A Publication of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation
Investment is Flowing in Bloomington A Skilled Workforce Innovation Finds a Home
Imagine that Indiana’s farmers had a way to monitor every inch of their fields, zeroing in on a corner where the soil is too dry, or a patch that needs fertilizer. Thanks to PrecisionHawk, this vision is becoming a reality. The company’s software and unmanned aerial vehicles allow farmers to collect, analyze, and store data that’s invisible to the naked eye, helping them increase crop yields while maximizing the use of resources such as water, fertilizer, and pesticide.
With support from the Innovate Indiana Fund, high-potential companies like PrecisionHawk are getting off the ground, bringing new products, businesses, and jobs to the state. It’s one more way that Innovate Indiana is creating a stronger Indiana for all of us. Find out how we’re innovating for a stronger Indiana at go.iu.edu/goodcompany.
INNOVATE INDIANA HT-358503-1
Table of Contents
Letter from the President.................. 3 Investment is Flowing in Bloomington................................. 6 Collaboration & Networking Opportunities.................................10 Booming Bloomington.....................12 Quality of Life......................................18 Why Bloomington?............................21 A Skilled Workforce...........................24 Creating a New Vision for Healthcare................................30 Innovation Finds a Home.................32 Coworking Spaces.............................36 Economic Development Resources........................................39 Publisher. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cory Bollinger Advertising Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Laurie Ragle Marketing Manager. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shaylan Owen Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sarah Garcia Anne McCombe Design Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Lehman The Herald-Times 1900 S. Walnut Street Bloomington, IN 47402 Phone: (812) 331-4401 Bloomington Economic Development Corporation 1720 N. Kinser Pike â€˘ Suite 001 Bloomington, IN 47404 Phone: (812) 335-7346 Email: email@example.com bloomingtonedc.com
Photos courtesy of BEDC Additional photos courtesy of The Herald-Times
Be Bloomington. BLOOMINGTONEDC.COM â€˘ 1
WE’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF T H E M I D D L E . B U T, W E ’ R E N O T W H AT A N YO N E W O U L D E X P E C T. Our hills, lakes, trees, and limestone are solid ground. From this base, we ﬁnd the strength to stretch and ﬂy. We believe in experimentation. We believe in equality. We believe in the next generation. They are educated on our doorstep, and set free to change the world.
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Letter from the President WELCOME! ON BEHALF OF THE BLOOMINGTON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, I invite you to explore Bloomington, a dynamic, creative, entrepreneurial community nestled in the rolling hills of southwest central Indiana. Bloomington is a quirky college town with big-city amenities where talented people come to thrive. There are many reasons why Bloomington and Monroe County are routinely ranked among the best communities for living and working. It’s the energy and curiosity of the over 45,000 students Indiana University students that come to our community every year. Or maybe it’s that IU offers more than 1,100 musical performances each year, including Broadway productions and operas, and over 300 Big Ten sporting events, not to mention numerous museums, art galleries, and libraries to explore. Perhaps it’s the presence of Ivy Tech Community College, with a Bloomington campus that offers workforce training and development that upskills employees of all ages and connects them to fulfilling work with innovative employers.
Employment opportunities in our community are diverse. There is a robust ecosystem of life sciences businesses ranging from biopharmaceuticals to medical devices manufacturing, and more. An engaged and thriving technology community grows established data analytics firms and mobile application startup companies alike. Bloomington celebrates collaboration, entrepreneurship, and high quality of life for the whole family. Our community’s Midwestern ingenuity and work ethic has combined with a forward-thinking, pro-business mindset to cultivate a community of innovation. Throughout Bloomington you’ll find networking opportunities, training resources, and incentive programs that encourage quality job growth and enhanced productivity. You can also enjoy a thriving arts community and numerous trails and parks. If you are looking for a new place to start a business, relocate a business, work, or live, we invite you to join us in Bloomington!
Lynn Coyne BEDC President
THE BLOOMINGTON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (BEDC) was founded in 1985 by a group of local leaders whose goal was continued growth and development in Monroe County. The BEDC is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the retention, development, and attraction of quality jobs in Monroe County. The BEDC is funded through memberships and grants from private industry, the City of Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana University, and Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington. Since 1985, BEDC has been dedicated to enhancing the vitality of our community. As the leading economic development organization for Bloomington/Monroe County,
we are focused on increasing opportunities whether it’s through supporting our existing businesses, tackling workforce issues, or fostering entrepreneurial activity. We’ve worked with our largest medical device manufacturers on workforce issues, small woodworking and metal fabrication studios on space needs, and young student entrepreneurs from the local colleges on launching their business in Bloomington. From providing leadership on issues that impact business growth to facilitating retention and expansion of key industries to ensure the long-term competitiveness of our economy, the BEDC works to lead our region on a path to economic prosperity.
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Cassady Electrical Contractors Inc. (CECI) is a family owned and operated business based in Bloomington, Indiana since 1965. CECI is certified by the State of Indiana and the City of Indianapolis as a WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise).
SPECIALTIES • • • •
commercial industrial medical new construction and remodels
SUB-SPECIALTIES • • • • • • • • • •
fire alarm systems temperature control generators uninterruptable power supplies thermal image scans arc flash studies process controls programmable controllers design build site lighting and communications
In addition to new construction and remodels, CECI has a commercial and residential service department to meet any type of service need.
2200 Tapp Road • Bloomington, Indiana 47403
Built to Last. Made To Inspire.
Since our founding in 1926, Indiana Limestone Company has continued to build upon its tradition of excellence and innovation. Our strength in consistently providing reliable building material solutions and investments in modern technology has allowed us to continually be the largest limestone quarrier in the United States. From Indiana Limestone blocks and slabs to residential and commercial building veneers and landscaping products, we are the leading fully integrated supplier of the Nation’s Building Stone.
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Investment is Flowing in Bloomington Tech Sector thrives on creativity, collaboration and character
IN 2017 ALONE, THE AMOUNT OF VENTURE CAPITAL DOLLARS invested in Bloomington companies more than tripled the total invested in the past decade.1 Each year, more B2B SaaS, and IoT startups spring up from Bloomington’s creativity, and tech sector employment grows nearly 80 percent.2 What is the secret? For one thing, an incredibly supportive network of entrepreneurs provide new ideas, mentorship opportunities and chances to collaborate and share knowledge. New companies can compete in any of Bloomington’s numerous pitch and accelerator programs, or attend any of the weekly tech events hosted in the community (full list, page 10). There is a never-ending supply of young, world-class talent from prestigious research institution Indiana University. Inspiration abounds—in one day, someone can breathe fresh lake air, eat at a Tibetan restaurant, stop by a Garlic Festival, listen to a Turkish sitar group, laugh with a standup comedian, and cap off the night with a distilled-in-house artisan cocktail. This kind of atmosphere can’t help but foster creativity, and startups in the technology sector thrive on it.
