Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Vertical Leap

This is the return of our popular article series on entrepreneurship in Northeast Indiana. There isn’t a better topic to cover first than the return of a popular event on entrepreneurship! 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)


vertical-leapHow do founders, entrepreneurs, creatives, and other community leaders do it?

And by “it” we mean finding success in building thriving businesses and creative ventures in the Summit City.

Is it having a great idea? Does it come down to having the best skill set or having access to funding? Is it passion or maybe confidence? It can be some or all of those things, but there is one big ingredient you need to be successful and thrive here or anywhere – that is people.

As someone interested in the entrepreneurship culture here in Fort Wayne, there has been one event I have been missing. Vertical Leap is returning to Fort Wayne on Wednesday, April 15 at 6:30 pm at The Center for Creative Collaboration (The C3) at Indiana Tech. This free event is now brought to you by Start Fort Wayne and will repeat monthly. This month’s food, drink, and space is sponsored by The C3.

Here you will find people to network with and bounce ideas off of, plus opportunities to listen to presenters. You never know who you might collide with – a young start-up, an artist, a student, a musician, an experienced business person, or maybe someone just exploring.

“We plan on moving [Vertical Leap] around town and holding it at different venues and choosing programs that appeal to different audiences, so that we can bring together the different ‘starter’ communities around Fort Wayne,” said Dave Sanders, organizer of Start Fort Wayne. “That’s a really big deal to me, to help gain that critical mass.”

A typical event will start out with casual networking, followed by a presentation and speakers, 60 second pitches, and more networking to close out the night.

Want to know what a 60 second pitch is? If you have an idea in your head (not already in business), get up, share it in 60 seconds, and get feedback from the group. From past experience, this is really casual and can be quite fun and engaging.

And don’t forget to network – maybe you’ll find out for yourself just how they do it!

If you are interested in checking out Vertical Leap, RSVP on Eventbrite as seats are limited for the event, and visit www.startfortwayne.com/verticalleap.

Dave Sanders, co-founder of CoWork Fort Wayne, working at his desk on a project.

Dave Sanders, organizer of Start Fort Wayne, working at his desk on a project. (File photo/Tim Zink)

Here are the speakers for this month’s event:

  • Start Fort Wayne
  • CoWork Fort Wayne
  • Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery
  • The Center for Creative Collaboration at Indiana Tech
  • Wunderkammer Company
  • Believe In A Dream
  • Fort Wayne Inventors Club
  • TekVenture
  • and possibly more.

Want to learn more about the Start Fort Wayne initiative? Check out their website and Facebook public group and our feature article next Tuesday on this “loose coalition of existing organizations and associations in the Northeast Indiana region that are interested in working together to build a ‘startup culture'” in Fort Wayne.

For more information on The Center for Creative Collaboration at Indiana Tech, please visit their website and check out our article on the center from earlier this year.


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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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