Start Fort Wayne Announces $90,000 in Support
Oct21

Start Fort Wayne Announces $90,000 in Support

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...

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Seeing Is Believing @ FWCS
Mar08

Seeing Is Believing @ FWCS

Want to get to know a major education innovator in Fort Wayne?  A school system that excels in skilled trades, arts and sciences, and communication?  A school system that offers project- and inquiry-based learning models to help develop new types of thinkers through the New Tech teaching model?  That has the only high school in Northeast Indiana with the globally renowned International Baccalaureate program (and for over 20 years)? Who boasts its diversity with students from 6 continents and 70 home languages spoken?  Ready to find out who is excelling at education in your back yard? It’s your 160 year old public school system, Fort Wayne Community Schools!  Surprised?  Read on to find out how you can learn more. There’s been a lot of talk about the state of public education recently – about quality, effectiveness, and choice.  School choice is a buzzword now, but FWCS has been promoting choice for nearly 40 years.   We all have a variety of ways to get information to help us make that choice – whether that be social media, a website, or just a chat with friends over coffee.  But, really, what’s better than seeing for yourself?  That’s why, annually Fort Wayne Community Schools invites local business and community leaders on their Seeing is Believing tour to see how FWCS is preparing students for their futures in businesses and organizations in Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana. Seeing is Believing is a four-year partnership with Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., Excursions Trailways, and the Fort Wayne Area PTA.  Why does Greater Fort Wayne want more community members to see what goes on in their public schools?  Cheri Becker, Vice President of Investor Services, Programs & Marketing describes it this way, “The Seeing is Believing tour gives business and community leaders an opportunity to see what’s happening inside our schools and connect with educators and students. … GFW Inc.’s role is to be a connector. For the business community, understanding our school system is helpful when recruiting new talent to the area. Those families and individuals with children want to know that their children can succeed in the educational system before they decide to relocate. Likewise future business success depends on a well prepared workforce, Seeing is Believing allows the business community and the educational community to understand each other’s future needs and to work toward that successful end.” This year’s Seeing is Believing tour will be on Thursday, March 23rd.  The tour promises to be very exciting with participants meeting with FWCS Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson and FWCS Board of Trustees President Julie Hollingsworth.  Participants will also learn about schools and programs on student-lead tours of Wayne High...

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A Love for Community, Visiting Des Moines
Oct22

A Love for Community, Visiting Des Moines

By now I’m sure you’ve heard some of the buzz surrounding the Inter-City Visit to Des Moines, organized by Greater Fort Wayne Inc. (GFW). If you haven’t, I’ll briefly explain. “Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is the new organization that unifies the Fort Wayne – Allen County Economic Development Alliance and the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, serving as a single point-of-contact for economic growth in Greater Fort Wayne.” –greaterfortwayneinc.com The GFW Inter-City Visit sent Fort Wayne community leaders to Des Moines, Iowa, a Midwestern city that was recently rated #1 in GFW’s Competitiveness Index. The group of nearly forty individuals was charged with finding out what makes the city so successful and to bring some of that success back to Fort Wayne in the form of ideas and inspiration. I’m going to spare you the conversation of economic development, public-private partnership, investment, foundations, etc. (all of which is very important, but can be found in a slew of other local coverage) and give you the perspective of a 30-something young professional seeking a vibrant culture. My first impression of Des Moines was captured as the plane descended on the city. It wasn’t really that big, actually its city limits are nearly 30 square miles smaller than Fort Wayne’s, however their urban landscape sprawls much further than our own handful of downtown blocks. We received another brief glimpse of the city as we were bussed back to our hotel, but the real exploration would come later. The first day consisted of some discussions with a couple of Des Moines community leaders over lunch and dinner, interjected with a bus tour of the city in between. The bus tour drove us through their sprawling downtown, past sculpture parks and many examples of public art, brownstone-style housing with doors walking out directly to the sidewalk, through the East Village district full of boutiques and nightlife, and all the way out through their suburbs. Downtown housing was impressive with around eight thousand residents in lofts converted from old warehouses, townhouses with rooftop terraces, and apartments above boutique-style shops. After the first day I had been instilled with a wanderlust (thanks to a friend for that word). However, day two was for listening and conversation, not for wandering. We spent Friday on the 33rd floor of the Raun Center (which by the way, has a beautiful view of the city) learning about the success of Des Moines. I will admit, at first I felt a little trapped as I stared out the window imagining the pavement begging me to explore more, but I soon became engrossed and inspired by the discussion. As promised...

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