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Elevate Northeast Indiana Supports Entrepreneurship through Start Fort Wayne

October 19, 2019

FORT WAYNE, IND.,Elevate Northeast Indiana, in an effort to enlarge and elevate the region’s entrepreneurial culture, is providing Start Fort Wayne $35,000 to grow its support of entrepreneurs.

Elevate Northeast Indiana is a partnership between Elevate Ventures and The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership designed to boost entrepreneurship and innovation in the region through “Entrepreneurial Culture Shock”.

Elevate Northeast Indiana officially launched on Oct. 2, where the board hit the ground running through a vote to immediately support the region’s entrepreneurial culture with this grant.

Rather than being competitive, this grant is unique in that one entrepreneurial supporting organization is providing financial support to another entrepreneurial supporting organization.

“To be competitive as a region, we must surround existing and would-be entrepreneurs with support, but research shows we haven’t done that as cohesively as other regions of the country,” says Marilyn Moran-Townsend, chairperson of the Elevate Northeast Indiana board. “In order for Entrepreneurial Culture Shock to occur, we need to amp our collaboration as a region. That’s why we’re supporting like-minded organizations who, in turn, are supporting entrepreneurs.”

Additionally, Elevate Northeast Indiana will be actively asking organizations like Start Fort Wayne how Elevate Northeast Indiana can collaborate to support entrepreneurs on an ongoing basis. This will assist in elevating the entrepreneurial culture in the region to help entrepreneurs be successful faster.

“Entrepreneurs are often told to make a change with their business, but aren’t given the resources to make that happen,” says Robert Clark, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Elevate Ventures. “Partnering with organizations like Start Fort Wayne will continue to bridge the gap between what entrepreneurs need and the support to help them succeed.”

The grant will be presented to Start Fort Wayne during a news conference on Thursday, Oct. 19, where Start Fort Wayne celebrates the one-year anniversary of The Atrium, a downtown Fort Wayne co-working space.

Rhonda Ladig, Executive Director of Start Fort Wayne, explains what this grant will mean for entrepreneurs in the region.

“Elevate Northeast Indiana’s commitment will help Start Fort Wayne provide entrepreneur coaching and pitch development that, ultimately, will help Elevate Northeast Indiana and other investment groups identify and interact with well-prepared candidates for venture capital. This type of collaboration strengthens entrepreneur infrastructure in our region and we’re thrilled to partner with Elevate Northeast Indiana.”



About Elevate Ventures

Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-potential businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, visit

About Start Fort Wayne

Start Fort Wayne fosters entrepreneurs and startups in northeast Indiana by providing community opportunities, educational programming, and space to collaborate and work. The Atrium, their co-working space, is located at 111 W. Berry Street above Hoch Associates. Please visit