YLNI and Founders Spark Launch Entrepreneurial Institute for Local Young Leaders


The Ignite Institute is a two-year summer program where we immerse students in the world of entrepreneurship and the possibilities available to them to impact the world. Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI), program host, has partnered with Founders Spark to put together this program.

This program aims to recruit 15 young leaders in Fort Wayne, ages 16-21 who show promise and interest in entrepreneurship to learn how to manifest that into something greater. Students will gain fundamental knowledge in entrepreneurship, a connection to mentors and resources in our community, and access to a YLNI Leadership Institute. This program is completely free for participants.

“I was fortunate enough to have adults who were committed to my success from a very young age. That set me on a path to do so many incredible things. We’re excited to be able to pay that forward and focus on the leaders of tomorrow and giving them a head start on forging their own path. We’re honored to be working with YLNI on such an impactful and important project.” -- Aaron Robles, Founder and CEO of Founders Spark

Applications are open now through May 31, 2020 at 11:59pm with the selection process shortly thereafter. The first part of the summer program will launch June 15, 2020, and go through the end of July. The first month of the program will be online with adjustments during July made as necessary. Applications take approximately an hour to fill out.

They are also looking for experienced entrepreneurs interested in sharing their wealth of knowledge with these young and ambitious students as they go through the Ignite Institute. Our search for the ideal mentor goes beyond just being an entrepreneur. We’re looking for people who have the ability to commit their time, energy, and resources to the next generation of entrepreneurs. Our mentors will be held to the utmost accountability as they’re an invaluable asset to our cohort.

“YLNI is elated to partner with Founders Spark to create a program designed to educate, encourage and empower young entrepreneurs. This program will intentionally pair selected entrepreneurs with mentors in their area of interest and offer practical programming with tactical tips on how to successfully launch and scale their businesses. We are proud to invest in our young talent and excited about the future of entrepreneurship in Northeast Indiana.”
-- Savannah Robinson, president of YLNI

What: Ignite Institute Application Invitation
When: June-July 2020, June-July 2021
Deadline: May 31, 2020 at 11:59pm
Application: www.foundersspark.com/ignite
Who’s Invited to Apply to Ignite Institute:
Applicants 16-21 years old (exceptions will be considered)
Live in the Fort Wayne area
Interested in entrepreneurship
Who’s Invited to Apply to be a Mentor:
Current or past company founders

Founders Spark  |  www.foundersspark.com
Founders Spark is a Fort Wayne based organization dedicated to connecting aspiring, new, or successful hustlers and go-getters in the startup community as well as providing them with the tools they need to succeed. We are committed to helping anyone who is at the beginning stages of their business or have an interest in mentoring others. Our programs focus on three pillars: education, mentorship, and resources. Enabling the success of the entrepreneur not only helps them, but creates job opportunities for the local community and cultivates a prosperous, innovative, and growing city.

Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana  |  www.ylni.org

To attract, develop and retain emerging leaders through community, professional and social engagement.

Northeast Indiana is an attractive region influenced by diverse, emerging leaders who are engaged, inclusive and attached to their community.