Four area companies whose owners are clients of the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center (NE-ISBDC) and/or the local office of the Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) were among 27 businesses from around the Hoosier state to be honored with Indiana Entrepreneurship Awards last week. The Entrepreneurship Week celebration took place on Friday, June 24, at the Dallara IndyCar Factory in Speedway, with Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb presenting the awards in partnership with the Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE).
Wine Down Tastings & Tapas, a wine-tasting bar located in downtown Fort Wayne, received an ISBDC Award in the category of emerging businesses. The business, owned by Gary and Kelly Skeel, recently celebrated its first anniversary and continues to generate buzz in the community as a popular downtown destination. Wine Down is preparing to expand by opening an outdoor patio area this summer.
Mid-American Salt, a bulk salt distributor located in Fort Wayne, was the recipient of an ISBDC Award in the established business category. The company, owned by Mark Thiele, supplies salt and salt-based products to areas of the country where larger, more established salt distributors are not active. The business expects to surpass $30 million in sales in 2016 and is working on the creation of its own product bagging facility to further grow its sales.
Logistikos Engineering, LLC owners Joe and Jeanne Predina were recognized for their success as clients of Gil Perry, a procurement specialist at the local PTAC office. The company’s focus is on the research, design and development of space-based remote sensor technology for NASA and commercial companies that build spacecraft instrumentation. Since 2014, the Fort Wayne firm has been awarded 32 government contracts totaling more than $2 million.
SkySight Technologies, LLC owners Pat and Val McCammon received an Entrepreneurship Award in recognition of their success as clients of Dr. Lisa Hoverman, a PTAC counselor who specializes in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) services. The Fort Wayne firm provides engineering design and development for the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, as well as for other government and commercial entities, and participates in the SBIR program.
The Northeast ISBDC is part of the ISBDC network, based in Indianapolis, which includes 10 regional small business development centers located around the Hoosier state. The ISBDC provides expert guidance and a comprehensive network of resources for Hoosier entrepreneurs.
“ISBDC staff spent over 630 hours counseling this year’s ISBDC Entrepreneurship Award winners, who collectively employ 116 people and have successfully raised $4.9 million in debt and equity due in part to working with the ISBDC,” according to Jane Rich, ISBDC state director. “The businesses we honored are meeting the needs of their communities by providing valuable services and jobs across the state,” she said. Rich is a Fort Wayne native who recently was promoted to her current position after serving as associate state director for the ISBDC network and as regional director for the Northeast ISBDC.
The Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) assists Indiana companies, including those eligible for preferential consideration, in obtaining and performing local, state and federal contracts. “The companies honored . . . are shining examples of the grit and ingenuity that is the Hoosier entrepreneurial spirit,” said PTAC State Director Shane Springer. The local PTAC office is co-located with the Northeast ISBDC at 4312 Hobson Road in Fort Wayne.
Indiana Entrepreneurship Week was established by OSBE in 2015 to showcase entrepreneurial talent from across the Hoosier state, as well as to promote entrepreneurship and educate small business owners on related topics.