Start Fort Wayne hires executive director

May 30th, 2017

The News-Sentinel

Local nonprofit Start Fort Wayne has hired Rhonda Ladig as its first executive director.

Ladig began in April and is focusing on promoting Start Fort Wayne's mission and projects to community stakeholders and securing financial support to increase programming.

Ladig began her ventures in entrepreneurship at the age of 18. She sold her business five years later to put herself through college, earning a bachelor's degree in Business Administration-Marketing from Indiana Tech and a master's in Public Management-Public Policy and Administration from Indiana University. She has more than 10 years of experience in education and an extensive service career in nonprofits.

Start Fort Wayne began in 2015 with a working board of entrepreneurs and educators whose vision was to strengthen the community, provide education, and create spaces that cultivate and support small businesses. 

Its programs and projects include:

  • 1 Million Cups: A weekly event for local entrepreneurs to meet and present their startups to the thriving peer networking of founders in Fort Wayne
  • Atrium: A thriving downtown co-working space at 111 W. Berry St. that, since opening in October 2016, has filled its dedicated desks and office spaces, with 70 general memberships still available
  • LevelUp Entrepreneurial Coaching: 43 entrepreneurs from all stages of the business lifecycle have received coaching
  • Tech Tour 2016: Internationally known entrepreneur and investor Paul Singh educated audiences, judged pitches, and met with investors and companies
  • Rocket Academy: At-risk youth learned about STEM through coding, robotics, and circuit-building activities

To learn more about Start Fort Wayne or membership at the Atrium co-working space, visit or