Cheddar Competition in our tech sector inspires innovation, not enmity. In 2009, Mike Trotzke, Brad Wisler, and Marc Guyer founded Sproutbox, a new-age venture firm that provides comprehensive support to startups in development, marketing, and generating 1. Hannapin Marketing 2. bloomingtontech.com/bloomington/ 6 • IN GOOD COMPANY
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revenue. From a desire to streamline billing for the startups they invest in, called “sprouts,” grew Cheddar. Cheddar simplifies billing for software companies using a usage-based API, so SaaS companies can bill at a fraction of the cost. In August 2017, Cheddar became one of Bloomington’s first technology companies to raise institutional venture capital from outside of Indiana when they received $1.25 million in seed funding. “Cheddar was built in Bloomington because of our access to talent, low cost of doing business, and the creativity we find in the startup community. We’re thrilled to be one of the first of what we predict to be many venture-backed SaaS firms in Bloomington,” says Trotzke, CEO of Cheddar. After securing funding, Trotzke immediately hosted a Q&A for other companies seeking funding who wanted to learn about the process. In his spare time, Trotzke mentors students with bright business ideas through the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation’s preaccelerator program, B-Start. The supportive atmosphere of Bloomington’s tech sector truly sets it apart from other, more established tech hubs. This collaborative ethos is just one reason why Bloomington is regularly ranked among Forbes’s “Top Cities for Doing Business” and Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Top 50 Hottest Small Cities for Entrepreneurs.” We like to think of it as our Midwestern charm.
Round 3 Like many organizations in Bloomington, the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation makes it our mission to help the tech sector thrive. The Bloomington Technology 8 • IN GOOD COMPANY
Partnership—a public-private initiative of the BEDC—fosters the growth of Bloomington’s high-tech community by providing talent recruitment, networking opportunities, and technical assistance. The BEDC also hosts B-Start, the aforementioned pre-accelerator program. B-start selects entrepreneurs with an innovation-driven idea for a 5-month intensive program which builds a foundation for acceleration. Each startup is paired with a mentor from the Bloomington community to help them develop their idea and business model. Participants are able to consult with experts in intellectual property, marketing, lead generation, pitch development, and more. The program offers invaluable networking opportunities with fellow startups, potential investors and community members. At the program’s culminating event, Demo Day, startups showcase what they have learned and have the chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes. One alum of the B-Start program is Round 3, a cloud-based platform which facilitates peer feedback among students, improving learning outcomes and enabling effective oversight by teachers. Its founders, Matthew Callison and Tiffany Roman, participated in B-Start in 2015, winning its Pitch Day competition. From that success, they went on to win pilot programs at the University of Oklahoma and University of Notre Dame, and then won the Clapp IDEA Competition at the IU Kelley School of Business. Most recently, they partnered with RoseHulman Ventures to develop a Round3 software platform, which has 30 schools signed up to pilot it.
The Bee Corp The unique opportunities available in Bloomington make it an ideal place for young entrepreneurs to grow their business. Ellie Symes has one of these stories. While a student at IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Symes started a beekeeping club. From that club, the idea was formed to create a technology which would monitor hive health, providing beekeepers across the nation a software solution for accelerating incidences of hive loss. With The Bee Corp, Symes and her cofounders, fellow students Simon Kuntz, Lucas Moehle, and Wyatt Wells, are bringing an IoT solution to an industry that previously had no real technology for data collection and analysis. The potential impact this software could have is limitless, and thanks to support from the Bloomington community and the hard work of its founders, it is well on its way. After winning the 2015-16 Building Entrepreneurs in Software and Technology Competition (BEST) at IU’s School of Informatics and Computing, the founders established The Bee Corp and developed the software. In 2017, they successfully concluded a Series A funding round. Their investors include Village Ventures, Elevate Ventures, and High Alpha Ventures. With this latest round of funding secured, the hive’s breaking the limit. Says founder Symes, “Bloomington has such diverse activity when it comes to tech companies, which made it a great spot to found our company. In Bloomington we have a great mentor network that has helped us succeed, and wonderful resources for new businesses and startups. IU has also been really helpful in helping our company get off the ground, and remains an endless resource of talent, advice, and Hoosier hospitality!” Want to learn more about what keeps technology entrepreneurs, developers, enthusiasts, consultants, and analysts living and working in Bloomington? Turn to page 36 for more perspectives. Thinking of starting your own technology business? Contact the Bloomington Tech Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANKS TO THE RESOURCES OF Indiana University, Ivy Tech Community College and the entrepreneurial resources of myriad Indiana organizations, there are dozens of pitch competitions, accelerator programs and other opportunities for startups to launch their ideas. Here are just a few: • The Innovation Showcase Pitch Contest • Duke it Out Pitch Competition - Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship, Ivy Tech • inX3 Regional Pitch Competition • Indiana Conference for Women Pitch Competition • Demo Day - B-Start Pre-Accelerator Program • Rise Above the Rest Pitch Competition • Clapp IDEA Competition • BEST competition - IU School of Informatics and Computing • Launch Indiana - Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship, Ivy Tech • Firestarter Accelerator Program - Purdue@Westgate • Startup Weekend Bloomington BLOOMINGTONEDC.COM • 9
Collaboration & Networking Opportunities for Startups in Bloomington Check out our calendar for up-to-date event times and locations! bloomingtontech.com/calendar
Weekly, Monthly & Quarterly BLOOMINGLABS PUBLIC HACK MEETING: Bloomington’s own hackerspace is open to the public every Wednesday from 7-9 pm. Visit the space, make something, and bring anyone! COLLIDE: Monthly networking event whose purpose is for its members to literally and figuratively run into each other for meaningful conversations. FIRESIDE CHATS: Our quarterly fireside chats are where we invite a venture capitalist for an hour of rapid-fire Q&A about company building and what they’re looking for in an investment. LEVEL UP: is a monthly presentation for startups to improve their critical operational issues, including recruiting great employees and building a sales pipeline. NIGHT OWLS: After-hours events hosted by Cowork. An excellent opportunity to connect with Bloomington’s talented
independent workers and coworkers, accelerate through your to-do list, or kick off a new side project. SCIENCE ON TAP: Quarterly meet-ups around the city to provide the community with a relaxed, affordable, and engaging opportunity to learn about and discuss current science topics. SERVING THE NEW ECONOMY: Brings together startups and supporting community members such as service providers to educate everyone on how to do business in the new economy. STARTUP MIC NITE: Monthly pitch event for entrepreneurs and startup community supporters held at the Bishop Bar. TECH LUNCHES: Monthly lunch event for tech community every Thursday at various restaurants around Bloomington. Anyone interested in the Bloomington tech and startup community is welcome to attend.
Annually BLOOMINGTON INNOVATION CONFERENCE: Researchers from across all academic disciplines at Indiana University Bloomington present information about projects that have potential commercial applications. Hosted by The Johnson Center for Innovation and Translational Research. JCITR assists with grant applications, identifying industry partners, negotiating industry contracts, project-management support and more
IGNITE BLOOMINGTON: Ignite is an event where presenters take any topic they are passionate about and inspire, educate or simply inform the audience. Each presentation is exactly 5 minutes long with 20 slides, each one automatically advancing after just 15 seconds. Many of the participants are creatives and folks from the tech industry, but there are lawyers, entrepreneurs and educators as well.
THE COMBINE: The Combine is a three-day conference exploring the entrepreneurial spark at the intersection of community, culture, creativity, capital, and code.
