfort zone on this one because I’m not well-versed in IT and data appliances. But I am determined to give this a proper overview without simply copy/pasting! Scale Computing recently added a new single-node appliance to its industry-leading HC3 Virtualization Platform. This gives their small to mid-sized business clients an even cheaper option to add to their multi-node clusters. More importantly it drastically reduces the costs and time spent on disaster recovery when deployed alongside existing HC3 configurations. The advancements in data storage and infrastructure is advancing rapidly and Scale Computing is bringing these advancements to smaller businesses and organizations across the country.
Many obituaries have been written about traditional retail but based on my last chaotic Christmas shopping experience, I can say it is very much alive. Retailers won’t disappear, particularly if they have the tools to help them chart a new course in the digital age. SmarterHQ has been helping these types of customers bridge the gap between their digital marketing efforts and in-store experiences for quite a few years. Their new product, StoreFront, takes this to the next level by turning in-store customers into digital, while bringing online customers into the store.
At Innovatemap, we appreciate great product and are deeply passionate about tech in Indiana. Nobody creates products just to win awards, but it is exciting to see these companies recognized nonetheless. After taking a deeper look at these new tech products, I’m impressed by the quality coming out of Indiana, and excited to see what the next year brings.