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 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 12,528,449 — Total deaths: 560,921 — Total recoveries — 6,907,072Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 3,187,270 — Total deaths: 134,117 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: We're losing the war on the coronavirusThe reality of the coronavirus bites.
  4. Business: Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China because the pandemic damaged the two countries' relationship — How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.

Romney calls Stone commutation "historic corruption"

Sen. Mitt Romney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Saturday tweeted a scathing response to President Trump's Friday night commutation of former associate Roger Stone's prison sentence, calling the move "[u]nprecedented, historic corruption."

Why it matters: Romney has emerged as the party's most prominent Trump critic. He sent shockwaves through Washington after announcing he would vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial — becoming the only Senate Republican to break ranks and vote for the president's removal from office. Now he is the first major GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump's Friday night call regarding Stone.

4 hours ago - Health

We're losing the war on the coronavirus

Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

By any standard, no matter how you look at it, the U.S. is losing its war against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The pandemic is not an abstraction, and it is not something that’s simmering in the background. It is an ongoing emergency ravaging nearly the entire country, with a loss of life equivalent to a Sept. 11 every three days — for four months and counting.