The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded $3.5 million to the City of Bloomington to support construction of the Trades District Technology Center. The center is intended to facilitate the growth and commercialization of second stage, tech-based businesses.
The city applied for the grant in partnership with the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, and the EDA funds will be matched by $1.6 million of local investment from the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission. Read the city's press release here.
The Trades District is a 12-acre area that's part of the Bloomington Certified Technology Park. Learn more here.
The Crane Regional Defense Group is starting a new Key Leader Series on Aug. 12, featuring Dr. Angie Lewis, Technical Director at NSWC Crane.
The free event runs from 11:30-12:30 p.m. at the WestGate Academy, 13598 E. WestGate Drive in Odon, Indiana. Lunch will be provided.
Click here for more info and to register!
Regional Opportunity Initiatives is collecting data about broadband speeds and mapping those speeds in the community to help get grants and other support to improve broadband capacity. As part of the project, they're asking residents and businesses to take an internet speed test.
The goal of this project is to create an accurate regional map of where internet service is available, where it is unavailable, and what broadband speed residents are currently receiving.
Read more about this project and take the test here.
A public forum is planned for Wednesday, June 2 focused on a digital inclusion plan to improve infrastructure, internet speed, connectivity, access to devices, and digital literacy in Monroe County.
The June 2 forum, which starts at 5:30 via Zoom, is hosted by the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, along with members of the County Digital Advisory Team. The event will review and seek feedback on initial findings of a digital inclusion survey. To receive the Zoom link, RSVP by emailing Meagan Niese at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about this initiative is available here.
A Dec. 1 public meeting and online survey are the next steps in the City of Bloomington's Digital Equity Strategic Plan. The city recently released a draft of the plan, which lays out a framework to improve internet accessibility and affordability for Bloomington residents.
A meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 1 starts at 6:30 p.m. via this Zoom link.
Click here to give feedback online.
The Mill has launched its Spark Business Plan Competition for entrepreneurs in south-central Indiana, with a cash prize of $2,500 going to the winner.
Pre-seed startups in the Bloomington and Columbus region are encouraged to apply by Dec. 4 with a 5-minute pitch video, an executive summary of their business plan, and a slide deck.
Entries will be reviewed by a panel of entrepreneurs and investors, and the top three and winner will be announced during a live Zoom event on Dec. 15.
Click here for more information and to apply.
The City of Bloomington is implementing parking via the ParkMobile app, allowing people to find, reserve, and pay for parking at over 150 spots in two app-only parking zones in Bloomington.
The app will be activated later this month for parking at these locations, which previously were free:
More information about using the app is available at Park Mobile Pay By Phone FAQs. The app-only zones are available to those without a smartphone by calling the number listed at the Pay By Phone sign (1-877-727-5007) and following instructions to pay by credit card.
The Indiana Small Business Development Center and Indiana University Kelley School of Business are offering a no-cost technology consulting service to small businesses with the goal of establishing or increasing their online presence and/or creating digital capabilities.
Eligible companies may apply for no-cost assistance to help establish or increase their online presence through website development, e-commerce support and other digital tools and services. Under this Project HOPE program, Kelley students and recent graduates are offered paid internships to assist small businesses in solving technology issues or providing new digital capabilities. Projects include creating or modifying websites, building e-commerce platforms, improving cybersecurity frameworks, migrating data, and more.
Indiana small businesses can submit applications online here. For more information, contact Troy Phelps, Assistant Director for Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Gayle & Bill Cook Center For Entrepreneurship, at email@example.com. The South Central Indiana SBDC is housed at Ivy Tech Bloomington.
Over 150 companies have been helped so far, with more than 80 in the pipeline. The project engages with 40 new clients every two weeks and will be continuing this level of engagement through the rest of 2020.
On July 1, Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division held its Change of Command ceremony, honoring outgoing Capt. Mark Oesterreich, who has led the operation since July 2017 and is retiring, and welcoming the new commanding officer, Capt. Duncan McKay.
Click here to read the NSWC Crane press release about Capt. McKay.
NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field site for Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). Its work focuses on expeditionary warfare, strategic missions and electronic warfare. Located about 35 miles southwest of Bloomington in Martin County and parts of Greene and Lawrence counties, NSWC Crane employs more than 3,000 people, making it one of this region's largest employers.
A partnership between Ellettsville-based Smithville Communications and South Central Indiana REMC, a rural electric cooperative, is set to bring high-speed fiber broadband to thousands of rural customers in Monroe and Owen Counties.
Launched in May, the buildout of this fiber network will eventually serve about 3,400 residents by 2023. The first phase is focused on the rural area between Spencer and Gosport.
Read more about the project here.