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South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Celebrates Hustle SBE Cohort 3 Graduates

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (May 20, 2021) — Yesterday, the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership concluded its third HustleSBE cohort, a business bootcamp aimed toward providing support and assistance to minority and women entrepreneurs across the five-county region.

This 12-session program is dedicated to bringing resources on topics including capital, certifications, financial management, and human resources to minority and women-owned businesses.

Participants gathered for interactive learning and one-on-one coaching with their business coach and HustleSBE facilitator and heard from guest speakers from across the region that provided their expert knowledge and willingness to foster connections. HustleSBE focuses on creating resiliency and strengthening business strategies for both during a crisis like COVD-19 and beyond.

“Being an entrepreneur can be lonely and difficult, says Cohort Three Graduate and CEO of Write Connections Jess Koscher, “While we are dreamers and risk-takers, we are also working every spare minute in our business. HustleSBE granted us the opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs and build a community, so we are not alone. Our facilitator, Celena and her portfolio of guests shared tools to allow us to grow and dream bigger while keeping our feet on the ground and rooted. We learned to figure out how to carve out time to work on our business and not just in our business.”

This cohort was comprised of 56% African American or Black business owners, 22% Asian American and 32% Multiracial, Hispanic or Latino, or Caucasian or White business owners, with 60% female and 40% male. Fifty percent have established businesses in South Bend, 22% in Elkhart, and the remaining 18% consists of businesses in Niles, Mishawaka, and Goshen. Collectively, the graduates are on track to see a 65% increase revenues over 2020, equipped with the tools and network HustleSBE provided. Cohort 3 included businesses from farming, health and wellness, retail, food industry and marketing services.

“Every new cohort continues to bring a unique perspective and unique business challenges,” says South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Chief Strategy Officer, Bethany Hartley. “HustleSBE is a program that is adaptable and continues to serve a need for business owners in the South Bend – Elkhart region. We are very proud of the work these participants put in, and excited to see what the future holds for them!”

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership championed the creation of the HustleSBE program and is excited to announce the next cohort will be based in Elkhart. Applications for Cohort Four will open June 28th and programming will be done in partnership with the Business Diversity Initiative at the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce. The DEI Committee was formed to increase opportunities for women and minorities throughout the region, aligned with the Regional Economic Development Strategy Plan created in 2017.

About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan. The Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: Educating a world-class WORKFORCE, Recruiting and retaining great TALENT, Attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing INDUSTRIES, Promoting INCLUSION and sparking opportunities for minorities and Helping ENTREPRENEURS thrive. The Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region to work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit SouthBendElkhart.org.

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Media Contact
Bethany Hartley
Chief Strategy Officer
South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
bhartley@southbendelkhart.org

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Startup Receives Funding to Expand Online Education Platform

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (May 12, 2021)STUDIA.app, a startup focused on helping students study science, today announced a $20,000 investment from Elevate Ventures’ Community Ideation Fund.

STUDIA.app offers a website that helps high school and college students study for science classes through multilingual examples and step-by-step solutions. The South Bend-based company uses diverse illustrations and terminology to enable students of various backgrounds to understand the explanations.

“The STUDIA.app team has a passion for education, as well as complementary skill sets that allow them to be effective and creative,” said Nicholas Kuhn, Elevate Ventures’ entrepreneur-in-residence serving Startup South Bend-Elkhart, a partnership that supports entrepreneurs in north-central Indiana. “STUDIA.app’s educational technology platform is a major benefit to science [and soon all STEM] students and I look forward to seeing their growth.”

STUDIA.app was founded in 2020 by Sebastián Murgueitio Ramírez, Ph.D., CEO; Leonardo Uribe Castaño, vice president; and Stacy Sivinski, Ph.D., communications specialist and illustrator. The company launched a pilot program with 250 students and now offers a paid subscription service. Teachers and educators can sign up for free. Currently, 70 teachers across the United States use STUDIA.app.

The company will use the funding from Elevate to expand advertising, add more functions and examples to the website, and translate all of its content into Spanish.

