What We Do
C3 project teams help entrepreneurs, inventors, and innovators create successful companies. We link clients together with the right team of experts for each project, including expert mentors from around the community and experienced faculty from our schools of Business, Engineering and Law.
How It Works
To be considered as a C3 client, please fill out the client questionnaire. Upon receipt of your questionnaire, we will contact you to set up a meeting to discuss your project and needs. If accepted as a C3 client, our first step will be to put together a project team hand-picked to provide the targeted assistance your project needs to succeed. Contact Trent Grable at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 260.399.2816 with questions.
The C3 office is located in the new Academic Center in the heart of Indiana Tech’s Fort Wayne campus at 1600 East Washington Boulevard. The C3 is currently accepting both clients and mentors – contact us today to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the C3?
The C3 provides rapid, targeted, and effective assistance to entrepreneurs, helping increase their probability for success. It is located on the Fort Wayne campus of Indiana Tech.
How does it work?
The C3 provides service through hand-picked teams of faculty, staff, students, and mentors. We draw upon the skills available in all four of our colleges (engineering, business, general studies, and law), as well as from seasoned and successful business executives in our mentor group.
Do any other universities have entrepreneurship centers like the C3?
While other universities have entrepreneurship centers, no other center has the combination of features of the C3. It is unique.
Who are our clients?
We are best suited to work with clients who are starting technology oriented companies that have growth potential. There are many kinds of companies and ideas that fall into this category, so we encourage all interested entrepreneurs to apply and have an initial conversation with us about your business.
I don’t have a current business, but I have a good idea for one. Can I become a C3 client?
Yes. Some clients may have an existing business; others may only have an idea for a new product or service.
Will the C3 require entrepreneurs to transfer equity in exchange for services provided?
No. Entrepreneurs will not be expected to give up equity as a prerequisite for entry into the C3, nor do we expect to negotiate this as part of the intake process.
Will the C3 have an investment fund available?
While we don’t intend to negotiate an equity interest up front, we do have a new venture fund that can invest in C3 clients. This fund may be made available any time the circumstances warrant. The initial amount of our new venture fund is $500,000.
Who owns intellectual property that might be developed from working with the C3?
We will also agree up front not to assert any rights to intellectual property (IP) that might result from the engagement. Indiana Tech’s IP policy states that any IP created by its faculty or staff belongs to the university and we will agree to transfer these rights to the client when they work on a C3 project.
How do I apply to become a client of the C3?
Potential clients are asked to fill out an application form and provide information in a face-to-face interview. Our initial intake conversation has two primary areas: (1) An exploration of the market for your product or service, and (2) Your ability to function as a successful entrepreneur.
In the market area we will ask questions such as: What customer problems will your offering resolve? What differentiating benefits does your offering provide that other solutions do not? What evidence do you have that customers will buy what you have to offer?
In order to get a sense of your entrepreneurial drive we will ask questions like: What is your entrepreneurial mission? What is your entrepreneurial dream? What risks are you willing to take?
We expect to refine our intake process over time, but we intend to keep it simple and streamlined.
What happens after I become a client of the C3?
Following this analysis, a project team will be assembled that is hand-picked to work with the entrepreneur in solving the identified problem. Typically, project teams will include the entrepreneur, faculty, students, and mentors from the private sector.
Once the project team completes its work, the engagement ends and the entrepreneur is launched on a faster and steeper success curve. It is possible that a client might return at some point for another project, but it is not our intent to have these be long term engagements. Rather, our intent is to provide rapid, targeted assistance that addresses a critical issue.
The C3 will also be positioned to introduce the entrepreneur to other valuable assets in the start-up ecosystem in the northeast region of Indiana (including venture capitalists) and we see this as part of our mission.
How do I become a C3 mentor?
The first step is to fill out the mentor information form. The form asks for background on your professional experience, your interest in working with clients, your time availability and similar details. Business mentors are matched with C3 clients based on their professional experience, their personal interests in particular types of startups, and their availability based on the client project schedule.
How much does the C3 charge for the services it provides?
Because of a grant the C3 received from the Lilly Endowment, we are able to provide our services at no cost initially through 2016 (after the grant period the services are priced at $500 per month, per client). We will require a deposit of $250 when a client is accepted into the C3. The deposit will be refunded when the engagement ends and the client has completed their commitments.
How do I get more information about the C3?
You can obtain more information by calling Trent Grable, Director of the C3, at 260.399.2816.