enFocus was founded in 2012 by a group of business leaders to stimulate economic growth in the South Bend community.

An idea for growth.
The idea was inspired by a group of University of Notre Dame masters' students after a class visit outside of the state. The trip took them to a once-abandoned tobacco warehouse repurposes into an incubation space for budding entreprenuers. The students thought back to the abandoned Studebaker car factories in South Bend and imagined a similar concept taking root closer to home.
The support of our community.
With the support of community leaders and the University of Notre Dame, the vision quickly became reality. In 2012, seven enFocus Fellows began working in downtown South Bend out of Union Station Technology Center. After a successful first year, enFocus received grant funding from the Lilly Endowment in 2013 to expand programming with the goal of reversing the negative outmigration of college graduates in Indiana.

Since our inception, we have attracted over 400 students and recent graduates from more than 20 college and universities to work as paid staff in the community, and nearly 100 have chosen to stay and call South Bend their home. Our Fellows have incubated more than 20 new businesses and created more than $50 million in economic impact through innovation projects for sponsor organizations.

Looking to the future.
Looking forward, we recently announced our expansion into Elkhart County, Indiana, where we will continue to assist in regional development by attracting talented, passionate young professionals to spark innovation for local organizations. We now realize that our model is a unique, scalable approach to talent attraction and civic innovation, and we hope to share it with more communities in Indiana and beyond.