November 18, 2022

GPEDC Weekend Update- November 18, 2022

Some GPEDC updates to end your week:

StartOut Brasil: I had the privilege to represent Greater Peoria EDC and Distillery Labs in Chicago this week at an event called StartOut Brasil, sponsored by the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil). Fifteen Brazilian companies are spending the week in Chicago visiting key innovation partners like mHub and 1871 and pitching potential investors. But on Monday, they had a chance to listen to a brief pitch on Greater Peoria (the only community other than Chicago to get the spotlight). I had a chance to tell them about our own entrepreneurial ecosystem and supports, but what really hit home was my discussion about Peoria’s affordability and how easy it is to connect with business and community leaders. Five of the fifteen companies connected with me after my talk, and are all making a special trip to Peoria to learn more. Four will be here today and one is coming next week. All five are viable and stable companies now ready to sell to the US market. I will let you know how these visits go!

EDA Visit: Emily Rhodes, the new Economic Development Representative covering Illinois for the US Economic Development Administration, visited Greater Peoria this week. We started the day with a great conversation in Havana with key stakeholders from both Mason and Fulton counties. Both counties had coal-fired power plants close in late 2019 and are working on economic recovery – a key EDA priority. USDA Regional Development’s Dwight Reynolds also joined the conversation and he and Emily shared information about their respective programs. After, Emily had a chance to meet with the GPEDC staff in Peoria to learn more about our work and priorities. She also had a chance to meet with representatives of the City of Peoria to discuss possible EDA projects that might be on the horizon. We treasure our relationship with EDA, and it was great to explore ideas with Emily. We are hoping she will be a frequent guest in Greater Peoria.

CareerSpark: Kari and our partners at Junior Achievement put together a great recap video of this year’s CareerSpark event. Over two days, 4000+ students got a hands-on experience with dozens of different careers. You can see the video below. Thanks again to our sponsors.

News of Note: Not a bad week for getting some publicity for GPEDC-led or co-led initiatives. In case you missed them:

  • Read about how Distillery Labs’ gBeta program is helping accelerate startups here.
  • Learn more about our Defense Manufacturing Community grant here.
  • More great coverage of the GP2030 talent attraction initiative and the state grant awarded to the Peoria Chamber of Commerce here.

Bradley Senior Consulting Projects: The Foster College of Business at Bradley University is now accepting applications for Senior Consulting Projects for the Spring 2023 semester. Senior business majors in the Foster College of Business have a graduation requirement to complete a Capstone course. These faculty-led, semester-long projects (16 weeks) not only gives the students real-world experience, it provides their client with a written report with detailed analyses, specific recommendations, and implementation suggestions. Student teams can help craft a strategic growth plan, conduct a feasibility study, develop a new marketing strategy, or even assist in launching a new product. There is no cost to participate. Deadline to apply is January 4, 2023. To learn more about or submit an application, please visit this website.

Next week is a short work week, but an important holiday. I’m going to take a break from Weekend Update next Friday as I spend time with my family. I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving. In Greater Peoria, we have much for which to be grateful. 

Chris