Event Celebrates NE Indiana Entrepreneurs

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Jentri Cripe, founder of Spread the Sparkle LLC, is winner of this year's Mirro Student Founder Award. Jentri Cripe, founder of Spread the Sparkle LLC, is winner of this year's Mirro Student Founder Award.
FORT WAYNE -

The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center has wrapped up an annual event that aims to "grow the entrepreneurial mindset" in the region. Ideas@Work, which took place Tuesday at the Mirro Center for Research and Innovation at Parkview Health in Fort Wayne, showcases what NIIC Chief Executive Officer Karl LaPan calls "the important work of entrepreneurs and visionaries" in northeast Indiana. The event, which was emceed by Inside INdiana Business Host Gerry Dick and featured a keynote address by Indiana University Jack M. Gill Chair of Entrepreneurship Don "Dr. K" Kuratko, raised more than $130,000 for the organization's Student Venture Lab, the region's Women’s Economic Opportunity Center and additional outreach efforts.

LaPan says the event demonstrates that entrepreneurship is a career option. He says the event and the organization at large wants to "highlight the importance of the role that entrepreneurs play in economic development and community development, celebrate successes along the way and encourage our community to really nurture an entrepreneurial spirit that helps encourage that next generation to dream big."

Ideas@Work also featured the presentation of this years Mirro Student Founder Award to Jentri Cripe, who founded Spread the Sparkle LLC, a fashion startup in North Manchester. Cripe received a $1,250 cash prize. The event attracted more than 500 attendees and 56 sponsors and is in its fourth year. You can connect to more about the NIIC by clicking here.

Northeast Indiana Innovation Center Chief Executive Officer Karl LaPan says the event demonstrates that entrepreneurship is a career option.
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