Start Fort Wayne Announces Startup Week

First ever event to highlight entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Start Fort Wayne is announcing the region's first ever Techstars Startup Week. Startup Week Fort Wayne 2018 will be a multi-day event starting on Monday, October 15th and lasting until Friday, October 19th. The event is a five-day celebration of community that builds momentum and opportunity around entrepreneurship. The event is led by local entrepreneurs and hosted in various venues throughout the community, but primarily focused on downtown Fort Wayne.

Startup Week will be bringing together entrepreneurs, innovators, tech talent, and startup enthusiasts to participate in a variety of workshops and events that highlight the startup culture in Fort Wayne. Throughout the week, there will be

a variety of workshops that coincide with six different tracks of topics. These topics are Diversity & Inclusion, Finance, Innovation, Legal, Startup 101, and Tech.

Start Fort Wayne Executive Director, Rhonda Ladig, states, "Techstars visited Fort Wayne last year and did an assessment of entrepreneur ecosystem. One of the areas where we received the lowest score was around the culture of entrepreneurship. Startup Week and other community-building events are our steps to tackling this problem - creating opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow and strengthen their networks, which strengthens our overall entrepreneur ecosystem."

Startup Week Fort Wayne 2018 is partnering with Electric Works who will be hosting Paul Singh, an entrepreneur and investor, for his Tech Tour visit Wednesday, October 17th through Friday, October 19th. Paul focuses on entrepreneur growth and investment beyond the nation's coasts, travelling across the country in his Airstream, visiting communities and engaging with startups looking for investment. Learn more about Tech Tour by visiting: https://fortwayneelectricworks.com/techtour/.

Startup Week events are what Techstars coins "the Anti-Conference," meaning it should be community supported and accessible to everyone. This means that events will happen at spaces provided by partner organizations and, for the first year, this event will be free. Attendees should still claim at seat at the event's website, as seats are limited per event.

Registration for Startup Week Fort Wayne 2018 will be open on September 6th at https://fortwayne.startupweek.co/.

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For more about Start Fort Wayne: www.startfortwayne.com

Media Contact:

Daniel Butler

Start Fort Wayne, Marketing & Events Manager

(260) 969-9393  / [email protected]

Downloadable images for editorial use:

Startup Week Fort Wayne logo

Start Fort Wayne logo

Electric Works logo

Start Fort Wayne Announces New Hires

FORT WAYNE, Ind - Start Fort Wayne is announcing the growth of the organization in two new key roles. Start Fort Wayne has hired a Marketing and Events Manager and an Atrium Supervisor, Daniel Butler and Pasjion Weaver. Butler began as the Marketing and Events Manager in June and Weaver began in April as the Atrium Supervisor.

Daniel moved to Fort Wayne in 2013 to attend IPFW’s Doermer School of Business. Throughout his schooling, Daniel was the Executive Director of the BAALS Music Festival and Fort Wayne’s first New Year’s Eve Ball Drop that helped bring 10,000+ people to the downtown area. Prior to being brought on to the Start Fort Wayne, Daniel was apart of the team at Boyden and Youngblutt Marketing and Advertising Agency and brings experience in social media, digital marketing, fundraising, and event management.

The Marketing and Events Manager for Start Fort Wayne will not only head the marketing efforts, but will also identify and curate events and opportunities for entrepreneurs to engage with each other. Butler states, “I am very excited to be apart of the Start Fort Wayne and Atrium team and I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty to help grow the already amazing startup culture here in Fort Wayne and the surrounding areas.”

Pasjion Weaver is a born and raised Hoosier who is passionate about the community. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in Public Relations with the goal to change the community and impact struggling populations. Pasjion is originally from Marion, IN, but now calls Fort Wayne her permanent home.

