Tag: Indiana

Bloomington-based start-up wins Crane IP Defense Innovation Pitch Competition

BEDFORD, Ind. (June 24, 2021) — A Bloomington-based start-up, Semiring Inc., won first place in the second-annual Crane IP Defense Innovation Pitch Competition on Wednesday, June 23.   

Radius Indiana sponsored the virtual competition in coordination with Elevate Ventures, Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division (NSWC Crane), Indiana Innovation Institute (IN3), the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), and The Mill. Judges included southwestern Indiana defense and economic development industry leaders who had previous experience with pitch competitions and knowledge of NSWC Crane. 

The top three contestants shared cash prizes totaling $7,000. 

  1. Semiring Inc: ($4,000 prize): Semiring pitched the use of Crane technology for data pre-processing with natural language processing, an existing project into which they incorporated Crane technology. The team consisted of six team members and was headed by Dr. Damir Cavar, a cofounder of Semiring and Associate Professor of Computational Linguistics at Indiana University.
  2. Vieaura ($2,00 prize): Vieaura, ran by co-owners Shrikant Yarlagadda and Srini Morampudi and team members Karey Koscevic and Dr. Mohan Tatikonda, focused on Crane technology involving virtual 3D model generation and navigation using opportunistically captured images.
  3. Exocetus Autonomous Systems ($1,000 prize): Exocetus Autonomous Systems, led by Paul Lwin and Joe Turner, directed its pitch on Crane technology to develop a networked buoy underwater communications system.

“After months of uncertainty during the pandemic, fears that we are facing dark and troubled times, this pitch competition was an extremely positive and motivating event and experience,” said Cavar. “The IP coming from Crane and its researchers is amazing, and it was refreshing to see so many people using this unique opportunity to look for ways to make the technologies available to our local and regional communities, as well as the entire nation and world. Such opportunities are essential for so many, and we hope that we can give back to Crane and the Department of Defense in general, as well as to our compatriots.”

Radius Indiana created the royalty-free IP pitch competition as an opportunity for interested businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs to take advantage of NSWC Crane’s Rapid Response Licensing Program, which launched last spring in response to COVID-19. The competition offered royalty-free access for those who seek to commercialize patented technologies and concepts developed at NSWC Crane. 

“The participants put together an impressive display of product ideas, and it was amazing to hear ideas and directions to take these patents that haven’t been considered before,” said Annie Bullock-Yoder, NSWC Crane Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Specialist. “We hope that this competition will spark further innovation and support economic growth using Crane’s IP, and we are looking forward to continuing building relationships with all participants from the competition.”

This event was the fourth pitch competition hosted by Radius since 2019. These competitions have included pitch opportunities for high school students, adults, startups, and established businesses or products and ideas. 

“Technology coming out of Crane clearly has commercial applicability, and Radius is honored to serve as a conduit to strengthen the region’s defense ecosystem through this competition,” said Keeley Stingel, vice president of Innovation and Economic Development at Radius. “The diversity of businesses that participated, from companies yet to form to ones that have been established for 50 years, was a testament to the innovation housed here in the Radius region through NSWC Crane.” 

Radius plans to host additional pitch competitions in 2021. More information will be announced in the coming months.

“This pitch competition was an example of an economic development project that creates success stories in multiple ways,” said Radius CEO and President Jeff Quyle. “We are very pleased with all the ways our partners and participants have benefited from the event.”

To view NSWC Crane’s entire IP portfolio, please visit www.techlinkcenter.org.

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About Radius Indiana: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

About NSWC Crane: NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s Warfighter.

About Elevate Ventures: Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-growth businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, visit elevateventures.com.

About Indiana Small Business Development Center: The Indiana SBDC creates a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses by providing entrepreneurs expert guidance and a comprehensive network of resources.

About Indiana Innovation Institute: IN3 (Indiana Innovation Institute) works with academia, industry, and government to create a hub of national security innovation that helps solve critical defense priorities. IN3 connects regional, state and national partners through a variety of means including convening research and business teams to solve emerging technical challenges for the U.S. Department of Defense. IN3 is focused on hypersonics, cyber-physical systems, trusted microelectronics and artificial intelligence. Learn more at www.in3indiana.com.

About The Mill: The Mill is the heart of southern Indiana’s startup ecosystem and its largest coworking space. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit center for entrepreneurship in Bloomington, funded by membership and event space fees, as well as by generous donations from corporate sponsors and angel investors from south-central Indiana.

