My Entrepreneurship Story with Chelsea Thompson

Hi. I’m Chelsea. Or Chels, if you’d like. I am a recent 2017 IPFW grad with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Professional Writing. I love to start things; projects, poems, stories, companies, Etsy shops, you get the picture. So naturally in the few weeks that I have had to digest this “no more school thing,” I have been drawn to the entrepreneur community in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

File photo – Atrium sign above the front desk

So far, I have taken to Start Fort Wayne’s Atrium— a mod entrepreneur coworking space on Berry street. Entering Atrium, I found a quite nice receptionist there to greet me and introduce me to the space. Atrium includes desks with computers, tables with convenient charging ports, mini conference rooms with trendy white boards, regular-sized conference rooms, and, of course, a spot for some very delish coffee.

The mugs are hanging on the back wall, and you are free to grab one and fill it with robust, delightful Utopian Coffee. After filling my mug, I settled down to work on my business plan for a café where writers and community members can convene and collaborate (more on this later).

All-in-all, Atrium is a fabulous entrepreneur’s retreat. I enjoyed the space to work on my business plan around like-minded individuals and the great view, but more importantly, I enjoyed being welcomed for collaboration, shared ideas and dreams, and general connection between peers and mentors. It is located on 111 Berry Street – check it out!

I’m looking forward to attending the BIYB (Believe In Your Business) “Young Entrepreneurs Meetup” this February 10. Hosted by Steve Franks (an experienced entrepreneur coach extraordinaire), the meeting should be a fun-filled, energetic way to meet and share ideas and experiences with fellow young entrepreneurs! I am excited to pitch my “The Story Café” idea and see what kind of feedback I receive from my peers!

I am also looking forward to attending the One Million Cups meeting Wednesday mornings at 9:00 a.m. at Sweetwater. I have been to Sweetwater before (for a Ben Folds concert), and from what I remember, it is a wonderful and imaginative space complete with a café, of course. This venue seems perfect for the entrepreneurs of Fort Wayne to gather and express their visions.

Now, a little bit more about my own entrepreneurial endeavors, experiences, and hopes. I have created an Etsy shop that sells handmade bracelets, a coffee club that toured local coffeehouses, and a few websites just to name a couple things. Experience-wise, I have been involved in TEDxPurdueU marketing and an entrepreneur class at Purdue University. Though I ultimately decided to pursue writing for my college degree, entrepreneurship and marketing are very close to my heart. Some of my aspirations include; becoming a published author, successfully owning a company, and attending a live TED talk. Please comment below your own career aspirations!

My current project is The Story Café. I dream of a third space that is a café combo writer’s haven. The baristas and staff will all be trained in the written word, in order to assist customers on their stories/writing creations. Complete with author series, open mics, and of course amazing local coffee, The Story Café will be the space for writers of all kinds to collaborate, invent, connect, and create. The driving forces behind this concept are a need for community connection, to enhance our current writing community in the Fort Wayne area, and to encourage and spark a passion in people of all kinds to write. If you feel like this idea sparks a passion in you, feel free to email me at! I am seeking some business partners and The Story Café enthusiasts to join me in bringing this concept to life.

So, that’s “My Entrepreneurship Story.” I hope you have enjoyed reading, and hopefully we can chat over an incredible cup of coffee sometime! Happy creating!

Looking for more local entrepreneurship information? Check out “This Week in Entrepreneurship.”


Author: Chelsea Thompson

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