Indiana’s Kosciusko County pledged up to $1 million over 6 years, the City of Fort Wayne ponied up $450,000 over the same period and Allen County pledged $150,000, OrthoWorx said.
“Our region has an excellent track record of innovation. We see in AcceLinx an opportunity to invest in further strengthening our environment for innovation and new company formation. We believe this initiative will keep talented individuals here to develop their concepts and businesses, and will utilize the many suppliers and service providers already in place. We see it as a potential win-win for the county—more jobs through supporting and attracting start-ups and the opportunity to strengthen the overall economy,” Kosciusko county commissioners prez Ron Truex said in a press release.
The newly founded AcceLinx accelerator aims to aid select innovative enterprizes through the “unique assets of the northern Indiana orthopedic medical device industry cluster,” OrthoWorx said.
“Although the core of the orthopedic industry is located in Warsaw, the City of Fort Wayne and our entire region benefit in many ways from the orthopedic industry cluster. In Fort Wayne, we have a number of associated medical device and supplier companies, graduates of our universities go on to excellent careers in orthopedics, many industry employees live in our city, and the industry depends on resources such as our airport. The connections among Kosciusko County, the orthopedic cluster and Allen County and Fort Wayne have never been more evident,” Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said in prepared remarks.
The group said it is currently in discussions for securing the remaining funding needed for a 6-year operational budget for the accelerator, including a proposal that has been submitted to the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s i6 Regional Innovation Strategies Grant program for $500,000.
“It is a privilege to partner with Kosciusko County and the City of Fort Wayne in this endeavor which will help grow our area’s economic base. This investment in our region is a sign of continued confidence for our business community. OrthoWorx and AcceLinx will benefit from northeast Indiana’s innovative climate and our talented community that will make up their employee base,” Allen County Commissioner Therese Brown said in a prepared statement.
The new accelerator will be headquartered in Warsaw within the OrthoWorx offices, though it will be a legally separate entity from the group.
“We are extremely grateful to Kosciusko County, Allen County, and the City of Fort Wayne for their vision and leadership. These entities will receive increased tax receipts from the Zimmer Biomet merger and we appreciate their willingness to reinvest in the industry that is so critical to the region’s economy. With inspiration from the community and the late Dr. Dane Miller, the AcceLinx initiative will help to capitalize on the unprecedented concentration of intellectual capital and device industry experience in northern Indiana,” OrthoWorx CEO Sheryl Conley said in a prepared release.