MEGAPUTER ANALYTICS CONFERENCE: A four-day analytics event featuring over 65 sessions divided between two tracks, one business and one technical, to engage attendees with different viewpoints on analytics. The Megaputer Analytics Conference attracts business executives, managers, analysts, and data scientists from a variety of domains. Each conference track will highlight success stories, case studies, lessons learned, and strategies used to build unique applications for pharmaceutical, healthcare, insurance, and others.
CYBERSECURITY SUMMIT: The Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research (CACR) at Indiana University is proud to host the annual CACR Cybersecurity Summit. The Summit brings together leading visionaries in the area of applied cybersecurity technology, education, and policy to help plan, support, and demonstrate proper balance of public needs, homeland security concerns, and individual privacy rights. THE DIMENSION MILL ANNUAL: A half-day conference on angel investing. Speakers offer practical insights on angel investing from expertise in both angel investment and startup pursuit of angel funds. Panelists provide relevant and engaging discussions on angel investing and technology and innovation trends. FUSE BUSINESS INNOVATION AWARDS: An annual event recognizing innovative businesses and individuals within the Bloomington community. 10 • IN GOOD COMPANY
STARTUP WEEKEND BLOOMINGTON: A 54-hour event where designers, developers, and entrepreneurs unite to bring innovative ideas to life. During the weekend, participants collaborate to conceptualize, create, and present new ventures. Participants develop a business model, work toward a minimum viable product, gather market validation, and prepare to present their progress in a winner-take-all final pitch competition. TECH THE HALLS: An end-of-the-year celebration of the Bloomington tech sector’s achievements, with technology leaders, software developers, and tech entrepreneurs in attendance.
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Bloomington’s Hometown Business Attorneys For nearly 70 years, we’ve been Bloomington’s hometown trusted advisor, providing legal guidance to help businesses. If you’re looking for local connections or simply need the lay of the land, we’re dedicated to helping your business succeed whether startup or established. From healthcare and high tech to biotech and book publishing, we’ve been there. Let us help you protect your investment, resolve conﬂicts, identify risk and help create policies and practices that best serve your business goals. In every moment, we’re here to help. Health Care Law | Personal Injury | Mediation/ADR | Estate Planning, Elder Law & Probate | Civil Litigation Real Estate & Development | Business Services | Government Entities | Family Law | Criminal Defense
226 South College Ave Bloomington, IN 47402
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Booming Bloomington 4,349 Life Sciences continue expanding
INDIANA IS RANKED IN THE TOP FIVE states in the U.S. for the number of life sciences employees, and in the past 13 years the economic impact this sector has for Indiana has increased from $32 billion dollars to $63 billion dollars1. Bloomington’s educated workforce, high quality of life, and healthy business environment attracts many life science businesses and encourages others to grow. Bloomington is a leading metro area in medical devices, contract pharmaceuticals and biotechnologies. The Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership is a collaborative effort through the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation which is dedicated to continuing life sciences business growth in greater Bloomington. Its members represent some of the largest employers in Bloomington, collectively employing over 5,000 Bloomington residents. The life science sector is booming, and here are just a few stories that give a feel for the range of unique, born-and-bred Bloomington life sciences companies.
AB Bio Technologies AB BioTechnologies is an internationallyrecognized pharmaceutical development company located in Monroe County. Since its founding in 2008 by Jeff Schwegman, the company has tripled its profits each year and expanded from his back bedroom into two other lab spaces. Enter the BEDC, which works to help Bloomington business stay and expand in Bloomington. The BEDC connected AB BioTechnologies to the resources they needed for economic development incentive assistance. AB BioTechnologies announced that they plan to invest $10.5 million to construct and equip a custom-built 23,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Monroe County,
which will be complete in spring 2018. The company will create up to 33 new highwage jobs by 2020. This cGXP expansion will support both cGLP tox manufacturing and cGMP manufacturing, allowing AB BioTechnologies to formulate, fill, freezedry, and package injectable drugs for clinical trials. “AB BioTechnologies is an example of the future of Monroe County’s economic potential,” says Lynn Coyne, President of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation. “It began as an entrepreneurial effort and through talent and commitment is becoming an important participant in the global economy, providing quality employment opportunities in our community.” Founder Jeff Schwegman did not hesitate when asked why he decided to stay and expand his business in Bloomington. “This is a fantastic opportunity...We are one of only a handful of companies in the world that will offer all of these services in a small, nimble company format, and Monroe County is the perfect place for us to expand. The presence of a locally skilled workforce and access to graduates from Indiana University and Ivy Tech will assist us in hiring a competent workforce.”
currently employed in
Life Sciences Sector
Not including lab jobs
57.2% BA or Greater College Attainment
of the population has earned at least a high school diploma
Cook Group, Inc. Gayle and Bill Cook founded Cook Group in the bedroom of their Bloomington home in 1963. Since that point, the company has grown to the largest privately held medical device manufacturing company in the world. It employs over 12,000 people across the globe, but its headquarters remain in Bloomington. Everywhere you look in Bloomington you can feel the benevolent influence of the Cook family, and see the products of their leadership and vision. The
Bloomington Median Age
1. BIO/Battelle Technology Practice, 2013, www.biocrossroads.com/about-us/
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late Bill Cook’s wife, Gayle, and various others who work at Cook continue their tremendous support of the arts, innovation, entrepreneurship, and education, in the Bloomington community. One of their subsidiary companies, Cook Medical, works with physicians to develop less invasive, often custom-made devices across 41 different medical specialties. Cook Medical creates over 16,000 products and delivers them to 135 countries across the globe. Cook Medical alone has 2,478 employees. Cook Pharmica, a former subsidiary company of Cook Group, was a contract development and manufacturing organization. Their unique one-source onelocation model won them biopharmaceutical clients across the globe by shortening timelines, minimizing expenses and speeding up the delivery of drugs to patients. In 2017, Cook Group announced that New Jersey-based Catalent Biologics would purchase Cook Pharmica for $950 million dollars. Catalent employs approximately 10,000 people, including over 1,400 scientists, at more than 30 facilities across five continents, and in FY 2017 generated more than $2 billion in annual revenue. The purchase keeps all 750 Cook Pharmica jobs intact. In acquiring Cook Pharmica, Catalent gains access to drug product expertise and global clientele, and will bring expertise in advanced delivery and development solutions.
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“This purchase is a recognition of the hard work, dedication, and community spirit of the men and women who have helped Cook Pharmica to grow. The Bloomington area has been a terrific home for this fast-growing business, and we look forward to further strengthening our partnership with the community in the years to come,” said John Chiminski, president and CEO of Catalent. Another exciting announcement from Cook is the renovation of the General Electric building, which operated as a refrigerator plant until it shuttered in 2016. It has been purchased to make room for much needed expansion at Cook Medical. Cook Group has a history of transforming older Bloomington buildings into state-of-the-art facilities, which is one of the many reasons they are a great community partner. The renovation of the GE building will attract more businesses to Bloomington’s Innovative West Side, and become a beautiful neighbor for many life sciences companies in that area. If all goes well, Cook Group plans to add 500 employees at the new location. Says Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Group and Cook Medical, “Both of these decisions will have a positive impact on our employees, our business and also on the local economy and workforce – creating new jobs, expanding the local life sciences industry, and attracting new talent to our region. Today, more than ever, we are committed to Bloomington. It’s our home.”
