What Does Tech in Indy Pay?

Tech isn’t always a get-rich-quick scheme. As these anonymous confessions from local employees show, the perks and promise often outweigh the current salaries.

This article is part of Indianapolis Monthly’s February 2016 Tech City package. For more on this window into the city’s tech world, click here.


CEO and Founder

App-building company

Salary: $24,000

Equity: Majority ownership of the company shares.

Perks: Unlimited vacation. Espresso bar. Tech stipends to purchase phone and computers. Professional-growth budget for conferences and classes.

Expected salary in five years: “Startups are high-risk, high-reward. It could be a lot. You know the saying, ‘Don’t count your chickens before they hatch’? There are a lot of good-looking eggs, but none have hatched yet.”


Venture-capital firm

Salary: $55,000 to $85,000, depending on bonuses.

Equity: “A small amount to start that could grow big-time down the road.”

Perks: Flexible schedule. The opportunity to work on the trendiest software platforms.

Expected salary in five years: “It could be $100,000 to $150,000 for a rock star—someone who could eventually be the CTO of the company.”


Food tech startup

Salary: $200 an hour, part-time until the business takes off. “I work for two companies like this, and am looking for a third right now.”

Equity: “Typically, a CFO takes 1.5 to 2 percent of shares. In the beginning, though, most startups opt for part-time CFOs to keep operations lean. Like most of those, I forgo options.”

Perks: Working with multiple startups, and waiting for one to catch fire.

Expected salary in five years: “Hard to say. Eventually, I want to be focused on just one company. In the meantime, I’m hedging my bets.”