Business Builders Adapt to Changes from COVID-19

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

Innovation Center Adapts with them, bolstering virtual business support

 For immediate release 

March 24, 2020, Fort Wayne, Ind.—In the wake of changes to daily lives due to COVID-19, business builders seek new ways to continue to operate their businesses. The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (The NIIC) and Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center (WEOC) are right there with them. NIIC and WEOC continue to support the Northeast Indiana entrepreneurial community while all combat the spread of COVID-19.

“We recognize the disruption and uncertainty existing with our clients, community, and world as we manage through these unprecedented times. To help guide business builders through this, we created a virtual business center that includes resources, tools, and information that may prove useful. Visit https://theniic.org/virtual-resource-center/#covid for more information on our programs and services. We now offer many of our tools and services in a virtual format. We are creating new content for our existing online tools, like NIIC Navigator® Online Tool Set, to address the new challenges facing entrepreneurs. We remain available to business builders. Whether it is to help maintain their confidence, rethink business models, or pivot to new models as applicable,” said Karl R. LaPan, President and CEO, The NIIC.

“It’s important that entrepreneurs know they are not alone, especially during these difficult times,” said Leslee Hill, WEOC Director. “That’s why we created new, regular office hours through our online communities. We are partnering with local experts who are volunteering their time to provide guidance and an ongoing community of support.”

Virtual resources available include:

  • Regular virtual office hours—Topics will include general questions and answers format about current business challenges. Participants will help drive the discussion as well. Local experts will team with WEOC to advise on topical issues. Hill leads the WEOC virtual office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., on the WEOC Facebook page.
  • One-to-one business tele coaching—personalized business coaching continues through teleconference with WEOC and NIIC professional business coaches.
  • Mastermind Groups—These groups continue to meet virtually every week or at the discretion of master mind participants.
  • Virtual training/webinars—WEOC 2020 events are being delivered virtually and started last week. The Connected Health Lab Third Thursday Connections are being rescheduled and will be offered virtually. Please visit Org/our-events for event details. The training webinars will be recorded and available on The NIIC YouTube Channel and TheNIIC.org.

“We invite you to stay connected with us through our online communities (NIIC FacebookWEOC FacebookNIIC LinkedIn, WEOC LinkedIn, NIIC InstagramWEOC Instagram, NIIC YouTube) and to subscribe to our e-newsletter for updates. Select NIIC staff members remain available to clients and small business owners, and we urge you to contact us via email if needed (go to https://theniic.org/about/our-people/ and click on the person’s email address). That includes Tammy Allen, Mike Fritsch, Leslee Hill, Rachel McNeely, and me,” said LaPan.

About The NIIC

467 new products launched, 189 patent applications submitted or granted, and 2,290 jobs created—that is what entrepreneurs have achieved through The NIIC since its inception two decades ago. The NIIC has also connected Northeast Indiana companies to attract $91 million in grants and capital.

The NIIC is a non-profit, vibrant entrepreneurial community designed to advise entrepreneurs to plan, launch, and grow successful business ventures. The NIIC bolsters innovative companies to move ideas into action. The NIIC is located in a designated U.S. Small Business Administration HUB Zone. In April 2018, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb designated The Northeast Indiana Innovation Park Campus as an Opportunity Zone through the U.S. Treasury. The NIIC is the country’s only ISO9001:2015 registered business incubation and acceleration program. TheNIIC.org. Click here for The NIIC press kit.

About WEOC

2,354 women and immigrants served, trained, and counseled—since WEOC’s formation five years ago. The Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center (WEOC) serves Northeast Indiana women at all stages of their business ventures. WEOC responds to the unique needs of women entrepreneurs through business growth coaching, training, and entrepreneurial education, connectivity and access to capital. WEOC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. As the Host organization, The NIIC also provides supplemental funding and complementary resources. WEOC is an SBA designated Women’s Business Center—one of two in Indiana. For more information, visit www.inweoc.com.

Contact: Tammy Allen, Director, Marketing & Programs, tallen@niic.net, 260-407-1731


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