The Atrium Supervisor runs the day-to-day operations of the Atrium coworking space downtown. The position also ensures that entrepreneurs have everything they need to be successful while working at Atrium. Weaver states, "I'm so honored to have joined the Start Fort Wayne team to see the impact local entrepreneurs are making in this world. Fort Wayne is growing and full of raw talent and it's so amazing to see, and to support that here at Atrium. The leadership from our Executive Director makes Atrium the best place to work. This is only the beginning. "

Executive Director Rhonda Ladig states, “Our nonprofit organization will be three years old this year. We’ve done a lot in that time with a relatively small staff and a working board. We are at a place now where we can and need to grow, thus increasing our impact on the entrepreneur ecosystem in Northeast Indiana. Both of these team members bring not only ample knowledge and expertise, but also passion and energy that will drive our work forward at breakneck speeds. I’m thrilled to get to work with them and encourage the community to continue to watch our team and our impact grow in the future!”

For more about Start Fort Wayne: www.startfortwayne.com
For more about the Atrium: www.atriumfw.com
 
Media Contact:
Rhonda Ladig
Start Fort Wayne, Executive Director
(260) 969-9393  /  [email protected]e.com
 
Downloadable images for editorial use:
Butler Headshot

Weaver Headshot
Start Fort Wayne logo
Atrium logo
Techstars report

Now Hiring - Atrium Staff Member

Job Position: Atrium Staff Member

About Start Fort Wayne

We are a nonprofit, founded in 2015, to help entrepreneurs launch their ventures and to drive startup culture in northeast Indiana. We have projects and programs in three areas: community, education, and space.

We interact regularly with community and business leaders, forward-thinkers, and change-makers. We operate with a laid-back vibe, but we’re serious about our mission and impact. We are changing the way northeast Indiana does entrepreneurship, and we need a passionate person with the skills to back it up, to help us drive.

About You

You will be a self-managed person, and excited to work in a collaborative environment. You will have good organizational skills, great time management skills, and be able to see what needs to get done and make it happen without the need for daily guidance. You will also have excellent communication skills, to interface with Atrium members, potential members, the community, business professionals, and the Start Fort Wayne Board.

 

You understand Start Fort Wayne’s mission and values, and are passionate about moving Start Fort Wayne toward its vision of being the central player for tech and high-growth entrepreneurship Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana.

 

Job Description

 

Atrium is a project of Start Fort Wayne and the home of the organization. It is a vibrant and dynamic coworking space right in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne. Atrium serves entrepreneurs, business owners, and remote workers of all types and backgrounds.The Atrium Staff Member will be in charge of staffing the front-desk at Atrium for shifts during our business hours, assisting members & guests with issues and questions, and helping with various other tasks and responsibilities detailed below.

 

Some of the day-to-day tasks we see include:

 

  • Aid members in any issues they have with the infrastructure or other office needs

  • Act as the greeter for members & guests

  • Give tours to prospective members to help sell memberships

  • Complete detailed daily, weekly, & monthly cleaning tasks

  • Make sure supplies are stocked and organized

  • Help keep the coffee flowing

  • Help with event and room reservations, including booking for non-members and helping with setup and teardown when needed

  • Help manage the event and conference room calendars

  • Participate in the Atrium “Slack” channel to keep in touch with members & the Start Fort Wayne community

  • Assist with tasks assigned by the Start Fort Wayne Board when needed

  • Other duties as assigned


 

Job Status

 

This is a part time position of 12-20 hours a week, Mon. - Fri. from 4p-8p with occasional special events during the day and on weekends. Hours will be set and scheduled by the Atrium Supervisor. The position reports to the Atrium Supervisor and Executive Director.

 

Send resumes to [email protected]

National Women's Business Conference & Business Fair

Start Fort Wayne is a strategic partner with the Great Lakes Women's Business Council annual conference. The 2018 WBENC National Women’s Business Conference & Business Fair that will be in Detroit, MI on June 19 – 21, 2018. 

The event will include speakers, workshops, and networking for women business owners.  The keynote speaker will be the former editor of Fast Company and current founder of The Flux Group, Robert Safian.

To learn more about the event and register, visit http://conf.wbenc.org/.

 

Atrium is hiring!

