By SHAWN SHINNEMAN
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels offered his support for a local entrepreneurial effort Thursday afternoon. The event at the John Jay Center featured speeches from Chris Fennig of MyFarms, who is heading up the local effort called DreamHaven, along with Portland Mayor Bruce Hosier and Daniels. “Most great businesses — they can be anywhere,” Daniels said. “So why not Jay County?”
DreamHaven aims to boost local entrepreneurs into action by providing them with the education and support to succeed. Daniels, in a short speech and question and answer session, expressed his belief that Indiana has one of the “best, most welcoming” environments in the country for entrepreneurs. He said he has full confidence
the DreamHaven effort will help Jay County residents take advantage of that environment. “When this — I’m going to say when — this succeeds, it’ll set an example to be replicated,” Daniels said. He also touched on a simple objective he and his team set upon taking office, of “raising the disposable income of Hoosiers.” He said he often gets asked
what Hoosiers can do to help their state. His response is, simply, “make money.”
Daniels said he is strongly endorsing the DreamHaven initiative because it encourages action. “This has to be something that more young people say, ‘That’s what I want to do,’” he said. The Governor’s remarks followed those of Hosier, who expressed his excitement for the DreamHaven effort and his pride for the strides local entrepreneurs have made already. “We’re also pleased our efforts have been celebrated at the state level,” he said.
Fennig spoke about the reasons he believes Jay County is a great place to open a business, noting an affordable
cost of living, knowledge of agriculture (“we know corn”) and the Jay Advisory Group, which advises entrepreneurs
on the accounting and financial needs of starting a business.
Fennig also talked about Community Fiber Solutions, a new business that boasts a fast, fiber Internet connection.
“You don’t have to be near an airport to change the world,” Fennig said. “You just need to have a hot connection
to the Internet.” Fennig said social networking has made it possible to start a successful global business anywhere in the world, pointing out SDP, a Dunkirk manufacturer which has recent established clients in China.
Thursday’s event was the “rallying point” for DreamHaven. A “boot camp” series of seminars will begin in early September and provide training and a sense of the process it takes to start up a business. A competition in which entrepreneurs plan and pitch business ideas is scheduled for early February.
Press Release – www.MyDreamHaven.com
Governor Announces Innovative Program to Mobilize Entrepreneurs in rural IN
27 July 2011 – Portland, IN - Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is visiting Jay County to formally launch DreamHaven; an innovative program designed to inspire, motivate and empower rural Indiana entrepreneurs to convert new business concepts into reality. The event is open to the public and begins with a free light lunch at 12pm on Thursday Aug 4th at the John Jay Center in Portland, Indiana. Governor Daniels is scheduled to speak at 1:15pm and will address why entrepreneurship is vital to the future of rural economies and how DreamHaven is stepping in to help. This is the kick-off event to a seminar series scheduled to begin October 4, 2011 and a Business Plan Competition scheduled for February, 2012.
Created by a grassroots league of local volunteers, DreamHaven was spun out of the Jay County 20 / 20 Vision initiative to support local entrepreneurs as they take courageous steps toward converting new business concepts into reality. The committee recognized the area is already home to several nationally lauded startup companies in technology, entertainment and manufacturing. DreamHaven was formed to help connect entrepreneurs in the region and to help new entrepreneurs build on this local strength.
“We have long taken an innovative and diversified approach to developing our local economy,” commented Portland Mayor Bruce Hosier. “We are pleased that these efforts have been recognized at the state level and Governor Daniels has chosen to celebrate this new initiative with us.”
Bill Bradley, Executive Director of the Jay County Development Corporation continued, “DreamHaven provides evidence supporting our long-term strategy to attract top-shelf people who embrace the opportunity to make a living and a difference.”
DreamHaven is coordinating five evening Boot Camp seminars designed to educate, motivate and equip entrepreneurs to realize the dream of starting a new business. These seminars will teach budding business leaders how to articulate a unique value proposition, analyze market opportunities, document assumptions and acquire the resources they need to convert a business concept into reality. The Boot Camp series will launch in October, 2011.
The capstone event will be a Business Plan Competition. Its purpose is to give entrepreneurs a deeper understanding of the startup process and access to serious investors. High school and college students, business novices and seasoned professionals are all welcome. The Business Plan Competition is slated for February, 2012.
Event Name: DreamHaven Rallying Point
Date / Time: August 4th from 12:00 to 2:45
Location: John Jay Center, 101 South Meridian, Portland, IN 47371
Contact: Chris Fennig, 260-693-7671, firstname.lastname@example.org