WEOC Program Announces Cohort 5 for Women in Tech Program

Tammy Allen, Director | Marketing & Programs, The NIIC

For Immediate Release

June 1, 2020, Fort Wayne, Ind.— Four new Indiana businesses have begun Launch Women Business Builder Program Cohort 5. The intensive, year-long program is for female founders seeking to launch, grow, and accelerate their online businesses and tech ventures. The program is available through the Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center (WEOC) in Fort Wayne.

Launch Women Business Builders Cohort 5 includes a mix of startups and established businesses.

Kandy Kurves Boutique is an e-tail store and offers plus-size women’s clothing. “I am participating in this program to find the proper resources to help my business grow revenue. I started my business in 2018 and stopped it several times due to the lack of income. So, it’s important to me to learn how about revenue growth, to find mentors and identify grants for my small business,” said Shaneshia Rogan, Founder and CEO.

On Track SRM is a technology company created to help schools and parents keep young learners with special needs on track with their emotions and studies. “I’m not afraid to take risks and work really hard, but I lack experience for staring my own business. Through this program, I hope to gain knowledge and confidence by learning from experienced entrepreneurs,” said Kathryn Austin, Founder. “I’m very passionate about helping students like my daughter gain confidence and learn the skills it takes to be successful.”

Project Andrew is a new business founded by Meghan Britton Gross. It will offer support to secondary grievers, such as siblings, who have suffered the death of a sibling. Often, they are overlooked and may receive less help than their parents. The company has already pivoted since starting the Launch Women Business Builder Program. “I am a mother who works full-time for my entrepreneur parents. This program allows me to have dedicated time to work my business, gain third-party advice, and to prove my business concept,” said Gross.

The Greater Good of Northeast Indiana offers professional networking, event planning, and marketing support to non-profit organizations. Jennifer Norris-Hale is the Founder and CEO.

“Each cohort develops its own language. Cohort members finish each other’s sentences and come to understand each business and each owner. In that tightknit community, dreams are shared, achieved, and celebrated. Failures are felt deep and become learning opportunities. Owners set goals and are held accountable with tough love and understanding only a fellow business owner can give,” said Leslee Hill, WEOC Director.

“This cohort has been through so much with the COVID-19 pandemic. Working from home with children is every bit as demanding as any full-time position. These entrepreneurs are stretching themselves and each other to find excitement and new life in their new businesses,” said Hill.

So far, Launch Women Builder Program has served 30 companies since it began in January 2018. They comprise an alumni group that meets regularly for continued peer-to-peer mentoring and support. These tech-focused companies have developed apps or websites for real estate, ridesharing, the interior design industry, education, wellness, online shopping, an art studio, and membership-based programs and products.

Participating business builders receive one-to-one personal and virtual coaching, peer-to-peer mentoring, shared workspace at The NIIC, training through NIIC Navigator® Learning Management System, potential funding to fuel business growth, and access to the NIIC’s extended talent network. There is no charge to be accepted into the program thanks to the donations of generous partners and funds raised through The NIIC Ideas@Work Movement.

For more information, visit https://theniic.org/start/launch-women-business-builder/

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.


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