Connecting students to the Kokomo community

Indiana University Kokomo’s KEY initiative has grown in leaps and bounds as students, faculty and staff expand their horizons and explore their futures.

The KEY Center for Innovation is an important part of IU Kokomo’s mission of experiential education. Since August 2021, this exciting initiative has connected local businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies with faculty and student expertise on the IU Kokomo campus. Because the needs of each business, organization, and community are different, the KEY Center for Innovation creates different opportunities for our experts to stretch their creative talents and find inventive ways to support the goals of partners.

Opportunities for students

When IU Kokomo students partner with communities, businesses, and other organizations, there are endless opportunities for professional development and skill building that can easily transfer to broader career goals.

Past examples of work include:

  • Website development
  • Economic and community development
  • Social media
  • Language translation/Interpretation
  • Marketing strategy
  • Sustainability initiatives
  • Business expansion proposals
  • Business planning
  • Land/building repurposing

Who have we worked with?

The KEY Center for Innovation is proud to have worked with businesses, organizations, and even communities across the IU Kokomo service area to develop the skills and talents of students and support the visions of clients.

Past clientele include:

  • City of Marion
  • Alford Cleaning Company
  • Unabiker
  • KCI
  • Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance
  • Kokomo-Howard County Public Library
  • Tipton County Schools
  • Fulton County Hope
  • Kokomo Symphony
  • Kokomo Country Club
  • Wildcat Creek Golf Course
  • J. Edwards
  • Sound of Music
  • Main Street Café
  • One More Gym
  • The Experience
  • Kokomo Speedway
  • Diana Theatre

Partners of the KEY Center for Innovation

The KEY Center for Innovation thanks our partners for their dedication and support of our mission through their financial support, as well as through their assistance locating clients who are looking for workers. 

  • Hoosier Heartland ISBDC
  • Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance
  • Kokomo Chamber of Commerce
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Various grant agencies
  • Individual donors

Mission Statement

The KEY Center for Innovation is dedicated to promoting high-impact learning practices that serve our region and actively engage students, faculty, and members or organizations within the community. The KCI will provide students, from freshmen to graduate students, with valuable learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom space.

Vision Statement

The KCI envisions developing reciprocal partnerships with the community and enhancing each student’s academic journey through experiential learning. In pursuit of this vision, KCI will endeavor to become a widely recognized resource within the community by providing value and assistance to local organizations.

Meet the director

Alan Krabbenhoft, former dean of the IU Kokomo School of Business and a veteran business consultant serves as director of the KCI. He has built relationships with many local businesses, GKEDA, and the Hoosier Heartland Indiana Small Business Development Center (HHISBDC), which will have an office in Innovation Hall and have standing business hours. The HHISBDC will be available to assist students with start-up business advice as needed.