From Start Fort Wayne
Start Fort Wayne announced support from local organizations on Thursday, October 19. The announcements were held at the Atrium, Start Fort Wayne’s coworking space, while celebrating the space’s one year anniversary.
Greater Fort Wayne Inc. announced $35,000 of support for Start Fort Wayne. “Entrepreneurs are the risk-takers, innovators, and job creators that can fuel us toward becoming a nationally recognized economy,” said Eric Doden, CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. in a prepared release. “We’re thrilled that Start Fort Wayne is helping startups succeed. The Atrium provides a tremendous collision space for entrepreneurs, and we look forward to seeing those collisions turn our innovation economy into a powerhouse.”
Additionally, Elevate Northeast Indiana announced their support of Start Fort Wayne. Mark Michael, President and COO of Fort Wayne Metals and board member of the Elevate Northeast Indiana board says in a prepared release, “The Elevate Northeast Indiana board, in an effort to enlarge and elevate our region’s entrepreneurial culture, is providing Start Fort Wayne $35,000 to grow its support of entrepreneurs. When we formed Elevate Northeast Indiana this month, our first order of business became the support of the entire entrepreneurial culture, beginning with this grant.”
In addition to the announcements at the Atrium event, Fort Wayne Metals yesterday announced a donation of $10,000 a year for three years to Start Fort Wayne. Also, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne granted Start Fort Wayne a $10,000 Agency Support Grant on Thursday.
Start Fort Wayne Executive Director, Rhonda Ladig states in a prepared release, “We’re thrilled at these announcements of support! We view the partnerships with these organizations as a stepping stone to collaboratively strengthen the entrepreneur infrastructure and startup community in our region.”
Additionally last evening, Start Fort Wayne announced a new annual award named for local entrepreneur coach Steve Franks (read more about Steve Franks). The Steve Franks Award for Entrepreneurial Effectiveness was awarded to it’s namesake. The award will be given by Start Fort Wayne annually to recognize and individual who is doing extraordinary things to support entrepreneurs in our region.
Start Fort Wayne began in 2015 with a mission to strengthen the infrastructure that supports entrepreneurs in northeast Indiana, supporting a long-term vision to attract outside tech and innovation companies to launch their venture in northeast Indiana. Some of Start Fort Wayne’s programs include entrepreneur coaching services through Steve Franks’ LevelUp program and youth coding education through a partnership with the South Bend Code School. Start Fort Wayne also started the first chapter of the Kauffman Foundation’s “1 Million Cups” program in Indiana in 2015 and the chapter is one of the most active chapters in the country, meeting every Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at Sweetwater with 40-60 entrepreneurs attending each week.
The Atrium launched in October of 2016. It is a 5,500 square foot coworking space that offers a space for entrepreneurs to launch their startup. Since opening, the Atrium has had over 140 members, with the current membership hovering around 100. In addition to the coworking and conference spaces, the Atrium is the home of Start Fort Wayne, it’s parent organization.