Startup South Bend – Elkhart is excited to introduce our new Coordinator, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem, Aidan Battista!
A recent graduate of Indiana University Bloomington, Aidan is a South Bend native. He found during his college years, traveling north up U.S. 31 back home always brought surprises as he spotted new additions to the area.
“Whenever I would come back from college, every single time I would see something new – this place is really transforming,” Aidan said. “The drive in, from my freshman year to my senior year, was drastically different. South Bend is really popping off right now!”
Growing up in the South Bend – Elkhart region, the St. Joseph High School graduate remembers a time when the talk of the area was focused more on urban decay and closing businesses than growth and development.
“I remember when South Bend was named a ‘dying city,’ which was weird to me, since this is my home, and I have had so many great experiences here,” he said. “I know so many people who come here just to raise their families or come here because it is a good place to be. I love South Bend. We’ve come a long way from those ‘dying’ days.”
The mission of Startup South Bend – Elkhart is to promote and foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the South Bend – Elkhart region. The organization works to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit and culture in the regional community, identify and nurture new business startups, and support the growth of existing high potential businesses. It provides an ample network of resources for entrepreneurs at all levels of launch, and hosts programs such as HustleSBE for minority and woman entrepreneurs, as well as the upcoming Founder Factory: A Startup Summit for South Bend – Elkhart.
“There’s a lot of great things about the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. Everybody seems genuinely invested in trying to help other people out – trying to contribute to the atmosphere of growing. It’s really unique. There are organizations that could easily work on their own, but they don’t. There’s a spirit of collaboration that is so beneficial.”
In his position of Coordinator, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem, Aidan implements the entrepreneurship initiatives for Startup South Bend – Elkhart and the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership. He works closely with dozens of cross-sector partners on projects and events while engaging diverse communities and stakeholders.
“Startup South Bend – Elkhart provides resources for entrepreneurs, from contacts to exposure to capital, to creating an atmosphere where they can find what they need. We bring connectivity. I see my role here as working to create opportunities for our region’s entrepreneurs. If I have an opportunity to contribute to that, there’s nothing more I can ask for.”
You can contact Aidan at firstname.lastname@example.org.