The chief executive officer and president of Indianapolis-based KSM Location Advisors say central Indiana could put together a compelling bid for the second headquarters of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), but it faces big challenges. Tim Cook and Katie Culp agree Boston, Denver and Austin appear to be frontrunners, but Culp says the Indy/Fishers pitch will be among the "off-the-radar cities" that could be in the mix. During the debut of the (i) on Economic Development segment on Inside INdiana Business Television, Cook and Culp ran down the challenges and opportunities facing the region and other "HQ2" contenders.
KAR buys-out remainder of dealer tech business: Carmel-based KAR Auction Services Inc. (NYSE: KAR) has announced the acquisition of the remaining half of a dealer-to-dealer auction technology platform company. The deal for Nth Gen Software Inc., which does business as TradeRev, is valued at up to $125 million. KAR purchased 50 percent of the business in 2014 for $30 million. The latest deal follows KAR's late-September announcement that it plans to invest $80 million into a new Carmel campus that could create 400 jobs by 2020.
Fuzic CEO says state, city supporting growth: Within a 14-month period, Fishers-based Fuzic Inc. has grown from three employees to over 30. Monday, the marketing technology platform that provides custom audio advertising and licensed music for location-based businesses says it plans to hire an additional 250-plus employees by 2020. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Fuzic Chief Executive Officer Brent Oakley said the company's rapid growth is simply a result of increasing demand.
Holcomb drops legislative hints, talks liquor laws: With less than two months until the General Assembly gathers for the official start of the next legislative session, Governor Eric Holcomb has provided a taste of what his legislative priorities with be in 2018. During discussions with members of the media following an unveiling Monday of Fuzic Inc.'s plans to add more than 250 jobs in Fishers, Holcomb said, "surprise, surprise," his focus will continue to be heavy on the economy and infrastructure, though he adds he remains "open-minded" about the ongoing debate over Indiana's liquor laws. Holcomb discussed key messaging for the General Assembly.
MutualFirst to acquire BloomBank parent: Muncie-based MutualFirst Financial Inc. (Nasdaq: MFSF) has announced plans to acquire Universal Bancorp Inc. in Bloomfield. The parent of MutualBank says the deal, valued at more than $65 million in cash and stock, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.
Iconic Kokomo company under new ownership: A storied glass making business has a new owner. In an announcement on the Kokomo Opalescent Glass Facebook page, Chief Executive Officer John O'Donnell identified Jeff Shaw as the 130-year-old company's buyer. O'Donnell says he will leave KOG to pursue other business interests.
IMS transforming into airport ahead of air race: As the Indianapolis Motor Speedway prepares for the Red Bull Air Race next weekend, President Doug Boles says the track is awaiting certification from the Federal Aviation Administration to become an airport. IMS crews have removed the pedestrian bridge that runs over Hulman Boulevard on the track's infield so the road can become Hulman Runway, which the planes will use while competing in the second annual event. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Boles said because the planes will be flying in and out of the track, IMS will become an FAA-controlled airport which means they have to obey the same rules that are implemented at any other airport.
Indianapolis opioid battle targets pharma companies: Indianapolis will be the first city in the state to take the fight against the opioid epidemic to the corporations it says have contributed to the crisis. Mayor Joe Hogsett has announced the city has hired locally-based law firm Cohen & Malad, LLP to handle a planned lawsuit targeting opioid manufacturers and distributors. During a news conference this morning, Hogsett said the current picture is grim and this is only part of a larger approach. The targets of the legal action are what Cohen & Malad Managing Partner Irwin Levin calls "the people at the top of the chain."
Mayor pushing for convention center expansion: The mayor of Bloomington has expressed his support for an expansion of the Monroe County Convention Center. Speaking before the Bloomington Common Council Wednesday evening, John Hamilton said he was in favor of a 1 percent food and beverage tax on prepared foods to fund the potential project.
Columbia City metals manufacturer details $12M investment: A manufacturer in Columbia City is expanding. The Whitley County Economic Development Corp. says Fort Wayne Metals Advanced Materials Development LLC plans to invest $12 million into new equipment and add 15 jobs. The company is a subsidiary of Fort Wayne Metals Research Products Corp.
Muncie radio group adds another station: Muncie-based Woof Boom Radio continues to grow. The company says its acquisition of WKHL 106.7 in West Lafayette means the group is now operating in three markets in Indiana and Ohio.
Vendor chosen For ISTEP replacement: The Indiana Department of Administration has recommended a Washington D.C.-based to administer the state's replacement for the ISTEP+ exam. Indiana's Learning Evaluation Readiness Network, or ILEARN, is slated to become the new statewide standardized test in the 2018-2019 academic year.
