Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Funding Entrepreneurial Growth

To strengthen the resources available for entrepreneurs in Northeast Indiana, the Regional Opportunities Council (ROC) made the establishment of Elevate Ventures in the region a priority under Vision 2020. Elevate Ventures is a statewide organization that provides startup funding for small, high-growth companies and assists in helping second-stage companies succeed.

As a region we have a long history of celebrating and supporting entrepreneurship, innovation, and invention.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership helped raise $760,000 to establish Elevate Ventures in the region. The impact of Elevate Ventures’ presence in Northeast Indiana has not gone unnoticed. For every dollar invested in Elevate Ventures, the region has received a $47 return. According to a third-party economic-impact study commissioned by Elevate Ventures, the non-profit organization has helped the community in a variety of ways:

  • Generated a $43 million economic impact in Northeast Indiana
  • Engaged over 250 companies
  • Attracted over $18 million in new investments 
  • Increased its clients’ annual revenues by over $20 million 

In addition to assisting local entrepreneurs with its own resources, Elevate Ventures created the Northeast Indiana Investor Network in April 2014. The network connects Northeast Indiana investors with early-stage startups, giving the startups the opportunity to vet their projects with potential investors in the region. 

Want to See our Progress So Far?

  1. One Year Anniversary for 1 Million Cups Fort Wayne

    November 1, 2016

    1 Million Cups (1MC) Fort Wayne, a weekly event launched with support from the Regional Partnership, Start Fort Wayne, Sweetwater Sound and Utopian Coffee, celebrated its one year anniversary in November. A program developed by the Kaufmann Foundation, 1MC Fort Wayne began last year with the goal of educating, engaging, and connecting entrepreneurs in Northeast Indiana. In its first year, 1MC Fort Wayne welcomed presentations from 50 local entrepreneurs and connected with nearly 1,200 community members. Thanks to programs like 1MC Fort Wayne, Northeast Indiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem offers a place where entrepreneurs can find support, resources and an innovative ecosystem built to meet goals, scalable growth and foster progress. To learn more about 1MC, visit the website.

  2. Regional Food Network Hosted Focus Group

    May 25, 2016

    The Northeast Indiana Regional Food Network, led by Wells County Economic Development with support from the Regional Partnership, hosted focus groups to bring together farmers, food buyers, and related stakeholders to review key findings of the Northeast Indiana Food Network’s Phase 1 Report completed by Manheim Solutions, Inc. In the focus group, participants provided input on the priority of possible projects. 

  3. 1 Million Cups Fort Wayne Launched

    November 2, 2015

    The Regional Partnership partnered with Start Fort Wayne, Sweetwater Sound, and Utopian Coffee to launch 1 Million Cups Fort Wayne, a program designed to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs in the region. 

  4. Entrepreneur Survey Developed

    August 18, 2015

    The Regional Partnership developed a survey to assess the needs and concerns of entrepreneurs in the region as well as the agencies that support them. 

  5. Convened Stakeholders to Identify Strategy

    July 14, 2015

    The Regional Partnership met with regional stakeholders to identify the best way to assess the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

  6. ROC Funded Entrepreneurial Projects

    May 5, 2014

    The Regional Opportunities Council (ROC) allocated funds to support two projects. The first project developed a comprehensive strategy to outline how Northeast Indiana can build an integrated approach to connect the region’s existing entrepreneurial support systems and accelerate high-impact entrepreneurial endeavors. The second project assessed Northeast Indiana’s present food economy to develop an active regional food network. 

  7. Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Adopted as Vision2020 Priority

    March 3, 2014

    The Regional Opportunities Council (ROC) voted to make building an entrepreneurial ecosystem a priority under Vision 2020’s Entrepreneurship pillar with the goal to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northeast Indiana that supports entrepreneurs in their business ventures and grows the region’s economy.