Tech’s next stop: Middle America



San Francisco-based Salesforce.com is joining the effort to put America’s smaller cities on the map as entrepreneurial hubs.

The company in 2013 acquired ExactTarget, an Indianapolis-based email-marketing company, and has committed to helping it grow locally.

Salesforce’s Indianapolis office now has 1,500 workers — the company’s second largest base outside of its headquarters.

It has been able to coax new (if reluctant) talent to the city from coastal startup capitals like San Francisco and Seattle.

“Once they get here, they love it,” says Bob Stutz, Salesforce’s cloud marketing CEO. The company plans to add another 800 jobs by 2020. That’s just Salesforce’s direct impact. Its acquisition of ExactTarget freed up founders to launch new startups and incubators.

“That re-investing of money and mentorship back into the community has had a big payoff: $7 billion worth of transactions for Indianapolis tech companies in the past 10 years,” reports Axios.

Salesforce isn’t alone in highlighting entrepreneurial opportunities in between the coasts.

Steve Case’s “Rise of the Rest” tour is visiting cities across the Midwest and Lowell, Mass.-based Entrepreneurship for All is expanding to 50 small and mid-sized cities suffering economic decline.

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