Job Position: Atrium Supervisor

About You:

You are a self-driven professional, excited to work in a collaborative environment. You have excellent communication skills and the ability to see what needs to get done and make it happen without the need for daily guidance. You also have exemplary customer service skills to interface with Atrium members, the Start Fort Wayne Board, the network of Start Fort Wayne partners, community leaders, and potential customers of the space.

You know how to strike a balance between engaging the community and getting on with getting things done. You understand Start Fort Wayne’s mission and values, and work toward our shared common goals. You can operate in a laid-back environment, but are serious about upholding our mission and creating major impact.  

Job Description:

Atrium is a vibrant, dynamic coworking space in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne. We serve entrepreneurs, business owners, and remote and independent workers of all types and backgrounds. We are looking for a team member to help keep the space open, running, and to keep innovation humming.

Job Status:

This is a part-time position, 30 hours per week, with an agreed upon schedule sometime Monday – Friday 8a-4p. The position reports to the Community Manager and Executive Director.  

Compensation:

$13-$14 per hour depending on experience.

Responsibilities – Day to day tasks will include:

  • Act as the “point of contact” for Atrium members and guests on a daily basis.

  • Oversee part-time and volunteer staff schedules and duties.

  • Aid members and guests in any issues they have with the infrastructure, billing, scheduling, technology, office equipment and other standard office needs.

  • Give tours to prospective members and help market and manage sales of memberships.

  • Ensure the space is clean and tidy and supplies are stocked and organized.

  • Take inventory and order supplies as needed.

  • Help with event and room reservations, including bookings and helping with setup, teardown, amenities as needed.

  • Help manage the event and conference room calendars.

  • Participate in the Atrium “Slack” channel to keep in touch with members.

  • Help manage building needs and maintenance as assigned.

  • Seek out and organize feedback from Atrium members.

  • Assist with marketing tasks for Atrium and Start Fort Wayne including generating content for social media channels, monthly newsletters, and member communications.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Interested? Send resume to [email protected]

Atrium Price Changes

Effective February 1, 2018, Atrium prices are changing. See new prices below:

New Membership Monthly Rates

  • General: $65
  • General 24/7: $90
  • Professional Desk: $180
  • Premium 2-Person Office: $400
  • Premium 4-Person Office: $800

Between now and February 1st, buy one year of membership at the current, lower rate and receive one month free! Here's the current annual rates:

  • General: $550
  • General 24/7: $825 
  • Professional Desks: $1,650
  • 2-Person Office: $3,850
  • 4-Person Office: $7,700

New Conference Room Rates

  • Small Conference Rooms (up to 6 people)
    • Members: Up to 10 hours free per month, then $5 per hour
    • Non-Members (Nonprofit*): Up to 2 hours free per month, then $10 per hour
    • Non-Members (Standard): $15 per hour
  • Large Conference Room (up to 25 people)
    • Members: $10 per hour
    • Non-Members (Nonprofit*): Up to 2 hours free per month, then $20 per hour
    • Non-Members (Standard): $40 per hour

*Nonprofits can receive up to 2 free hours total of space per month. Nonprofits include 501(c)3s, government organizations, social organizations, and clubs. Start Fort Wayne has discretion to determine eligibility for the nonprofit rate.

For more information, visit www.atriumfw.com.

Start Fort Wayne Celebrates One Year of Coworking

FORT WAYNE, Ind. —  Start Fort Wayne, a nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurs and startups in northeast Indiana, is planning a one-year anniversary celebration for their downtown coworking space, the Atrium. Coworking is using shared office space and resources with other individuals who may work in a variety of industries,  who would have otherwise been working from home offices, the library, or coffee shops.
 
The Atrium launched in October of 2016. It is a 5,500 square foot coworking space that offers a space for entrepreneurs to launch their startup. Since opening, the Atrium has had over 140 members, with the current membership hovering around 100. There are three membership levels for the coworking space: general, shared membership areas for $50 per month; dedicated desks for $150 per month; and private offices with two desks for $350 per month or four desks for $700 per month. All memberships are month-to-month, so there is no lease commitment for startups but they get a desirable downtown business address. The space also has conference spaces for members or non-members.

