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Canal Walk in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

Scott McCorkle used to be the chief executive of Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud division but he’s spent the last year quietly working on a new startup in the technology hub where he’s worked for over two decades: Indianapolis.

The bigger picture: There’s a growing effort to create and promote tech jobs in the heartland, but some cities like Indianapolis are already tech hubs in their own rights.

Indianapolis made headlines in 2013 when Salesforce acquired local software company ExactTarget, where McCorkle was president and chief technology executive. But the city’s software industry has a long history of success.

  • “A lot of innovation centers you can trace back to a company or two,” McCorkle tells Axios.
  • In 1997 IBM acquired Software Artistry, where McCorkle also worked, for $200 million. Software Artistry’s alumni went on to seed a vibrant local enterprise software industry.
  • More recently, a number of ExactTarget’s former executives have formed High Alpha, an organization that helps hatch startups and funds them, including McCorkle’s new company, MetaCX. With $14 million in new funding, MetaCX aims to help business software vendors better track their customers’ usage and satisfaction.

Indianapolis’s thriving tech scene owes its success, in part, to a number of practices and efforts its government and business leaders have adopted, says McCorkle.

The bottom line: Cities like Indianapolis won’t be the next Silicon Valley, but they don’t want to be. Instead, they’re focused on their own strengths to cultivate local tech industries.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 6 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.