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We’re invested in YOU.

We invest in the Founder and support them with community, mentors, and money. While we want you to have a great business idea, we are more interested in whether you have the GRIT, GUTS, and HEART to succeed as an entrepreneur. If you are this kind of person, we are excited to welcome you into our community and to provide you with mentoring to help you succeed!

What we’re looking for.

Think Big

We look for founders or early-stage ventures that have growth potential. Since we want to move the needle on regional economic growth, we prefer founders who have a plan for growth.

Think Local

Grants are available for businesses that will make a significant impact on our region’s quality of life. Through initiatives like Vision 2030 and the Road to One Million, we know that our quality of life is important to talent attraction and retention – and that regional businesses can have a significant effect. Businesses must be headquartered in Northeast Indiana (Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, or Whitley county.)

Think Beyond

Our $500 Grant is just the beginning. Entrepreneurs who show significant growth after receiving our initial grant will be eligible for the $2,500 Grant through the Fortitude Fund and will have access to additional capital and financial support facilitated by our Regional Director of Entrepreneurship.

Big & Bold
Thinking.

We look for founders or early-stage ventures that have growth potential. Since we want to move the needle on regional economic growth, we prefer founders who have a plan for growth.

Skin in the
Game.

Those who are actively engaging their customers (or ideally making sales) or building a product or a prototype. We are much less likely to approve a grant for a founder who is waiting for moneybefore they start doing anything.

Community Engagement.

We look for founders who engage with the Fortitude Community. That could be by attending Fortitude events, following and being actively engaged in our social media or online community, and more.

Are You Ready for a Fortitude Fund grant?

We prefer early stage companies with some level of customer engagement that confirms a compelling customer need. Your venture does not need to be fully selling, although that certainly helps, but it should be able to demonstrate that customers have verified a strong need for its product or service.