In addition to the coworking and conference spaces, the Atrium is the home of Start Fort Wayne, it's parent organization. Start Fort Wayne began in 2015 with a mission to strengthen the infrastructure that supports entrepreneurs in northeast Indiana, supporting a long-term vision to attract outside tech and innovation companies to launch their venture in northeast Indiana.

Besides the Atrium coworking space, Start Fort Wayne also provides entrepreneur coaching services through Steve Franks' LevelUp program and youth coding education through a partnership with the South Bend Code School. Start Fort Wayne also started the first chapter of the Kauffman Foundation's "1 Million Cups" program in Indiana in 2015 and the chapter is one of the most active chapters in the country, meeting every Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at Sweetwater with 40-60 entrepreneurs attending each week.

The Get Local event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will include a short program that will highlight several entrepreneurs, in a "pitch-style" presentation, sighting the impact that Start Fort Wayne's projects and programs have had on their venture over the past year. There will also be exciting announcements of partnership and support from other local organizations and recognition of entrepreneurial impact. Following the event, there will be free food from Calhoun Street Soup, Salad, and Spirits, a cash bar from Mad Anthony's, and locally made cupcakes and cake. There will also be a free art display and live, local music from Jess Thrower. The event concludes at 8 p.m.

Enhanced Entrepreneur Coaching Program Announced

FORT WAYNE, Ind. —  Start Fort Wayne, a nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurs and small business in northeast Indiana, is announcing that its popular entrepreneur coaching program, Compass, has been redesigned to offer entrepreneurs more opportunities for mentorship and peer support.
 
Since its launch in November 2016, Compass has been delivered one-on-one between an entrepreneur and Start Fort Wayne’s entrepreneur coach, Steve Franks. To date, over 90 entrepreneurs have participated in the original Compass program. The new model will be a facilitated peer cohort model with greater mentor engagement. 
 
Starting September 9th, Compass entrepreneurs will meet as a group once a week for 12 weeks.  Sessions will be held Saturday mornings from 9:00 to noon to accommodate those who work a traditional schedule.  As in the current program, participants will develop their startup or expansion business model, test it with buyers and sellers, project their financials, and prepare to pitch their venture to lenders, investors, or customers.
 
The revised program blends peer feedback, mentorship, and one-on-one coaching.  A typical session includes progress reports and insights learned, brief practice pitches from all participants, a facilitated introduction to a workshop topic, and lab time to work through the workshop topic with personal help from Franks.  At two of the12 meetings, a roundtable of mentors will be invited to hear pitches and provide individual feedback to each entrepreneur.  During one of the meetings, participants will hold an in-depth individual meeting with the facilitator.  The program intentionally provides a wide variety of feedback from a variety of sources to maximize each participant’s learning.
 
Compass is designed to give startups and founders structured assistance as they create their new venture. It is open to anyone planning a startup in the northeast Indiana region, in any market or industry.  It will be offered four times a year.
 
Fall:  September 9, 2017 – November 18, 2017
Winter:  December 2, 2017 – February 17, 2018
Spring:  March 3, 2018 – May 19, 2018
Summer:  June 2, 2018 – August 18, 2018
 
Sessions are held at Start Fort Wayne’s Atrium coworking space at 111 W. Berry St., Suite 211, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.  Participants pay only $150 of the program’s $1,100 value – the remainder is subsidized by Start Fort Wayne and its generous funders.
 
Steve Franks, entrepreneur coach with Start Fort Wayne, who created and facilitates the program, has helped hundreds of northeast Indiana entrepreneurs and startups over the past decade at the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, at regional venture accelerators he established in Whitley and LaGrange Counties, through the Co.STARTERS program in Fort Wayne and Decatur, and informally over coffee. He’s worked with startups ranging from part-time ventures to those that raised millions in investments, across dozens of industries and markets.
 
