Letter from the President

October 21, 2016

Dear Morgan Foundation Friends,

Burton D. Morgan Foundation is gearing up to celebrate its half-century anniversary in 2017 with zeal! The Foundation, initially chartered on November 16, 1967, was funded from a lucrative exit Burt Morgan experienced when RJ Reynolds bought Filmco, the Ohio-based developer of revolutionary food packaging materials. The intervening 50 years have proved to be a time of momentous change in our nation and in the field of philanthropy. The work of the Foundation reflects these dramatic transformations ranging from sweeping technological advances to the rise of entrepreneurship education to the resurgence of Northeast Ohio as a cradle of innovation. Morgan Foundation will take advantage of this special milestone to celebrate, to share our history, and to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. As we turn the calendar to 2017, we will be launching a new website and introducing a digital timeline chronicling the life of Burt Morgan and his legacy. This fall, our Board approved a grant to support Sky Hack - innovation takes flight, a unique hackathon event designed to recognize the combined 50th anniversaries of the Foundation and Kent State University's flight training program. Stay tuned for many more anniversary-themed announcements! Our Morgan Foundation team will be excited to celebrate this golden anniversary with our many friends and colleagues!

Deborah D. Hoover
President & CEO

Last Chance to Register for Enspire 2016

October 21, 2016

There is still time to register for the Enspire 2016 entrepreneur educator conference, proudly sponsored by Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the Young Entrepreneur Institute. Scheduled for Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12 at University School's Hunting Valley campus, this event will include exciting keynote speakers, expert panels, and idea sharing that will help educators enhance entrepreneurship programming at their institutions.

Friday night activities include a keynote address from John Nottingham and Bill Nottingham of the business innovation firm Nottingham Spirk, which is responsible for a number of remarkable products including the Crest Spinbrush and the Swiffer SweeperVac. A highlight of the event will be Teen Pitch Tank, at which five winners will present a three-minute pitch to Cleveland-area "sharks." The evening also includes a meet and greet reception with speakers and contest winners.

The conference continues on Saturday, with keynote speakers Angela Duckworth, the author of Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance; Sarah Prevette, founder of Future Design School and Sprouter.com; and Jackie Acho, president of The Acho Group. A number of workshops will be held throughout the day, which will conclude with a screening of the movie, Generation Startup.

If you haven't registered yet, click HERE. To view a brief video of the Enspire 2015 conference, click HERE.

Scalerator NEO Accepting Applications

October 21, 2016

Burton D. Morgan Foundation, in partnership with Richard J. Fasenmyer Foundation, will be bringing the Scalerator NEO program to Northeast Ohio in 2017. Scalerator™ is a proven program for entrepreneurs and leaders who want to deliver immediate growth into their business and are open to learning new ways to expand. The cohort-based educational program includes a mix of peer-to-peer exercises and faculty-led workshops. To date, Scalerator has helped more than 100 companies across the U.S. and abroad enter into a new phase of rapid growth.

Scalerator NEO is looking for highly-motivated and ambitious entrepreneurs that operate companies with sales between $5M and $15M and are motivated to aggressively grow their business. Companies from all sectors will benefit from the six-month, seven-workshop curriculum, and are encouraged to apply. A diverse cohort of companies enriches the Scalerator experience for all participants.

A Selection Committee made up of regional business leaders and Scalerator faculty will evaluate the applicants, conduct interviews and select the 15-20 companies to participate in the first cohort. Morgan Foundation and Fasenmyer Foundation are covering all of the costs of the inaugural class of Scalerator NEO to demonstrate that Northeast Ohio is rich in high-growth potential companies and that growth can be unleashed through education. Scalerator NEO will begin in April 2017 and conclude in October 2017.

Scalerator was developed by Daniel Isenberg, founding director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project; Babson College is routinely ranked as the nation's top provider of entrepreneurship education. Isenberg is a former entrepreneur, investor, and professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and Columbia University's Business School. The courses are taught primarily by faculty from Babson College, but will also incorporate local business leaders into the sessions.

