Project Title:Terre Haute Innovation AllianceInstitution Name:Indiana State University
Innovation Category:Economic and Workforce Development
Project Director:Chris Pfaff, Director, Business Engagement CenterContact Information:(812) 237-2536,
Project Description:Created in 2008 the Terre Haute Innovation Alliance is a partnership
between the City of Terre Haute, Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation, Indiana
State University (ISU) and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT). ISU and RHIT provide university
commercialization services to companies in the process of developing or
expanding their products.ISU provides
limited business incubation space in the Myers Technology Center.The Alliance program at ISU is managed by the
Business Engagement Center. Services
also are provided to client companies through the Rose-Hulman Institute of
Technology Ventures program. Prospects for the program can be identified by any
of the partners and are reviewed by all of the partners.
- Create jobs in Terre Haute and west central
- Provide “virtual” and physical incubation
services through ISU’s Business Engagement Center to companies in the process
of developing or expanding their products.
Incubation services include:
- Office and lab space: amenities include private
office space, voice and data connectivity, office furniture and access to
available university conferencing services.
- Administrative support: the Center offers the
services of a professional administrative assistant to help manage schedules,
meetings, messages, invoice and supplies’ tracking.
- Commercialization services: the Center
facilitates collaboration between companies and ISU faculty and staff for
product development (i.e. marketing focus groups, internships, etc.).
- Seventy-five new jobs, mostly in high-tech
fields, have been created through the Alliance since its founding. The new jobs include medical imaging software
technicians, voice recognition software developers, pharmaceutical testing
technicians, and sales and marketing positions.
Ten companies have received
support from the Business Engagement Center.
Two companies utilize incubation space on campus. Eight receive services at their business
off-campus. Every business has employed
ISU students and/or faculty.
- The success of Midwest Compliance Laboratories
(MC Labs) illustrates the impact of the Alliance. MC Labs was launched by two former employees
of a large pharmaceutical company. The company provides a range of testing
services to companies from the pharmaceutical, dietary supplement, and food
industries to ensure product quality and compliance with federal regulations.
Within two years of the company’s launch, the full-time staff had grown from
two to fourteen. The company will soon
outgrow the University’s facilities and will need to move to a permanent
location in the community.
Challenges/Problems Encountered:ISU’s incubation/accelerator program is unique in its hybrid
model of providing both physical and virtual incubation. Although this model had proven to be quite
effective for our current participating client companies, our ability is
provide physical space to new companies early in their development is
limited. Current incubation space is
limited to 8,000 square feet in the Myers Technology Center. The entire space is currently occupied. Until the time one of the two companies moves
their entire operation off campus, we will not be able to offer access to
physical incubation space to new clients.
Evaluation Approach:A separate evaluation approach is required for each company. The Project Director works with each
participating client to develop a plan for how the company will utilize
Alliance resources. A company should be prepared
to leave the Alliance within a two to four-year period. The Project Director meets individually with
Alliance company representatives monthly and completes an annual formal
evaluation. In the event that a company
is not making projected progress toward goals, an alternative course of action
may be implemented.
Potential for Replication:The success of the Terre Haute Innovation Alliance depends
on the willingness of two very different higher education institutions to work
in partnership with the city and local economic development corporation. Each
institution identified the services they can bring to the
partnership. Both ISU and RHIT refer
clients to the other institution if it is in the best interest of the
client. The relationship throughout the
partnership has been cooperative, as opposed to competitive. Additional Resources:RHIT Ventures: http://www.rhventures.org/ CEO-to-CEO Contact:Daniel J. Bradley
, PresidentDan.Bradley@indstate.eduDate Published: Monday, October 1, 2012