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Bolstering Northeast Indiana’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Sep 8, 2023
Mike Fritsch, President/CEO, NIIC
ProSpeak

In the world of entrepreneurship, collaboration is often hailed as the pinnacle. Yet, one overarching hurdle hinders progress on a broader scale — organizational ego. Instead of fostering a flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem, the result might be an “entrepreneurial egosystem.”

The last few years ushered in a sea of change, including new leadership and ideas in northeast Indiana. Consider our region’s nonprofit and economic development landscape. For NIIC, the new vision is Entrepreneurship for ALL. This is a reset (first and foremost) for NIIC and also for our community. But to collectively make progress, we as organizations need to ask the question, “How can we help you?” just as much as we ask, “How can we grow as an organization ourselves?”

Here are six strategies we’re employing to bolster our region’s entrepreneurial community.

  1. Start with relationships. Build relationships by engaging in more one-on-one conversations. Connect on a personal level. This fosters trust. These opportunities build connections to lay the foundation for collaborative efforts and collective success.
  2. Cultivate a collaborative mindset. Ask “How can we help you?” and find out what other organizations need. Emphasize shared learning and mutual support within the ecosystem.
  3. Amplify success. Celebrate others’ achievements and recognize that collaboration amplifies success.
  4. Foster a culture of humility. Humility extinguishes ego. Encourage stakeholders to appreciate the expertise and achievements of others. Embrace it among stakeholders and learn from one another.
  5. Promote collaboration platforms. Streamline the ease of working with others. Use platforms that facilitate collaboration for projects and resources. 
  6. Lead by example. Actively promote collaboration to encourage others to follow suit.

Nothing happens until you start. Let’s create a ripple effect in our community. Doing so will strengthen collaboration to more than lip service and foster sustainable economic development for northeast Indiana. 


Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC)

Phone: (260) 407-6442

Email: mfritsch@niic.net

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