“I have coached entrepreneurs in both cohort and individual settings and have seen each one’s benefits,” said Franks. “This revised program blends the best of both and adds mentor support!  I can’t wait!”
 
To register for a program or learn more, contact Steve Franks at [email protected]

To learn more about Start Fort Wayne visit www.startfortwayne.com.

Entrepreneurial nonprofit brings youth coding education to Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Local nonprofit Start Fort Wayne approved at last night's board meeting to formally partner with South Bend Code School to bring coding and computer programming education for kids aged 7-18 to Fort Wayne.
 
Founded in 2015, South Bend Code School helps students learn the fundamentals of web development and design, software craftsmanship and entrepreneurship. The curriculum grants students experience in conceptualizing, designing and building applications that work towards solving real-world problems.
 
“We are delighted to expand the reach of South Bend Code School to the Fort Wayne community,” says Alex Liggins, co-founder of South Bend Code School. “Through our curriculum, career mentorship and trips to major tech companies, the program gives students skills to help them in the job market and prepare them for higher education. It is very exciting for us to partner with the Start Fort Wayne team to bring a program we believe in to other parts of the state. We know that tech skills are in high demand in most regions. We are excited to grow and bring more opportunity to youth in other cities as well as South Bend.”

Since its inception, over 100 students in northern Indiana have completed the school’s formal program and over 600 students have been reached through its expanded outreach efforts. Over 120 websites have been built by students in South Bend Code School programs and students receiving education have been 47% female and 56% under-represented, minority students.

"No industry in our region is untouched by advances in technology. If northeast Indiana wants to compete over the next 50 years, we have to ensure that we are growing the talent to design, develop, and manage new technology. Software developers are in short supply, not just in Fort Wayne, but across the entire United States, and it will be difficult to attract all of the talent we will need.  We look forward to this partnership with South Bend Code School to help us grow these future programmers and engineers right here at home. We are very excited about this new program, and can't wait to see what these kids will create next!" says Start Fort Wayne board president and founder Dave Sanders.
 
Start Fort Wayne began in 2015 with a vision is to be a hub for entrepreneurship by building programs and creating connections for entrepreneurs that drive startup culture and prepare leaders with skills required in the new economy. In doing this, Start Fort Wayne helps entrepreneurs realize their dreams.  

In addition to Code School, other programs and projects brought to northeast Indiana by Start Fort Wayne include:

  • 1 Million Cups: A weekly Kauffman Foundation event for local entrepreneurs to meet and present their startups to the thriving peer networking of founders in northeast Indiana 
  • Atrium: A thriving downtown co-working space at 111 W. Berry St. that, since opening in October 2016, has waitlists for its dedicated desks and office spaces, and just 40 general memberships still available 
  • LevelUp Entrepreneurial Coaching:  Over 80 entrepreneurs from all stages of the business life-cycle have received coaching. LevelUp will include programming for the entrepreneurially-curious, to established ventures needing to power up, and to new innovations and tech startups looking for venture capital 
  • Start Up Week 2018: Start Fort Wayne will collaborate with other entrepreneur and small business supporting organizations for a week-long event that brings renowned speakers and conversations on topics surrounding startup culture to Fort Wayne and the region

To join the mailing list for South Bend Code School // Fort Wayne fall programming information, please email [email protected].

To learn more about South Bend Code School visit www.southbendcodeschool.com. To learn more about Start Fort Wayne or membership at the Atrium coworking space visit www.startfortwayne.com or www.atriumfw.com.


Media Contacts
Rhonda Ladig
Start Fort Wayne
(260) 969-9393  /  [email protected]
Ann Hastings
South Bend Code School
(574) 210-8425 / [email protected]


Downloadable photo for editorial use:
southbendcodeschool.com/files/press_release_photos.zip
 
Downloadable logos for editorial use:
startfortwayne.com/files/Start_Fort_Wayne_Logos.zip
startfortwayne.com/files/Atrium_Logos.zip
southbendcodeschool.com/files/logos.zip
southbendcodeschool.com/files/sbcs_fort_wayne_logos.zip