Another piece of the Shelby County-RHIT IMPaCT 2016 ‘puzzle’ falls into place with the recent approval of the first Shelby County-RHIT Ventures Innovation Project by Shelby County, the City of Shelbyville and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT). Below are bullet points on what a Ventures Innovative Project is and more details regarding this specific project will be released as it develops.

Shelby County farmer and agribusinessman Carl Kissell submitted his idea addressing an innovative, efficient and cost effective solution for an agricultural need, to Rose-Hulman and went through their thorough evaluation process. Mr. Kissell will be the first Shelby County-RHIT IMPaCT 2016 Ventures project and fulfills the IMPaCT 2016 goal of having at least one Ventures Innovation Project a year. The Shelby County-RHIT Ventures Innovation project application process is rigorous. First the applicant must submit an innovative idea that improves existing technology to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. After their team of experts approves the validity of a project and is willing to support it, the project then goes before a local committee for review. Carl Kissell made a formal presentation on Monday, April 29, 2013, before representatives from Shelbyville, Shelby County, the SCDC, City Council, County Commissioner, the Redevelopment Director and the Mayor for final consideration. The following are the selection parameters for a prospective Ventures Innovation Project to be considered:

– Must improve upon existing technology
– Must show there is strong potential for supply and demand
– Must have ties to Shelby County
– Must have potential to stay in Shelby County and provide increased revenue, jobs, etc.
– Must be willing to allow Shelbyville to market and promote for redevelopment purposes
– Fits within the $50,000.00 annual Ventures approved budget
– Has been approved by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

A Ventures Innovation Project is one of 5 components of the Shelby County-RHIT IMPaCT 2016 partnership. This past year has been an exciting year. Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun has successfully led this collaborative partnership and innovative initiative along with the new Redevelopment Director, Rob Springer, Chris King from Runnebohm Construction, Bill Kline and Deb Gaff from Rose-Hulman and key input and approval of funds from City County and Council, the County Commissioners and the Shelby County Development Corporation led by Dan Theobold. This Shelby County-RHIT partnership has also strengthened relationships and communication with Shelbyville and Shelby County School administrators, high school principals, guidance counselors, teacher and students. The acceptance of Shelby County farmer, Carl Kissell’s Ventures Innovation Project adds to the growing list of IMPaCT 2016 successes:

– The EMERGE project: connecting Shelbyville and Shelby County high school freshman students (Shelbyville, Triton, Southwestern, Waldron and Morristown) with local industry (Lifeshare, Triumph, Ryobi and Knauf).
– Shelby County Entrepreneurial Program: David Williamson a Triton Central Senior has been able to attend the Rose-Hulman summer Catapult programs and is now interning with Makuta at the Intelliplex
– Entrepreneurial Network Events: There have been 3 very successful, informative and entertaining Shelby County-RHIT Business/Entrepreneur Networking Events held at 18 on the Square,

The Shelby County-RHIT IMPaCT 2016 is a five-year initiative sponsored by the City of Shelvbyville, Shelby County and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, with funding determined, approved and allocated annually with the cooperation and cost sharing of the City and the County. The partnership pilot began in September 2012 and continues through 2016 with the following expectations:

– Attract talent and businesses to Shelby County (as well as enhance the potential of existing Shelby County businesses)
– Multiply the reach and impact of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
– Build a relational bridge between education and technology to prepare Shelby County students for successful college and career pursuits

IMPaCT 2016 has five components: (1.) EMERGE which focuses on Mathematics, Science and Relationship Foundation Building through introducing freshmen high schools students to local industries, local industry tours and summer internships in Shelbyville and Shelby County (2.) Shelby County Entrepreneurial Internship Program providing companies throughout Shelby County access to Shelby County students and RHIT students to provide technical skills while positioning Shelby County as an attractive location to work and live (3.) Continuing and Professional Studies providing a location in Shelby County for professional development programming raising the awareness of Shelby County and the Intelliplex and providing a convenient, state of the art location for Rose-Hulman and Ivy Tech Continuing Professional Studies programs (4.) Business & Entrepreneurial Networking connecting Shelby County industry, academic and government leadership along with local businesses and entrepreneurs with Rose-Hulman alumni, leadership, students, staff and supporters. Networking events are scheduled every other month on the 2nd Wednesday of the month 5:30pm at 18 on the Square (5.) Rose-Hulman Ventures Innovation Partnership providing access to engineering services for companies throughout Shelby County who seek solutions to technology challenges in the innovation stage of development.

For more about Shelby County-RHIT Ventures Innovation and IMPaCT Partnership go to



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