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  • November 17, 2021 8:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA) today announced its 2022 policy priorities for the tech industry during its annual Legislative Update event co-hosted by TechPoint which brought together Indiana tech leaders and state legislators.

    ITIA is the statewide association representing Indiana’s technology-driven companies and partners.

    ITIA’s 2022 priorities focus on accelerating deployment of Indiana Next Level Fund dollars into Indiana-based funds and companies, attracting tech talent and remote workers to Indiana, improving statewide digital connectivity, and improving diversity and inclusion in state job training and workforce development programs.

    Technology is among Indiana’s fastest growing sectors, with more than 184,000 net tech jobs posted this year generating a $51 billion impact on our economy. With an average wage of $69,813, median tech wages in Indiana are 73% higher than the median state wage (CompTIA Cyberstates 2021).

    While the tech industry is poised for continued growth, Indiana ranks low in the amount of venture capital being deployed to Indiana companies and low for entrepreneurship, which are critical drivers for the industry. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce 2021 Report Card shows that while investment dollars to Indiana companies have increased in recent years, the state's ranking for venture capital activity declined from 30th to 36th compared to other states. Indiana also ranks 42nd out of 50 states for entrepreneurship, according to the Kauffman Entrepreneurial Index.

    “Indiana’s technology and innovation industry continues to demonstrate its growth, resilience and ability to transform our regional economies with high-skilled, high-wage jobs,” said David Becker, Chairman and CEO of First Internet Bank and ITIA Board Chair. “There is also an incredible amount of untapped potential in the industry which can be unlocked by injecting capital into the ecosystem to ensure Indiana entrepreneurs can access needed funding to start and grow their companies.”

    One of ITIA’s key priorities for 2022 is to accelerate deployment of Indiana Next Level Fund dollars, direct investment into Indiana-based funds and companies, and support the creation of new Indiana-based venture capital funds. The Indiana Next Level Fund was established by the Legislature in 2017 allocating $250M to make investments in Indiana venture funds and businesses.

    “We’re incredibly supportive of Indiana’s Next Level Fund and want to ensure those dollars are deployed as quickly as possible into Indiana-based funds and companies to make the most impact at a critical time in our economy,” Becker said. “We also want to achieve the goal of creating new venture capital funds in Indiana that can support ongoing entrepreneurial activity across the state.”

    ITIA is also advocating for incentives to attract high-value tech talent and remote workers to the state to help address talent needs for the industry. 

    According to a June 2021 Remote Worker Survey by Indiana-based MakeMyMove, more than thirty million workers are now permanently remote and nearly one third of these workers plan to move in the next 18 months.

    “There is a real opportunity to attract high-value tech talent to our state, particularly workers who are now remote and have greater mobility,” Becker said, “Indiana can capitalize on this opportunity and bring in talent to contribute to our economy and help expand our tech talent pipeline.”

    ITIA’s policy priorities encompass four key pillars to encourage growth in Indiana’s technology and innovation industry, and 2022 focus areas include:

    Expanding Access to Capital

    • ITIA supports policies to accelerate deployment of Next Level Fund dollars, direct investment into Indiana-based funds and companies, and support the creation of new Indiana-based venture capital funds.

    Developing and Attracting Tech Talent

    • ITIA supports state- and local-based incentives for attracting individuals to move to Indiana who can work remotely.
    • ITIA supports innovative ways to update the state’s economic development tools to assist in bringing high-value talent to Indiana, as well as ways to help communities finance talent attraction efforts that drive regional growth.
    • ITIA supports new incentives or adjusting Indiana’s existing incentives, such as the Skills Enhancement Fund (SEF) or EDGE tax credits, to include the creation of internship or apprenticeship programs that train tech talent and lead to employment.

    Improving Quality of Place

    • ITIA supports efforts to accelerate fiber deployment to improve connectivity across the State.
    • ITIA supports the continued expansion of high performing Certified Tech Parks (CTPs) by increasing the maximum allowable CTP capture per year from $100,000 to $500,000.

    Promoting Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

    • ITIA supports efforts to promote and market state job training and workforce programs, specifically in tech fields, to women, minorities and veterans.

    ITIA’s complete policy agenda can be found here.

