Plaka designs strategies to shape entrepreneurship, talent, and industry ecosystems. We partner with entrepreneurs, communities, and organizations to identify solutions that deliver systemic and sustainable impact.  

Thomas Edison

 

Expertise

Strategy + Management 

Research + Planning

  • Strategic planning

  • Economic, workforce, and industry analysis

  • Economic development and talent strategies

  • Business retention and expansion programming

  • Economic impact studies

  • Comprehensive, standardized criteria to determine a site or building’s readiness for (re)development

  • Targeting existing buildings, brownfields, and greenfield sites

recent project highlights

Magic Valley.jpg

In partnership with Region IV Development, this feasibility study evaluates the viability for establishing a Food Innovation Center in the Magic Valley of Idaho. Partners envision a space for food innovation including production, manufacturing, and distribution which includes a business incubator to support a thriving entrepreneurial scene with resources to support endeavors such as popup restaurants, food trucks, app development, food supply chain solutions, jar and boxing personalization, and other ambitious solutions.

Public Safety Impact Cover Page.jpg

In order to better understand how residential and industrial development can impact operations and costs for cities and towns, Plaka created a model to help predict the pressure put on public safety departments due to new types of development and land use. 

Pages from LIH-Feasibility-Study_FINAL-E

Lewiston is home to many existing remote workers, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and crafters. A wider audience includes DIYers, agriculturalists, and garage tinkerers who may not identify themselves as entrepreneurs but could also be included in the mix. This project evaluated the feasibility of a place of
education, entrepreneurship, networking, mentorship, and comradery, a space
accessible and open to all, to help make a shift in the existing dynamics, all
while greatly benefiting the surrounding Quad-City region.

HoosierEnergy cover page.jpg

Verisite and Plaka helped Hoosier Energy and Jackson County REMC with a comprehensive evaluation of industrial sites for increased marketability in the southern Indiana region. 

Switch cover page.jpg

The Southwest Indiana Technology and Communication (SWITCH) Feasibility Study is an entrepreneurship / small business feasibility study to help spur a collaborative effort to organize and accelerate entrepreneurial activity across 11 counties in SW Indiana. Each county was assessed based on its unique assets, including socio-economics, to determine the feasibility of establishing a greater regional network and additional entrepreneurial assets, such as coworking spaces, makerspaces, and incubators. Furthermore, one of the project’s main goals was to provide inclusive entrepreneurship support with programming and brick-and-mortar and/or mobile locations.

Monon 16 Cover Page.jpg

In partnership with Renew Indianapolis, a return-on-investment and comprehensive performance analysis for the Monon16 neighborhoods was conducted, evaluating the outcomes defined for the Lift Indy funding and programming. The overall ROI on homes and lots was a tremendous gain for the area. 

Ecosystem Development

  • Market demand for entrepreneurial space, programming, resources, and target users

  • Potential economic impact analysis

  • Community and stakeholder support assessment

  • Successful practices and case studies

  • Gaps within the entrepreneurial ecosystem and opportunities for efficiencies

  • Entrepreneurial support programming

  • Executive outsourcing

  • Management and operations assessment

  • Stakeholder consensus building and data gathering

  • Council, board, and stakeholder training on entrepreneurship and economic development

  • Industry and community asset marketing

  • Grant proposal writing, program development, and administration

 
Courtney Zaugg-FINAL-5 (2).jpg

Economic Developer. Indianapolis based. Small business owner in consulting, construction, and real estate, too. Veteran supporter, wife, mom, runner. (Not in order of significance.)

 

Young Adult Life

Born in Chicago, raised in Indy by restaurant entrepreneurs (that’s the Greek in me). Attended the University of Indianapolis by playing a lot of softball. Left softball for Athens, Greece to finish university. Lived in the Plaka neighborhood, in the shadow of the Acropolis (and where old and new beautifully bond together). Moved to NYC and worked in the art world. Moved to Brussels, Belgium for grad school. Ran out of money, finished my dissertation, and moved back to Indy. Met a Marine.

 

2008 - Present

Started my economic development career at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation working to attract foreign investment. Did the same for Develop Indy. Married the Marine. Supported local economic development for the City of Noblesville. Moved into consulting January 2014. Worked across the country with rural and urban communities, start-ups and corporations. Had a daughter. Started remodeling and real estate investment companies while still consulting on economic development and entrepreneurship. Launched Plaka in 2019. 

 
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Thank you!

 

Let's Talk.

203 Good Ave.

Indianapolis, Indiana 46219

317-517-5390

courtney@plakaassociates.com

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