Pokagon citizens Matt and Micky Martin opened Espin VR, a family-friendly virtual reality center, this October in Mishawaka with help from Chi Ishobak, the tribe’s non-profit financial organization.
“Espin in the Potawatomi language means raccoon,” Micky said. “Raccoons’ mischievous and curious nature is the perfect word to illustrate the experience that our VR center will provide!”
Targeting South Bend, Mishawaka and Granger, Espin VR can host birthday parties, team building workshops, or be a destination for activities during school breaks. Whether you are looking for mischief, adventure, or exploring the unknown, Espin VR can design an unforgettable experience. With 12 interactive stations and more than 30 fully immersive and interactive games, visitors can schedule times or simply walk-in.
The Martins were ready for their entrepreneurial journey, with their backgrounds in gaming, hospitality and computer science, when they presented their idea to Executive Director Sean Winters at Chi Ishobak
"We met with Sean and he directed us to the right program,” Matt said. “We worked with Carolyn Rourke, their small business development specialist for coaching on our business plan and setting up funding. They really helped us understand the business side of providing a high-end entertainment venue.”
“We’re very excited about helping the Martins launch Espin VR,” Sean said. “We’re here to assist tribal citizens with access to affordable capital, and we’ll continue to help with future business planning as they grow. We see great success in their business.”
Chi Ishobak is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was established in 2009 promote the improvement of the financial capacity of all tribal members by equipping them with the skills, knowledge and confidence that they need to make informed judgments and to make effective decisions with respect to their current and future personal and household circumstances. Chi Ishobak provides tribal citizens with the tools and opportunities needed for meaningful lives and self-sufficiency, whether through employment, self-employment, or traditional life-ways.
By building capacity for tribal citizens, Chi Ishobak is helping rebuild the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi as well as Indian Country into supportive and nurturing communities, strong in language and culture. For more information, visit their website.
Book your trip to Espin VR on their website, and be sure to stop by at 605 W Edison Rd Ste K, in Mishawaka, IN.