    ITIA is the statewide association representing Indiana’s technology-driven companies and partners. For more information about ITIA and membership, visit www.IndianaTechnology.org.

  • October 20, 2021 10:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    • Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA) today launched a new monthly show “Indiana Innovates” to showcase Indiana’s growing tech industry, share tech-related news, feature innovative products and companies, and provide tech policy updates.

      Indiana Innovates is presented by Fishers-based digital marketing company MediaFuel utilizing its cutting-edge video production technology and virtual studio.

      Indiana Innovates is hosted by ITIA Executive Director Jennifer Hallowell and a rotating co-host. The inaugural episode, released today, features John Wechsler, Founder and CEO of Launch Fishers and the Indiana IoT Lab, as co-host.

      “We’re excited to launch Indiana Innovates to help amplify the incredible momentum and growth occurring in Indiana’s technology and innovation industry,” Jennifer Hallowell said. “Indiana Innovates will feature innovative products, companies, ideas, entrepreneurs and events from across the state to tell our state’s tech story and showcase why Indiana is the best place to live and work in tech. It will also be an opportunity to share relevant policy updates impacting tech companies and tech talent.”

      The inaugural episode of Indiana Innovates features exclusive content and interviews with:

    • Gerry Dick, Co-Founder and President of Grow Indiana Media Ventures, on the recent acquisition of Inside INdiana Business by IBJ Media
    • Andy Lehman, Head of Accelerator Programming at The Mill, with a rundown on the finalists at the annual Crossroads Pitch Competition held in Bloomington on October 13th
    • Bill Soards, President of AT&T Indiana, on the upcoming AT&T 5G Sports Hack-a-thon being held at Butler University on October 22-24
    • Jeff Kivett, Founder & Visionary of MediaFuel, on its state-of-the-art video production technology and virtual studio
    • Ting Gootee, Chief Investment Officer at Elevate Ventures, on the expansion of the state funding match for the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants 

    “Our first show includes an exclusive interview with Inside INdiana Business’ Gerry Dick who has pioneered media coverage of Indiana’s tech and innovation ecosystem since its inception, as well as segments highlighting entrepreneurial events across the state and a key policy change allowing for increased funding to Indiana startups,” said co-host John Wechsler. “It’s a fantastic first show, and we look forward to continuing to share innovative initiatives within Indiana’s tech community each month.”

    To watch the inaugural episode of Indiana Innovates, visit www.IndianaInnovates.com. Each month, Indiana Innovates will be released on this website, sent as an exclusive to ITIA Members over email and shared on social media.  

    The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association is the statewide association representing technology-driven companies and partners collaborating to make sure Indiana is the best place to live and work in tech.

    Membership to ITIA is open to all technology-driven companies and partners. For more information about ITIA and membership, visit www.IndianaTechnology.org.

  • December 03, 2020 9:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association has released its policy agenda for the 2021 legislative session. The association says Indiana's tech sector saw more than 184,000 net jobs this year, creating an economic impact of $15.6 billion. However, the pandemic has been detrimental to innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the state, according to the ITIA.

    As a result, the association's priorities will focus on "shoring up support for state programs and efforts that facilitate entrepreneurs, drive new business creation, help grow tech and innovation jobs and attract tech talent to fuel our state’s economic recovery."

    The priorities were outlined Thursday during a virtual presentation:

    “Ensuring Indiana’s entrepreneurs and startups have access to capital, talent and resources to grow companies and create jobs is more urgent now than ever before as our state and local economies work to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said David Becker, board chair of the ITIA and chief executive officer of Fishers-based First Internet Bank. “Now is the time to double down on Indiana’s support for entrepreneurs, innovators, startups and small businesses as an engine to fuel our recovery, and ensure that Indiana is best positioned to welcome the tech jobs and workers of the future.”

    Additionally, the association's priorities include expanding access to capital for tech companies, growing the tech talent pipeline, enhancing quality of life and place throughout the state, and improving diversity, inclusion and equity.

