August 18, 2023

Powering Indiana’s economic prosperity

This week, Indiana University announced that Julie Heath, the architect of Indiana’s first entrepreneurship ecosystem strategy, will direct a new IU initiative to support students and faculty across the state’s flagship university in the creation and growth of startup ventures.

Heath, who recently served as vice president of entrepreneurial ecosystems for the Indiana Economic Development Corp., has been named as the inaugural executive director of the IU Innovates Hub, which will launch this fall and provide a focal point for university efforts to accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation. The IU Innovates initiative will be based on IU’s Bloomington campus but assist students and faculty across the university statewide. 

In her weekly blog, IU President Pamela Whitten described Heath’s work at the IEDC that helped Indiana secure unprecedented levels of resources for startup founders who are creating high-wage jobs and bringing new investment to the state. In her new role, Heath will help ensure IU innovators and entrepreneurs have the support and resources they need to advance their venture ideas, while connecting them with key industry partners.

Heath will also help further IU’s commitment—as reflected in the new IU 2030 strategic plan—to leverage the university’s vast educational and research capabilities to support Indiana’s workforce development, serve the needs of Hoosier employers and strengthen the state’s startup culture.

“As someone who has successfully built and led several high-impact entrepreneurship programs, Julie understands the resources founders and entrepreneurs require to pursue high-potential business ideas and launch successful startup ventures,” Whitten said in IU’s announcement of Heath’s appointment. “Under her leadership, we can make an enormous economic impact in Indiana by scaling the best Indiana University ideas into companies and strengthening collaboration with key research and industry leaders across our state.” 

Read President Whitten’s blog


Economic Engagement Update

Advancing renewable energy in Hoosier communities

An IU spinup company focused on renewable energy will receive $100,000 through a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to build capacity for renewable energy projects in the Indiana counties of Franklin, Ripley and Decatur.

Green Fortress Engineering, led by Peter Schubert of the School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, is one of 67 winners of the Energizing Rural Communities prize sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by the crowdsourcing platform HeroX.

The award will support the evolution of several potential projects in the next 10 months, including retrofitting one of the seven buildings at the Convent of the Sisters of St. Francis in Oldenburg, Indiana, as a clean-energy demonstration center. The EARTH team will build a partnership of local talent to demonstrate the ability to execute projects within the community.

Read the full story 


Preparing to move major IU innovation to market 

Five IU researchers recently received patents for cutting-edge technologies and other innovations they aim to bring to the marketplace.  

The U.S. Trademark and Patent Office issued patents for biochemical agent testing, a method to reduce sodium reabsorption in blood, a wireless sensor network, and treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and breast cancer.  

Read the full story 

Watch a video of one of the IU researchers


Being the BOSS: Immersing students in the basics of business entrepreneurship  
In alignment with the new IU 2030 strategic plan, IU will increase the number of immersive experiences for students that elevate them among their peers in the workplace and beyond. Two recently concluded programs—at IU East and IUPUI—reflect the profound impact of these experiences.  

Earlier this year, recent IU East graduates participated in a week-long educational and networking program in Wayne County called the “BOSS Experience,” where they received a behind-the-scenes look at local businesses, listened to company owners share their successes, formulated business plans and created promotional materials, such as brochures and business cards.  

The BOSS Experience is a new variation of the national award-winning Business Opportunities for Self-Starters (BOSS) program established 15 years ago by Tim Scales, director of the IU East Center for Entrepreneurship and senior lecturer of business for the IU East School of Business and Economics. 

IUPUI recently held its own BOSS Summer Entrepreneurship Camp for students from four area high schools who learned about starting and owning your own business. During a week in June, the students learned how to create, budget for and market a new business from Kelley School of Business faculty, while instructors from the Herron School of Art + Design offered them guidance on product design, branding and prototyping. Additionally, the students met with local small business owners and experts who shared with them real-world experiences and insights.  

Read about IU East’s BOSS Experience 

Read about the IUPUI BOSS camp


IU in the news

IU Indianapolis Chancellor search leadership named

IU President Pamela Whitten has announced co-chairs for the search to lead the state’s premier urban research university.

Read the full story 


IU bridges language barrier between U.S. military and Ukraine

The Language Training Center at Indiana University answered the call when the United States military contacted them for communications assistance during the war in Ukraine. 

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IU McKinney program eases lawyer shortage in rural Indiana 

There is a dire shortage of attorneys who work in rural communities across the state. In fact, residents of some places in Indiana only need one hand to count the number of lawyers in their midst. IU McKinney’s Supporting Rural Justice Initiative is a significant step toward alleviating that shortage. 

Read the full story