11 Nov Venture I-69: Driving Innovation
Anyone who has driven I-69 from Madison County to northeastern Hamilton County would notice almost daily changes. Commercial / industrial development seems to have exploded in recent months. The Corporation for Economic Development (CED) of Madison County is putting together a marketing and development strategy to embrace our proximity to northeastern Hamilton County. We are referring to this initiative as Venture 69 – Driving Innovation. This writing is the first in a series of several narratives discussing the Venture 69 project.
The over-arching objective for the Venture 69 project is to raise awareness of successful business development along an I-69 sector (defined below), with the intention of attracting additional corporate operations to locate along this same corridor. The principal method of raising awareness and attracting further business development is through a professional, comprehensive, and long-term marketing campaign.
Venture 69 – Driving Innovation was chosen primarily due to its proximity to Indianapolis and to the tremendous economic growth along I-69. Venture 69 is a geographic area defined as northeastern Hamilton County and all of Madison County, IN. More specifically, communities benefitting include Fishers and Noblesville in Hamilton County, along with Alexandria, Anderson, Chesterfield, Elwood, Frankton, Ingalls, Lapel, and Pendleton in Madison County. Other Madison County municipalities may be involved as well. Daleville and Yorktown are also included, but are both in Delaware County.
The expectations for the I-69 branding effort are aggressive, but are based on the growth in Marion and Hamilton Counties, as well as the impressive development success in Madison County in recent years. In Madison County alone, said development amounts to 6,500 new jobs created, with a total investment of $2 billion over the past 10 years. Several examples of recent accomplishments in Madison County are Greenville Technologies, Inc. (110 new jobs and $24 million investment) and NTN Driveshaft – Phase 1 (committed to 311 new jobs and $84.6 million investment). These success stories will be used as part of the marketing efforts to attract other corporations to establish operations along Venture 69.
A professional marketing and brand positioning firm based in Pendleton, Anderson Creative, LLC, has been retained to tout I-69 development success stories, establish and build further brand awareness of Venture 69, and crystalize future business expansion possibilities of the corridor. This will be accomplished primarily through social media and press releases, as well as working with area brokers and site selectors. The Corporation for Economic Development (CED) will also team up with the Indy Partnership and the Indianapolis regional Chamber of Commerce in this endeavor. Finally, we will continue to expand the current relationship with our utility partners, working together in a joint effort to market Madison County. It is anticipated that the branding decisions made in conjunction with Anderson Creative’s guidance will be a recognizable part of the area’s promotional efforts for the next 10 years, making those choices of great importance.
Successful implementation of the Venture 69 project will have a positive, long term economic impact on the communities and stakeholders included. If the project goals are achieved as outlined, the potential for enhanced quality of life will be increased as the proximate business environment improves. Ancillary impact indicators such as the quality of education systems, average property values, and overall population demographics will likely progress as well, providing more opportunities to retain our talented youth.
Explaining the tremendous untapped development potential to the corridor’s business stakeholders will help to create and center discussions (create “buzz”) around additional corridor investment. The IU Kelley School of Business forecasts central Indiana growing by 700,000 people by the year 2050. This initiative will position Madison County to attract 20% of this growth by adding associated jobs to the economy. Promotional funding is a critical part of the brand development and awareness efforts for Venture 69. It is the first step in the process of packaging Venture 69 as a strategic and potentially lucrative project for investors. It will directly enhance our regional marketing efforts, and further connect us with area partners. More importantly, it also has the potential to greatly benefit residents by ultimately raising the median household income and increasing employment via the creation of new job opportunities. Venture 69 – Driving Innovation may well be an opportunity too important to pass up.