“For our team at STUDIA.app, receiving funding means continuing to expand our company in a way that helps students become more confident and engaged,” said Sivinski. “We know that many students, especially those coming from underprivileged backgrounds, struggle when it comes to mastering these difficult topics, and any funding that we receive is a step toward making the learning process easier for them.”

STUDIA.app is a 2020 winner of the McCloskey New Venture Competition from the IDEA Center at the University of Notre Dame, where it received the College of Science Award. The company will pitch for a seed award in the Elevate Nexus Regional Pitch Competition on May 18, 2021.

Elevate’s Community Ideation Fund is made possible through its partnership with Startup South Bend-Elkhart. The Community Ideation Fund is available through the state’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, which is overseen by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and promotes economic growth and innovation-driven public-private partnerships in Indiana.

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About Startup South Bend – Elkhart
The mission of Startup South Bend – Elkhart, a non-profit initiative of the South Bend Elkhart Regional Partnership is to promote and foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the South Bend – Elkhart region. Startup South Bend – Elkhart works to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit and culture in the regional community, identify and nurture new business startups, and support the growth of existing high potential businesses. For more information about Startup South Bend – Elkhart, visit startupsouthbendelkhart.com.

About Elevate Ventures
Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-growth businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, visit elevateventures.com.

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GittaSitta Receives $25,000 Startup South Bend – Elkhart/Elevate Ventures Grand Prize During University of Notre Dame’s McCloskey New Venture Competition

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (May 12, 2021) — Last month, GittaSitta, a local technology startup committed to streamlining the babysitter hiring process was awarded the Startup South Bend – Elkhart/Elevate Ventures Grand Prize during the 2021 McCloskey New Venture Competition. Founded by three entrepreneurs who share a love for the South Bend – Elkhart region, GittaSitta received a $25,000 cash award provided by Startup South Bend – Elkhart in partnership with Elevate Ventures, a venture development organization that provides funding and entrepreneurial development to high-potential businesses in Indiana.

“The GittaSitta team is honored to receive the Startup South Bend – Elkhart Best Community Venture award,” said GittaSitta Founder, Mandy Kinnucan. “These funds will support the launch of the GittaSitta app and will make it possible to add new features that we know parents will love. After a long pandemic year, sitters are going to be in high demand. We’re excited to make it easier for parents to book a babysitter and enjoy some kid-free time, hopefully supporting local restaurants and the other amazing places in our community.”

GittaSitta is an easy-to-use “set it and forget it” app that gives parents the freedom to check one more thing off their to-do list. With everyone getting vaccinated and people feeling more comfortable leaving their homes, parents will want to get out of the house and spend time without their kids. GittaSitta will help these busy parents organize and streamline the process of hiring a babysitter using the parents’ own trusted network of babysitters.

On April 30th, 16 area teams were awarded more than $250,000 in cash and in-kind prizes during a livestream ceremony of the 21st McCloskey New Venture Competition. Since the competition began in 2001 with 70 teams and $30,000 in awards, 2,286 teams with 7,000 participants have been awarded more than $1.65 million in prizes, and 2,900 judges and mentors have contributed.

For more information about the McCloskey New Venture Competition and to view the program with a full breakdown of the awardees and their descriptions, click here.

About Startup South Bend – Elkhart
The mission of Startup South Bend – Elkhart, a non-profit initiative of the South Bend Elkhart Regional Partnership is to promote and foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the South Bend – Elkhart region. Startup South Bend – Elkhart works to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit and culture in the regional community, identify and nurture new business startups, and support the growth of existing high potential businesses. For more information about Startup South Bend – Elkhart, visit startupsouthbendelkhart.com.

About Elevate Ventures
Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-growth businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, visit elevateventures.com.

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Media Contacts
Regina Emberton (Startup South Bend – Elkhart) – remberton@southbendelkhart.org
Erica Schweyer (Elevate Ventures) – eschweyer@elevateventures.com
Mandy Kinnucan (GittaSitta) – mandy.kinnucan@gmail.com

The post GittaSitta Receives $25,000 Startup South Bend – Elkhart/Elevate Ventures Grand Prize During University of Notre Dame’s McCloskey New Venture Competition appeared first on South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership.

