The 16 Tech Community Corporation Board of Directors announced today that Robert W. Coy Jr., a veteran economic and entrepreneurial development expert who created one of the Midwest’s most active tech seed capital funds, has been named President and CEO of 16 Tech Community Corporation.
In his new position, Coy will oversee the mission and guide the development of the 16 Tech innovation community, a 60-acre innovation district on the near west side of Indianapolis designed to ignite innovation and attract, retain and develop talent. Coy will immediately begin building a leadership team and commence operations, thanks to a $2 million grant to the non-profit 16 Tech Community Corporation from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. In addition to funding staff positions, the Foundation’s grant will help to fund land acquisition and operating expenses for this transformative economic development initiative.
Coy joins 16 Tech after more than 11 years as president and CEO of CincyTech, a venture development organization that accelerated the growth of start-up bioscience, healthcare, technology and advanced manufacturing companies in Southwest Ohio. Under Coy’s leadership, CincyTech invested in 70 startups that raised more than $680 million in seed, early and late stage capital and that today employ nearly 1,000 people.
“Bob has a proven track record of making big things happen, and that includes helping entrepreneurs transform ideas into high potential companies and advancing regional and state economies through the kinds of strategic investments of capital and talent that drive true technological innovation,” said David Johnson, President and CEO of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) and Chairman of the 16 Tech Community Corporation Board of Directors. “Bob is uniquely qualified for this ambitious assignment, and, thanks to the wonderful start-up grant to 16 Tech by the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, he can hit the ground running, as we know he will.”
The 16 Tech development is Indianapolis’ signature place for both showcasing and energizing a new, metropolitan-based 21st century economy. Designed as a dense, open community, 16 Tech will bring talent together to collaborate, share resources and catalyze knowledge toward innovation. The development will include flexible research space, compelling public spaces for events and programming, a mix of housing opportunities and retail and office space for entrepreneurs and established companies. In addition, as an economic anchor in the community, 16 Tech will set an example of access, opportunity, education and partnership with the surrounding neighborhoods through ongoing programming, job training and career opportunities.
“One of the Foundation’s primary goals is to advance the life sciences sector to help strengthen and grow our local economy,” said Claire Fiddian-Green, President and CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. “Innovation, entrepreneurship and cross-sector collaboration – all central tenets of 16 Tech’s mission – are key mechanisms for accomplishing these objectives. That’s why we are pleased to provide start-up operating funds to help attract a founding CEO of Bob Coy’s caliber and to help ensure 16 Tech will have an immediate positive impact in Indianapolis and elsewhere around the state.”
Coy has held entrepreneurial and economic development leadership positions with public and private institutions over the past 32 years in Ohio, Missouri, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
“16 Tech is very much like CincyTech as it leverages the region’s core industry competencies in biosciences, IT and advanced manufacturing and engages business leaders, researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs as well as government officials, community leaders and residential neighbors to create opportunity and economic growth,” Coy said. “With the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute as its anchor institution and already attracting global talent, 16 Tech is primed and ready to spur growth in Indianapolis’ urban core.”
Prior to joining CincyTech, Coy was senior vice president for entrepreneurial development and of economic development at the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, where he co-founded the St. Louis Arch Angels, a group of individuals who invest in early-stage companies in the St. Louis region.
In Delaware, Coy served as the principal economic adviser to the governor, established a seed fund to invest in technology start-up companies and developed initiatives to promote technology partnerships between universities and businesses. In Pennsylvania, he served as executive director of the Ben Franklin Partnership Program, the state’s premier technology development program that invests in start-up companies.
About 16 Tech
16 Tech is an innovation community and one of the largest talent attraction, retention and development opportunities in Indianapolis’s history. Located on the near west side of Indianapolis, 16 Tech is a dense, open community that will bring talent together to collaborate toward innovation. The innovation community is guided by a 13-member board of directors who bring deep community leadership and diverse business experience to the board. More information can be found at www.16techindy.com.
Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation
The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation strives to advance the vitality of Indianapolis and the well-being of its people by addressing the city’s most significant challenges and opportunities. The Foundation is focused on three issue-areas: education, tobacco and opioid addiction, and the life sciences. To advance its work, the Foundation implements a three-pronged approach: strategic grantmaking, evidence-based advocacy, and cross-sector collaborations and convenings. Learn more at RMFF.org.