Home | About Us | Contact Us

The City of Fort Wayne is one of two Indiana communities chosen for a pilot program aimed at increasing entrepreneurship. Earlier this year, the Indiana General Assembly unanimously approved legislation authorizing an entrepreneurship and enterprise district for both Fort Wayne and Lafayette. Several weeks ago, City Council and Mayor Henry established the Summit City Entrepreneur and Enterprise District (SEED) in accordance with the new legislation.

The pilot program is allowing Fort Wayne to redefine the boundaries of its current Urban Enterprise Zone beyond that of the existing urban railroad corridor and into other urban commercial corridors in need of revitalization. Business incentives will be used to spur innovation and commercial in-fill development and redevelopment in the area.

Additionally, the creation of SEED will allow access up to $1 million per year for five years granted by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) from the Indiana 21st Century Research and Technology Fund. The IEDC is expected to establish guidelines for investing the $1 million/year in January 2018, but the funds will be targeted to programs that support entrepreneurship, small business development, technology development, and innovation.

The existing Urban Enteprise Zone is due to expire at the end of 2018. The SEED district will replace the Urban Enterprise Zone, encompass a larger area, and focus on programs that support entrepreneurship, innovation, technology development and small business development, but will still offer incentives to businesses locating in the SEED boundaries. The Urban Enterprise Association, a separate 501(c)3, and its Board will continue to exist and will oversee SEED and its programs.

Information about SEED’s programs will be available in late January. If you are a business considering locating within the urban core and would like to learn more about the benefits provided by the SEED, please contact Gina Kostoff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.