The Whitley County Economic Development Corp. says the second group of businesses in its Growth Ventures accelerator program will begin in less than a month. The initiative involves 12 weeks of mentoring and access to funding opportunities. December 15, 2014

News Release

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. – The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation announced today the EDC's Small Business and Entrepreneurship Initiative (SBEI) is preparing for the second cohort of the Growth Ventures business accelerator program, which will begin January 12, 2015.

The SBEI Growth Ventures business accelerator program launched in spring 2014 with its initial cohort of four business owners.

Participants receive 12 weeks of coaching and mentoring, and access to funding opportunities. The program is based on the Lean Startup model and is designed for both startup and existing businesses with high growth potential, which can include opening a new business site or expanding a product line.

“We are focusing on agribusiness, specialty foods, medical technology and women owned ventures for the winter 2015 cohort,” said Steve Franks, SBEI program coach and SBEI Growth Ventures program manager, “However, we encourage anyone with an interest in starting or expanding a business in Whitley County to contact us about this and other SBEI programming.”

Applicants are not required to complete other SBEI programming before participating in the SBEI Growth Ventures business accelerator.

However, business owners must be a resident of Whitley County or willing to locate their business venture to Whitley County. The winter 2015 cohort will again be limited to four participating businesses.

“The business accelerator program is an important component of our efforts to encourage clients to plan, build, and equip businesses in Whitley County,” said EDC president Alan Tio, “We look forward to working with small business owners and entrepreneurs to support

the launch of new business ventures in 2015!”

The EDC will accept applications through December 19, 2014. To receive an application, or for more information contact Steve Franks at or 260-244-5506.

About Whitley County EDC

The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is the lead economic development agency in Whitley County, Indiana. The EDC works closely with local, regional, and state partners to support our industry clients' growth and success. Our mission is to lead a comprehensive economic development program that retains and expands employment opportunities for local residents and attracts business investment to Whitley County. The Whitley County EDC was established in 1992 and represents Whitley County, Columbia City, and the Towns of Churubusco, Larwill, and South Whitley. For more information about the EDC, visit:

Source: The Whitley County Economic Development Corp.

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