FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – A new Fort Wayne startup business is providing services to help local and national profits amid the pandemic.
Pond is a small tech startup that was created in April of 2020. The tech-firm provides an easy way for non-profit leaders to find tools and services — catered to the non-profit sector — that they need to operate their organization. The new startup company allows non-profits to share its needs and issues, and in return, providers are able to come to the non-profit group with proposed solutions and ideas.
Mitch Stein, Pond CEO, came up with the idea, and gathered a team to establish the company in 2020. Stein was the former vice president of TMT investment banking at Goldman Sachs in New York City. The Fort Wayne native was with the firm for nearly seven years before he established the new startup. Stein and the following team members are driving the company’s expansion:
- Kiara Anderson, chief technology officer
- Johann Shudlick, chief operating officer
- Matthew Yang, head of engineering
- Kristin Giant, chief growth officer
- Benjamin Sanderson, ecosystems manager
- Dennis Wall, head of member engagement
- Thein Aye, branding and content coordinator
Stein added, “unfortunately things deemed as “overhead” like tools and infrastructure are challenging to fund and the process to find and pick tools is overwhelming.”
While the new startup serves many local non-profit organizations in Allen County, it’s also serving many non-profit groups across the country, including the following:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana, Inc.
- Fort Wayne Museum of Art
- Turnstone Center for Children and Adult with Disabilities
- Indiana Tech
- Love Church Ministries
- Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne
- New York LGBT Center
- Community Center at Visitation
- Syracuse University College of Law
- Knock Knock Give a Sock
- Spread Karma
“Pond exists to create equal tech access by helping to find & fund the right tools for any organization,” Stein shared. “We have a national reach with many members locally who found Pond to be a total game changer by saving them tremendous time, connecting with tools they didn’t even know about and providing funding to make it possible.”
PUBLIC LAUNCH EVENT:
Leaders with the startup hosted their first public event to introduce the company and its services on Monday, July 19th, on the fourth floor of Utopian Coffee in downtown Fort Wayne. The public event was one of many that Pond leaders hosted across the country, including in New York City, Boston, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Albany.
At each event, Pond leaders introduced their new podcast service, which features local non-profit leaders sharing their genuine thoughts and experiences of working in the non-profit sector, including the obstacles, and struggles they’ve had to overcome to operate their organization. The podcast is centered around “power dynamics,” and is free for the public to listen to.
Leaders with Pond said they want to challenge how the public views non-profits, and educate them on the experiences many non-profit organizations go through in today’s global economy.
Giant added, “to get to serve them in this capacity, its just literally a dream come true for me. Watching my mom work 60+ hours a week for her community (and not be compensated even almost fairly) most of my childhood, I think about her a lot. And how I wish I could go back and take even one ounce of stress away.”
“If you’re struggling and don’t know how you can fit all that needs to be done to serve your mission each day — I hope you’ll give Pond a chance to take one small portion of your stress away,” said Giant.
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