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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

Tim Scott hopes to reintroduce version of GOP police reform bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters Wednesday he plans to reintroduce his police reform bill or a similar proposal in the coming weeks and that he has discussed a potential compromise with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Why it matters: Eyes have again turned to Washington to take steps to address police reform in the wake of Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict Tuesday, after efforts stalled in Congress last year.

Biden announces small business tax credits for vaccine PTO

Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday called on all employers to provide workers paid time off to get vaccinated or recover from COVID side effects, and said he'll include a paid tax credit for small businesses that do so.

Why it matters: The Biden administration sees workplaces as highly influential in making shots more convenient for working adults who are in high-risk industries.

White House unveils plans for high-profile climate summit

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden administration offered new details this morning about the big, virtual climate summit Thursday and Friday and signaled they expect new emissions reduction and climate finance commitments from multiple countries.

Driving the news: The administration said 40 heads of state would attend, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.