WEOC Program Accepting Applications for Women Tech Companies

Tammy Allen, Director | Marketing & Programs, The NIIC

For Immediate Release

March 10, 2020, Fort Wayne, Ind.— Registration is open for the Launch Women Business Builders Program, which helps to level the playing field for women-owned businesses. The program does this by providing on-ramps to entrepreneurial tools, mentoring, growth resources, and access to capital. The program serves Indiana women who are starting and growing tech companies. (Click here to register.)

Registration is open through March 13, 2020, for digital or online companies. There are no program fees to participate, thanks to the generous support of NIIC donors and funds raised through The NIIC Ideas@Work Movement.

Launch Women Business Builder Program is offered through the Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center (WEOC) at the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (The NIIC). Program participants can expect to receive one-to-one personal and virtual coaching, peer-to-peer mentoring, shared workspace at The NIIC, access to NIIC Navigator® Learning Management System, access to workshops and training, potential funding to fuel business growth, and access to the NIIC’s extended talent network.

Selected participants for the upcoming cohort five will be announced at the beginning of April 2020. The program lasts for one year and includes three phases. During the first 12 weeks, participants focus on developing and validating a viable business model. “I am thankful this program requires you to keep talking to and surveying potential customers. I started out thinking my customer wanted my solution. After speaking with so many people, I now know they need something else, and I can offer them what they want,” said Audrey Balogun, owner of the elder rideshare company Reityn. She is a part of cohort three of the program.

Companies that successfully complete phase one may have the opportunity to proceed with the program for up to twelve months. “This means they could have the support of WEOC and their cohort community for an entire year to help build their success,” said Leslee Hill, WEOC Director.

In phase two, participants focus on launching their businesses. Phase three of the program centers on selling to customers, growing the businesses, and identifying sources of capital investment. “When other business owners compliment me on my business branding, I explain that it’s really because of what we mapped out in this program. I didn’t have a strategy prior to this program,” said Angie Harrison, Founder and Owner, Bakerson Pie Company. Harrison is a participant of cohort four of Launch Women Business Builders.

Since launching in January 2018, 27 companies have been served through the program. These new tech companies have introduced apps or websites for real estate, ridesharing, interior design, e-tail stores, and memberships for education and wellness programs. Cohort members and graduates comprise the WEOC Launch Women Business Builders Alumni Group. They continue peer-to-peer mentoring and support during their entrepreneurial journeys.

For more information, visit https://niic.net/start/launch-women-business-builder/

About The NIIC

467 new products launched, 189 patent applications submitted or granted, and 2,290 jobs created—that is what entrepreneurs have achieved through The NIIC since its inception two decades ago. The NIIC has also connected Northeast Indiana companies to attract $91 million in grants and capital.

The NIIC is a non-profit, vibrant entrepreneurial community designed to advise entrepreneurs to plan, launch, and grow successful business ventures. The NIIC bolsters innovative companies to move ideas into action. The NIIC is located in a designated U.S. Small Business Administration HUB Zone. In April 2018, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb designated The Northeast Indiana Innovation Park Campus as an Opportunity Zone through the U.S. Treasury. The NIIC is the country’s only ISO9001:2015 registered business incubation and acceleration program. TheNIIC.org. Click here for The NIIC press kit.

About WEOC

2,354 women and immigrants served, trained, and counseled—since WEOC’s formation five years ago. The Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center (WEOC) serves Northeast Indiana women at all stages of their business ventures. WEOC responds to the unique needs of women entrepreneurs through business growth coaching, training, and entrepreneurial education, connectivity and access to capital. WEOC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. As the Host organization, The NIIC also provides supplemental funding and complementary resources. WEOC is an SBA designated Women’s Business Center—one of two in Indiana. For more information, visit www.inweoc.com.


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