Yes, we understand technology allows business processes to take place today that were never possible before. Yes, we know that people – no doubt about it – are the most important asset in any organization.
But location still plays a factor. And location is a central theme to two recent EchoChamber conversations. The guests: Rich Carlton of Data Realty in South Bend (where tech is thriving on the site of the former auto manufacturing giant Studebaker) and John Hurley of SmartFile and the Union 525 (the scale-up home in Indianapolis that is becoming the centerpiece of innovation and activity).
A few nuggets from each are below. But we encourage you to check out their full conversations.
Data Realty family of companies is making 40 million calculations a day on data coming in from around the world
Talent from Stanford, MIT, Carnegie-Mellon and more now calling South Bend region home
Goals include becoming the first company out of South Bend to be valued at $1 billion
“If South Bend was a stock, I’d be buying. We’re in the infancy of what we’re going to be able to do.”
Celebrating its ninth anniversary – “we’re like a grandfather in tech” – SmartFile manages digital content to meet regulatory and compliance standards for 1,400 organizations in 80 countries
Hurley loves the “collisions” at Union 525 where “great risk takers and thinkers are all there creating a lot of energy”
He is now receiving near daily communication from venture capitalists looking at Indiana and the Midwest. Union 525 is a part of helping to make that happen
The next phases of tech development on the southern edge of Indianapolis’ downtown are being formulated
And be sure to check out this week’s new episode featuring Brian Schroeder of Eskenazi Health. The subject is wellness – utilizing workplace wellness as a business strategy and the idea that we can move from treating chronic disease with a pill to utilizing lifestyle medicine.
Subscribe to the EchoChamber via iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts to be sure not to miss out on future guests from the innovation, business, education and political worlds.
Our communications VP Tom Schuman penned this blog back in February about SmartFile's technology bake-off contest. If you dig innovation — and would like to see more of it in Indiana — you'll be on board with this. The winners were announced last week, and congrats to IUPUI students Ani Chan and Manpreet Singh for their honors.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so simultaneously shocked and happy in my life,” said Chan. “Aside from being able to hold one of those ridiculously huge checks like a lottery winner, the best part of the competition was the validation that comes from building something from start to finish. Sometimes as a college student, it’s easy for your projects to go unnoticed, so it’s nice to receive feedback and interest from likeminded people and successful business leaders.”
Indiana college students were challenged to develop an open source application that interacts with the newly released SmartFile API over a period of 50 days. To help teams finish development, SmartFile hosted a 24-hour “Bake-Off-A-Thon” a week prior to submission to help finalize development. Registered students accepted the challenge to showcase their talents, but only nine qualified for the finals. Five of Indianapolis’ top business thinkers listened to five-minute pitches from the finalists before then scoring each “app” electronically in the following five categories: Innovation, Utility, Use of SmartFile Platform, Design and User Experience.
The top four teams re-pitched their applications to the Bake-Off party audience who then voted electronically before “Team Octodog” was crowned champion. Purdue University students, Eric Lovelace and Levi Miller, from team "Winnovation” were awarded second place and received $5,000 for their mobile-app “SmartBox.” Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology students, Erik Sanders and AJ Piergiovanni, from team "Dangling Pointers” were awarded third place and received $2,000 for their web-app “ReciCopy.”
John Hurley, SmartFile’s President and Co-Founder, said the judges were impressed with the caliber of work, which made choosing the winners difficult. “But Team Octodog amazed everyone with an impressive and functional application with the right combination of entrepreneurial spark, innovation, real-world viability and skillful development.”
SmartFile’s Bake-Off was not only created to inspire and facilitate engagement between this next generation of programmers, but also to help develop the ecosystem for SmartFile’s new “platform” initiative. During the ceremony, Hurley announced that “the online file platform” from SmartFile would now be FREE for developers who sign up for a beta account. Offering unlimited transfer and 100GB of storage space allows SmartFile to cater to the underserved development community. An official announcement for the online file platform initiative will be made in the coming week.
I can't say I've used the word "bake-off" much, if at all, in my business writing over the last 15 years. But then times are changing and this 21st century bake-off has nothing to do with a kitchen or its accompanying appliances.
The quick summary:
SmartFile, a market leader in business class file sharing, challenges Indiana college students to put their creative technical skills to work, collaborate and think big. Apps must integrate with SmartFile's API to enhance some aspect of the file sharing/digital asset management experience. Fifty two-person teams will compete for 50 days, but only three will walk away with a little more wealth and wisdom.
It's the 2013 SmartFile Platform Bake-Off, offering $17,000 in cash prizes to student competitors from Indiana colleges. Check out this video or web site for details. Registration began February 1.