Singota™ Solutions Singota™ Solutions is a Bloomington-bred and femaleled life sciences contract manufacturing organization committed to accelerating the drug development process through innovative solutions. When we say innovative, we mean truly innovative—Singota recently became the first company in North America to install the Varnx Pharmasystems’ SA25 Robotic Aseptic Filling Workcell. This work-cell is the pharmaceutical industry’s most advanced manufacturing technology, for use in filling injectable drug products into vials, syringes, and cartridges. “This major expansion of an already successful life science company signals a very bright future for [Singota]. Singota’s creativity and innovation make it a market leader and we are grateful that they have chosen to stay and grow in Monroe County,” commented Lynn Coyne, president of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation. In 2017, Singota™ Solutions completed construction on their expanded facility, adding several thousand square feet of clean rooms as well as several new employment positions. They now have over 50 employees in Bloomington, and plan to keep growing. Says CEO Alisa Kilgas, “On behalf of everyone at the company, we are excited about the future, and we deeply appreciate the support from the local community.”
Your Place of Business Should Feel Like Home. That’s Our Business.
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Regional resources Indiana-based life science companies receive a wealth of support from local and state organizations who acknowledge the contributions the life sciences make in high-paying employment opportunities, advancing Indiana’s reputation and making life-saving advances in medical research. From customized training at local community colleges, to facilities like the Indiana Center for Life Sciences, where companies train their employees on similar equipment to their manufacturing lines, to events hosted by the Indiana Health Industry Forum on topics affecting the industry, Indiana is a great state to locate a life sciences company. Economic development incentives are often a tool used to help boost investment and expansion. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered AB BioTechnologies, Inc. up to $290,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $30,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. Monroe County offered a tax abatement over a ten-year period. AB Biotechnologies also received the Indiana Small Business Development Center 2017 Economic Development and Growth Through Entrepreneurship (EDGE) Award in small business earlier this month. Another Bloomington business, Sintact Medical Systems, received a National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research Grant worth $750,000 dollars to enable them to continue development of Sintact Film, a polymeric tissue. BioCrossroads, a catalyst for continued growth of Indiana’s life science sector, connects life science businesses with research grants and venture funds. Other statewide resources include the Indiana Medical Device Manufacturers Council and Indiana BioSciences Research Institute.
487 Clarizz Blvd., Bloomington, IN 47401 | 812-336-7300 www.TuckerBloomington.com
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON Discover the treasures of DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON in a vibrant atmosphere full of unique shops, world-class eateries, superb entertainment venues, a vivid arts scene, scenic trails and parks, and a variety of ﬂourishing businesses. There are numerous reasons for locating or growing your business Downtown, besides having easy access to interstate transportation and the Indianapolis International Airport. Downtown offers many business support services, networking groups, and a pool of local talent. Your presence is vital to ensuring the continued success of Downtown Bloomington, and Downtown Bloomington, Inc. is committed to helping you succeed.
302 S. COLLEGE AVE.
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Fountain Square a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
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Grant Street Inn 40 different rooms. 40 different experiences.
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Quality of Life COME TO BLOOMINGTON TO FIND big-city amenities mixed with quirky charm. Bloomington blends midwestern values, a forward-thinking mindset and diverse international influences to create activities for anyone at any age to enjoy. Spend a day strolling through our downtown, perusing art galleries and family-owned shops. Savor a farm-to-table meal before enjoying live music at one of over twenty live music venues. Take the family on a bike ride to visit one of our sixteen museums, or to kayak on Indiana’s largest inland lake, Monroe Lake. Nature-lovers, festival-goers, artists, intellectuals, foodies, and sports enthusiasts of all ages will find a home in Bloomington. Unparalleled quality of life mixed with affordability makes Bloomington the ideal place to live, work, and play!
The Nature Lover Visitors are drawn to Bloomington for its serene natural beauty and breathtaking display during all four seasons. Bloomington residents are a quick ride away from lakes, forests, and natural wonders such as Hoosier National Forest, Griffy Nature Preserve, Monroe Lake, Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve, and Lake Lemon, to name a few. Thanks to the city’s efforts, Bloomington is also a gold-level biking community. A whopping twentytwo percent of Bloomington’s population cycles or walks to work, which ranks us #2 in the country for our market size.1 Bike trails like the B-Line Trail and Clear Creek Trail take you through downtown and past quintessential rolling hills, limestone outcrops, haystacks, and rivers. There are over 200 miles of trails in Monroe County to explore—what are you waiting for?
The Intellectual From preserving old traditions and cultivating new ones, Indiana University has become an epicenter for students and faculty from across the country and the world to bring ideas to a
community that embraces them all. Hear a lecture at Indiana University Auditorium, a venue that has brought guests like Octavia Spencer and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Listen to a speaker through the Tedx Indiana University series. Attend an enlightening workshop at the Kumbum Chamste Ling Monastery and learn more about Tibetan culture at the Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center. Travel the world through a free lecture at the IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures, or learn more about Monroe County at the Monroe County History Center. If you prefer to learn through doing, we have you covered. The downtown WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology has over 65 hands-on exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Garden, and daily programming for kids and grownup kids alike. Programming includes Deep Dives into various marine biology subjects, Nights at the Museum, and after school programs.
The Foodie Bloomington is a food-lover’s Mecca in the Midwest. More than 75 international restaurants representing 18 different countries call this college town home.2 Sample cuisine from Greece to Tibet by taking a walk down famous Fourth street, lined with quaint houses converted into popular ethnic restaurants. On the weekends, visit the popular Bloomington Community Farmer’s Market to enjoy locally grown produce and meet the farmers who “feed the world.” Carry a coffee in hand from one of our three local small-batch coffee roasters. Enjoy a farm-totable meal at hip FARM Bloomington, and vegan treats at Rainbow Bakery. Top off the night with an artisan cocktail from our very own distillery, Cardinal Spirits, or enjoy a beer from one of the four downtown breweries within walking distance of each other: Function Brewing, Upland, The Tap, and Quaff On.
1. www.visitbloomington.com/blog/post/bikes-beer-cycling-tips-around-bloomington/ 2. www.visitbloomington.com/restaurants/international-cuisine/ BLOOMINGTONEDC.COM • 19
Cream & Crimson Bloomington is the home of the “Hoosiers,” nationally-ranked collegiate sports teams through Indiana University that compete in the Big Ten Conference. With 24 mens and womens athletic teams, there are sporting events year round to enjoy here in Bloomington. Diverse and nationally-ranked teams such as swimming, basketball, soccer and more make up the spirited Indiana Hoosiers who compete in legendary rivalries. Rain or shine, Hoosier fans come from all over the country to fill storied facilities like Memorial Stadium and Assembly Hall with red, white, and candy stripe. It’s not just fun and games, too: IU athletes graduate at record-high rates of over 90 percent. Little 500 began in 1951 as a bike race to raise money for undergraduate scholarships. Since then, it has morphed into an iconic weekend event spawning books and a movie, drawing thousands of visitors each year, and raised over a million dollars in scholarship money. Modeled after the Indy 500, teams of four cyclists (who have previously competed in qualifying rounds) race at Bill Armstrong Stadium. For six decades, Little 500 has been an important tradition of IU, and it is one of the most well-attended university weekends. Famous artists perform, hotels are sold out, and the mood is festive throughout the city as everyone celebrates and cheers on their favorite team for the glory of Old IU.