    Some of the specific policies outlined for the next legislative session include:

    • Encourage robust investment in the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, which funds critical and proven programs to support entrepreneurs and early-stage tech companies, including the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants.
    • Strengthen commitment to the Venture Capital Investment tax credit program by raising the annual cap and supporting future expansions of the program to better compete with neighboring states that offer larger credits.
    • Continued funding and resources to help Indiana schools meet the requirement to provide computer science education by 2021.
    • Implement state- and local-based incentives for attracting individuals to move to Indiana who can work remotely, i.e. clarify that remote workers are eligible for EDGE tax credits.
    • Continued support for high performing Certified Tech Parks (CTPs), and reauthorization of Indiana’s Entrepreneur and Enterprise District programs to encourage, develop and support entrepreneurship and small business development.
    • Identify and remove barriers to developing, testing and deploying autonomous vehicle technology.
    • Require State-funded entities, such as the IEDC, Elevate Ventures, and Next Level Fund, that invest in Indiana businesses or venture funds receiving state dollars to record and report annually on the number of investments and the amount of money invested into women, minority and veteran owned companies.

    You can view the ITIA's full list of legislative priorities in the document below or by clicking here.

    Read more https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/story/42939354/indiana-tech-association-outlines-legislative-priorities

  • December 03, 2020 9:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The lobbying organization for the state’s tech industry is wading into diversity and social justice issues with its legislative priorities for the upcoming session.

    The Indiana Technology and Innovation Association, which represents more than 100 members from large technology companies and small startups, announced its legislative agenda on Thursday—and about a quarter of the items are focused on equity and inclusion.

    For the past two years, the group has focused its priorities in three key areas— talent, capital and place. Those areas remain on the agenda this year, but the organization has also added equity as a fourth topic to focus on.

    Entrepreneur Ade Olonoh, who chairs the association’s equity committee, said diversity and inclusion wasn’t necessarily a new focus for the group, but after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, members felt like it needed to have a stronger emphasis.

    Olonoh said inclusion connects back to the association’s overall goal—to make Indiana competitive in the tech industry—because being competitive means attracting a diverse talent pool, and the state needs to be seen as welcoming and inclusive in order to attract diverse talent.

    Olonoh, who is Black, said areas like accountability in government agencies and law enforcement can directly impact how friendly a state or city seems to minorities.

    “It really has to kind of start at the foundational level,” Olonoh said.

    Several of the priorities this year call for more transparency, including requiring state-funded entities like the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and Elevate Ventures to record and report annually on how much funding is going to women, minority and veteran-owned businesses and creating a public disparity data portal to show how state programs are working and identify disparities.

    “We may look at those numbers and feel great about it,” Olonoh said. “But without that data it’s hard to say where there are problems.”

    The organization also wants to see a statewide public law enforcement database created to provide information to the public on egregious officer misconduct, detentions and use-of-force, as well as demographic information about arrests and detainees.

    And that’s not the only suggested improvement for law enforcement. The group also supports reviewing and updating use-of-force policies, implementing wide-ranging crisis response programs, requiring implicit bias and cultural competency training, adding more civilian representation to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Board and ensuring access to mental health and support services for officers.

    The association would also like to see some criminal justice reform by diverting nonviolent offenders away from prison and increasing access to mental health and substance abuse treatment.

    “I’m optimistic, … but I’m sure it’s going to be some tough conversations because of how charged these issues are,” Olonoh said.

    Some of the priorities already align with what Gov. Eric Holcomb has said he would like to pursue and what the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus has said it would like to see accomplished.

    Other equity-focused priorities for ITIA include:

    • Encouraging state agencies and state-funded entities to make an effort to diversify their staffs and ensure individuals from underrepresented populations are in leadership roles.
    • Conducting  a study on racial inequity as a public health crisis.
    • Expanding the Last Mile program, which provides training for incarcerated individuals to prepare them for successful reentry.
    • Making computer science more welcoming for girls and students of color.

    The group is also proposing a hate crimes law that explicitly says crimes motivated by a victim’s race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disability, gender, age, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity are eligible for harsher penalties.

    The state passed a hate crimes law in 2019, but it doesn’t specifically list all of those traits. It references a list in another state law that includes color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion and sexual orientation.

    Some business leaders who had pushed for the hate crimes legislation accepted the language as good enough, even if it wasn’t exactly what they wanted.

