Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Northeast Indiana Innovation Center
Jan14

Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Northeast Indiana Innovation Center

  Perhaps one of the visible resources for entrepreneurs in Northeast Indiana is on the northeast side of Fort Wayne near the IPFW campus. Since 1999 the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC) has worked diligently to aid in the development of innovative ventures for the region by providing a variety of services to both new and continuing entrepreneurs. We contacted Karl LaPan, President and CEO of the NIIC, to get his thoughts on how to maximize your experience with the facility. “Entrepreneurs need to be disciplined,  self-aware, coachable, reflective and contingency-minded in their thinking,” said LaPan. “When they exhibit these characteristics, they can benefit tremendously from NIIC in the advice, mentorship, and traction in meeting their milestones.” The NIIC offers a variety of initiatives at its campus, like Affiliate Client Coaching Services, where clients can learn strategies from experienced entrepreneurs and business people. There is also office space in its Incubator, and a co-working option via Destination: Your Future. You can also find programs from young entrepreneurs like the Student Venture Labs. Check out their services portfolio for a comprehensive listing of what the NIIC has to offer. “While invention is about coming up with the idea, entrepreneurship is about breathing life into the innovation for the benefit of society,” said LaPan. The NIIC works with a broad spectrum of entrepreneurs from pre-company to established corporations. Some of these entrepreneurs may have extensive industry experience and others may not. “Having deep industry insights and first hand knowledge often helps entrepreneurs make less mistakes and avoid potential pitfalls,” said LaPan. “This is not to say that entrepreneurs can’t be successful in executing on an idea in an unrelated field. It just possibly raises the execution risk of the venture.” After successfully connecting with NIIC, clients may have access to NIIC’s entrepreneur-in-residence, professional service providers, mentors, and angel investors orchestrated by NIIC. “NIIC provides the strategic advantages of faster commercialization and speed to market because we work ‘hand and glove’ with the entrepreneur and his/her team,” said LaPan. “In addition, we reduce the risk of starting and growing a business.” The NIIC also helps clients connect with service providers (e.g. lawyers, accountants, angel investors, and more) and other resources in the community dedicated to servicing entrepreneurs. The NIIC also partners with universities like IPFW and Huntington University. “When we assist entrepreneurs, we remember that we are providing them advice, support, encouragement, and access to resources. Often, entrepreneurs are pulled in different directions and receive conflicting advice, but NIIC  serves the best interest of entrepreneurs by always being on the side of the entrepreneur and serving as their advocate,” said LaPan. “We love it when entrepreneurs...

Read More