Art Lovers & Artists In Bloomington, art is on electrical boxes, sidewalks, on sale in galleries and even hugging our trees. Every day there are new opportunities to see work by major artists, ancient civilizations, and local craft makers 20 • IN GOOD COMPANY
in unique settings. On the first Friday of each month, the Downtown Bloomington Gallery Walk invites anyone to visit galleries, which host opening receptions and special events for the occasion. Admission is free to all. There is an incredibly high density of galleries in Bloomington for its size. Pictura Gallery on the Square specializes in contemporary photography and hosts artists talks. BlueLine Gallery is a design agency specializing in branding, video, graphic design and photography. There is gallery 406, which showcases fine art, and the Ivy Tech Waldron Arts Center downtown, which houses a unique blend of artists, performers, and educators. Within minutes walking distance from the square is the I.Fell building, a historic 1929 car dealership, converted into a rentable workspace for artists and gallery space for exhibitions. For art lovers, there are numerous opportunities to support local artists. The Artisan Guild of Bloomington hosts annual Art Show & Sales, which combine functional, decorative, and sculptural works of art along with demonstrations and exhibits for adults and children. Bloomington Handmade Market selects participating artist from a pool of applicants to showcase and sell rare and untraditional works of art. Artists come from Bloomington and all over the midwest to participate. By Hand Gallery is a locally owned, cooperative gallery that sells the beautifully designed and crafted works made by over a dozen of their artisan members. The annual Fourth Street Art Festival, voted one of the top 100 Art Fairs in the country by the Art Fair Sourcebook, is free to all and hosts live music, arts and fine crafts, spoken word performances, and a children’s art booth. It is organized by artists, for artists, and over 100 artists from around the country usually participate. In 2017, it celebrated its 40-year anniversary. The iconic Bloomington GarlicFEST & Community Art Fair is another must-see. It features local artists, a lineup of musicians, a kidzone, cooking competitions, yoga, a beer garden, education on healthy eating and local food from Bloomington restaurants.
The Showgoer Bloomington has an array of performances each year which rivals any productions in New York City. Bloomington’s nationallyrenowned IU Jacobs School of Music and the IU Department of Theater, Drama and Contemporary Dance bring unparalleled musical events to the city. These institutions make world-class contributions to the arts and enrich the lives of Bloomington residents. The IU Jacobs School of Music’s flagship performance hall, the Musical Arts Center,
WHY BLOOMINGTON? restaurants,
Playful City USA
GOLD-LEVEL Bike Friendly
bars & coffee shops
plus 7 local breweries and 1 local distillery
MAPBOX CITIES 7 1 0 PARTICIPANT 2
Demographics BLOOMINGTON MSA RACE & ETHNICITY (2016) White Only 126,080 86.7% Black Alone 5,209 3.6% American Indian/Alaska Native Alone 455 0.3% Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander Alone 94 0.06% Two or More Races 3,645 2.5% Total 145,496 100% Hispanic/Latino (of any race) 4,981 3.4% Non Hispanic or Latino 140,515 96.6% Total 145,496 100% TOTAL HOUSEHOLDS (2016) Family Households Married with Children Married without Children Single Parents Other Non-family Households Living Alone
53,778 100% 27,530 66.5% 7,574 19.4% 12,890 30.1% 4,099 9.9% 2,967 7.1% 26,248 33.5% 18,338 27.8%
Hospitals & Health Services
IU Health-Bloomington Monroe Hospital Garden Villa Bloomington Meadows Hospital Bloomington Nursing & Rehabilitation
Income, Wages & Taxes
$45,341 $35,203 $35,335
INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX RATES Monroe County 1.345% State of Indiana 3.23%
Baxter Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Monroe County City of Bloomington LJM Enterprises EMPLOYMENT 72,763 140,741 63,991
than the East Coast
Bloomington MSA....166,336 (2016) Bloomington City.......84,067 (2015) Monroe County...........145,496 (2016) Town of Ellettsville.......6,544 (2015) Monroe County Median Age: 28.7 years old • Bloomington MSA Median Age: 30 years old
Indianapolis International Airport is 47 miles away and serves 8.6 million passengers on 10 major airlines each year. Indianapolis International Airport is also one of the world’s largest cargo airports, ranked 1st in the United States (for medium-sized airports) and 22nd worldwide.
The Indiana Rail Road Company is a Class 2 regional freight railroad operating on a 500 mile route structure, including terminals at Chicago, Indianapolis, Terre Haute, and Louisville.
Monroe County Airport is a county-owned, private-use airport with a 6,500 foot runway and over 33,000 annual operations for local and transient businesses.
Monroe County is also Bloomington, Monroe County is home to Indiana’s home to the only National Forest in Indiana – Largest Inland Lake, Monroe Lake Hoosier National Forest
Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation Walmart Ivy Tech Community College
UNEMPLOYMENT 4,174 8,757 3,496
than the West Coast
Top Employers & Labor Force Indiana University - Bloomington Cook Group, Inc. Indiana University Health - Bloomington Monroe County Community School Corporation Kroger Supermarkets LABOR FORCE Bloomington MSA 77,447 Economic Region 8 149,498 Monroe County 67,487
LESS EXPENSIVE LESS EXPENSIVE
Bell Trace Richland-Bean Blossom Health Care Center Brookdale Sterling House Meadowood Health Pavilion
INCOME & WAGES (2015) Monroe County Median Household Income Bloomington MSA Per Capita Personal Income Monroe County PCPI
22% 19% RAIL
local and unique
TREE CITY USA
Cost of living in Bloomington is
“Indiana Ranked First in the Midwest for Business Second Year in a Row” - Chief Executive Magazine 2017 Bloomington in Top 50 Best Cities for Entrepreneurs in 2016 - Entrepreneur magazine #3 Top 20 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America - Best Colleges 2017
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 5.4% 5.9% 5.2%
MONROE COUNTY MONROE COUNTY
57.2% 93.2% BA or Greater
of the population has College Attainment earned at least a high school diploma
Bloomington boasts over 200 miles in hiking and biking trails
MONROE COUNTY COMMUNITY SCHOOL CORPORATION:
STEM Certified schools at Elementary, Middle, and High School levels • The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship • Hoosier Hills Career Center
RICHLAND–BEAN BLOSSOM COMMUNITY SCHOOL CORPORATION: STEAM Program – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics
HIGHER EDUCATION Indiana University – Bloomington: 48,695 ENROLLMENT Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington: 10,000 BLOOMINGTONEDC.COM • 21
Jessica Quillen, Ivy Tech student and employee of Cook Family Health Center
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22 • IN GOOD COMPANY
offers more than 1,100 performances a year, including up to seven fully-staged operas3. In addition to opera, there are critically-acclaimed ballet performances, and recitals every night of the week, almost always free and open to the public. The IU Department of Theater, Drama and Contemporary Dance boasts a minimum of eight productions each year, including two musicals and six plays. It has three stateof-the-art production spaces and also the world-famous Indiana University Auditorium, which regularly brings in Broadway’s top touring shows and world-famous musicians of all backgrounds. Another famed music venue is the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre, a historic silent movie house that is now one of the busiest community theaters in the country. The BCT hosts a year-round program of music, theatre, dance, film, and community events, presented by more than 50 organizations. Famous musicians and comedians come through its doors, in addition to local theater companies like the Bloomington Playwright’s Project and Cardinal Stage Company. If you prefer to dance alongside the performance, you can find live music every night of the week at several bars around town. The iconic Bluebird concert hall-club-bar hosts everything from nationally-touring acts to cover bands and everything in between. To see the best acts in international music in an unpretentious, down-to-earth setting, visit the Player’s Pub, where beers are cheap, live music is every night, and the motto is “Love, Truth, Joy.” The Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, held every September, brings 15,000 people from around the world to witness an eclectic array of global music.4 The three-day event boasts multiple performances each day, at multiple venues. Stages range from the Buskirk-Chumley Theater to standing-room-only street tents, to churches where traditional music shines. Lotus Festival celebrates the diversity, beauty, and joy of music and arts from cultures and is proudly based in downtown Bloomington. The Comedy Attic is another iconic Bloomington spot which has been known to throw some of the best live shows in the United States. In 2013, it was named by comedian Amy Shumer as one of the “Ten Great Places Where Comedy is King.” Shumer said of Bloomington, “The people are smart, and I love the culture there, and the restaurants and the bars. It’s kind of a happening city.” We have to agree, Amy! Bloomington is known to be a blend of Midwestern values, international influences, intellectual pursuits and spiritual growth that presents opportunities to learn about the people and ideals that have cultivated this community. Whether you want to immerse yourself in the spirit of a Big Ten sporting event, or enjoy a world-class musical performance from top-notch artists or explore the natural beauty of 2,300 acres of parks, Bloomington truly has something for everyone. For more information about the incredible array of things to do in Bloomington, visit www.visitbloomington.com. 3. music.indiana.edu/about/index.shtml 4. Interview with Megan Hutchinson, Development Director for Lotus Education and Arts Foundation, pg. 37