Columbus drawing far-reaching attention: Architecturally-rich Columbus has received its share of time in the national spotlight recently and the head of a local nonprofit says there's more to come. Exhibit Columbus, which runs through November 26, features 18 art installations throughout the city and Landmark Columbus Executive Director Richard McCoy calls it an accessible opportunity to see Columbus "in a different way." A Hollywood film called "Columbus" that was shot in the city and uses the iconic scenery as a backdrop has recently been shown in theaters throughout the country and McCoy says it's another indication the community is "ready to show itself off to the world." McCoy calls the attention for Columbus "amazing" and says Exhibit Columbus has attracted visitors ranging from local wedding participants to museum groups from throughout the world.
FDA approves Lilly breast cancer treatment: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug developed by Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) for the treatment of advanced or metastatic breast cancer. The approval comes less than three months after Verzenio was submitted to the FDA for review.
Angie's List acquisition complete: New York-based IAC (Nasdaq: IAC) has completed its acquisition of Indianapolis-based Angie's List Inc. The online home services company has now merged with IAC subsidiary HomeAdvisor to become ANGI Homeservices Inc. (Nasdaq: ANGI). The closing of the acquisition follows a Friday vote by Angie's List shareholders. The deal, which was originally announced in May, was valued at up to $500 million.
Historic hotel named among world's best: A well-known attraction in southern Indiana has been named among the best in the world. Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide include West Baden Springs Hotel in the list of 2017 Awards of Excellence recipients.
Jonathan Byrd's complex gets new life: The former Jonathan Byrd's complex in Greenwood has received a facelift. The site, which Jonathan Byrd's closed last year, is now known as The Nest and its first tenant is already open.
Lutheran Hospital announces next CEO: Lutheran Health Network has named Paula Autry chief executive officer of Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. She will succeed Lutheran Health Network CEO Mike Poore, who has also been serving as interim head of the hospital since June when the health system said unspecified circumstances put then-CEO Brian Bauer's employment "in an untenable position."
Endocyte bullish on potential blockbuster: The chief executive officer of West Lafayette-based Endocyte Inc. (Nasdaq: ECYT) is using a word to describe the company's $12 million worldwide licensing acquisition of a late-stage prostate cancer therapy that he says is often overused: transformational. "In this case, the word is absolutely fitting," said Mike Sherman during a conference call with investors detailing the deal with Germany-based ABX GmbH. Endocyte has been working to reverse a series of quarterly losses in recent years, including a major restructuring and work force reduction announced in June. Sherman has an ambitious timeline for PSMA-617.
SMWC site named to National Register: The Historic District at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The 67-acre site includes more than 65 buildings, structures and sites, some of which date back to the 1880s.
Senate confirms Ted McKinney for new USDA role: Outgoing Indiana Department of Agriculture Director Ted McKinney has been confirmed for a newly-created position within the Trump administration. Ted McKinney will serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says McKinney will "wake up every morning seeking to sell more American agricultural products in foreign markets."
Apprentice school aims to 'supercharge' tech talent: A new school in Indianapolis is focusing on apprenticeship as a way to skill-up the next generation the tech work force. Kenzie Academy, which is located at the Speakeasy Downtown, says it provides training with an emphasis on networking and job experience through paid projects as a consultant for employers. Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Chok Ooi says the apprenticeship model helps keep costs down for students, while providing valuable connections and prioritizing job placement after completing the two-year program.
Pacers ready for NBA eSports league: The Indiana Pacers are ramping up to enter the rapidly-growing world of eSports, which Senior Vice President Kelly Krauskopf calls a "groundbreaking" opportunity. The team is taking part in the league's inaugural NBA 2K video game competition, beginning in early 2018 and mirroring the NBA season. The competition will feature teams of professional video gamers fielded by 17 NBA organizations. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Krauskopf said the league has already attracted new potential sponsors.
Jayco planning major Idaho expansion: Middlebury-based Jayco Inc. is expanding operations at its Twin Falls, Idaho campus. Financial details were not disclosed, however a spokesperson for the recreational vehicle manufacturer tells Inside INdiana Business the project is expected to create more than 500 jobs.
IPFW unveils new alumni association name: IPFW's alumni association is now known as the Mastodon Alumni Association. The organization, which is independent of the Purdue University and Indiana University alumni associations, is open to anyone who graduated from the IPFW campus.
Wabash college district name honors 'Fuzzy' Ott: Officials at Wabash College will Saturday re-dedicate the Ott Residential Life District after receiving an anonymous $7 million gift. The project, which broke ground in 2014, was completed and first dedicated in May 2016.