Regional Leaders Elected to South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Board of Directors

SOUTH BEND – ELKHART REGION, Ind. (Mar. 29, 2021) – The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership (Regional Partnership) recently appointed the following individuals as members of its Board of Directors.

  • Shannon Cullinan, Executive Vice President, University of Notre Dame
  • Jon Hunsberger, Executive Director, Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Phil Smoker, Vice President of Sales, Smoker Craft Inc.
  • Laura Walls, President and CEO, Marshall County Economic Development Corporation

“We are fortunate to welcome such extraordinary community and industry leaders to the governing board of the Regional Partnership,” said Regional Partnership Board Chair and Community Foundation of Elkhart County President, Dr. Pete McCown. “Their knowledge, diverse backgrounds, and passion for community and economic development will have an immediate positive impact on our efforts to advance our regional economy.”

The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership catalyzes economic growth across the South Bend – Elkhart region by improving wages and livability to attract and grow the best industries and workers. This is the shared vision of the Regional Partnership’s Board of Directors, who provide strategic leadership to the organization.

The slate of Board members currently serving on the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership’s Board of Directors is listed below:

  • Dave Behr, Indiana Economic Development Corporation
  • Shannon Cullinan, University of Notre Dame
  • Michael Daigle, South Bend International Airport
  • Larry Garatoni, Garatoni Family Office
  • Jon Hunsberger, Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Levon Johnson, Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce
  • Jim Keenan, Judd Leighton Foundation
  • Shelley Klug, Indiana Michigan Power
  • Andy Kostielney, St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners
  • Chuck Lehman, Lehman & Lehman, Inc.
  • Pete McCown, Community Foundation of Elkhart County
  • Rose Meissner, Community Foundation of St. Joseph County
  • Gary Neidig, ITAMCO
  • Kevin Overmyer, Marshall County Board of Commissioners
  • Jeff Rea, South Bend Regional Chamber
  • Jim Seitz, 1st Source Bank
  • Phil Smoker, Smoker Craft Inc.
  • Amish Shah, Kem Krest
  • Chris Stager, Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County
  • Rebecca Stoltzfus, Goshen College
  • James Turnwald, Michiana Area Council of Governments
  • Laura Walls, Marshall County Economic Development Corp.
  • Suzanne Weirick, Elkhart County Board of Commissioners

For more information on the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership’s Board of Directors, click here.

About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. The Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: Educating a world-class WORKFORCE, Recruiting and retaining great TALENT, Attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing INDUSTRIES, Promoting INCLUSION and sparking opportunities for minorities and Helping ENTREPRENEURS thrive. The Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region to work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit SouthBendElkhart.org.

Media Contact
Regina Emberton
South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
remberton@southbendelkhart.org
574.344.4686

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Regional Entrepreneurship Support Organizations Convene to Strengthen the Ecosystem

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Nov. 19, 2020) — As a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), 14 South Bend – Elkhart regionally-based entrepreneurship support organizations (ESOs) met virtually to share information and latest activities with one another to foster a more transparent and effective network of support for local entrepreneurs. Each organization shared their valuable service offerings, including access to capital, individualized coaching, and mentorship.

Between the 14 organizations represented, hundreds of aspiring and established business owners have been served, primarily in Elkhart, Marshall, and St. Joseph County in 2020. Despite the challenges COVID19 has presented business owners in the region, organizations like the ones listed below have worked tirelessly to bring funding and resources to small businesses and tech companies alike, with the goal of advancing new company formation, keeping doors open, maintaining staff, and curbing the economic strain many are feeling.

GEW helps celebrate, understand, support and connect entrepreneurs and those who champion them from all across the world with 180 countries participating, 20,000 partners, and 40,000 activities taking place between November 16-22, 2020. This is the first year the South Bend – Elkhart region has participated in GEW, and it’s the only region from the State of Indiana to take part.

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About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. The Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: Educating a world-class WORKFORCE, Recruiting and retaining great TALENT, Attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing INDUSTRIES, Promoting INCLUSION and sparking opportunities for minorities and Helping ENTREPRENEURS thrive. The Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region to work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit SouthBendElkhart.org.

Media Contact
Bethany Hartley
South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
bhartley@southbendelkhart.org
574.344.4686 x4804

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