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BLOOMINGTONEDC.COM â€˘ 23
24 â€¢ IN GOOD COMPANY
A Skilled Workforce A CRUCIAL INGREDIENT FOR A THRIVING PRIVATE SECTOR with quality employment opportunities is a talented, innovative workforce. Creative people equipped with the skills they need to flourish in today’s data-driven environment are what drives technology and life sciences industries forward. Luckily, Bloomington is home to some of the top educational institutions in the state, and each year thousands of talented young people graduate ready to work in today’s fastest-growing industries. Indiana University has long been recognized for its contribution to research, and it is one of only a few schools in the country whose law, business, public affairs, education and journalism schools all rank in the Top 30 in the nation. President Michael A. McRobbie was formerly IU’s Vice President of Information Technology, and under his leadership the university has heavily invested in technologydriven schools and degree programs that will prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. One of these impressive developments is the IU Tech Park, which includes the state-of-the-art Cyberinfrastructure Building, which provides network support and cutting-edge research for the entire nation; the IU Data Center, an 82,700 square foot facility home to not one, but two, supercomputers; and the IU Innovation Center, a silver-LEED certified business incubator and the first major initiative of President McRobbie’s Innovate Indiana program. At Ivy Tech Community CollegeBloomington, students of all ages receive an affordable education in sought-after fields like biotechnology, healthcare, cybersecurity, logistics, and radiation therapy. The Bloomington campus’ smaller size allows for great flexibility with curricula, and Chancellor Jennie Vaughan and the faculty are in “constant communication” with Bloomington businesses
to determine how to better prepare students for the workforce and upskill those currently in the workforce.
Kelley School of Business The IU Kelley School of Business, ranked #21 in the country, focuses on equipping students with the skills they will need for today’s everchanging markets. In 2011, the school added a degree program in Business Analytics, and in 2017 launched a Digital Intelligence Initiative in partnership with Deloitte to provide students with leadership and research opportunities in business analytics, cloud computing, intelligent systems, pervasive technologies, and augmented reality. Kelley’s innovative I-CORE curriculum gives all students an opportunity to work as consultants for startups and established businesses in the community, providing students with invaluable skills while allowing the community to tap into Kelley’s impressive knowledge base. Kelley’s Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation hosts the annual Bloomington Innovation Conferences, a yearly Entrepreneurial Connection Day, and the Clapp IDEA Competition. Its comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculum is ranked #3 in the country, according to US World News Rankings & World Report.
IU School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering (SICE) SICE is a school accustomed to being the “first.” It was the first school in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Informatics and one of the first schools to offer a master’s degree in cybersecurity. The school’s dean, Dr. Raj Acharya, knows that the very nature of the field means growing comfortable with being the “first.” Dean Acharya established an intelligent
BLOOMINGTONEDC.COM • 25
systems engineering department in 2016, designed for the future of engineering. The opening of state-of-theart Luddy Hall will provide SICE with a new home. As Dean Acharya says, “Technology careers rank among the fastest-growing in the job market. Our programs will provide the educational background [students] need to help reach [their] goals. Our strong ties with the Indiana business community and growing reputation in the technological world makes the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering one of the leading schools at Indiana University. The future is now, and it is brighter than ever. I invite students, employers, and entrepreneurs to explore the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering as we help create the world of tomorrow.”
School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs is ranked the #1 Public Affairs program in the country. SPEA’s masters program emphasizes analyzing data in innovative ways to challenge students to drive change in their communities. One of their successful initiatives has been the Service Corps, where students are partnered with public and private organizations in the community who need their expertise in research, project management, and data analysis. SPEA graduates have gone on to found successful nonprofits and businesses across all sectors in the Bloomington community and beyond.
Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington
26 • IN GOOD COMPANY
Education is valued in Bloomington for all ages, not just college students. Numerous Bloomington organizations recognize the importance of an educated workforce for their business’s success and longevity. Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington saw this need and has formed numerous partnerships with community stakeholders to enhance workforce development across all
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Repair & Replace Fascia and Soffit ages. One example of these innovative partnerships is the Achieve Your Degree program, where Ivy Tech works with businesses to offer their employees a higher education for free or at very low cost. Cook Group developed a unique partnership with the Achieve Your Degree Program to give their employees the opportunity to enhance their educational opportunities. This groundbreaking new workforce development initiative by Cook Group allows their employees, at no cost to themselves, to earn certificates in seven different fields, or pathways, such as biotechnology or informatics. This is different from traditional tuition reimbursement, which President of Cook Group, Cook Medical and Cook Inc., Pete Yonkman, saw was a barrier for employees who could not afford the upfront costs of continuing their education. “Business is constantly changing, and we want to provide our current and future employees the opportunity to evolve with us,” says Yonkman. The initiative also includes My Cook Pathway, which gives Cook Employees the opportunity to earn a High School Equivalency Diploma while working part-time at Cook. The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech offers courses in marketing, business planning, accounting and more as part of their Entrepreneurship Certificate Program. The Cook Center also helps community members and Ivy Tech students start businesses by offering free business consulting to anyone in the south central Indiana region, in partnership with the Indiana Small Business Development Center. This partnership has supported the success of numerous Bloomington businesses and nonprofits. Ivy Tech’s Indiana Center for the Life Sciences is another example of innovative community partnerships furthering workforce development and training needs. The Indiana Center for the Life Sciences is a partnership with Monroe County Government, Ivy Tech, and regional life science companies which houses education and training programs that prepare students for careers in the life sciences. The state-of-the-art facility boasts a 5,000 square foot manufacturing training site. The educational opportunities in Bloomington—for all ages and skill levels—uniquely situate Monroe County as an ideal place to start and grow a business. Innovative partnerships between forward-thinking businesses and academic institutions encourage lifelong learning and skill development. Here in Bloomington, there will never be a shortage of educated and highly-skilled workers eager to connect with employers to make a difference in their community.
