A business incubator serving northeast Indiana has rebranded and is refocusing its mission to help not only budding entrepreneurs, but all types of business ventures. Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, more commonly known as The NIIC, is now operating as Northeast Indiana Innovation Collective. While the name change may seem minor, organizational leaders says it reflects a broader, collaborative plan.
“We believe all aspiring entrepreneurs deserve the chance to pursue economic prosperity through entrepreneurship. With a new attitude, vision, and brand, NIIC is activating Entrepreneurship for ALL,” said NIIC President and CEO Mike Fritsch.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Fritsch explained the driving force behind the changes.
“The name change really came about as a result of looking at our vision for the future and what we wanted to do with The NIIC,” said Fritsch. “And what we needed to do and what the community was telling us we needed to do was really be more collaborative and community oriented.”
Fritsch, who was named CEO in December 2021, says while NIIC partnered with various organizations, it was not at a community level and providing opportunities for businesses, regardless of size and scope, to grow.
“The northeast Indiana community has a lot of support organizations and planning agencies, and we weren’t working together very well, in some cases, not at all. And in some cases, you’re almost viewed as competitors. And, as an entrepreneur, you want to help get help from everybody,” explained Fritsch.
The plan includes three big initiatives.
- Entrepreneurship for ALL – NIIC has created entrepreneurial support processes tailored for each community to build trust and get potential business builders to engage, start and be successful.
- Collaboration Mindset and Toolset – with a new mindset of collaboration, the NIIC will be launching a collaborative framework to allow support organizations that are members of the collective to work together to support entrepreneurship across Northeast Indiana.
- Better Support for All Types of Ventures – In conjunction with our partners, NIIC is increasing support for all types of ventures including lifestyle, small business, scalable, larger corporations, and social entrepreneurs.
Fritsch says as a collective of entrepreneurial stakeholders, and by leveraging strengths, entrepreneurial successes will increase.
“What if we worked closely with key partners within other communities to provide opportunities for ALL entrepreneurs to experience prosperity through entrepreneurship?” wondered Fritsch.