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Recently, we finished a project with the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance (GKEDA) to determine the relevancy of targeting the life science industry in the Kokomo and Howard County region of Indiana. Partnering with Jon Speer of Creo Quality, an Indiana-based company specializing in strategic solutions, on the analysis, we agreed that the region’s “challenge is to figure out a strategy to leverage its assets and strengths while diversifying its economy to be less reliant on automotive.”

For many years Kokomo and Howard County have been linked predominantly to the automotive industry. Much of their past growth was due in large part to an influx of industries which support the automobile industry such as technical, engineering and advanced manufacturing. However, due to the steady decline of the automotive industry, it became necessary to assess new growth opportunities. This is where we stepped in and partnered with Creo Quality.

One of Kokomo’s most beneficial assets is that there already exists a framework of resources they leverage by repurposing in the life sciences arena. The technical resources and talent needed in order to branch out into complimentary industries is at their fingertips. Thus, our combined assessment was that GKEDA should consider targeting the life science sector in the following ways:

  • identifying assets with potential to support the medical device industry
  • developing medical device marketing strategy around those assets
  • focusing on making GKEDA and they work they do to support Kokomo and Howard County more known
  • identifying other industries where current assets and strengths can be leveraged

Working with GKEDA to determine the potential for growth was an eye-opening experience that we hope to repeat with many other economic development entities in the very near future.