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BLOOMINGTONEDC.COM • 27
28 â€¢ IN GOOD COMPANY
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30 â€¢ IN GOOD COMPANY
AFTER SEVERAL YEARS OF PLANNING, IU Health and Indiana University will begin construction in 2018 on a new IU Health Bloomington and Regional Academic Health Center on the campus of Indiana University. Inspired by caregivers, patients, students and educators, the Center will be a serene setting that allows the facility to be in harmony with the Indiana University campus and local community. Topography changes throughout the site will accentuate the natural setting and ridges of trees and orientation of inpatient rooms will maximize views of the near and distant landscape. There will also be ample trails to provide wellness opportunities to campus visitors and the community at large. The overall facility includes approximately 620,000 square feet for in-patient and out-patient clinical services and approximately 115,000 square feet for academic instruction. The University’s academic building is three stories high while IU Health Bloomington will reach five stories in the inpatient area. Designed for collaboration, students and faculty will learn side-by-side with providers, nurses and other medical professionals. “By further enhancing our collaboration and partnership with Indiana University, we’ll be developing an environment of constant learning and research,” said Matt Bailey, President, IU Health South Central Region. “For our patients, this means that we will continually look for ways to improve care, we’ll be on the cutting edge of the future of medicine, and we’ll be finding new treatments and creating better standards of care with the future generation of doctors, nurses and healthcare providers.” Some of the design elements that will benefit patients include: • Private pre- and post-operative patient and family spaces. • Cancer infusion rooms that provide privacy as well as patient and family interaction • Enhanced patient privacy through the use of transport areas, not visible to the general public. • Three campus gardens. • Parking optimized for a patient-first approach. • A larger Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to care for premature and sick infants. The facility has several positive environmental elements. It is designed to be a sustainable development which will include native plantings, prairie grasses and bioswells that capture and purify water runoff. It will be bicycle and alternative fuel vehicle friendly with charging stations. The clinical space will be targeted for LEED silver and the academic facility will be LEED gold. The campus will also include sustainable site features, water quality and conservation strategy, energy efficiency features, sustainable/recycled materials and indoor environment quality amenities. For more information, visit iuhealth.org/ bloombuild or follow us on twitter @iuhb_build. BLOOMINGTONEDC.COM • 31
32 â€¢ IN GOOD COMPANY
Innovation Finds a Home WITH PLANS TO RENOVATE THE HISTORIC WAREHOUSE known as the “Dimension Mill” into a coworking space nearly complete, Bloomington’s entrepreneurial ecosystem will finally have a central hub to call home. There are over 50 technology companies in Bloomington and a constant need for new space. With Bloomington being second in the nation among small metros for hightech GDP concentration, the number of technology start-ups that take root here continues to grow.1 A desire to create a centralized place for startups to launch and access the myriad resources offered by the community, and to attract already established technology businesses, led to the creation of the Trades District, a 12-acre parcel within the Certified Tech Park.
District as a model of thoughtful urban development that grows organically over time, with new ideas and continuing collaborations with the private sector combining to make the master plan vision into reality.”
Tenth Street Corridor
The Trades District
A few blocks east of the Trades District, along what has been dubbed the “Tenth Street Corridor,” is Indiana University’s School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. Nationally recognized for its vision and innovation, each year hundreds of talented graduates provide an unparalleled pool of talent for employers in the tech sector. The Trades District forms one end of the corridor, and the Indiana University Technology Park and site of the new Regional Academic Health Center, anchors the other. (For more on the Regional Academic Center, see pg. 30)
The “Certified Tech Park” comprises 65 acres of space in downtown Bloomington and collects tax revenue to support the attraction and growth of high-technology business. The Trades District constitutes twelve acres within the Tech Park, centralizing innovation and entrepreneurship efforts happening throughout the city, and bringing new technology businesses, research and development facilities, laboratories, startups, and more into the heart of downtown. The layout of the Trades District allows technology companies to collaborate with each other as they interact through work and play. The proximity to downtown amenities such as restaurants, bike paths, and public parks attracts companies that value a high quality of life for their employees. “The Trades District is designed be a forward-focused place where investors and inventors will come together to help create new opportunities, one step at a time,” says Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton. “We envision our Trades
An exciting newcomer to the Trades District is Tsuchiya Group, a Japanese manufacturing company with facilities in 23 countries across the globe, which will open its first North American Research & Development Headquarters right here in Bloomington. Its subsidiary company TASUS is an advanced plastic injection manufacturing company who already employ 200 Bloomington residents, and plan to add 20 more high-quality jobs at their new Trades District development. At the November 2016 press conference announcing the investment, Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton commented, “This is an exciting day for Bloomington. TASUS is a proven company with deep roots in this community. We are so pleased that they will have their North American headquarters location in our Trades District. This tech-savvy first new employer will no doubt inspire additional investment in the area and bring the kind of vibrant energy and excellent jobs we want to see there.”
1 Milken Institute 2015 BLOOMINGTONEDC.COM • 33
While other companies serving the automotive industry shuttered during the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, TASUS achieved five-year sales growth of 128%, thanks to the innovative and strategic leadership of its President and CEO, Melanie Walker. The decision to open a R&D facility in the heart of Bloomington’s Trade District is just one in a career of forward-thinking decisions made by Walker. Says Walker, “This new facility gives us the ability to continue to grow our businesses, to increase our jobs, and to advance the support of, and involvement in our community.” The establishment of Tsuchiya’s first R&D facility in North America here in Bloomington is an important step in cementing Bloomington’s status as a tech leader and in attracting new businesses. It also showcases the creativity flourishing in Bloomington; pedestrians will walk past the research facility and see robots moving back and forth behind the glass windows.
