Women tech business builders are experiencing greater success in launching and growing their businesses through the Launch Women Business Builder Program in Northeast Indiana. Simply ask Melissa Hall, Sample Snap Founder.
When the first cohort of the program completed phase one earlier this year, the milestone was marked with a pitch competition. Sample Snap was named Launch Women Business Builder Pitch Competition Winner. The company was awarded $10,000 to grow her business during program phase two. “I plan to use the money to get the app to the next level, which is minimum viable product (or MVP) and hopefully be positioned to meet with big investors. My goal is to have the app released to the design industry by NeoCon 2019 in June,” said Hall.
“WEOC and NIIC have played a huge part in helping to make my business happen. Leslee Hill has been awesome throughout the program, and Mike Fritsch was so helpful last fall when I joined the Business Builder Program,” said Hall.
Tricia Cavender and Hali Ruisard, co-owners of Rhapsody Art Gallery & Studio, were named runner up and received $2,500 cash award to grow their business. “Through the Business Builder Program, we received really good education on the business plan model and branding. I love that, because I came to The NIIC to learn how to market my company better. I was not really good at it. Now I am more comfortable doing it,” said Cavender.
The program began with three companies and five individuals in the first cohort. The second cohort includes seven companies and seven individuals. Registration is open for the next cohort of up to five companies and ten individuals. “We’re nearing completion of our first year of the program and are excited about the accomplishments of program participants. We intentionally keep the cohorts small to facilitate the community building that naturally evolves from the consistent interactions within the group,” said Hill, Director, Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center (WEOC) at The NIIC.
“This program was created for women with online or digital businesses, from concept to growth stage. Women face unique challenges with their business ventures—effective on-ramps to entrepreneurial tools, mentoring, growth resources and access to capital. This program is one way we help to level the playing field,” said Hill.
Registration remains open through January 7, 2019. The next cohort will be announced early January, and the program will kick off January 22, 2019.
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. In October 2017, the name changed to Women’s Entrepreneurial (instead of Economic) Opportunity Center to more accurately reflect what WEOC does. WEOC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. As the Host organization, The NIIC also provides funding and supplemental and complementary resources for WEOC, an SBA designated Women’s Business Center—one of two in Indiana. For more information, visit www.inweoc.com.
About The NIIC
The NIIC is a non-profit, vibrant entrepreneurial community. We help business builders and entrepreneurs launch and grow successful business ventures. We are located in a designated U.S. Small Business Administration HUB Zone, and in April 2018, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb designated The Northeast Indiana Innovation Park Campus as an Opportunity Zone through the U.S. Treasury. Formed in 1999 by a consortium of community and government leaders and organizations, The NIIC was recognized by Entrepreneur magazine in 2013 as one of the top four under-the-radar incubators in the country. This basically means Entrepreneur magazine, with the help of International Business Incubation Association, picked four U.S. incubators to highlight, and we were one of them. In their words, we “stand out in a state not always perceived as small business friendly.” The NIIC is the country’s only ISO9001:2015 registered business incubation and acceleration program. TheNIIC.org. Click here for The NIIC press kit.