Indiana State University Newsroom

Federal funding to help Terre Haute Innovation Alliance expand

August 11, 2008

Barely one year after its launch, the Terre Haute Innovation Alliance is ready to expand.

The economic development and education initiative based in Indiana State University's John T. Myers Technology Center helps new high-tech businesses get started and existing businesses expand while providing real-world experience to college and university students.

Since it began in April 2007 with an initial client base of three companies, the alliance has added a fourth business to its fold and is in negotiations with a fifth. Now, the university has received $500,000 in funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration to support efforts to assist additional companies through the alliance during the next four years.

The funding was secured with the assistance of Sen. Evan Bayh and Rep. Brad Ellsworth.

A partnership between Indiana State, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the city of Terre Haute and Terre Haute Economic Development Corp., the alliance helps its clients with product and business development, capital expenditures and operational costs.

"It's great to see ISU, Rose-Hulman, and the city of Terre Haute working together for a common purpose: improving our community. The Innovation Alliance initiative will result in innovative businesses and much-needed job opportunities in West-Central Indiana," said Ellsworth.

"Dozens of high-tech small businesses throughout our state have gotten their start with the assistance of partnerships like the Terre Haute Innovation Alliance," Bayh said. "The Terre Haute initiative has helped to create good-paying 21st century jobs for Hoosiers. With this additional SBA funding, the alliance will be able to expand its efforts and help even more high-tech small businesses get off the ground."

The SBA funds will be used to assist emerging companies that represent the best potential for job growth and overall success, said Richard Pittelkow, interim director of the Center for Business Support and Economic Innovation at ISU.

"This funding will enable us to provide commercialization services to five or more additional companies while engaging students in hands-on projects and creating jobs for the local economy," Pittelkow said.

"The alliance between Rose-Hulman, the city of Terre Haute, ISU and commercialization-stage companies is essential in developing a robust entrepreneurial and innovative culture in our community. This additional funding will provide continued meaningful impact on students, entrepreneurs and our community's economic health," said Brad Kelsheimer, Rose-Hulman liaison for the Innovation Alliance

The SBA appropriation is the second round of federal funding for the alliance. In 2004, Bayh and Sen. Richard Lugar were instrumental in securing $500,000 in start-up funding.

Existing business partners include DesAcc, a medical software engineering company; InfraWare, which provides next generation software for medical transcripts and reports; Handshake LLC, which is developing a web-based social utility portal envisioned to become a virtual marketplace for delivering and looking for services; and VEXTEC Corp., which uses computer software to determine the longevity of products - primarily for the automotive and aerospace industries.

Contact: Richard Pittelkow, interim director, Center for Business Support & Economic Innovation. Indiana State University, 812-237-2530 or  

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or