Allen County Commissioners agreed Friday to help fund an entrepreneurship program and a multi-agency effort to promote the region’s orthopedic industry.
The commissioners agreed to continue a $100,000 annual appropriation for the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center after hearing a presentation by Karl LaPan, the center’s president and CEO.
NIIC provides mentorships, coworking space and access to capital and resources to developing entrepreneurs, LaPan said.
The center is also collaborating with USF to start programming at the new location for Keith Busse School of Entrepreneurial Leadership on the downtown campus of the University of Saint Francis.
The center will provide entrepreneurship classes and programming this fall at the university’s newly renovated building at 826 Ewing St., he said. The building was formerly occupied by the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce.
Plans also are in the works to renovate the building that formerly housed the Shrine Circus ticket office on Main Street for innovation center activities, LaPan said.
Commissioners also approved a fee-for-service agreement for $150,000 with Orthoworx Inc. of Warsaw.
The agreement would provide $25,000 per year through 2021.
The money is the county’s share of a 75-25 split of a $600,000 appropriation for the center between the city of Fort Wayne and the county, said Commissioner Therese Brown.
Other entities making or considering funding Orthoworx include Kosciusko and Whitley counties and Warsaw and Columbia City, she said.
The first-time appropriation will support the establishment and operation of AcceLinx, an initiative to help entrepreneurs get from idea or prototype to a marketed orthopedic medical device in a reduced amount of time.
AcceLinx also has received $1.2 million over 6 years from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
In other business, the commissioners approved a rezoning of 14 acres west of the intersection of Union Chapel and Diebold roads north of Fort Wayne to allow for a 190,000-square-foot rental living facility for seniors to be known as Storypoint.
The rezoning sought was from A1 (Agricultural) to C1 (Professional Office and Personal Service).