    Members of the tech association believe it could be better.

    “I’m glad we have something on the books, but I think it fell short,” Olonoh said.

    The rest of the legislative agenda included items similar to what the group has focused on in previous years, such as maintaining or increasing funding for the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, raising or eliminating the cap on the Venture Capital Investment tax credit program and increasing how much funding a Certified Tech Park can capture. 

    The organization would also like to see a strategy for improving broadband utilization. Holcomb’s administration has invested $100 million into a program to expand broadband access across the state, but data from the Federal Communications Commission shows that only 65% of Hoosiers who have access to broadband internet are paying to have it. The broadband adoption rate nationwide is close to 73%.

    John Wechsler, founder and CEO of Launch Fishers, said it’s the classic technology adoption curve problem that occurred with other tech over the years, such as televisions or telephones.

    “It’s actually quite an interesting conundrum,” Wechsler said.

    Read more https://www.ibj.com/articles/legislative-priorities-for-tech-industry-include-focus-on-diversity-inclusion 

  • November 19, 2020 3:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    • Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA), the statewide association of Indiana’s technology-driven companies and partners, today announced its 2021 policy agenda during a virtual meeting with tech industry leaders and state legislators co-hosted by TechPoint.

      Technology is Indiana’s fastest growing sector, with more than 184,000 net tech jobs this year creating a $15.6B impact on our economy. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on innovation and entrepreneurship that fuels tech job growth. According to new Kauffman Foundation research, the pandemic caused a sharp decline (37%) in new business creation in the first weeks of the pandemic, yielding a larger impact on entrepreneurship than the Great Recession. 

      Key to ITIA’s policy priorities this year will be shoring up support for state programs and efforts that facilitate entrepreneurs, drive new business creation, help grow tech and innovation jobs and attract tech talent to fuel our state’s economic recovery.

      “Ensuring Indiana’s entrepreneurs and startups have access to capital, talent and resources to grow companies and create jobs is more urgent now than ever before as our state and local economies work to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said David Becker, President and CEO of First Internet Bank and ITIA Board Chair. “Now is the time to double down on Indiana’s support for entrepreneurs, innovators, startups and small businesses as an engine to fuel our recovery, and ensure that Indiana is best positioned to welcome the tech jobs and workers of the future.”

      ITIA’s policy priorities include efforts to expand access to capital for Indiana technology companies, grow the tech talent pipeline, enhance quality of life and place in Indiana, and improve diversity, inclusion and equity.

      ITIA formed a new Equity Committee this year to help identify and close equity gaps impacting underrepresented populations in the tech industry and beyond.

      “Absolutely critical to creating a thriving tech community are efforts to improve diversity, inclusion and equity in our state,” said Ade Olonoh, founder of Formstack and investor at Starting Line and Chair of ITIA’s new Equity Committee. “ITIA launched a new Equity Committee this year to do our part as an industry to combat inequities, and ensure Indiana’s growing tech and innovation community is vibrant, diverse and representative.”

      Below are highlights from ITIA’s policy agenda:

      Expand Access to Capital

    • Encourage robust investment in the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, which funds critical and proven programs to support entrepreneurs and early-stage tech companies, including the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants.
    • Strengthen commitment to the Venture Capital Investment tax credit program by raising the annual cap and supporting future expansions of the program to better compete with neighboring states that offer larger credits.
    • Invest in and accelerate deployment of the Next Level Fund, and focus on a dedicated state effort to promote, educate and facilitate the creation of new Indiana-based venture capital funds.

    • Grow Tech Talent Pipeline

    • Continued funding and resources to help Indiana schools meet the requirement to provide computer science education by 2021.
    • Incentivize and provide support for the creation of apprenticeships, internships and tech trade schools, and expand technology- and innovation-based Career & Technical Education (CTE) pathways.
    • Expand IT credentials offered through state workforce training programs including Next Level Jobs, and incentivize Indiana’s education institutions to offer IT credentialing.
    • Implement state- and local-based incentives for attracting individuals to move to Indiana who can work remotely, i.e. clarify that remote workers are eligible for EDGE tax credits.
    • Enhance Quality of Life and Place

