Monthly Archives

November 2019

New App Turns Physical Locations Into Sonic Environments

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New App Turns Physical Locations Into Sonic Environments

| WBOI

October 30, 2019

Fort Wayne musician Kurt Roembke has added another dimension to his technological skill set and his composing capabilities with the development of a free mobile app that turns physical locations into sonic environments to explore.

All that a virtual explorer needs to enjoy Roembke’s new SoundWalk is a smart phone, headset and walking shoes.

It’s called SoundWalk, and in essence, that is what the explorer can expect to enjoy as they make their way around town.

The first site chosen to represent in this manner was the Little Turtle Memorial at Lawton Place, in Fort Wayne.

Earlier this week, WBOI’s Julia Meek got Roembke off of the trail and into the studio to talk about his emerging world of spatial audio and explain how the project evolved as well as how the system works.

Her Long, Winding, Independent Year: Virginia Richardson, Tilde Multimedia Firm

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Her Long, Winding, Independent Year: Virginia Richardson, Tilde Multimedia Firm

| Fort Wayne Ink Spot

October 14, 2019

Of all things to mark Virginia’s Richardson’s one-year anniversary of starting her business, Tilde Multimedia Firm, it’s the SOS Band.  Of all things.

Virginia Richardson was first featured in Issue 22 | Volume 1 of the FWIS.  This is her follow-up.

Last October 2018, Richardson was referred to the R&B group, best known for their songs “Take Your Time,” and “Just Be Good to Me,” for her concert production work by the nationally-known DJ Keylo (aka Who Is Keylo).

As reported in her previous Fort Wayne Ink Spot article, “BET and VH1 Are on Her Resume,” Richardson handled sound design/audio production and special events management for the ubiquitous Viacom Networks.  The group was performing at Purdue Fort Wayne (PFW), and the school’s Special Events department was looking for someone to oversee their audio, video, and lighting management.  PFW became Richardson’s first client.

When SOS performed at the Summer Community Celebration in August, they asked Richardson to run their Facebook Live camera for the show.  Now, she can mark her one-year anniversary, with the memory of where she began and where’s she going; SOS and Tilde Multimedia Firm are in negotiations for Richardson to manage all of their social media.  “The calendar is still in edit mode,” she said.

Since her FWIS appearance, definitely of late, Richardson has been busy, as folks say.  She’s launched a Facebook Live talk show, Real Coffee Convo, where a group of friends discuss current events and highlight business owners…sometimes setting their live shows in the actual business they’re talking about, like a recent show recorded in the Simple Foods Café at 2000 Brooklyn.  Like with a lot of her goals, she wants to take the idea nationwide.

Richardson parlayed her Build Fort Wayne tutorship into an opportunity to manage SEED’s social media’s campaign.  She became a recipient of the Fortitude Fund (formerly the Farnsworth Fund).  She worked with the Madam CJ Walker Legacy Center over the summer, helping to promote some concerts for June’s Black History Music Month.  There’s the Fort Wayne Comedy Club.  She manages social media directives for PQC (Trains, Tech, Works, and Windrose Urban Farm), a project management, IT services, and training company that’s just been named the 2019 National Small Business 8(a) Graduate of the Year.  She has created new digital solutions for businesses such as for Sodexo FWCS. acting as their Social Media Recruiter.  She estimated that she probably makes about 10 to 15 times more than a year ago.  So, progress.

The thing with progress when you work for clients…websites and Facebook pages get updated for them, hardly ever for the contractor.  Priorities shift to and remain on the client.  One of Richardson’s biggest challenges, she said, is bookkeeping and finance.  “Sometimes when you wear all of the hats, you lose yourself.  You can’t do everything.”  Richardson needs a multimedia producer, someone she can throw some work to, like a design or a video person, because not one of her ideas has a tether.  She wants to have a TV network.  And a national newspaper.  Her idea for a publication that focuses on incarcerated citizens, written by them, for them, is en route.  Next year.

Manufacturing Accelerator Launches in Northeast Indiana

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Manufacturing Accelerator Launches in Northeast Indiana

| Inside Indiana Business

October 24, 2019

A manufacturing accelerator has launched in Fort Wayne following a six-month pilot period. The Workbench – Fort Wayne, located at the SEED Enterprise Center in the Allen County city, aims to lower the barrier for people to turn their ideas into real businesses.

The Workbench – Fort Wayne, founded by Jon Rehwaldt, opened this month.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jon Rehwaldt says the idea for the accelerator stemmed from a need for more support for advanced manufacturing, particularly small manufacturing operations, to make the sector more robust in northeast Indiana.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Rehwaldt said The Workbench supports startups wherever they are in the process.

“A lot of people have ideas but they have no idea where to start, even if they’re experienced in manufacturing and worked in manufacturing for their whole lives; the idea of taking that concept they have in their head can be a daunting one, especially when you start to talk about intellectual property and how to do prototyping. Where do you get that done? What does it look like? How much does it cost?” said Rehwaldt. “So we will take anybody at any point during that process and help them figure out where they are and where they need to go next.”

Rehwaldt says the accelerator can provide prototyping, design and production services, which can help startups avoid some of the large costs associated with such services. The program worked with two companies during its pilot phase from April to October, which has led to positive early feedback.

“Because we’ve already seen some traction with the companies we’ve already helped to start the process, I think there’s a lot of enthusiasm around (the accelerator) and the impact could be large. I mean, accelerators are one of the best ways to get new startups going and we really hope that we can have a significant impact in our region, especially with the kind of manufacturing expertise that we already have here.”