Annual Radius Indiana economic development course returns to French Lick Resort

BEDFORD, Ind. (June 17, 2021) — The annual Radius Indiana economic development course at French Lick Resort concluded last Friday, graduating 44 community leaders from 15 Indiana counties. 

Participants in the Radius Indiana Economic Development for Community Leadership Program attended educational sessions on topics related to local economic development, networked with other community leaders, and built skills in strategic planning and community problem-solving.

“After conducting all of our events virtually for the last 15 months, it was special to get to host this course again and see so many new and familiar faces,” said Radius Indiana President and CEO Jeff Quyle. “This year’s program exceeded my expectations with a record number of participants and I continue to be blown away by how motivated and dedicated our local leaders are to continue furthering their economic development education.”

The program is the only course of its kind to be offered in the southwestern-Indiana area. Since the first course in 2017, nearly 140 people representing 25 Indiana counties have gathered to learn from national and regional speakers about topics and skills including real estate development, business attraction, workforce, marketing, business finance and incentives, and entrepreneurship.

This year’s course’s registrants included mayors, city, town and county representatives, engineering consultants, economic development professionals, utility representatives, and marketing specialists.

Now more than ever it is vital for community leaders to support the economic development initiatives in our region,” said Cindy Barber, an educator from the Purdue Extension Community Development who participated in this year’s course. “Through this program, Radius elevates the most important elements needed for economic prosperity by introducing the major players in Indiana to leaders & elected officials.

Course speaker Brittany Mann, vice president of incentives and location advisors at Bradley Company, joined two panels during the course to discuss site selection and marketing in economic development.

“I really enjoyed this year’s conference and the opportunity to share best practices from my own client site selection experiences,” said Mann. “Radius Indiana is helping leaders in their community put their best foot forward by sending them off better educated on what economic development is and how to best plug into the ecosystem by offering continual trainings through its annual economic development conference.”

Other sessions and speakers included representatives from economic development groups and consultants including Regional Opportunity Initiatives, local universities and university-led groups, state-run organizations, and finance companies.

Corporate sponsors and scholarships helped fund the program, including generous support from Hoosier Energy, Smithville Fiber, Duke Energy, and Indiana Municipal Power Agency.

Those interested in attending a Radius Indiana course in the future should contact the Radius office at 812-277-9778.

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ABOUT RADIUS INDIANA: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

Indiana Defense Task Force combats potential losses of military assets

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana

 

Indiana’s well-established military presence includes commands at Naval Support Activity Crane, the Grissom Air Reserve Base, and a distinguished state national guard with six critical assets. These commands support 14,000 soldiers and airmen, who are located in 52 counties across the state. The Base Realignment & Closure (BRAC) process was implemented in 1988, and the Department of Defense (DoD) repeatedly reduced its investment in Indiana’s military assets as part of that process. 

The Pentagon dollars that increased over the last four years could soon be harder to obtain. Many politicians are calling for a return of fiscal conservatism, and the Treasury will feel the full impact of COVID-19, both the stimulus and its cuts to paychecks and income taxes soon. 

In light of cuts to the Pentagon, potentially 10 percent or more in future years, defense communities should plan for various scenarios. Impacts from a defense budget reduction could include: 

  • Any military program not in existence prior to the previous administration will be subject to close review and re-justification. The number of aircraft to be purchased will be reduced, lot buys pushed out, recapitalization delayed, satellite constellations deferred, and ship keel-laying slowed because of budgetary pressure and/or shifts in defense prioritization. 
  • State-of-the-art technology pursuits like hypersonic weapons, autonomous combat vehicles, and artificial intelligence will be hampered. Legacy programs will be retired, while new acquisitions with lesser effect on service requirements will be canceled. 
  • When the Pentagon sees these types of budget cuts, military leaders typically ask for another round of the BRAC, a nonpartisan process that shutters military bases and consolidates missions to save money and increase military value. The last time the Pentagon closed bases was 2005, and other states came out as winners. 

The state must make a significant effort to avoid additional significant losses of our military assets. In 2019, the Indiana State Legislature established the Indiana Defense Task Force to accomplish the following tasks for Indiana’s military bases: 

  • Identify the public infrastructure and other community support necessary to improve mission efficiencies and for development and expansion; 
  • Identify existing and potential impacts of encroachment; 
  • Identify potential state and local government actions that can minimize the impacts of encroachment and enhance the long-term potential; and
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration among the state, including the military department of the state, political subdivisions, military contractors; and academic institutions to maintain and expand the missions. 

This move by our legislatures recognized changes that could occur in the future defense landscape. We applaud the Indiana State legislature for recognizing that the coalition that fights for Indiana’s military assets must grow, and grow stronger. 

