12.06.21

Leading Business Incubator-Accelerator Promotes from Within

Tammy Allen, Director | Marketing & Programs, The NIIC

Mike Fritsch Named President and CEO of The NIIC

For immediate release

December 6, 2021, Fort Wayne, Ind. The NIIC Executive Committee announced the promotion of Mike Fritsch to President and CEO of The NIIC. “We conducted a nationwide search for the organization’s next leader and determined the best candidate is NIIC employee Mike Fritsch,” said Larry Rowland, NIIC Board Chair.

“Mike is uniquely qualified with intimate knowledge of The NIIC from several perspectives. He has served as a NIIC management team member and, on December 1, 2021, celebrated his ninth anniversary as an employee. Mike’s business development leadership brought increased funding for programs and initiatives to serve small businesses in the past few years. He has extensive expertise as a business coach and trainer. He was also a former client and a NIIC Founding Board Member,” said Rowland.

“His experience as a serial entrepreneur, his technical expertise, and thought leadership will enable the organization to serve Northeast Indiana’s entrepreneurial community better and lead us into what will become NIIC 2.0.” New leadership ushers in a new era for The NIIC, a community-based non-profit organization and a leading entrepreneurial community. The NIIC is pursuing strategic planning and visioning for what is next.

Fritsch said, “We envision a collaborative, community-supported, entrepreneurial ecosystem, where we work together with key organizations and individuals across Northeast Indiana and beyond to advance small business formation and growth. Doing so will help create cohesion and community for business builders.” He emphasized, “That will help drive community success in many areas.”

The NIIC is well on its way. It has grown into a more collaborative, inclusive organization, as evidenced by its programs and funding support. The WEOC Women’s Business Center (WBC), now in its seventh year of operation, has received ongoing support from the U.S. SBA. It is one of two SBA women’s business centers located in Indiana. More than 100 exist throughout the United States. In its second year of operation, The Breakthrough Program serves minority small business owners in Allen County, Indiana. It is funded in part by a grant from Foellinger Foundation.

In November 2021, The NIIC received two significant grants to power programs to serve women, minorities, and rural entrepreneurs. The NIIC was selected as one of 51 Community Navigator Pilot Program Hubs and awarded the Resiliency and Recovery Demonstration (R&RD) Grant.

Fritsch succeeds former NIIC Interim President and CEO Ted A. Baker.

For more information about Fritsch, click here or visit https://theniic.org/about/our-people/ .

About The NIIC

499 new products launched, 196 patent applications submitted or granted, and 2,351 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 $100.4 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. Additionally, the International Business Innovation Association (inbia.org) recognized the NIIC as the 2020 Entrepreneur Center of the Year – Mixed-use and awarded it one of the two prestigious industry awards – the 2020 Dinah Adkins Award. TheNIIC.org.

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

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