    • Expand investment in the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program, and support the creation of state and local programs that help increase broadband adoption among consumers and businesses.
    • Continued support for high performing Certified Tech Parks (CTPs), and reauthorization of Indiana’s Entrepreneur and Enterprise District programs to encourage, develop and support entrepreneurship and small business development.
    • Identify and remove barriers to developing, testing and deploying autonomous vehicle technology.
    • Support efforts to make our state more friendly to clean energy technology and innovation, and oppose efforts to halt Indiana’s transition to clean and renewable energy sources.
    • Encourage the Indiana Destination Development Corporation to highlight companies, entrepreneurs and tech talent who have chosen Indiana as part of its efforts to rebrand and promote the State.

    • Improve Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

    • Require State-funded entities, such as the IEDC, Elevate Ventures, and Next Level Fund, that invest in Indiana businesses or venture funds receiving state dollars to record and report annually on the number of investments and the amount of money invested into women, minority and veteran owned companies.
    • Broaden Computer Science to be more representative of various tech disciplines to help attract girls and students of color to pursue tech credentials.
    • Support Governor Holcomb’s initiative to create a Public Disparity Portal to show how state programs are working and identify disparities.
    • Create a Statewide Public Law Enforcement Database and requirement for law enforcement agencies to collect, maintain and report data, including on egregious officer misconduct, detentions and use-of-force, as well as demographic information about arrests and detainees.

    ITIA’s complete policy priorities can be found here.

  • October 28, 2020 10:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    • Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA), the statewide association of Indiana’s technology-driven companies and partners, announced today it has elected its 2021-2022 Board of Directors.

      ITIA has expanded its Board from 15 to 20 members to reflect its growing, diverse statewide membership.

      The following five individuals have been elected by the ITIA membership as new members of the Board:

    • Ted Baker, CEO & Executive Director, Muncie Innovation Connector
    • Linda Calvin, Vice President of the School of Information Technology & Workforce Alignment, Ivy Tech Community College
    • Mike Halbig, Founder & CEO, InGen Technologies, Inc.
    • Kelli N. Jones, Co-Founder of Be Nimble Foundation & Managing Partner of Sixty8 Capital powered by Allos Ventures
    • Randy Parmerlee, CEO & Managing Partner, Glassboard

    • “ITIA is excited to grow and welcome new members to its Board of Directors,” said President & CEO of First Internet Bank David Becker, who serves as Chair of the ITIA Board of Directors. “Our new Board members are incredibly accomplished tech leaders who will bring diverse perspectives to our association, and we thank them for stepping up to serve. ITIA is continuing to grow and expand its statewide presence as we work to create the best environment for Indiana’s technology companies to thrive.”

      Below are the members of the 2021-2022 ITIA Board of Directors:

    • Ted Baker, CEO & Executive Director, Muncie Innovation Connector
    • David Becker, President & CEO, First Internet Bank
    • Linda Calvin, Vice President of the School of Information Technology & Workforce Alignment, Ivy Tech Community College
    • Christopher Day, CEO & Co Founder, DemandJump
    • Pat East, Executive Director, The Mill
    • Erin Eberly, Partner, Katz, Sapper & Miller
    • Megan Glover, CEO, 120Water
    • Mike Halbig, Founder & CEO, InGen Technologies, Inc.
    • Darye Henry, Founder, AfterSchool HQ
    • Kelli N. Jones, Co-Founder of Be Nimble Foundation & Managing Partner of Sixty8 Capital powered by Allos Ventures
    • Shelley Klingerman, Managing Entrepreneur, NEXT Studios
    • Mike Langellier, CEO, TechPoint
    • Kristin Marcuccilli, COO, STAR Financial Bank
    • John McDonald, Managing Entrepreneur at NEXT Studios & Founder and Chief Evangelist at ClearObject
    • Brent Oakley, CEO, Vibenomics
    • Ade Olonoh, Founder of Formstack & Venture Partner at Starting Line
    • Randy Parmerlee, CEO & Managing Partner, Glassboard
    • Bill Soards, President, AT&T Indiana
    • Amy Waggoner, Senior Director of State & Local Government Affairs for the Eastern U.S., Salesforce
    • John Wechsler, Founder and CEO of Launch Fishers & the Indiana IoT Lab

    ITIA is Indiana’s premiere voice for technology in the public policy and political arenas. Membership to ITIA is open to all technology-driven companies and partners. For more information about ITIA and membership, visit www.IndianaTechnology.org.

