Working together to cultivate startup growth

Tammy Y. Allen, Director, Marketing & Programs, The NIIC

Photo Caption: Congratulations to Cohort 3 Build Institute graduates Jennifer Bermejo, Brenna Curry, Janie Garrison, Angela Harrison, Ricco Nettles, Virginia Richardson and Tyler Stevenson. This cohort was hosted at The NIIC.

Many entrepreneurs commit to starting a business yet don’t know where to turn for expertise when needed. A group of seven aspiring entrepreneurs recently benefited from training through Build Institute and business coaching though WEOC at The NIIC.

Build Institute, a welcome collaboration between The City of Fort Wayne and The NIIC, is an eight-week business planning education course for startups in the region. The program launched earlier this year and is sponsored by the Summit City Entrepreneur and Enterprise District (SEED) and Indiana Michigan Power. Leslee Hill, WEOC Director, was sponsored by The NIIC for SEED training to co-lead the workshop series to support entrepreneurs.

In addition to co-leading the recent cohort with Michelle Chambers, Owner, Signing Closers, Hill also provided one-on-one coaching for each participant of the cohort. This was a bonus for the participants and not included as part of the Build Institute. The NIIC and WEOC offer business coaching to individuals at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey, and all kinds of businesses—from student-owned startups and solopreneurs to high growth businesses.

“There was seamless collaboration between the NIIC and SEED on this project. The cohort members set up time with me between each class to take a deep dive into their homework assignments. This really helped make each weekly class more impactful. I can’t say enough about how fun it was to co-lead this cohort. Michelle and I were able to provide real-life situations in our own business building processes that helped paint a realistic view of business ownership. We’ve both also helped enough small business owners in the area to draw from those examples.”

The next cohort to be held at The NIIC will be this fall. “I highly recommend potential business owners and those who have been in operation for five years or less to go through the course. You’ll gain peer mentors, as well as look at your business in a whole new light,” said Hill. Registration is open.

Are you looking to start, grow or innovate your business? Contact The NIIC or WEOC to learn more.


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