Apr 01, 2024

Funding for Indiana's Entrepreneurship Ecosytem Continues to Grow, Supporting Entrepreneurs and Collaborative Ecosystem

Following the success of initial pilot, Hoosier organizations invited to apply for Community Collaboration Fund grants to accelerate new programming, collaborations to serve entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses 

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced today it is allocating additional funds to its Community Collaboration Fund (CCF), making up to $1 million available to support community-led projects focused on entrepreneurial education, connection and acceleration across Indiana. CCF, which awarded an initial $500,000 in its pilot phase last year, is designed to further accelerate entrepreneurial activity and resources statewide, with a particular focus on underrepresented founders and underserved markets.  

“Indiana is leading the nation in cultivating a pro-ideation, pro-growth entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce David Rosenberg. “Our team continues to invest in this ecosystem, creating new resources and bolstering support services for current and aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. The Community Collaboration Fund is yet another example of how Indiana is leading boldly and inspiring even more growth and success across the state.” 

Through CCF, entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) may apply for matching grants between $5,000-$40,000 to support new community collaborations, services and programming that will benefit Indiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Applications should be designed to fill unique gaps in the organizations’ communities in one of the following areas:  

  • Education: Projects designed to educate entrepreneurs or the general public in some entrepreneurial capacity; 
  • Connection: Projects that increase connectivity between entrepreneurs or the entrepreneurial ecosystem more broadly; 
  • Acceleration: Projects designed to accelerate an entrepreneur’s journey in a given area.  

“Our Capital Coaching program has allowed us to help businesses with specifically focused technical assistance in a comprehensive way through one-on-one coaching,” said Sam Centellas, executive director of CDFI Friendly South Bend. “Because of the support and funding we received through CCF, entrepreneurs across the region are now able to get hands-on support and guidance on financing options for their business from our industry expert coaches.” 

CCF, launched in October 2023, has awarded $500,000 in grants to support 16 community-led projects statewide. In just the past six months, projects supported by CCF have served more than 1,100 entrepreneurs, engaged more than 250 ESOs, and hosted 60 events to fuel entrepreneurial education, connection and acceleration.   

2024 CCF Grant Applications:   

Applications for 2024 CCF funding may be submitted online and must be received by Friday, May 3 at 8 a.m. Eastern. Additional qualifications are outlined below. Community and entrepreneur support organizations interested in learning more or asking questions may sign up here to join office hours with an IEDC representative on Thursday, April 4, or Thursday, April 11.  

To be eligible, projects must: 

  • address entrepreneur education, connection or acceleration; 
  • be completed within one year of funds being awarded (July 1, 2024-June 30, 2025); 
  • provide at least a 25% match (cash or in-kind); 
  • be between two or more Indiana-based Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) with one lead ESO; 
  • provide direct entrepreneur support; 
  • and be a new initiative or expansion in the ecosystem. 

The IEDC expects to make grant decisions by July 1, 2024, allocating up to $1 million in total awards depending on the number and quality of submissions received. Projects will be selected based on their abilities to fill gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, work across community boundaries, and support traditionally underserved populations, such as rural, women, minority and veteran entrepreneurs. Ineligible applications include but are not limited to: projects that are duplicative of existing ecosystem offerings, offsetting the budget of an existing project, event sponsorship, applications that are part of a larger funding request or project, or planning projects.  

For more questions, organizations may reach out to or a regional Ecosystem Navigator through ConnectIND.  

About IEDC The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is charged with growing the State economy, driving economic development, and helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 14-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit