What does it mean to be a Certified Tech Park for entrepreneurs?
Lauren Caggiano, Input Fort Wayne
” ‘Entrepreneurial ecosystem’ is a catchphrase that has caught fire in recent years and for good reason. Local economies are strengthened if and when individuals and companies embrace a symbiotic relationship to innovation and growth.
The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC) is working to do just that on the northeast side of Fort Wayne.
It’s a nonprofit Certified Tech Park (CTP), among 23 other CTPs in the state. Its goal is to help business builders and entrepreneurs launch and grow successful business ventures. Last month, it announced that the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has completed its re-certification review and extended its Certified Tech Park status through December 31, 2021.
So what does this mean for the Fort Wayne community? If you ask The NIIC’s President & CEO Karl LaPan, it’s synonymous with a seal of approval.
“Recertification raises the bar on entrepreneurial excellence,” he says. “It helps ensure the services provided are appropriate, high quality, and deliver results. Typically, most other entrepreneurial support organizations do not have external quality measures of their programs and services and their effectiveness.”
The NIIC’s efficacy matters in the context of workforce development, in particular. As northeast Indiana attracts more tech companies, attraction begets attraction.
“Knowledge-intensive and innovative companies want to be located with like-minded companies, have access to amenities, and be near the potential talent pipeline and assets,” LaPan says, adding that both Purdue University Fort Wayne and Ivy Tech North are adjacent to the NIIC’s location.”