The Indiana University Council for Regional Engagement and Economic Development, or CREED, hosted its final quarterly meeting of 2018 on Nov. 28 on the IUPUI campus.
Bill Stephan, vice president for engagement and CREED chair, shared new developments at the university: David Rubenstein is scheduled to be the winter commencement speaker at IU Bloomington, the next meeting of the IU Board of Trustees will be Dec. 6 and 7 on the IU Kokomo campus, and university representatives will visit the Electric Works site in Fort Wayne before the end of the month.
INfuze Indiana is a storytelling platform that has been used to connect entrepreneurs and venture capitalists throughout the state. Kara Kavensky, co-founder, spoke about the importance of telling the story behind regional engagement, entrepreneurship and economic development.
“Telling the story is crucial. Is there an opportunity to promote a school and its engagement, and how things are structured? The best way to share a story — what a company does or anything else — is to personalize it. What does it mean to the audience?” Kavensky said.
Future INfuze Indiana events will take place Dec. 11 in Evansville; Dec. 12 in Fort Wayne; in January 2019 in Terre Haute and Indianapolis; and on other dates in Bloomington, Lafayette and Hammond.
Trevor Foughty of the IU Office of the Vice President for Government Relations provided an overview of the 2019 legislative session, including some of the bills and budget items that will impact the university.
“Learning about what’s happening at regional campuses is very important to my colleagues and me. We have had a great trip to IU Kokomo, and we’ll soon visit Richmond, New Albany and Gary to visit the IU East, IU Southeast and IU Northwest campuses,” Foughty said. “The university needs to show that we are helping smaller towns by preparing their students for the future workforce.”
Subir Bandyopadhyay, professor of marketing and CREED representative from IU Northwest, provided an overview of that regional campus. He said the campus has created a new mission statement that includes community engagement; social, economic and cultural development; and empowering a diverse study body.
“IU Northwest is the most diverse campus in the IU system, and that is a huge positive for us,” he said. “We have nearly 4,000 students, plus 1,500 high school dual-credit students. We have partnered with Ivy Tech for a new building on campus, which is considered a marquee development for the city of Gary. We have established a new School of the Arts, as well as new degree programs and engagement programs.”
Tony Armstrong and Jason Whitney of the IU Research and Technology Corp. provided an overview of the organization’s transformation from managing the technology transfer process for the university — a task now managed by the IU Innovation and Commercialization Office — to its work to provide resources for the university’s faculty and staff innovators and entrepreneurs.
“In February, we launched the Philanthropic Venture Fund, which is a great way to engage alumni with the university,” Armstrong said. “More than 90 investment opportunities have been reviewed, and 12 were presented to the investment committee. Ten, all with IU connections, were approved for investment, and four have been transacted. We have made $1.3 million in investments and commitments already.”
Whitney described The Quarry, a resource for faculty and staff entrepreneurs to find personnel and funding for their startups.
“The Quarry was developed to build the foundation for sustainable businesses,” Whitney said. “We have rolled out a concept that has three buckets: business development, funding and talent. We have some SBIR/STTR consultants on staff to help faculty entrepreneurs with the process to apply for those grants. We also recently helped launch Midwest XOR, an online platform to connect talented individuals with startups throughout the member research universities.”
Armstrong and Whitney concluded with a summary about Dimension Mill, an 18,000-square-foot space in Bloomington’s Trades District that has been renovated into a coworking space for local entrepreneurs. IU is one of the major sponsors of Dimension Mill, which has developed a lot of programming for innovators throughout IU, Bloomington and Monroe County.
CREED members approved three Regional Economic Development, or RED, grants.
An award of $1,800 went to IU Southeast for a conference that creates an opportunity for alumni and employers in the community to meet with current students who are interested in working in their areas upon graduation. Workshop sessions will focus on goal-setting; enhancing student networking skills; creating first impressions; and developing connections with alumni in fields such as arts administration, business, education, law, medicine and nonprofit management. The campus will invite 240 students to participate.
A $2,300 grant was awarded to IUPUC to launch an annual community panel discussion titled “Lead by Design: An Inspirational Initiative.” The target market for the 2019 event is a diverse group of community members interested in the importance of diversity to economic development. The entire community is welcome to attend, with targeted groups being the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Mill Race Center, Columbus Chinese and Japanese Business Association, Rotary Club of Columbus, and United Way nonprofit leaders.
A $1,850 grant was awarded to IUPUI to support public engagement at three entrepreneurship events at SOURCE River West Entrepreneurship Center. The funding will be used to invite business leaders and others to a pitch competition that marks the end of the 10-week Kauffman FastTrac series.
The 2019 CREED meetings are scheduled for Feb. 13, May 22, Aug. 28 and Nov. 6.