For those of you who don't know Malomo, we're headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and before you ask, yes—we prescribe to that Hoosier Hospitality.
Dawn Olsen, writer for the Indianapolis Monthly Magazine, interviewed Yaw about the growing tech scene that could rejuvenate the city's center:
"THERE HAS NEVER been a better time to launch a company in Indianapolis than right now. There’s more capital flowing to the area and more organizations—Powderkeg, gBETA, and TechPoint—that support startups than ever before. The Orr Fellowship is cultivating the next generation of entrepreneurs. The Startup Ladies shine a spotlight on women business owners. Techstars recently launched a sports accelerator here.
But I would love to see more partnerships between large organizations and early-stage companies. What if Eli Lilly partnered with a startup and became one of their clients? It would signal to people that the business had value and would be worth investing in.
There’s also a lot of empty space downtown right now, and it would be worthwhile to get some young companies in there. Launching a company can be a lonely journey. It’s great when you can talk to other founders who are at a similar stage and are having the same challenges. Getting together inspires new ideas and new energy, and companies can solve their problems faster. Having High Alpha and Salesforce downtown is great. But if we increase the density of tech companies building, working, and learning together, it would reenergize the area. That’s one of the nice things about having an office at Union Campus downtown. There are a bunch of early-stage companies in that building, and everyone can collaborate, talk, and mingle.
In general, I think downtown is very tech-friendly. Our ecosystem includes talent from Purdue, Notre Dame, IU, and Rose-Hulman, and there are some later-stage companies and executives who can provide resources to new entrepreneurs and teach them how to operate their companies.
There are systemic challenges that people of color and women face in launching companies here. That’s because the venture capital industry has, historically, been dominated by white men. They don’t always understand things outside their sphere of direct knowledge. Founders of color are getting overlooked and going outside the state to look for capital. That’s a huge miss for us.
Providing funding to underrepresented groups is critical. Kelli Jones has been in the Indy tech scene for a while, though. She cofounded Sixty8 Capital, which specifically funds Black, brown, women, and LGBTQ-led startups. When we launched Malomo three years ago downtown, we raised our seed funding from two Black-led venture capital funds. That matters a lot." —As told to Dawn Olsen
Malomo wouldn't be here if it wasn't for our two Co-Founders, Yaw Aning and Anthony Smith, who are both current Indianapolis residents and big believers in the Indy community. New ideas from different minds creates more representation and that's what Malomo was founded on. We're proud to have such strong advocates as Founders!