The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 4:29 pm

Verbatim: Virtual resource center launched

The Journal Gazette

The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center issued this news release today:

March 31, 2020, Fort Wayne, Ind. -- Recently, the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (The NIIC) launched a new virtual resource center ( It provides access to virtual business building tools and enhanced services to support Indiana’s entrepreneurial community while all combat the spread of COVID-19. Through a partnership with The Academy by Breakthrough4Business, the new NIIC Navigator® Academy portal offers a suite of virtual services for small businesses. This expanded offering of The NIIC provides additional ways to keep learning, linking, and collaborating as early-stage companies pivot, evolve their business models, and restart their businesses.

“Our partnership with Breakthrough4Business reflects our shared vision to level the entrepreneurial playing field and gives access to proven resources and encouragement to business builders. We recognize and celebrate the role small businesses play in restarting and growing our economy—locally and nationally,” said Karl R. LaPan, NIIC President and CEO.

The New NIIC Navigator® Academy builds on the online learning management system available through The NIIC. For the next 12 months, The NIIC is waiving sign-up and membership fees its advance level (valued at $97 per month per person) to any company, organization or micro-entrepreneur in Indiana to support their efforts to reset and reimagine their business and to assist them in activating their business. “The NIIC is a fortunate recipient of a technical assistance grant from U.S. SBA’s Prime Program. One area of focus is to launch and grow accessible resources to support microenterprises directly through The NIIC OPENS Program,” said LaPan.

To join this online community and have the opportunity to connect to a broader network of business builders and scaling organizations globally, visit “As part of our commitment to preparing vulnerable early-stage companies for the new normal, we are pleased to bring important business-building support services—forums, online tools, curated videos, webinars, and a resource library to interested and motivated business builders, existing companies or non-profit organizations in Indiana,” said LaPan.

Steven Dixon, Founder of The Academy by Breakthrough4Business, stated, “In these unprecedented times, the need for action, connections and learning has never been greater. To ease the disruption, confusion, isolation, and loss of momentum that some business builders and entrepreneurs have experienced, we are collaborating with leading entrepreneurial centers to offer a highly dynamic and connected platform to support the global entrepreneurial community.”

The Academy provides a highly curated set of tools and resources to enable entrepreneurial companies and business builders to access:

  • world-class business podcasts;
  • tools to be more productive and profitable;
  • support to enhance and grow an online presence;
  • library access to motivational and inspirational business-building videos; and
  • access to a forum to ask questions and get advice.

About The NIIC OPENS Program

To learn more about the NIIC OPENS program powered by the U.S. SBA, please visit our web page at:

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