Indy Chamber / Economic Development / Emerging Industries



With a mix of public and private defense companies, Indianapolis boasts a strong workforce of both civilian and military employees committed to the safety and security of our city, state and country.

Key military employers include:

  • Indiana National Guard
  • Indiana Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Defense Finance and Accounting Service, which disburses more than $104 billion annually to 1.9+ million people
  • U.S. Marine Corp Tech Services Organization, which handles information technology, payroll, personnel and accounting services for the Marine Corps

With our world-class research capability, technological innovation, engineering excellence and manufacturing expertise, we've been recognized as a world leader in such areas as military informatics, defense electronics and alternative energy development. Additionally, defense-related assets, such as the Camp Atterbury-Muscatatuck Center for Complex Operations, Grissom Air Reserve Base and NSWC Crane, help support Indy's defense industry.

Several well-known government contractors also support the city's defense industry. Raytheon Technical Services Co. - which has worked on V-22 avionics for more than 20 years in Indianapolis - and Rolls-Royce - which manufactures power systems for land, air and sea - both have major facilities locally. And Indy is also home to the headquarters and manufacturing base of Allison Transmission.

Security and protection firms are another part of the defense sector. Companies such as U.S. Security Associates and Securitas are growing as they provide onsite public and government security services to national clients.

Global aerospace companies - including Boeing and Hawker-Beechcraft - have facilities in Indianapolis and are an important part of the industry as they provide aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide.



Fashion is an integral element of a city's lifestyle and culture. Centrally located in the Midwest, Indianapolis' fashion is as varied as its population, reaching across generations and cultures through the designers who call Indy home, as well as the boutique owners who support them and seek out the best of fashion from around the world.

Plus, we are finding that as students graduate from local higher-ed design schools, they have a passion for growing their businesses in Indianapolis. Factors that are favorable for the fashion industry to grow here include:

  • Strong manufacturing base
  • Established and growing fashion events
  • Educated workforce emerging with higher-ed fashion degrees from institutions such as The Art Institute of Indianapolis, Harrison College, Ball State University and Purdue University
  • Ideal distribution location

With easy access to more than 75 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations within a day's drive, Indy is a smart choice as a distribution base. Several national retailers and clothing manufacturers - Hat World/Lids, Brylane, Reebok, Finish Line and Motion Wear - have established regional distribution centers here for that very reason.

Fashion in Indianapolis is tightly aligned with the local cultural districts that surround our city. These districts support many unique local boutiques as well as some of the world's premium retailers:

  • Downtown Indianapolis: Mass Ave (unique boutiques) and Circle Centre (national retailers such as Nordstrom)
  • Fountain Square: vintage shops and boutiques
  • Broad Ripple: boutiques carrying both local and world-renowned designers
  • Irvington: specialty boutiques
  • Keystone at the Crossing: Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Burberry, Tiffany and several popular local boutiques
  • Castleton: traditional mall and specialty shops

Whatever your style, you'll find a place to satisfy it in Indianapolis.


Pattern Indy
Fashion Arts Society 
Midwest Fashion Week


The food industry in Indianapolis is as varied as our taste palates. There are many niche segments that are growing and full of opportunity. Our location - within a day's drive to more than 75 percent of U.S. and Canadian populations - is vital to an industry where speed, freshness and shelf life are everything. Plus, as a literal "crossroads" in America, the market is perfect to when you need a cross-section of the population to taste-test a product.


Indianapolis is proud to be home to New Day Meadery, one of the fastest-growing meaderies in the country. We're also home to several specialty breweries, including Sun King Brewery, whose locally brewed Craft Beer is gaining momentum in the marketplace. In addition to many other smaller breweries or wineries, Indy serves as the headquarter or regional facility for several beer distributers, including Monarch Beverage Company, Olinger Distriuting Co., Cavalier Distributing, Zink Distributing, Southern Wine and Spirits and National Wine and Spirits.


The world's top beverage companies also have chosen Indianapolis for regional manufacturing or distribution facilities. Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated is the second largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States. And Pepsi-Cola General Bottlers, which produces and distributes Pepsi, Gatorade and other well-known brands, also has a plant here. Additionally, several other food manufacturers have chosen Indy as the location of their regional manufacturing and/or distribution facilities: 

  • Frito-O-Lay
  • Blue Bell Ice Cream
  • Con Agra
  • Seyfert Foods
  • Royal Food Products
  • Millenium Foods
  • Sysco Foods


We're also proud of locally-based companies that serve states across the U.S.:

  • McFarling Brothers is one of the region's full-line distributers of poultry, beef, pork, lamb and veal, as well as fruits, vegetable and dairy products.
  • Caito Foods specializes in fresh produce distribution and delivers fruits and vegetables to more than ten states on a daily basis.
  • Piazza Produce supplies a wide array of food service leaders with the freshest, safest and most enjoyable fruits and vegetables on the market today.


It's impossible to describe Indy's food industry without mentioning our state's long and rich agricultural heritage, which today includes more than 61,000 farms plus hundreds of organic farms and farmer's markets. Exporting $3.778 B in ag commodities annually*, Indiana is:

4th in soybean production
5th in production of corn for grain
2nd in tomato processing and production
4th in cantaloupe production
6th in watermelon production
4th in peppermint production
5th in spearmint production
3rd in total egg production
5th in pork production



From our long history as a premier host city, to our pride in our hometown sports teams and world-class facilities, to a plethora of firms and companies that support the industry, Indy offers an arena that values the community, economic and educational benefits of athletics.

As a city, we've made a concerted effort over the last 25 years to create this arena and today we boast a sports capital like no other:

  • Host of more than 400 collegiate, Olympic, national and international championships, including the Final Four, Big Ten Basketball, Circle City Classic and Super Bowl XLVI
  • Headquarters of the NCAA, USA Football and the National High School Federation
  • Home to the Indy 500, the largest sporting event in the world, the Brickyard 400, the Red Bull Moto GP and the Mac Tools US Nationals
  • Home to the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL; Indiana Pacers of the NBA; Indiana Fever of the WNBA; Indianapolis Indians, the Triple A Affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Indy Fuel of ECHL Hockey, an affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks; Indiana Ice of the US Hockey League; and Indy Eleven of the North American Soccer League
  • Home to several U.S. Olympic governing bodies: USA Gymnastics, USA Track & Field, USA Diving, U.S. Synchronized Swimming and more
  • Headquarters of the Horizon League, the Great Lakes Valley Conference and the Central Hockey League
  • Homebase of NFL Scouting
  • A collection of premier sports arenas, including Lucas Oil Stadium, Conseco Fieldhouse, Pepsi Coliseum and National Institute for Fitness and Sports
  • Birthplace of nation's first sport commission, the Indiana Sports Corporation

A number of locally-based sports firms provide support to sports organizations throughout the country. Indy is home base for:

  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • Reebok / Adidas Distribution Facility
  • MainGate, a merchandising and marketing company that counts the NFL, NBA, NHL and LPGA among its clients
  • Just Marketing International, the world's largest and most influential motorsports marketing services company
  • SportGraphics, a multifaceted company offering signage, distribution, web development and creative services
  • Hat World, a specialty retail leader in fashion athletic headwear