Radius Indiana wage and benefits study reports regional employers anticipate hiring in the next year

BEDFORD, Ind. (Feb. 8, 2021) –– Many regional employers expect to add workers over the next 12 months, according to Radius Indiana’s second regional survey of wages and benefits in southwestern Indiana. 

“Businesses and industry in southwest Indiana are competing for workforce talent,” said Ed Cole, president of Dubois Strong, Dubois County’s economic development source. “The Radius Regional Wages and Benefits Survey provides employers the information they need to remain competitive.”

The 2020 Radius Indiana Wages and Benefits Survey gives local companies up-to-date, real-world information about the labor market in the Radius region compared to the state of Indiana and the United States. Seventy-six firms participated in the survey, contributing compensation data for 14,640 employees across 63 occupations, in addition to information about insurance and other benefits. 

“Wage and benefits surveys provide us the means to compare and analyze our compensation packages with other companies in the local market,” said Laura Kessens, Human Resources director for MasterBrand Cabinets in Jasper. “Remaining competitive in compensation allows us to attract, motivate, and retain employees.”

Whorton Marketing and Research, a consulting firm that conducts industry and membership research, conducted the survey in September and October 2020, and Dubois Strong sponsored its completion. No employee names or other personal information were reported to Radius in the production of the report.

“This survey is an important way for Radius and the local economic leaders in our counties to serve private businesses in our communities,” said Chris May, director of Manufacturing and Workforce Services for Radius Indiana. “Delivering timely and accurate information to the manufacturing sector allows those companies to be alert to changes in the labor market. We want to deliver tools like these, and in the future we want to build even better and stronger relationships with our local employers so that we can become more responsive to their needs.”

Among the survey’s findings: Average salaries for positions including office managers and material managers in the Radius region were below state and national averages, according to the report. Internal auditors and construction managers in the region earn between the state and federal levels, while sales managers/supervisors and chief information officers earn a higher mean salary in the Radius region than the state and national averages.

The survey also reported: 

  • Employers planning pay raises in the next 12 months: 77 percent; 
  • Average number of employees added in the previous six months: 30.7 employees; 
  • Average number of employees laid off in the previous six months: 27 employees; 
  • Mean salaries for engineers rose by 12.56 percent compared to the 2018 survey findings; 
  • Assembler mean salaries grew by 8.38 percent during the same period; 
  • Forklift/Equipment Operator mean salaries declined by 0.2 percent in the two-year period. 

“The local business sector and the local economic development professionals in the Radius region have worked together to develop this survey, and it is a very tangible example of the way economic development organizations can be used by their local businesses to deliver a service and a tool,” Radius Indiana President and CEO Jeff Quyle said. “We look forward to finding more opportunities like this to help our businesses be successful.”

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About Radius Indiana: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

ElectriCom Expands Headquarters, Adds 22 Jobs in Paoli

Radius Indiana’s Regional Impact Fund and Indiana Economic Development Corporation Incentivize Expansion

Paoli, Ind. (Aug. 13, 2020) — ElectriCom celebrated its expanded headquarters and growing workforce with a ribbon cutting today at its office facility located on Hospital Road in Paoli.  The project was supported by a Radius Indiana Regional Impact Fund grant of $88,739 and state IEDC incentives totaling $350,000.

ElectriCom provides utility construction services to power and communication clients in addition to gas distribution, right of way clearing and storm team response.  Founded in 1960, the company has additional offices in South Carolina, Florida and Texas. With nearly 800 employees, including 300 in Indiana with 126 in Orange County and nearly 80 from Paoli, ElectriCom is the second largest employer in the area. 

ElectriCom is rapidly growing and its new office space will accommodate 22 additional employees by 2022 in accounting, contract administration, human resources, IT and executive leadership. The company’s $800,000 investment includes multiple improvements at the now 13,230-square-foot headquarters, including a new executive office wing, new accounting and contract offices with 16 new workstations and a kitchen for employees as well as a 17,000-square-foot expanded parking area and upgraded site infrastructure.

“After 60 years of growing and being headquartered in Paoli, we are very pleased that the local and state officials and economic development organizations assisted to make staying in Paoli the most economical option from a business perspective.  Our desire was always to stay headquartered in Paoli, but we looked at other options such as Louisville, Kentucky and possibly one of our other offices across the country.  The incentives made the business decision match our heart-felt desire to stay in Paoli,” said Kevin Mason, president of ElectriCom.

