window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-137271436-1'); Skip to Content

KEDCO Talent & Entrepreneurship Stories – Seeking ways to support local entrepreneurs at every stage of business

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Stories of entrepreneurship and innovation are alive and well here in Kosciusko County. With deep roots in agriculture and orthopedics, and a thriving recreation sector, it’s a community with a rich history of business building, with even more opportunities ahead. And the Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) is seizing an opportunity from the state to work with community partners to better support local entrepreneurs.

Accelerating entrepreneurship across the state

In late 2023, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced a pilot fund called the Community Collaboration Fund (CCF), and KEDCO was chosen as a grant recipient to implement a Kosciusko-based “Entrepreneurship Navigator.” Nick Ladig of Digs Advising joined the KEDCO team in December to help assess and advance the organizational support for business founders in the area, while working with community and business leaders to create a strategy to better equip and strengthen the local entrepreneurial community.

“The purpose of the program is to better support and grow our local entrepreneurial community,” said Ladig. “In the past month and a half, I’ve been listening and learning. I’ve met with leaders from the public and private sectors to better understand where our entrepreneurial ecosystem stands today, and how we can work together to build a more impactful startup community for our future.”

“We’re seeking ways to better collaborate and take part in the strong regional ecosystem, while identifying resources unique to our local market to best support startups and growing businesses here in K-County. The goal is to put a plan in place for supporting and fulfilling those needs,” said Ladig.

Ladig is a northeast Indiana native, and has a background in entrepreneurship, hospitality and sales. In 2017, Ladig founded HT2, a remote tasting room focused on Hotel Tango spirits, formerly located in Fort Wayne. In 2020, HT2 underwent a successful acquisition by Hotel Tango Distillery (HTD). Most recently, Ladig served as chief commercial officer at HTD and helped scale the company to become a “Top 100 American Whiskey” brand before departing to launch Digs Advising, which is focused on helping foster entrepreneurship throughout northeast Indiana.

What’s the end-goal?

The goal of CCF is to accelerate entrepreneurial activity and resources throughout the State of Indiana. The initial investment is supporting projects focused on entrepreneurial education, connection, and acceleration in 16 communities throughout Indiana.

“We’re looking for ways to better support small businesses and create more startup activity, identifying current gaps that exist with supporting entrepreneurs, building partnerships and aligning entrepreneurial support organizations, and providing more connection, mentorship, and growth for local small businesses,” said Ladig.

Ladig will continue conversations with community leaders and local entrepreneurs across industries to discover more about needs and challenges.

Entrepreneurship is a growth engine for communities

A tidal wave of momentum and energy came to the community recently following the announcement from Plug and Play planning to open a new medtech office in Warsaw. Historically, startup activity has been more concentrated in large cities and often seen to be a “Silicon Valley thing”, but it doesn’t have to be that way. And the announcement from Plug and Play is proving that point.   

 “Plug and Play, a Sunnyvale, California based leading global start-up accelerator, choosing to make Warsaw (long known as the Orthopedic Capital of the World®) a hubsite for Orthopedics/Medtech, speaks volumes about the incredible potential ahead for the local entrepreneurial community,” said OrthoWorx CEO Bob Vitoux. “With their proven track record of engaging corporate sponsors, connecting with the venture capital community, garnering support from higher education, and equipping entrepreneurs, the transition already underway to transform traditional orthopedics into the medtech arena should be supercharged and lead to all kinds of opportunities ahead for those looking to start businesses and helping to grow our community.”

Offerings from Plug and Play will strengthen and complement existing resources for local entrepreneurs and should help shed light on potential gaps and needs in other areas of the community.

 “We want to support startup activity and growth across various industries, and that means connecting businesses of all sizes to resources and connections to help them succeed,” said Ladig. “I’m encouraged and excited for more conversations with local leaders and founders in the coming months. I look forward to figuring out together, how we can connect the dots to make the greatest impact.”

Want to start or grow your business in Kosciusko County? KEDCO is here to help. Contact KEDCO at or 574-306-4119. Stay up with events and happenings by connecting with KEDCO via Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram @kosciuskoedc.