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KEDCo Announces Entrepreneurship Initiative To Support Business Builders

Monday, October 21, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Warsaw, IN (October 21, 2019) – Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCo) today announced the formal launch of the organization’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, which positions KEDCo as the lead Entrepreneur Support Organization (ESO) in Kosciusko County and draws on KEDCo’s new mission to convene, build, and show economic growth resources.

Building On A Strong Legacy

“We are building on such a strong legacy of ‘locally owned, locally grown’ companies in our community, which provides a strong network of professionals with whom we can work,” said KEDCo CEO Alan Tio. “Our team is excited about the opportunities ahead to become known for how we actively support local entrepreneurs as we convene, build, and show our community’s economic growth resources.”

KEDCo is implementing the recommendations of an entrepreneurial ecosystem assessment completed in spring 2019, which led to several entrepreneur enhancements. They include the establishment of an Entrepreneur Navigator role (which provides a single point of contact for entrepreneurs), a redesign of the KEDCo Revolving Loan Fund (RLF), and the development of strategic partnerships with organizations such as Fortitude Fund with whom KEDCo is offering a monthly entrepreneur meetup.
 
“Kosciusko County is well located to partner with ESOs throughout the Fort Wayne-South Bend region and is home to agribusiness and medical device industries with significant growth potential,” said KEDCo Entrepreneurship Partner Rhonda Ladig. “The response so far from client companies reaffirms our strategy to put entrepreneurship support at the foundation of KEDCo’s work plan going forward.”
 
Ladig developed the entrepreneurial ecosystem assessment from interviews with business builders and representatives of other ESOs active in Kosciusko County. The report is available HERE.

Already Seeing Success

Some entrepreneurs are already seeing success from working with KEDCo’s support tools. Wesley Gensch, CEO of CoolCorp, Inc., shares, “KEDCo has been influential in not only business and network connections but also in personal and economic growth. Through KEDCo, I’ve gotten support including locating spaces and identifying the resources I need when I need them, for CoolCorp to become more successful. I would encourage any business, no matter the stage, to connect with KEDCo.”
 
To support the launching and growth of more businesses, the redesigned RLF program now features multiple options for startup and early-stage companies to request up to $10,000 in working capital, up to $50,000 for operations, and up to $100,000 for implementing growth strategies.
 
“Businesses have different needs during the growth and startup phases,” states Chris Wiggins, KEDCo Board of Directors Member and Vice President and Commercial Banking Offer at Lake City Bank. “With these initiatives, KEDCo can provide the initial support and guidance that other banks and lending institutions may not be able to provide early in a business’s life cycle. KEDCo can help fill that gap locally and position Kosciusko County as a leader in business growth throughout the region and across the state.”
 
KEDCo’s Entrepreneurship Initiative complements similar initiatives focused on the agribusiness and medical device sectors, as well as emerging areas of focus on community development and talent recruitment. These initiatives build on local ideas, talent, and capital, to bring forward the best of what Kosciusko County has to offer.

Media Contacts:

KEDCo CEO – Alan Tio: 574-265-2601, atio@kosciuskoedc.com

KEDCo Entrepreneur Partner – Rhonda Ladig: 260-609-0090, rladig@kosciuskoedc.com