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Entrepreneurship priority named, $125,000 approved for Vision 2020

December 15th, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 15, 2014

Entrepreneurship priority named, $125,000 approved for Vision 2020

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The Regional Opportunities Council (ROC), the investor board of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, has voted to add a new priority to the regions Vision 2020 initiative and to allocate $125,000 to support the initiative's priorities.

The ROC sets the region's priorities within five key economic growth areas: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life.

The newest priority, which falls under Vision 2020's Entrepreneurship pillar, is to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northeast Indiana that supports entrepreneurs in their business ventures and grows the region's economy. 

The priority will be added to Vision 2020's existing priority list, which includes the Big Goal, Streamlined Permitting, Air Service at FWA, Regional Broadband Access , Regional Interstate Access and Downtown Riverfront Development

"The efforts undertaken through Vision 2020 are leading to new business investment in the region," said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "Businesses are taking note of the work we are doing to create a supportive business environment for the long-term." 

At the meeting, the ROC also approved the following investment opportunities for Vision 2020 priorities in 2015:

Investment target: Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Investment amount: $35,000
Purpose: Develop a comprehensive strategy for this new priority. The strategy will outline how Northeast Indiana can build an integrated approach to connect the region's existing entrepreneurial support systems and accelerate entrepreneurial endeavors that are ready to impact the region now.

Investment target: Northeast Indiana Food Network
Investment amount: $15,000
Purpose: Assess Northeast Indiana's present food economy through a food-shed engagement and development strategy and develop an active regional food network. The investment will be leveraged by additional private investment and a potential USDA matching grant.

Investment target: Regional Cities initiative
Investment amount: $50,000
Purpose: In collaboration with regional stakeholders, develop a compelling plan for the City of Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana to achieve significant and sustained investment in quality of place attributes and talent attraction. The Regional Cities initiative is a statewide program launched by the IEDC and under consideration for the 2015 legislative session.

Investment target: Streamline Business Permitting
Investment amount: $15,000
Purpose: Leveraged investment to obtain grant funding necessary to expand the Permitting Excellence Coalition to include other jurisdictions in Northeast Indiana and continue streamlining processes in 2015. In 2014, nine jurisdictions participated in a Permitting Excellence Coalition to improve business permitting processes.

Investment target: Ivy Tech Northeast Community Needs Assessment
Investment amount: $10,000
Purpose: Determine gaps and opportunities specific to Northeast Indiana within the context of the statewide Ivy Tech strategy. Assessment will leverage current data collected through the Education and Workforce Innovation Network to support Vision 2020's Big Goal. The outcome from the assessment will be a strategic framework and process recommendations to support the Ivy Tech Northeast regional board in advocating for the needs of regional employers.

"Northeast Indiana's economy is significantly stronger since Vision 2020 launched," said Farmers State Bank President and CEO Joe Pierce, who is chair of the Partnership's governing board and a member of the ROC. "We're looking forward to continuing that progress in 2015." 

For more information about Vision 2020 and its priorities, visit www.neindiana.com/vision.

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. The Northeast Indiana Fund (Fund) was created in 2005 to operate as a supporting organization of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, focused specifically on product development and regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas 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 counties. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.

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MEDIA CONTACT: 

Amy Hart
Communications Coordinator
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
260.469.3468
amy@NEIndiana.com

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