Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Danielle Stoller
May30

Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Danielle Stoller

For this week’s entrepreneurship spotlight, we caught up with recent 1 Million Cups’ presenter Danielle Stoller, the owner of Emerald Crane, to chat about her new business. After graduating from college in 2014, Stoller moved to Chicago and started sending out hundreds of copies of her resume. After testing out dozens of versions, she was left with no call backs for even the most basic of jobs. This moment led Stoller to a career in the world of recruiting and hiring. After moving to Fort Wayne to be closer to family, Stoller launched her online-based resume and career consulting company, Emerald Crane, earlier this year. The online business allows her to connect with clients of every stature across the nation as they begin their steps towards their career goals. What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana? I decided to open a business in Fort Wayne because, essentially, it’s home. Stepping into entrepreneurship is in some ways bold and scary, and doing it where I have a lot of social support has been instrumental to staying positive as well as foundational to achieving visibility. You may have a great idea or great product. You may be a great person with a lot to offer. But I’ve found that in so many ways, people are the gatekeepers of where and how far you’ll go. For me, Fort Wayne has proven to be a place where people are more willing to lend an ear and give a supporting hand up where they can. What resource in the community has helped you thrive in it? I honestly feel that the interconnectedness and small-city feel has been so key in Fort Wayne. Yet at the same time, it seems the time is ripe for building and investing in entrepreneurs. Something is happening here. Between the development of the downtown area over the last few years, newer real estate development, implementation of things like co-working spaces, and an intentional push for entrepreneurial growth coming from multiple sources, Fort Wayne is embracing a larger city mindset. What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business? I think my biggest challenge so far has been to get out of ‘fear’ or security mindset–and stay out. It’s so easy to give up on myself before I ever even really attempt anything in the morning. I’m continually plagued by the fear that it would be better for me to go back to work full-time. The belief part people talk about is no easy thing for me. What person has helped you the most in your journey? It’s so impossible to...

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Entrepreneurship Spotlight – CookSpring
Jul06

Entrepreneurship Spotlight – CookSpring

Editor’s note – CookSpring at The Summit will be hosting an open house in celebration of doubling in size on Saturday, June 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their 4,800 square foot space at The Summit at 1025 W. Rudisill Blvd. in Fort Wayne.  CookSpring staff will be conducting tours and providing guidance on starting culinary businesses during the event. Pastries from Hetty Arts Pastry and hot dogs from The Hot Dog Boyz will be available for the first 50 guests.  When The Summit was purchased in 2011, they immediately began looking for ways to use their commercial kitchen on the former campus of Taylor University Fort Wayne. They wanted to be intentional about using the space to support the local food community, and after some research, decided to use the space as a shared kitchen for culinary entrepreneurs in Fort Wayne. Entrepreneurs can rent space in the kitchen (it’s open 24/7) through bookings and even (very affordable) monthly memberships. In addition to access to the kitchen, members have the opportunity to participate in classes and other business-related services provided by Northeast ISBDC, and can receive free or discounted space for events at The Summit’s Atrium event area. CookSpring began in 2015 with one member and has now grown to 24 members! You’ll find many of your favorite food trucks are members, and CookSpring is becoming a huge platform for growth. Smith spoke a little bit about entrepreneurship in Fort Wayne, here’s what he had to say. Why was Fort Wayne an ideal place for CookSpring? Beginning in Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana wasn’t a conscious decision so much as a default instinct – NEI is our home, and we want to see it have all of the neat opportunities that other cities have. Out of our desire to spur on entrepreneurship, we developed CookSpring into a platform where anybody can give their culinary dream a shot. Recently, Northeast Indiana has been making a strong push to recognize our regional food production as a local asset rather than an export. This investment in local products really helps to encourage food entrepreneurs and in turn makes CookSpring a more vibrant community. What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community? We have been able to partner and collaborate with local businesses and groups who are dedicated to impacting entrepreneurs and business growth in Fort Wayne. These groups act as referral sources for new clients and we are able to direct our clients back to them for business services. In addition, the local food culture in Fort Wayne has really taken off in the past few years, which makes...

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