Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Fort Wayne Inventors Club

Startup Fort Wayne LogoThis is the next part of a series of pieces on entrepreneurship and innovation in Northeast Indiana. Join us as we explore the resources available to you as a resident of this area and some of the new businesses that are shaking things up in the area. Let’s Startup Fort Wayne! (-Tim)


Do you ever look at something and think “Hey, there’s got to be a better way to do this”?

You’re not alone! There are many people in Northeast Indiana that are real life inventors or share genuine interest in innovation.

Once a month at the Center for Creative Collaboration at Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, innovators from a variety of different backgrounds get together to talk about ideas and best practices for turning these ideas into something more.

Some of these people have developed products and built new ventures for Northeast Indiana while others have developed ideas they have sold to interested businesses who can bring the product to market.

After the December meeting, I chatted with co-founder Dave Gross, President and CEO of Collision Control Communications about what makes this meeting so beneficial for its attendees.

Indiana Tech 2

The Fort Wayne Inventors Club meets monthly at the Center for Creative Collaboration (C3) in the new Indiana Tech Academic Building. (Photo/Tim Zink)

Gross noted the unique makeup of the group – people from different backgrounds from research and development to sales and marketing – helps bring together different thought processes and approaches to ideas. Plus, there’s networking opportunities – usually there’s somebody there who knows somebody or knows of some resource from outside the group that may be helpful to you and your idea.

For example, if you have an idea, should you patent it? Talk to Dave or any of the attendees, and they’ll share a variety of thoughts from “yes, start the patent application process now” to “no, bring your product to market first.”

That’s the best part about meetings like this – colliding with people who have been there and done that. It’s a good kind of collision and you can feel the energy there.

A lot of the interaction is organic – at the end of the meeting, most of the attendees chatted naturally with one another about their projects, ideas, or questions.

New attendees to the group seemed to incorporate themselves nicely into the no pressure mix.

One of the new attendees was Daniel Miller, who shared his idea for a “virtually inexhaustible carbon-free green fuel.” Miller, a younger innovator, was drawn to the meeting so he could network with people who have been through the development process before for their products.

Through this project, Miller hopes to “[set] the anchor for a new industry cluster in the region.”

If you’d like to attend a meeting – just go to their new website at fortwayneinventorsclub.org. At the bottom you will see a link to their Meetup page. Make an account on Meetup.com (it’s free!) and let them know you’re coming. It’s that simple! Feel free to bring your ideas or just listen in. Their next Meetup is on Thursday, January 8 at 7:00 pm at the Center for Creative Collaboration (C3) at the Indiana Tech Academic Center Building, 1600 E. Washington Blvd., Fort Wayne, Indiana, 46803.

Tim Zink

Author: Tim Zink

Director-at-Large of Communications for Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana. Adviser to current Living Fort Wayne leadership team. Contributor to Living Fort Wayne since April 2014.

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