Unveiling the Heartland's Jewel: Mid-America EDC's Competitiveness Conference in Indianapolis

Monday, November 20, 2023

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2023 is the first year the MidAmerican EDC’s annual Competitiveness Conference won’t be held in downtown Chicago, and though we will miss the Windy City, we’re excited to explore another bustling city this region is fortunate enough to claim. 
Indianapolis, often called the Crossroads of America, has a rich history that mirrors the nation's journey. From its humble beginnings as a trading post in the early 19th century, the city has evolved into a thriving metropolis known for its economic prowess, cutting-edge industries, and welcoming atmosphere.

The city's economic landscape is diverse, with major industries ranging from advanced manufacturing and life sciences to technology and logistics. Indianapolis is not just the racing capital of the world; it's also a hub for innovation, hosting the headquarters of global corporations that contribute significantly to the region's economic vitality.

Indianapolis: A thriving metropolis

The life sciences industry is one of the standout sectors driving Indianapolis' economic engine. With renowned institutions like Eli Lilly and Company and Roche Diagnostics, the city has become a beacon for biotech research and development. This sector's growth has elevated Indianapolis on the global stage and fostered a collaborative ecosystem that continues to attract top talent and investment.

In addition to life sciences, the city is a hotbed for advanced manufacturing, anchored by companies like Rolls-Royce and Allison Transmission. These enterprises shape the city's economic landscape and exemplify Indianapolis' commitment to innovation and cutting-edge technology.

Indianapolis is a key player in the energy sector, too. MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator), headquartered in Carmel, an Indianapolis metro community, operates the high-voltage electric grid for portions of 9 of the 13 Mid-America EDC states. MISO's role in managing regional energy markets is integral in ensuring the availability and movement of electricity for much of our region.

As participants of the Competitiveness Conference immerse themselves in the city's economic narrative, they will undoubtedly find inspiration in Indianapolis' storied past and promising future. Beyond the conference rooms, the city beckons with a tapestry of cultural attractions and recreational opportunities.

Lots to see and do

Becca Schmiegel, Marketing Manager for Visit Indy, says that there is a lot to explore in the city. “A glimmering canal walk, 250 acres of urban green space with one-of-a-kind museums, and a top 10 zoo. The original LOVE sculpture. The world's largest children's museum. The world's spiciest dish. A professional and college sports fan's dream. America's most compact skywalk-connected convention and special event package. The #1 ranked Airport in North America eleven years in a row (ACI). A safe, clean, and walkable urban center with 300+ restaurants, retailers, and cultural attractions. Ranked one of the Best Places to Go in 2021 (TIME Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, and Travel + Leisure), Indianapolis is sophisticated but not pretentious. And so welcoming there's actually a name for it - Hoosier Hospitality!” she says.!

While in town, visitors are encouraged to explore the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the legendary Indianapolis 500. For a more introspective experience, a visit to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, featuring a diverse collection spanning 5,000 years, is a must. The White River State Park, nestled in the heart of downtown, offers a picturesque escape, complete with walking trails, gardens, and the scenic Central Canal.

A Great Mix of Shopping, Entertainment and Culinary Experience

Downtown Indy has six thriving Cultural Districts, each offering a distinct mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment. Schmiegel says, “From Mass Ave to Fountain Square, the internationally acclaimed Cultural Trail connects visitors with these unique neighborhoods. Hop on one of the 525 bikes from the Pacers Bikeshare to explore the city, and dock the bike at one of the 50 stations once you are done.”

A visit to Indianapolis would only be complete with savoring the city's culinary delights, Schmiegel notes. “Indianapolis offers over 300 diverse dining and nightlife options for all palates and price points. With its rich soil and surrounding agriculture, Indy has supported farm-to-table restaurants for decades, with local farmers providing the freshest produce and protein to menus. International fare, world-famous steakhouses, and sports bars with plenty of televisions for viewing the big game are also just around the corner.”

Beyond the conference sessions, attendees can expect a myriad of ways to connect with the city of Indianapolis for this conference. Schmiegel says that the Mid-America EDC attendees will comprehensively explore the city with a thoughtfully crafted program. “The itinerary includes talks by local figures, including Indiana Sports Corp CEO Patrick Talty, on how economic development shapes the region’s success as a destination for visitors and business development. Participants will visit key sites such as the new Bottleworks District, the NCAA Headquarters, and The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, the largest children’s museum in the world. The experience then extends to Carmel, providing a firsthand view of its ongoing development.”

Take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to learn from experts who touch projects! You will surely gain tips and knowledge from this year's presenters and panelists in site selection, development, utilities, marketing, workforce, and more! Visit this page for more information!

Category: News