The Dimension Mill Across from Tsuchiya Group North America will be the “Dimension Mill,” a 19,000 square foot coworking space set to open in the fall of 2018. In 2016, the BEDC and the City of Bloomington’s Redevelopment Commission began the search for an architectural firm to restore and renovate the Dimension Mill, an abandoned factory once home to the Showers Brothers Furniture company. Blackline Studio—who has a history of collaborative workspace design—and Bloomington-based firm Tabor/Bruce won the bid for their innovative and modern design that enhanced the building’s unique architectural details like brick walls and distinctive sawtooth roof. The Dimension Mill is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, led by a board of 17 members. “The 34 • IN GOOD COMPANY
renovation of the Dimension Mill is a huge inflection point in Bloomington’s history,” says founding director Pat East of Hanapin Marketing. “First, it’s a public commitment from Mayor Hamilton and his support of business. Second, we’ll soon have a physical building in downtown Bloomington that everyone can point to that says, ‘this is how Bloomington is supporting entrepreneurship and is helping our community grow in the new economy.’ It will acts as a center of gravity for entrepreneurship and innovation that ultimately creates jobs and increases wage growth.” Mill tenants will be emerging technology startups, and the open layout of the space will foster the collaborative atmosphere that is so crucial for growth in the technology industry. The design includes coworking desks, a media room, training room, event space, and coffee bar. Several of the office suites will also be home to organizations that support entrepreneurs—the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Small Business Development Center, among others. These organizations will provide invaluable resources to emerging technology companies and foster continued growth in the tech park. The Dimension Mill will truly be in good company in the Trades District, where entrepreneurs and creatives have found a place that encourages collaboration and the growth of innovative ideas through novel ways to work and play. To learn more about the incredible array of technology companies here in Bloomington, or to become part of a network of other leading technology innovators, visit the Bloomington Technology Partnership at www.bloomingtontech.com.
BLOOMINGTONEDC.COM â€¢ 35
co-work•ing /,ko’w rkiNG/ e
noun the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.
Coworking Spaces Extending Bloomington’s Global Footprint
PEOPLE ARE DRAWN TO COWORKING SPACES for many different reasons. Some people work remotely and miss the social interaction of an office, or the increased productivity of working alongside like-minded people. Some coworkers are small tech startups, too early in their growth to invest in brick and mortar location; other tech companies simply don’t need an established office space to run their business. There are five coworking spaces currently in Bloomington, with more being built (see pg. 33). A visit to Cowork Bloomington easily explains their popularity: the open, sundrenched layout, exposed beams, high top workspaces, and comfortable couches are inviting to techies and traditionalists alike. Coworking spaces allow workers to be based in Bloomington while contributing to projects that take them virtually across the state, nation, and world. Through their laptops, Bloomington residents are extending Bloomington’s global footprint, while enjoying the optimal combination of quality of life and affordability. We interviewed three of these coworkers to learn what drew them to Bloomington, how their work allows them to make an impact across the state and country, and what they see as Bloomington’s future role in the global economy. To learn more about Bloomington’s tech scene, go to www.bloomingtech.com To learn more about Cowork, please visit www. coworkbtown.com
36 • IN GOOD COMPANY
Development Director for Lotus Education and Arts Foundation
Kelley School of Business “Entrepreneur-In-Residence”
CEO, NutraMaize LLC
I JUMPED INTO COMING TO IU as an undergraduate, with really no plan with what I wanted to do, but loved the beauty of Bloomington and stayed. As a long-time music geek who wanted a great boss, I landed at Lotus Education & Arts Foundation. The Director Sunni Fass is so very committed to sustaining the legacy of Lotus Education & Arts Foundation (more on Lotus Festival, pg. 22). Next year will be Lotus’s 25th anniversary. I love that Lotus raises up global artists and provides spaces for community members to connect with each other. Through our Blossoms program in the schools, we hope that it sparks a curiosity about different cultures and an appreciation for amazing music. Lotus is in a growth stage because we recently acquired a historic firehouse (on 4th and Rogers Streets). We are transforming it into a multi-use space for school programs, a year-round concert venue, and a gallery space. Perhaps we’ll join the Gallery Walk [First Fridays each month!]. It gives us more opportunities to present global music and art to an underserved part of downtown Bloomington. Lotus couldn’t be what it is today without our many partners and collaborators. Our new building is at the edge of a bunch of different communities sprouting up along Rogers: our friends at Pictura Gallery [co-owners David and Martha Moore] have plans to build a gallery and event space, there’s Rainbow Bakery, Cowork, Rock Paper Scissors, and the I. Fell building (Editor’s Note: The I. Fell building is a 1929 car dealership, converted into a rentable workspace for artists and gallery space for exhibitions). There is lots of potential for collaboration in the neighborhood. What makes Bloomington unique is as networks get tighter and you work together more, inspiration and innovation happens. Bigger cities are getting too expensive. We see more people moving here because they want to slow down and have more green space to play, and technology enables us to work from different places. You can make an amazing life in Bloomington and find your place. We are an accepting city that brings 12,000 people a year to see global music for the Lotus Festival. We strive to keep building this environment that is welcoming to all sorts of people who want to innovate/collab with each other.
MY WIFE IS A PROFESSOR at IU Kelley School of Business, so that’s why we decided to move to Bloomington. I have been here for about four years now. We really enjoy Bloomington. I am currently an Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Company where I help companies with their sales & marketing strategy and implementation. This role requires me to be on site with clients so I fly out of Indy on Mondays and back on Thursdays (it’s his favorite airport)! I have done a couple of start up companies in the past. They were based out of Pittsburgh. We sold both companies and they are still both around. RentJungle.com was the first company, which was a apartment search engine and the second company was called Community Elf, a social media management firm. Both companies are still growing and doing quite well. Working at Cowork exposes me to different folks, which I really enjoy. As the entrepreneur-in-residence for IU, I mentor, provide guidance and provide information to different start-ups that go through Kelley (to learn more about the Johnson Center, see pg. 25). I like being in the Midwest because the people are genuine and nicer in general. Culturally, Bloomington is a good fit for me. Because of the size of the city, collaboration plays an important role as you want to promote the city. You want to attract more talent which would be difficult if the city was super competitive as a whole, but it’s not. People like helping each other out and you get to know people more on a personal basis. You have a vested interest in the community. In the future, IU is going to continue to play a huge role as it is a center of education. Bloomington will play the role of a thought leader.
I CAME TO BLOOMINGTON in pursuit of a better work-life balance. When you own and operate your own business, you can pretty easily fall into a pattern where you almost exclusively think about your business. I think this cycle is pretty unhealthy and leads to burn out, so for me it was important to choose to live somewhere I would be surrounded by friends I can spend quality time with, a community that has engaging cultural activities, and natural areas close by to escape to. As the CEO of NutraMaize I have secured over $400,000 in non-dilutive seed funding through the combination of a Small Business Technology Transfer Research Grant from the National Science Foundation, a Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the USDA, and matching funds from the State of Indiana. We are commercializing a variety of more nutritious, better tasting non-GMO orange corn that my co-founder developed as part of his academic research program at Purdue University. To me, what’s so special about Bloomington is that it’s a place where core Midwestern values, like hard work and hospitality, collide with progressive thought and action. In terms of government, I feel like as a business owner you get the best of both worlds. I get to live in a state that is very pro-business and fiscally responsible, but I also get to live in a forward-thinking municipality that places a strong emphasis on community development and sustainability. I’ve heard some people call Bloomington the Boulder of the Midwest. I’ve actually lived in both places and I can tell you that I prefer Bloomington, but I do think there are a lot of parallels between the cities. While Bloomington might not have mountain vistas, it definitely offers a great lifestyle at a much more affordable cost of living. More and more jobs and economic activities are becoming non-place dependent, which I think helps equalize some of the disadvantages employers and employees have typically associated with small job markets. Bloomington is a great place to live, work and play; which I think is a really valuable asset that can be used to attract and retain innovative companies as well as talent that might otherwise leave the Midwest.
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