Rehwaldt says it is rare to have an accelerator like The Workbench be privately funded, however the program continues to look for new partners to further its growth.

“We want to widen our impact. We really want to focus on northeast Indiana. We have some really, really awesome manufacturing centers in northeast Indiana who are doing amazing and innovative work and so we want to be able to support those industries and bring more people into those industries, so we’re perfectly willing to partner with organizations that share that mission and want to have a big impact in our region.”

The Workbench has set what Rehwaldt calls an ambitious goal of getting 20 companies off the ground during its first year of operation. Additionally, the accelerator looks to help 10 of those companies bring a product to market.

Rehwaldt says The Workbench will also launch an accelerator curriculum, called The Factorium, in 2020 to help more companies get an idea of what kinds of skill sets and resources they need in order to go to production.

You can learn more about The Workbench – Fort Wayne by clicking here.

At ‘All the Rage,’ things get broken

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At ‘All the Rage,’ things get broken: Japanese-born trend arrives in city, giving stress relief safe space

| The Journal Gazette

October 24, 2019

Most people do not wake up wishing to have a bad day – at least I don’t think they do.

But on a recent Friday, I rolled out of bed with the hope that something would go wrong. I wanted something that would upset me, make me mad. Maybe even enrage me.

Co-owners of All the Rage Brianna Dailey (left) and Abby Greutman (right) together in one of the rage rooms at All the Rage at the corner of State and Spy Run

On this particular Friday, I had 15 minutes blocked off to experience what could be the next craze in the city – a rage room.

All the Rage opened this summer at 2307 Spy Run Ave., at the corner of West State Boulevard and Spy Run Avenue. Owned by Brianna Dailey and Abby Greutman, the business was inspired by the big city trend and the goal of promoting mental health while being a part of the growing entertainment scene in Fort Wayne.

Growing industry

Rage rooms began a decade or so ago in Japan, with the idea slowly spreading west – to Europe and eventually the United States.

In a rage room, participants can release their emotions by breaking, smashing and otherwise destroying items in a safe environment.

At All the Rage, participants get the opportunity to break items by throwing them against the wall or floor in a safe room that’s constructed with plywood. Items can range from dishes, televisions, keyboards and bottles. Tools of destruction include crow bars and baseball bats.

Clients can also bring their own possessions to destroy, although the team at All the Rage is cautious to make sure that the items chosen are for good fun rather than vengeance.

Going in room

A pair of Bluetooth headphones hung around my neck with black buds in my ears. It was the final piece of gear that you put on before entering a room at All the Rage. With a focus on safety, clients are instructed to wear closed-toe shoes and are also given a white jumpsuit, gloves and helmet with goggles.

I hit shuffle on my iPhone and entered the plywood room, ready to work out any frustration.

“Here is the dome, back with the bass / The jam is live in effect and I don’t waste time / On the mic with a dope rhyme / Jump to the rhythm, jump jump to the rhythm, jump.”

While Greutman says a session in the rage room can be a good workout, I didn’t think that C&C Music Factory was the best music to throw dishes and wine bottles against the wall.

I made a quick change to the playlist and with Mötley Crüe’s “Kickstart My Heart” playing, I shut the door of the room. I picked up a wine bottle from the half-dozen sitting on the floor, stepped back and pitched it at the plywood wall.

But as it bounced back and nearly skidded across the floor, I was the one who felt thrown.

Bring your own

Along with the smaller items in the room, old televisions or computer monitors can be added.

Donations are accepted, while other items are purchased secondhand, Greutman says. The business is also partnered with Bisque It Pottery, which donates items that are cracked or have been left behind.

Still others – like a slightly sinister clown statue – were left in the space, which had been an antiques shop.

Gretuman says the goal for the business is avoid buying things used in order to reduce waste as much as possible, with glass being recycled after clients are finished in the rage room.

All the Rage offers a variety of experiences for clients, from BYOB (Bring Your Own Box) to Let’s Rage, which is a 40-minute experience for two people.

The time and number of items varies anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes and 12 items to 25. Clients can also choose additional items for extra cost.

Ditch ‘adulting’

Everyone who enters the door of a rage room must be 18 years old but Greutman says many clients are in their 30s and 40s, while some have been in their 60s.

The appeal is that it’s a chance to take a step back from “adulting.”

“As adults, we have to be responsible all the time. … (At All the Rage), you take the responsibility and throw it out that window.”

Or, in my case, you throw it at a plywood wall … again and again and again. Then, after shirking into a corner for the fifth time, I caught sight of the crowbar.

Almost gingerly, I placed the stubborn wine bottle at a slight distance from my feet, grasped the crowbar with both hands and lifted it over my head.

And then I swung. In a second, a bottle that had seemed unbreakable turned into shards on the floor. I took a second, placed it on the floor as well, and swung. The sound of breaking glass was almost beautiful, complementing the old school rock ‘n’ roll playlist that streamed in my ears.

Empowered, I took the keyboard and placed it on the barrel. I switched out the crowbar for the baseball bat and began to swing.

In three minutes, all of my “Office Space” dreams came true.

Stress relief

Greutman laughed when I handed her my helmet and wanted to talk about TPS reports and red staplers. Apparently, I was not the first person to relate the movie “Office Space” to the experience.

But one of the challenging things to hear is criticism about the business, Greutman says.

People have alleged that the business incites anger rather relieves it or that it is an anger treatment center.

“We’re trying to help people reduce stress and be a good place for the community,” she says, adding that they want to be advocates for mental health.

The owners hope to grow the business, adding additional rooms (there are currently three) and a seating area.

“We would like to be an asset to the community and provide a safe space for people to be.”