Entrepreneurship organization Start Fort Wayne marked the first anniversary of its coworking space by announcing nearly $100,000 in funding from multiple organizations. The Atrium has attracted more than 140 members since launching in October 2016.
Greater Fort Wayne Inc. and Elevate Northeast Indiana are each committing $35,000 to Start Fort Wayne. The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and Fort Wayne Metals both announced $10,000 commitments. Earlier this week, Fort Wayne Metals announced a $50 million investment into its Allen County operations, resulting in more than 330 new jobs by 2021.
Start Fort Wayne Executive Director Rhonda Ladig calls the support from the organizations "a stepping stone to collaboratively strengthen the entrepreneur infrastructure and startup community in our region."
The organization has also launched a new annual award named for local entrepreneur coach Steve Franks. Start Fort Wayne says the Steve Franks Award for Entrepreneurial Effectiveness will recognize an individual "who is doing extraordinary things to support entrepreneurs in our region." The inaugural award went to Franks himself.