Ten entrepreneurs have been selected to participate in the newest cohort of Greater Fort Wayne Inc.’s Bridge Program. GFW says the program is designed to give entrepreneurs an extra boost, helping them bridge the gap between startup and success by connecting them with established companies.

“For Bridge Sponsors, this is a way to grow the economy and help smaller companies succeed. For Bridge Entrepreneurs, it’s such a shot of confidence to be able go to their sponsor for advice, a key introduction, or just a few words of encouragement,” said Aaryn Eady, director of investor engagement at GFW Inc.

The 10 pairs for the next cohort are:

  • Creative Circles, a company that produces its own clothing line and provides screen printing and embroidery services for companies locally and nationally. Bridge Sponsor: Fort Wayne Christian Business Roundtable.
  • Downtown Courtesy Shuttle, which provides transportation around downtown Fort Wayne via electric vehicles. Bridge Sponsor: Old National Bank.
  • EdventureKidz, a company that creates educational career exploration kits to be used as part of children’s in-class, after-school, and at-home learning. Bridge Sponsor: Franklin Electric.
  • Ground Down, a company that collects food waste from homes and businesses and converts it into local compost. Bridge Sponsor: ObiCai Restaurant Group.
  • Guardian Machine Protection, a company that provides small to mid-sized manufacturers preventive maintenance service on industrial machinery and equipment. Bridge Sponsor: Premier Bank.
  • Interception CPR, a company that provides CPR and first-aid instruction and certification. Bridge Sponsor: Bulldog Consulting Services.
  • Sew Pinky, a company that makes clothing for girls of all ages, as well as offering free sewing and crocheting classes for girls. Bridge Sponsor: Vera Bradley.
  • Simple Glow Candle Co., a company that produces quality soy candles, sourced and hand-poured in Indiana. Bridge Sponsor: PNC Bank.
  • Sistarz & Sistarz, a nonprofit organization that provides food, hygiene products, and school supplies to children and families in low-income neighborhoods. Bridge Sponsor: Lake City Bank.
  • Wholesome Roots Cooking, a company that teaches basic cooking skills to equip kids with knowledge they need to be independent in the kitchen. Bridge Sponsor: Lutheran Health Network.

Bridge Sponsor companies pay for a startup business’s GFW Inc. membership dues for a five-year period. The startup receives full investor benefits, including exclusive discounts, access to investor-only events, complimentary use of meeting space at the GFW Inc. offices, and more.

About 20 entrepreneurs applied to the program.