Roundup: 2016 VC Activity, Expansions, Hiring News, Fun Reads & More

Here’s a look at innovation news from around Indiana:

—According to an analysis by TechPoint, a nonprofit organization promoting and accelerating the growth of Indiana’s tech industry, the latest PriceWaterhouseCoopers MoneyTree report indicates the state had a “banner year” in 2016 in terms of venture capital funding and acquisitions. The report found that 23 deals were made, representing a combined investment of $51.51 million in Indiana—a smaller total amount of funding but a higher number of deals than in 2015.

“One can infer from this—consistent with my personal observations—that the companies attracting investment are younger scale-up companies; companies beyond early startup stage, but early in their growth and expansion stage,” said Mike Langellier, president and CEO of TechPoint, in the article. For a complete list of Indiana’s VC activity in 2016, click here.

High Alpha, the Indianapolis-based venture fund and accelerator, announced this week that marketing tech guru Scott McCorkle will join its team in the newly created advisory role of executive in residence. McCorkle headed up new product development for ExactTarget before it was acquired by Salesforce for $2.5 billion in 2013. He went on to serve as CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Before ExactTarget, he worked for Mezzia, Software Artistry, and IBM.

As an executive in residence, McCorkle will mentor High Alpha portfolio companies, help find and develop promising new startups, and lend High Alpha companies his product and engineering expertise. “Scott is an extraordinarily talented technology executive … [who] will be instrumental in helping us scale our existing portfolio companies as well as develop new breakout ideas and companies,” said managing partner Scott Dorsey in a statement. Three ExactTarget alums including Dorsey helped found High Alpha in 2015.

—The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced this week that a health tech company based in Florida has decided to locate its new client services center in the Hoosier State. Green Circle Health, creator of a website that tracks and analyzes users’ medical records and data to help them make informed healthcare decisions, will spend about $1 million to expand its presence in Carmel. The IEDC also notes that Green Circle is hiring and plans to create up to 125 new jobs in the state by 2022.

—Are you running an Indiana business that has continually operated for more than 50 years? Nominations are now open for the Governor’s Century and Half Century Business Awards, which honor “Hoosier businesses that have remained in operation for at least 100 or 50 years, respectively, and have demonstrated a commitment to serving the community,” according to a press release. Nonprofits and hospitals are not eligible, nor are those businesses that have not been based in Indiana since their inception. To apply and read the full list of qualifying criteria, click here.

—There have been a couple of fun stories posted online about Indiana’s tech ecosystem recently. On Tuesday, the New York Times published an article titled “How Indianapolis, Long Known as a Manufacturing Center, Is Luring Tech Talent,” which examines the city’s efforts to attract and retain young tech professionals.

Last week, CNBC published a list of the 15 U.S. cities where one can “live really well” on a $60,000 annual salary. Indianapolis came in fifth on the list, with a median home value of $130,200 and more than 33,000 open jobs.

—From the Dept. of Escapist Binge-Reading: Like many of us, you may be looking to escape all the madness currently afoot in the world. If you like the creepy end of the sci-fi spectrum—UFOs, remote viewing, parapsychology as an espionage tool, and the like—have we got a time-suck for you, in the form of a trove of previously classified documents posted online by the CIA.

Wired magazine was kind enough to flag some of the documents that might have appealed most to agents Mulder and Scully. Nick Cullather, a historian at Indiana University who specializes in U.S. foreign relations and intelligence, says in the magazine that while there may not be anything as scintillating as photographic evidence of aliens hanging out at Area 51, the 12 million pages still hold relevance: “What it mostly is is magazine and newspaper articles from all over the world. … It gives you a sense of how the CIA was perceiving the world.” Happy falling down the rabbit hole!

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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