The Southern Indiana Development Commission received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to support entrepreneurship in the region through the study of the Southwest Indiana Technology and Collaboration Hub Network or “SWITCH.”
This study will help establish a network of entrepreneurial centers in southwest Indiana and allow the sharing of resources throughout the network.
Once completed, this study will bring together the public and private sectors by building an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs throughout the region.
Kent Utt, president Knox County Economic Development Corporation stated, “Two of KCDC’s primary goals vetted out during our recent comprehensive strategic plan are to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem and improve retention and attraction of talent.
These goals will be further advanced through the SWITCH feasibility study and enhance a collaborative region focused on innovation and entrepreneurship.”
The study is a partnership of 11 different local economic development organizat
ions (Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Knox, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Pike and Washington), three regional planning commissions (SIDC, River Hills and IN 15), two regional economic development organizations(Radius Indiana and the Southwest Indiana Development Council), as well as Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc. and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
“Regional partnerships are challenging, but with clear focus the benefits created from a region working together create more opportunities than working alone. This initiative, if done right, will be a model for the rest of the country for increasing entrepreneurship and collaboration in rural America,” said Greg Jones, director of SIDC.
Radius Indiana received an initial grant from the IEDC to begin studying the concept of a SWITCH network and will use those funds to match the EDA grant.
“We cannot thank IEDC enough for the initial investment in this concept and by partnering with the EDA I believe we will have enough funds to study the issue and stand up the framework for a lasting entrepreneurial ecosystem,” added Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius Indiana.
Local economic development organizations are excited for the next steps in the process. Ed Cole with Dubois Strong said, “I am looking forward to the expanded opportunities for co-working space collaboration the SWITCH Network will bring to Southwest Indiana.”
Ron Arnold with Daviess County Economic Development Corporation said, “SWITCH Network will allow Daviess County and the region to identify and understand steps needed to participate in an ever changing economy. I applaud the efforts of Radius Indiana and SIDC to bring the region together.”
The planning process will kick off in the fall of 2018.