Startup South Bend-Elkhart providing Michiana entrepreneurs free business help

NOW: Startup South Bend-Elkhart providing Michiana entrepreneurs free business help

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Startup South Bend-Elkhart is providing free business help for local entrepreneurs.

The nonprofit, formed by the Regional Development Authority, is a part of a regional partnership of 47 smart connected communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan.

Catlin Bulger, Startup Ecosystem and Communications Manager for Startup South Bend-Elkhart, says the nonprofit has worked with 50 different entrepreneurs over the last year, at varying stages of their businesses’ development.

“We’re here to create a robust and thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem for our region which includes 47 counties including going into southwest Michigan and down into Marshall County,” Bulger said.

The entrepreneurship pipeline offers different programming for community members with a business idea.

Mentor brainstorm sessions are held every Wednesday from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. and serve as an opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas and work through problems with the Startup South Bend-Elkhart team before joining business incubators.

The nonprofit also connects entrepreneurs with investors through warm introductions as opposed to cold calling.

Bulger says she is excited to see what’s next for the organization and hopes to prove valuable to the local community.

“Going into entrepreneurship and starting a business is going to keep industry as well as entrepreneurs in our area and [they will] realize this is a thriving place. The economic impact is going to be more jobs, more federal dollars, as well as community dollars coming back into our region so we can create a robust system as well as an ecosystem for our county,” Bulger said.

Bulger encourages community members with a business idea to connect with Startup South Bend-Elkhart online on their website.

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