As a judge for the 2011 Mira Awards, I had a chance to spend a day meeting with founders, inventors, programmers and business leaders making a significant impact in our technology landscape. While I can’t tell you who the winners are, you will need to attend the Mira awards next month, I can tell you there are some really exciting things happening here.
As you would expect, many of the presentations were about the technology. However, some of the most interesting to me where the companies which spent more time talking about the community impact of their innovation. One which I think has the ability to positively impact the Central Indiana business community is an application developed by MIBOR. Yes, you are reading that right, MIBOR ( the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors).
So what has MIBOR done which earned them a seat at the technology table? It is their new application TheStatsHouse.org. Developed in collaboration with the Indiana Business Research Center, MIBOR has compiled an interactive database of timely data on central Indiana’s housing indicators. This is a powerful tool for local economic development groups trying to attract the attention of site selection teams and convince companies that moving to Indianapolis makes sense.
Bringing census, housing, and economic data to the fingertips of individuals considering a move to Indianapolis or a recruiter trying to lure the very best workers to our community this tool builds a compelling story. The standard and custom report data is available in PDF, Word and Excel formal, so users can build their own charts and graphs as well.
In addition to the typical census data the site includes comparisons of the cost of living, property tax, and value of dollar to cities across the country. One of my favorite features is the location profile. Typing in a specific address, you can dive into the demographic makeup of the community in a 2, 5, 10 or 20 mile radius. The work profile will tell you how many businesses, and what types of businesses are in the surrounding community.
While I love the economic development applications of the tool, there are some interesting marketing applications I can think of too.
This year’s MIira finalists are pushing technology and media in so many different directions. I hope you will be on hand to congratulate the winners in May, and see first hand how exciting our tech community is.