We Love Supporting Bold, Innovative Entrepreneurs.

The Fortitude Fund was formed to stimulate the growth of entrepreneurial companies in Northeast Indiana. That starts with you.

Apply Now

This is what we are looking for.

Big & Bold
Thinking.

We look for founders or early-stage ventures that have growth potential. Since we want to move the needle on regional economic growth, we prefer founders who have a plan for growth.

Skin in the
Game.

Those who are actively engaging their customers (or ideally making sales) or building a product or a prototype. We are much less likely to approve a grant for a founder who is waiting for $1,000 before they start doing anything.

Community Engagement.

We look for founders who engage with the Fortitude Community. That could be by attending Fortitude events, following and being actively engaged in our social media or online community, and more.

What if I’m a student?

Join Community

We recognize the differences between school age and adult founders. Sometimes you may only be able to afford to talk with potential customers, not sell to them. In any case, there is always some action you can take to move a venture forward. We respect action and effort that is appropriate to an individual’s situation. Adult founders have more resources available than school age founders, so we expect more from them.

We know that you may feel you need a little more time and help to be prepared to apply. This is common and you are not alone. That’s why our mantra is “Community, Mentors, Money”. We urge you to join us at events where you can learn from your peers and mentors. You will know when it feels right!

What if I need more time?

Join Community

What if I’m a non-profit?

Join Community

We love nonprofits! All of our community and mentor resources are available to nonprofit entrepreneurs, however our grants are reserved for for-profit businesses.

If you apply and do not receive a grant, don’t despair! Less than 50% of applicants receive grants (we simply can’t give grants to everyone who applies.)

We encourage you to reapply after six months and engage with our community in the meantime!

What if I don’t receive a grant?

Join Community

Use this form to apply for a Fortitude Fund $1,000 grant.

Here’s what happens next:

We want to get to know you and your project.  So, when we receive your application, we will contact you to schedule a time to meet and chat in person about your project. We’ll meet and talk for an hour or so. Sometime during that talk, we’ll capture 3-5 minutes of you talking about your business.  With all that, we’ll submit your application to our grant committee committee.
Depending on how soon until their next grant meeting, you should hear an answer within roughly 6 weeks.
You will hear one of three answers:
  1. Woo Hoo! It’s a yes!
  2. Not now. We want you to refine your idea, perhaps make it a bit more defined, stay connected to the Fortitude Fund community, and apply again.
  3. Try something else. We are concerned this project may not be legal or ethical.  It’s a no for this particular project.

Fill Out the Application