Watch CBSN Live

Small Business Success

CBS News Up To The Minute is focusing on local news with its daily "Eye On:" segment. At :40 past the hour, we will tell the stories that are not being told on any other network broadcast, straight from the CBS News affiliates and journalists who are covering them. Today's Eye On: Indianapolis comes from our affiliate, WISH-TV.

Don Brown's company, Interactive Intelligence, designs business communication software at their unique Indianapolis headquarters.

"We've been profitable for nine consecutive quarters," Brown says.

But this isn't the first time Brown has turned a profit.

Trending News

"This is my third company in the area," Brown explains. "I started my first one back when I was a starving medical student."

Brown's successful area is right here in Indiana. Now while lots of folks thing of Indiana as a fly over state, corn fields in between the coasts, some Indianapolis companies are competing on a national level. It's a fight to attract new business, but also to attract talent.

"It is a concern," Brown says. "To some extent it would be much easier to run a technology company on the coast or some other hot-bed area, but I think there are certain advantages too. We have tremendous loyalty."

Some of those loyal employees come from a tech-rich talent pool graduating from Indiana Universities. Talent that has landed Brown clients like Microsoft.

"They met the people we have and it started to dawn on them that the quality of the organization they were dealing with and ultimately to be selected was really heady stuff," Brown revels. "So we relish that fight. We don't mind being the small guy."

Big guys, companies like Eli Lilly, have forged a foundation and state initiatives are fostering more growth in bio-tech.

"We're in the business of imagination," says Paul Knapp, from Young & Larramore.

But the growth isn't all high-tech. At a renovated century old public school building, Indianapolis marketing agency Young and Larramor is drawing in national accounts that typically go to specialized ad firms of on the coasts.

"Here you have a much broader creative frontier," Knapp says. "You can touch it all, you can do it all, in a way we don't know any better. We just do it to the benefit of the client's work."

Clients like Steak and Shake, Stanley Steamer and Goodwill. Knapp says bringing creative minds to Indiana is "a battle every day. You have to do many different things to make the place attractive.

As Indianapolis businesses continue to diversify, maybe more business and talent will stop here. Not just fly over.

by Steve Bray

View CBS News In