Local economic development group changes its name

Indianapolis Economic Development Inc., the organization responsible for company expansion and attraction in Indianapolis and Marion County, has changed its name to Develop Indy.

According to CEO Scott Miller, the agency that formerly operated under the shorthand acronym IEDI often was confused with other business-development groups. Mix-ups were particularly common with the statewide Indiana Economic Development Corp., or IEDC, and the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, or ICVA.

“We were looking for something that was simple, but also spoke to where we are going as an organization,” Miller said. “And it somewhat gets us out of what I’ll call the alphabet soup.”

Develop Indy expects its rebranding effort to yield real results. Miller said there were times in the past when growing firms mistakenly made multiple inquiries elsewhere before reaching his office. Develop Indy is trying to respond quickly to their needs, not frustrate them.

“Any time an organization has to make multiple phone calls, you tend to lose opportunities,” Miller said. “They get frustrated and say ‘It’s too confusing. Why would I go through that process when I don’t need to?’”

“We believe this will make the customer’s process of going through site selection or growth much easier, and much more clear,” Miller added.

Miller said Develop Indy’s new name was conceived internally, but locally based Axiom Design Group Inc. created a new logo and added the tag line “Advancing economic growth.”

Develop Indy is getting new digs to go along with its name change. On Friday, it is relocating its offices from space it shared with the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce on the 19th floor of the Chase Tower to the building’s 24th floor. Develop Indy’s new address is 111 Monument Circle, Suite 2450, and its phone number is (317) 677-0210. The organization will launch a new Web site later this year.

With a $1.5 million annual budget—provided mostly by the city—and staff of 15, Develop Indy is governed by a nine-member board of directors, appointed by Mayor Greg Ballard. Miller said Develop Indy’s goal for 2010 is to have a record year, improving upon the bar set in 2006, when it retained 14,207 jobs, landed 4,921 new positions and attracted $625.9 million in business investments.

The organization is on the right track. During the first four months of 2010, Miller said Develop Indy already has worked on 25 projects that led to 6,000 new and retained jobs and $238 million in business investments.

“We run the gamut on different projects from big to small, but every job is important,” Miller said. “We’re excited about what the next eight months have to offer.”

Last year, Develop Indy worked on 41 business expansion or attraction projects, he said, leading to 10,000 new and retained job commitments and $139 million in company investments.

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