Entrepreneurship in Northeast Indiana Reaches New Elevation’ ’

November 14th, 2012

November 14, 2012

Entrepreneurship in Northeast Indiana Reaches New Elevation'
Elevate Ventures Completes Pilot Program, Launches Long Term Plan

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Entrepreneurship has long been part of the foundation of Vision 2020...and now that vision is becoming reality. Twelve months is all it took to prove that Northeast Indiana is ready to support entrepreneurship in the region unlike ever before. After successfully completing the 12 month pilot program called Quick Start, Elevate Ventures is now officially launching their long term Regional Entrepreneurship Action Plan (REAP).

The REAP is a regional initiative that supports innovation, entrepreneurial activity and associated economic growth opportunities throughout the northern regions of Indiana. The initiative is being led by Elevate Ventures, a nonprofit venture development organization that manages the 21st Century Fund for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and provides assistance, access to capital, and other resources to startups.

Supporting Quick Start, and subsequently Elevate Ventures, was established as one of the seven Vision 2020 priorities set forth for the region last year by the Regional Opportunities Council (ROC). The ROC is the investor board of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership that oversees the Vision 2020 initiative. The Partnership is leading local fundraising efforts for the REAP and several members of the ROC have stepped up to financially support the program in the region. Northeast Indiana has been charged with raising $1M in three years, which will be matched 5 to 1 with state and national funds.

"I could not be more excited about the long term potential for Elevate Ventures and Northeast Indiana," said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "The initial results achieved through the region's Entrepreneurs in Residence, Robert Clark and David Corcoran, have been very promising. Elevate Ventures is rightly a foundation initiative of Vision 2020 for the Entrepreneurship pillar. It is a perfect fit to our comprehensive strategy to grow the economy of our region."

Two Entrepreneurs in Residence are currently working specifically in Northeast Indiana, and in the past 12 months, substantial progress has been made:

  • Over 120 companies have been engaged with Elevate's advisory services
  • 25 companies have gone through their Economic Gardening Program
  • Elevate's Business Ignition Tool Set has been distributed to over 100 companies
  • 12 companies received assistance in securing funding from Elevate, accredited/angel investors and local banks
  • Northeast Indiana's deal flow has increased from 2% of the total statewide deal flow to over 25% of the statewide deal flow
For northern Indiana as a whole, the goal is to bring in more than $200M in additional investment and sales growth, create or retain over 3,000 jobs over a three-year period, and service approximately 160 high potential startups in the Northern Indiana regions.

With the launch of the REAP, Elevate will:
  • Increase Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) staffing
  • Launch a grant program for high-potential startups, and;
  • Add a follow-on assistance program for Elevate's Economic Gardening clients including additional services and an executive round table
For more information on the REAP, visit http://www.elevateventures.com/programs/northern-indiana-reap

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership focused on generating business leads and building regional capacity through product development and effective regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas (the five pillars) for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. Through its combined efforts in business development and capacity building, the Partnership supports its 10 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.



Courtney Tritch
Director of Marketing
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

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