  • August 18, 2020 9:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA) released the following statement today following Governor Eric Holcomb’s statewide address calling for greater action to address equity and inclusion. 

    “The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association applauds Governor Holcomb’s pledge to address racial inequities in our state and to drive systemic change across all of state government to remove barriers to access and improve outcomes for minority populations. The action steps announced today are an important start, and ITIA urges the Governor to build on this initial commitment by championing long-term, meaningful reforms.

    ITIA formed an Equity Committee to identify and advocate for needed reforms, and we hope to share recommendations and opportunities to partner with the State on these efforts. ITIA stands ready to work with the Governor and the State on priority areas such as improving minority access to high-quality education and workforce training programs, identifying and addressing gaps in minority entrepreneurs’ access to resources and capital, and combatting racism that harms quality of life for the Black community in our state.” 

    In June, ITIA released a statement in support of the Black community and pledging to advocate for meaningful change. You can read the full statement here.

    The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA) is a statewide association of Indiana’s technology-driven companies and partners. ITIA is Indiana’s premier voice for technology in the public policy arena. For more information visit www.IndianaTechnology.org 

  • June 19, 2020 3:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Indiana’s premier voice for technology-related public policy urged action to address systemic racism it said has plagued the nation for too long.

    “We simply cannot have a thriving tech community in Indiana without diversity, inclusion and equality. These values are key pillars of our policy advocacy, but we know we must do more,” the Indiana Technology & Innovation Association said in a June 5 news release.

    “Our Place Policy Committee will take a hard look at how we can identify and advocate for specific policy proposals for the next legislative session to improve diversity and inclusion within the tech community and beyond, and to combat systemic racism in Indiana,” it said.

    “We also urge our state and local leaders to do the same, and work to enact meaningful policy reforms. We pledge to foster these conversations within our own association, listen and do our part to affect change.”

    Read more.

  • June 05, 2020 12:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA) released the following statement today: 

    “The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association rises in support of the black community and urges action to address the systemic racism that’s plagued our country and its citizens for too long. We simply cannot have a thriving tech community in Indiana without diversity, inclusion and equality. These values are key pillars of our policy advocacy, but we know we must do more. Our Place Policy Committee will take a hard look at how we can identify and advocate for specific policy proposals for the next legislative session to improve diversity and inclusion within the tech community and beyond, and to combat systemic racism in Indiana. We also urge our state and local leaders to do the same, and work to enact meaningful policy reforms. We pledge to foster these conversations within our own association, listen and do our part to affect change.”

    The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA) is a statewide association of Indiana’s technology-driven companies and partners. ITIA is Indiana’s premier voice for technology in the public policy arena. For more information visit www.IndianaTechnology.org 

  • April 01, 2020 9:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It took an extremely short amount of time for a group of 16 churches and local technology entrepreneurs to purchase 200,000 N95-type masks for around $280,000.

    With such a shortage of lifesaving PPE, a local tech entrepreneur in Fishers named Michael Slate wanted to do what he could for those on the frontlines of the fight against the coronavirus.

    Through a collaboration of Heartland Church, Slate's company Vendorjump, Launch Fishers and 15 other churches so far, hundreds of thousands of KN95 masks from Slate's team in Asia are on their way.

    The first batch of those masks are expected to get here by the end of the week and will be given to hospitals, first responders and longterm care facilities in Indianapolis for the fight against COVID-19.

    "I think that now is the greatest opportunity for us to be the 'big C' church," pastor Darryn Scheske of Heartland Church said. "We all sit in different buildings, but now we're all at home. There's a chance for us all to come together and do something compassionate."

    If you, your church or your organization would like to take part in this collaborative effort, you can find more information on donations at www.covidsupport.life.

    Those behind the effort said the window to place orders is narrowing as we get closer to the anticipated peak for the virus in Indiana.

    "We've got to act now in order to be prepared for this," said John Wechsler, Indiana IoT founder and CEO.

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