The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association released its policy priorities for the 2023 legislative session on Tuesday. The organization said it plans to focus on issues including expanding access to capital, supporting a diverse tech workforce and encouraging tech job growth and entrepreneurship.
The ITIA said entrepreneurship is a key focus, citing Indiana as the 44th place in the country for new entrepreneurs, according to the 2021 Kauffman Entrepreneurial Indicators.
“We must do everything we can to support and accelerate entrepreneurship in Indiana,” ITIA executive director Jennifer Hallowell said in a written statement. “The state of Indiana can continue to lead by removing barriers to entrepreneurship and investing in the talent and capital needed to start and grow an innovation-based business.”
The association says Indiana’s tech industry contributed $51 billion to the state’s GDP in 2021, with median tech wages 99% higher than median state wages.
ITIA Chairman David Becker, chief executive officer of Fisher-based First Internet Bank, said now is the time to accelerate the state’s commitment to supporting and expanding high-paying, high-tech jobs.
“Indiana is well positioned to embrace the economy of innovation and be a leader, but it will take a conscious, collaborative effort to free up capital, meet our talent needs and dramatically nurture entrepreneurship,” said Becker.
The association outlined its policy agenda for 2023 during its annual legislative update on Tuesday:
Policies that expand access to capital at all stages of growth
- Continued and solid investment in the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, which funds critical and proven programs including Elevate Ventures and the SBIR/STTR matching grant program.
- Additional government investment in the Next Level Indiana Fund to further accelerate the availability of capital for growth-stage Indiana companies.
- A focus on ensuring women, minorities and experienced entrepreneurs have access to capital at all stages.
Policies that develop, attract and retain a diverse tech workforce
- Incorporating computer science and technology as a high school graduation requirement to equip more students with technology skills, especially girls and students of color.
- Funding and incentives for technology-focused career exploration and discovery programs, such as B. Robotics.
- Support for apprenticeships, internships and other paths into the tech industry.
- Incentives and efforts to retain and attract talent to Indiana.
Policies that enable a thriving tech ecosystem
- Removing barriers to entrepreneurship and dedicated efforts to support the creation of new businesses.
- A data protection law that is interoperable with other state data protection laws to provide consistent, robust data protection and reduce the burden of implementation.
- Continuously expanding high-performing Certified Tech Parks (CTPs) by increasing the maximum allowable CTP capture.
- Efforts to accelerate broadband and fiber rollout.