Tech Talk: Sapp Moving But Not Going Away

By now, many of you have seen the stories and video (Inside INdiana Business interview) about Dustin Sapp. The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology grad and Indiana tech leader for more than 15 years is moving to Colorado (for health reasons) but has also taken on a new role with Indianapolis-based Formstack.

Sapp was honored as the first Indiana Vision 2025 Dynamic Leader of the Year when the Chamber instituted the award in 2015. It was based on his business creation efforts – NoInk Communications, Vontoo and TinderBox (now Octiv) – and his contributions in giving back and helping grow the tech community.

Here are a few excerpts from our Dynamic Leader of the Year profile in BizVoice® magazine.

  • On founding a business: “Starting a company is a lot harder than people make it out to be. You can go to an event and it’s all about the energy and the excitement, but they don’t talk about the difficulty. Especially when you first begin – you’re the boss and the employee and the one making the coffee and the custodian and the accountant. It’s often a very lonely job.”
  • On priorities and why work should not be No. 1: “When it comes to burnout, a pattern we see is that it’s most often those who are the most career-driven. They pour everything they have into career, and it’s all that exists for them. So a requirement that I have for people is that they have something that’s more important than this business in their lives. For me, it’s straightforward: it’s my God and it’s my family.”
  • On the tech scene in central Indiana: “Indianapolis has always had the right attitude about the ‘rising tide,’ but now as you list the successes, you have a second level of talent investing back into the ecosystem, starting and joining other companies in earlier stages. We’re seeing a magical moment. Now our biggest gap is in getting a number of $20-$30 million companies, not just one or two. We need that middle tier, not just big successes and early stage start-ups.”

Profound words 18 months ago – and today. Dustin, thanks for everything you have done thus far and will continue to do for your team and our state. We wish you nothing but the best.

Nominations close June 16 for the 2017 Dynamic Leader of the Year award. The winner is selected based on success within their own organization, as well as their efforts to grow the state’s technology and innovation communities. Contact Jesse Brothers at [email protected] for more information.

Formstack’s Build Indy Features Free Conference, $5,000 Prize

Customers around the world use Indy-based Formstack's online form building tool to build stronger relationships with their customers, colleagues, and community. As an Indy business ourselves, we want to spread the word about how local cloud-based solutions can connect organizations within the city and grow small businesses as a whole. This is why Formstack launched Build Indy. From now until May 16, we will be promoting small business growth within the Indianapolis community, with a focus on the benefits of cloud computing software. We're doing this in a few ways: through a free half-day conference, through customer stories and educational posts on our website and blog, and through a $5,000 grant we're awarding to a local small business or nonprofit. In the way of cloud computing software, $5,000 can go a long way.

As a company that operates solely in the cloud, we are pleased to offer an inexpensive data storage option to our customers, and we know the potential cloud computing can have for other small businesses and startups. Through Build Indy, we hope to educate the Indianapolis small business community on the ways cloud-based services can streamline their work processes and save money. There seems to be a strong gap that can be filled in creating a healthy and non-intimidating discussion around tech resources for local small businesses, and we hope through the ongoing content based on cloud computing, the free half-day conference on Wednesday, March 20, and the $5,000 giveaway, we can help support that cause.

Visitors to the Build Indy website can nominate a local small business or nonprofit to win $5,000, which can be used toward whatever the winner needs to grow his or her business. The winner of the grant will be decided by a panel of Indianapolis professionals and will be announced at the Build Indy concluding party on May 16. Join us at The Speak Easy as we reveal the grant winner, enjoy a few beers, and host a silent auction featuring local goods. However, you'll need to nominate a winner before April 20 – that's the deadline for the initial round of nominations.

The "Collect, Engage, and Grow" Half-Day Conference, featuring three local small business leaders, will be on Wednesday, March 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Launch Fishers, Indy's newest co-working space. With local small business leaders covering the importance of cloud computing for small businesses, you'll have a chance to learn and connect with other professionals in the community. The conference is free, but spots are limited, so be sure to register today.

To register for the event or nominate a local small business or nonprofit for the $5,000 award, visit On the Build Indy page, we will also be highlighting Indy customers in a video series spanning the campaign. We'll be posting several Indy use cases on the Formstack blog throughout the campaign, so let us know if you are a Formstack customer and interested in being featured.

Breena Fain is Formstack's marketing manager. For more information about Build Indy, feel free to contact her at [email protected].