Member News

Foellinger Foundation awards Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC) $279,900 in Breakthrough Funds

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Foellinger Foundation recently announced its award to the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC) for $279,900 through the foundation’s Breakthrough Fund.

To celebrate Foellinger Foundation’s 60th Anniversary, in 2018 the Foundation extended a $500,000 grant opportunity challenging nonprofit organizations in Allen County to propose new, innovative projects that help residents lead fulfilling and connected lives.

Known as the Breakthrough Fund, this grant opportunity aligned with the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit that continues to grow in our community by seeking ideas for projects that address a social challenge, and that are feasible, measurable and sustainable.

In July 2019, a panel of judges selected the NIIC to proceed to the Breakthrough Fund’s Realize Phase, with a full funding recommendation of $279,900.

The NIIC’s proposed project will bring to life a process that nurtures underdeveloped talent in historically marginalized communities to fully participate in economic prosperity and social well-being through “grassroots” entrepreneurship. By connecting those in crisis to relevant entrepreneurial resources at every stage, the program will aim to break down socio-economic barriers, end poverty and create new opportunities for prosperity.

“Indiana ranks 47th in the United States in new venture formation. The central problem, in Indiana and the US as a whole, is access and equity in social and economic prosperity by underestimated entrepreneurs and business builders. The NIIC is very excited to partner with local non-profit agencies in lessening the barriers and obstacles for underestimated founders to fully realize their economic and human potential through entrepreneurship. By focusing on creating more connected and fulfilled lives in Allen County, the community’s aspiring and inclusive entrepreneurs will realize the dividends of NIIC’s Breakthrough grant opportunity. We are thankful to the Foellinger Foundation for its investment in this game-changing entrepreneurial approach to shared prosperity,” stated Karl R. LaPan, President and CEO.

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