Economic and Business Development

Economic Gardening

An entrepreneurial approach to economic development that provides strategic research and frameworks to help local companies scale up, adding jobs and wealth to the community. Team specialists use sophisticated corporate tools like database research, search engine optimization, geographic information systems and listening posts to find new markets, provide competitive intelligence and industry trends, assess digital marketing efforts and find qualified sales leads.


Economic Gardening differs from the types of business assistance that are traditionally offered by consultants. The Economic Gardening framework employs professional researchers who leverage sophisticated corporate databases, geographic information systems, search engine optimization (SEO) and Web marketing tools to help second-stage businesses create new strategies for growth.

Companies selected to participate in the Economic Gardening program receive strategic research and technical assistance from skilled professionals from Purdue University and partnering organizations in the following areas:

1. Market Research

  • Assess market trends
  • Identify potential competitors
  • Discover unknown resources

2. Geospatial Analysis

  • Map geographical areas for targeted marketing
  • Visualize competitors
  • Identify customers
  • Business-to-Business
  • Business-to-Customers

3. Digital Marketing

  • Raise visibility through Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Increase web traffic
  • Track online communications
  • Expand outreach


The Economic Gardening program can be provided to qualified applicant companies for a flat rate fee. For additional information, you may contact Julie Rigrish at

  • Launch: Discovery Call
    Get acquainted with your assigned Economic Gardening team leader to share key information about the company’s history and goals
  • Strategize: Team Call
    Meet with the professional staff who will conduct the market research, geospatial analysis, and digital marketing and collaborate on identifying a strategy that will meet your company’s unique needs.
  • Learn: Check-In
    Discuss with the team leader what research has provided the most insights so far and decide on the final steps for strategic research.
  • Implement: Close Out Call
    Identify a plan for applying the research across your company to sustain growth.
  • Review: Measure Results
    Touch base about your company’s progress after six months. Continue the dialogue during an annual review for the first three years.


To apply, complete the secure online application.

PCRD Economic Gardening Team

Each company is assigned an Economic Gardening team comprised of a team leader, market research analyst, geospatial analyst and digital marketing researcher. Meet the team that will help you throughout this program.

Team Leader

Serves as the liaison between participating companies and the rest of the team.

Market Research Analyst

Leverages the incredible market research to provide valuable data and analysis for participating companies.

Geospatial Analyst

Performs geographic analysis of markets and assets including location analytics for businesses.

Digital Marketing Researcher

Analyzes online communications and search engine optimization.