Start Fort Wayne is a 501(c)3 that began in March 2015 as a rag-tag band of entrepreneurs and educators dedicating their spare time to help build a lasting community and culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in northeast Indiana.

Our Mission

Start Fort Wayne helps entrepreneurs turn ideas into growth-oriented businesses.


Our Vision

Northeast Indiana offers a thriving entrepreneur ecosystem that attracts and retains innovators and investors.


Our Core Values

Respect. We treat all people with dignity and respect.

Authentic. We serve our constituents with genuine care and concern for their well-being, not our own.

Agile. We work quickly, learn from experience, and immediately apply new knowledge.

Inclusive. We want all people, regardless of circumstance, to be able to succeed.

Cooperative. We work with other organizations, knowing that we better serve the community by being a part of the whole.

Fact-based. We evaluate and choose methods for their outcomes based on data. We measure our data to ensure effective outcomes.

Board of Directors


Dave Sanders


Dave is the Founder of Start Fort Wayne and started the organization to build a modern entrepreneur culture and community in our region. He is a co-founder of Avenue 80, a small custom software consulting firm, and also a co-founder of Muzfeed, a new music-tech based startup.

Dave grew up in rural Indiana and understands the challenges that our region will face in the next 50 years. Having also lived in the Washington D.C. area for many years, he keeps a foot in both worlds and has a real passion for making sure our region can grow and thrive in a new global, competitive economy.


Dave B. Goode


Dave had more than two decades of branding and marketing experience executing strategies in customer-focused communication markets.

He also serves on marketing committees for the Three Rivers Festival, Night of Lights, Fright Night, and TEDx Fort Wayne.


Chris Beck


Chris is a founder and COO of Enabling Technology Solutions, local provider of a globally-used online software platform.

Chris is a "serial" entrepreneur, with over 20 years experience, across four startups, in visioning, launching and commercializing a number of online B2B software technologies for companies such as American Express, Starbucks and Ticketmaster.


Trent Grable


Trent likes to help people make good decisions in high-risk, low-resource, dynamic environments for competitive advantage and maximum impact. He is the Interim Director of the C3 at Indiana Tech, studies systems science for his doctorate in data analytics, explores the travel/hospitality industry through his company SagaNexus, and watches My Little Pony with this children.

Trent is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none, but often more useful than a master of one - complimented well by a sarcastic and whimsical sense of humor.


Jon Rehwaldt


Jon is a professional educator with ten years of experience in Fort Wayne area schools. He has worked with all grade levels in the areas of technology and English and develops curriculum in those areas to grow proficiency in communication skills.

His professional focus is on assessment and data and how to leverage those tools to better understand and serve the needs of students.


Aaron Robles

Aaron is founder of Founders Spark, an organization dedicated to introducing new and aspiring entrepreneurs into the startup community. He's also the founder of Hyprnova, a branding and digital marketing agency.

Committed to making Fort Wayne a place for entrepreneurs from all walks of life to thrive, Aaron uses his expertise in design, marketing, and entrepreneurship to help others achieve their goals through entrepreneurship through education, mentorship, and resources.


Meg Richards


Meg has a diverse career serving creative entrepreneurs working across the public and private sectors in Columbia, SC. In SC she spent the majority of her career turning around departments and organizations from under-performing to thriving. She has helped to launch several sustainable arts organizations and has launched award winning programming at the city and state levels in South Carolina. In addition to her work within organizations, Meg also has always been an entrepreneur herself, running her own photography and web design business for over fifteen years.

Meg has a track record of setting people and ideas into motion. She is a creative strategist with an uncanny ability to unlock potential in entrepreneurs and to lead and coach them to success and sustainability through compassionate conversations and decades of experience. Her passion for the arts and entrepreneurs, paired with her deep industry knowledge, make her an indispensable member of conversations, teams, organizations, and ecosystems.