The ElectriCom utility construction services also help to promote economic development through its work, which helped it secure the grant from Radius Indiana’s Regional Impact Fund. “ElectriCom provides critical infrastructure to new and established sites across our region and beyond that helps secure business development and create new jobs,” said Radius Indiana President and CEO Jeff Quyle. “We are pleased that the Regional Impact Fund could help with this important investment to grow a local company.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered ElectriCom up to $280,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. The IEDC also offered up to $70,000 in conditional tax credits from the Hoosier Business Investment (HBI) tax credit program based on the company’s planned capital investment in Indiana. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired.

“Thanks to homegrown Hoosier companies like ElectriCom, Indiana continues to build on its reputation as one of the best states in the nation to do business,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “We’re grateful for ElectriCom’s continued investment in Orange County, and we remain confident that the state’s skilled workforce will contribute to the company’s growth and success for many years to come.”

Locally, the Orange County Economic Development Partnership and Town of Paoli have supported the expansion.

“As one of the largest employers in Orange County, ElectriCom is an example of a company that understands and values the community where they are headquartered. They have been great community partners both through the services they provide and through civic community involvement. We are proud to have been a part of this success story and look forward to continuing working with ElectriCom and value them as an asset to our community,” said Zach Brown, executive director of OCEDP.

“I am thrilled that ElectriCom decided to retain and expand their business in Paoli, and the fact that they are creating more jobs is greatly appreciated,” added Brian Shipman, president of the Paoli Town Council.

From left to right: Bob Breeden, Executive VP; Kevin Mason, President; Russ Breeden III, CFO; Craig Moore, Senior VP

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About Radius Indiana: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

About the Regional Impact Fund: The Regional Impact Fund is a sub-organization of Radius Indiana with the purpose of making investments in public and private organizations that advance regional economic development strategies. The Regional Impact Fund is a deal-closing fund that makes such investments in the form of grants, loans, equity investments, or other such vehicles deemed to be in the best interests of Southern Indiana. The Regional Impact Fund gives high priority to projects that include job creation, site development and expansion.

 

About ElectriCom: ElectriCom was founded in 1960 in Paoli, Indiana, by Phil Brown to provide construction services to Power and Communications clients. Since our inception, we have added divisions for Gas Distribution and Right-of-Way Clearing and have provisioned our resources and people to respond quickly in Storm Team situations. Its mission is to build utility infrastructure to improve the quality of life in communities.

Discover Southern Indiana Unveils New Ice Cream Trail

BEDFORD, Ind. (July 30, 2020) — Discover Southern Indiana introduces a brand new Ice Cream Trail that takes tourists on a sweet, 250-mile adventure through eight counties in southern Indiana. The trail consists of 14 locally-owned ice cream shops and encourages visitors to experience something new at each location.

At each stop, visitors receive a stamp on an official Ice Cream Trail “passport.” Those who complete the trail and fill up their passport will receive a free t-shirt commemorating their experience. Interested participants can visit any of the Trail’s stops to pick up a passport, or download one from the Discover Southern Indiana website. A map of the locations is also available to help plan your route.

Discover Southern Indiana, launched earlier this year by Radius Indiana, is the first region-wide tourism drive of its kind and gives an identity to the opportunities, attractions and events for tourists visiting Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Martin, Lawrence, Orange and Washington counties.

“The goal of Discover Southern Indiana is to promote tourism in our eight-county region,” said Radius Indiana Director of Tourism and Quality of Place Blaine Parker. “The Ice Cream Trail just launched in mid-July and is already outperforming our initial expectations. It’s proving that people want to get out and explore, and have fun doing so.”

The Ice Cream Trail allows visitors to see and experience charming rural communities that are all located within a compact portion of southern Indiana, allowing for an easy, ‘one-tank’ trip that doesn’t require families to travel long distances.

The trail includes stops at:

  • Jiffy Treet | Linton, Greene County
  • Yoho General Store | Solsberry, Greene County
  • Let It Snow Creamery | Odon, Daviess County
  • Bo Mac’s Drive-In | Shoals, Martin County
  • Zax Creamery | Jasper, Dubois County
  • Windmill Chill | Holland, Dubois County
  • The Happy Hive | Marengo, Crawford County
  • Stephenson’s General Store | Leavenworth, Crawford County
  • French Licks | French Lick, Orange County
  • Superburger | Paoli, Orange County
  • Dairy Bell | Mitchell, Lawrence County
  • Jiffy Treet | Bedford, Lawrence County
  • Little Twirl Dairy Bar | Livonia, Washington County
  • Six Scoops | Salem, Washington County

To download a passport and start the trail today, visit http://discoversouthernindiana.com/icecreamtrail/.