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Greater Fort Wayne Inc.'s new program helps entrepreneurs

Fort Wayne is a budding city for those who want to get their feet wet in entrepreneurship. Greater Fort Wayne is giving one more reason why the Summit City is the place to start.

Posted: Jun 17, 2019 8:04 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Greater Fort Wayne Inc's Bridge Program aims to connect local entrepreneurs with investors to help build their startups.

Aaron Robles, The founder of Founders Spark, said creating a startup isn't easy when you're doing it alone.

15 local companies have already signed on to be investors for the Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Bridge Program.

Brenda Gerber Vincent who is the Vice President of Community and Corporate Impact for Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. said the Bridge Program was “created to seek out corporate investors called bridge investors who would commit to sponsoring or coming alongside an entrepreneur for 5 years and sponsor them as members into the Greater Fort Wayne Inc. family. By doing that, they would receive full benefits our established members are receiving."

She mentioned benefits like access to CEO round tables, finding conference space, and connecting with other established CEO's who've been through what the small business owner may be going through.

"Some of the investors want businesses that match up with their target industry, and then some of them want to be matched with the best company that can take advantage of this opportunity so based off of those criteria we're just going to see who fits where, and hope the collisions are great and sparks some really great relationships," Renata Robinson who is the Director of Small Business Development for GFW Inc. said.

To apply for sponsorship, you can fill out an online application at bridge.gfwinc.com. 

The 15 businesses are:

1. 1st Source Bank

2. Ambassador Entreprises

3. Carson LLP

4. Deister Machinery

5. Fort Wayne Mad Ants

6. Hagerman Construction

7. JP Morgan Chase

8. Ortho NorthEast (ONE)

9. Parkview Health

10. Ridge NAPA

11. STAR Financial Bank

12. Summit City Cheverolet

13. Sweetwater

14. Wells Fargo

15. Elevatus Architecture

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