Cohort #1

Ashli and Pamela

By Cohort #1, Featured Founders, Huntington, Medical, Stories, students No Comments

Ashli Pershing and Pamela Sprowl are registered nurses working with Parkview Health. They work at Parkview’s Wabash and Huntington hospitals respectively. Both had independently recognized a problem faced by mothers who have just given birth, and each was working on a different aspect of the solution.

When they each presented their ideas to Parkview’s annual innovation competition, the judges noticed their projects’ similarities and asked them to collaborate. They did, and after combining their separate inventions into one, they won the competition, placing first among hundreds on entrants!

Their invention is being refined by a team at Parkview Health and prepared to be licensed to a major medical products company. Their invention can help new mothers across the entire globe have a significantly better birthing experience. As inventors, Ashli and Pamela will share in the proceeds while continuing to serve our region as RNs.


Sean Rassavong

By Allen, Arts, Cohort #1, Stories, students No Comments

Sean Rassavong joined the Fortitude Fund community while a 17 year old senior at New Tech Academy high school. But, that doesn’t mean he is inexperienced. He has been working in filmmaking and video for seven years!

Sean’s is creating a production company, Vizion, built around a community of young, high school age creatives.  His own vision is to enable those filmmakers, screenwriters, videographers, graphic designers, copywriters, actors, musicians and others to stretch their creative wings and make money with their art.

Check out WPTA Channel 21’s segment about Sean or follow Sean’s YouTube Channel to see more of his work.

Chauntiel Smith

By Allen, Business Services, Cohort #1, Stories, students No Comments

Chauntiel joins the Fortitude Fund community as a 25 year old graduate of South Side High School and Indiana Tech – and with the vision to be Fort Wayne’s “next Eugene Parker”. Her business, Capture Sports Agency, is just getting started, but she has already worked with four athletes and is certified with the WBNA, FIBA, and WKBL.

Her passion is to play a strong role helping athletes throughout Northeast Indiana and beyond to realize their dreams and their potential. Chauntiel’s caring attitude comes forward in the free workshops and summer camps that CSA provides to young athletes – and through her volunteer activities at City Life Ministries and Youth For Christ. Chauntiel has adopted City Life’s tagline “Live Here, Lead Here” as a mantra for her own life.

As CSA continues to add certifications enabling her to represent athletes with the leagues like the NBA, NFL, and Major League Baseball, we look forward to seeing CSA-represented athletes playing at Parkview Field, the Coliseum, and on our TVs!

Kyle Craig

By Cohort #1, Medical, Steuben, Stories, students No Comments

Kyle Craig comes to the Fortitude Fund community as a 25 year old inventor and founder. He is creating a wearable biokinetic device that is paired with a SAAS product to enable therapists, athletic trainers, and research scientists to more accurately track and analyze body motion. Kyle sees that decisions made based on accurate, real time motion data can improve patient rehabilitation, athlete performance, and research accuracy. As he puts it, “My ultimate goal is to create a wearable sensor network that gathers data for computations yielding information not previously known about biomechanics.”

An Eagle Scout and Mechanical Engineering graduate of Trine University, Kyle is a go-getter. He has created a first generation prototype that proved the key technical concept needed for his invention to be successful. And, he has arranged pilot customers with therapists, researchers, and athletic programs – including the recent NCAA football champs, the University of Alabama. Kyle has surrounded himself with a strong team as his company, Apollo Dynamics, gears up to complete product development and launch their first product.