Ames Chamber of Commerce

ISU Student Innovation Center Receives Entrepreneurial Award

December 3, 2021

The Mid-America Economic Development Council presented its annual Economic Development awards at the 2021 Mid-America Competitiveness Conference, held December 1-3 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.

Award entries were accepted in two markets per category – large division (community population over 50,000) and small division (community population less than 50,000). 

Recognition was presented to:

Entrepreneurial Award

A program that offers a unique approach to enhancing the Entrepreneurial culture in a city or region and/or a unique approach for assisting young companies through the start-up/early stage of a business life cycle.  This award can be a new or relatively new effort in the community.   

  • Iowa State University Student Innovation Center
    Ames, Iowa (Large Division)
  • Wabash County High School Entrepreneurship Collaborative
    Wabash, Indiana (Small Division)

Marketing Program

An overall comprehensive marketing program to market a community, county, state, or region to a prospect; an Annual Report or Newsletter; Online Programs, and/or a Specific Program or Event.  The expected outcome should be to inform, promote successes or to elicit a response for more information, and/or generate leads. 

  • Greater Green Bay Chamber "Welcome Back, Urban Hub!" video
    Green Bay, Wisconsin (Large Division)
  • Clinton County Port Authority EDW2021 Campaign
    Wilmington, Ohio (Small Division)

Workforce & Talent

Activity and/or innovative program that attracts new talent to an area, strengthens the skills of the existing workforce and/or encourages retention of young/new talent in the area.

  • Greater Springfield Partnership - Magnify Career Videos and Career TV
    Springfield, Ohio (Large Division)
  • Watertown Development Company - Intern Engagement Initiative
    Watertown, South Dakota (Small Division)

Overcoming Adversity

Project or best practice that your community, region, or state utilized during a situation of overcoming a challenge – anything from a factory shut-down, to a COVID-19 response plan, or natural disaster.  Entries were judged based on the creativity and impact the project/best practice had on overcoming adversity. 

  • WEDC- COVID-19 Guidelines for Safe Reopening and Pandemic Response Best Practices
    State of Wisconsin (Large Division)
  • VCDC - Resilience in the Face of Adversity - Response to COVID-19
    Vermillion, South Dakota (Small Division)

Economic Impact Deal of the Year

Recognizes a project having significant and measurable impact on a City, County and Region. The project must have already broken ground and be in the initial phase of implementation between January 2020 and July 2021. The measurable impact can include capital investment, jobs, supplier network, economic impact or new partnership initiatives that positively improved the community. 

  • Ultium Cells in Voltage Valley
    Youngstown, Ohio (Large Division)


Projects or programs to make the community a better place to live, work, and play by transforming underutilized public spaces into vibrant community places. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspirations and potential that contribute to people’s health, happiness, safety and well-being.  As a place becomes more desirable and welcoming, people will want to spend more time in them. 

  • Urban Art as an Economic Driver
    Milwaukee, WI (Large Division)
  • Streetsboro Industrial Park
    Streetsboro, Ohio (Small Division)

Mid-America EDC members are dedicated economic development professionals who share best practices to add value in their organizations and communities.  Mid-America EDC is a multi-state association dedicated to being the leading resource for making contact with site selectors, advancing regional economic development programs, and accessing thought leadership.

For many years, The Mid-America Economic Development Council has sponsored the annual Economic Development Awards competition to recognize and stimulate the creative use of quality marketing by economic development organizations throughout the 13-state Mid-America region in promoting their respective communities.  Award winners will also be recognized in the January issue of Site Selection magazine.

To view more information about this year’s winning award entries, visit

For more information about The Mid-America Economic Development Council, visit

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