Both Morgan Foundation and Fasenmayer Foundation view Scalerator NEO as a valuable addition to the services that are offered to established, growing enterprises in our region. Scalerator NEO complements existing programs by offering highly-motivated entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn practical skills with a small, select group of peers. The cohort learning environment is proven to stimulate new growth strategies and to inspire entrepreneurs to aggressively grow their businesses. Several economic development organizations that are currently working to help companies "scale-up" for growth are helping to identify candidates for Scalerator NEO.

For more information about Scalerator NEO, or to apply to be in the first cohort, please visit www.scaleratorneo.org.

New Grant Application Deadlines and Processes

October 21, 2016

Burton D. Morgan Foundation has embarked on a project to reevaluate our grant application and review processes, which will (1) provide greater clarity on foundation values and priorities; (2) amplify opportunities for grantees to explain their programs and goals; and (3) allow foundation staff more time and latitude to conduct grant review. In late 2017, the application and the report that grantees currently complete will be revamped to better capture information that reflects the values of the foundation and assists staff and trustees with evaluating programs.

In the meantime, we have made some minor preliminary changes to the grant process, which will be implemented during the upcoming grant cycle. Typically, the deadline to submit a Letter of Inquiry for the June Trustee Meeting is February 1. Beginning with this grant cycle, the Foundation is no longer requiring a Letter of Inquiry from organizations submitting mission-related requests over $20,000. Organizations should submit an online application only, and the deadline is January 17, which will provide more time for staff to evaluate requests.

Any organizations that have not received funding from the Foundation in the past or that are applying for support of programs that the Foundation has not supported in the past should contact Gina Dotson, Grants Manager, at gdotson@bdmorganfdn.org or 330-655-1369 prior to submitting an application.

The online Letter of Inquiry can still be accessed by organizations applying for support of $20,000 or less. These requests are not subject to any deadlines and are usually evaluated within approximately one month.

We encourage you to view our updated grant application guidelines on our website at bdmorganfdn.org, and we welcome your questions and comments.

Kent State University to Host Aviation Hackathon with Foundation Grant

October 21, 2016

At their September meeting, Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved nearly $700,000 in grants to organizations that promote entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio, including a grant of $65,000 to Kent State University Foundation for a hackathon which will focus on aviation, the first of its kind in the nation.

The hackathon called Sky Hack – innovation takes flight was conceived as a way to mark the 50th anniversaries of Burton D. Morgan Foundation and Kent State University's Flight Technology program in 2017. Students from all academic institutions will be welcome to participate in this weekend-long event designed to develop solutions to issues related to the aviation industry. Prize money of at least $21,000 will be awarded. The event is slated to be held October 13-15, 2017.

Deborah Hoover, Foundation President and CEO stated, "As Morgan Foundation approaches its 50th anniversary in 2017, we are excited to be planning the inaugural Sky Hack event with Kent State's College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability, and Technology, also celebrating its own half-century milestone. This unique competition will recognize not only the shared anniversaries of our two organizations, but also the Morgan family's longtime dedication to the University and Mr. Morgan's passion for flight, demonstrated during his student days at Purdue University where he was an avid member of the glider club, designing and building his own aircraft."

"I can't think of a better way to celebrate 50 years of Flight Training at Kent State University than to partner with the prestigious Burton D. Morgan Foundation," says Robert G. Sines, Jr., Dean, College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology. "This gift will allow us to reach college students on a national level, providing an opportunity to develop ideas and solve problems in the aeronautics industry. We are looking forward to hosting this event in October 2017."

Other grants that will benefit organizations supporting innovation and entrepreneurship at the youth, collegiate and adult levels include the following:

Cleveland Water Alliance - $50,000 to provide entrepreneurial support programming and services to participants of AquaHacking 2017: United for Lake Erie

Downtown Akron Partnership - $35,000 to support efforts to increase storefront retail activity in downtown Akron ($30,000) and the Akron Art Prize program ($5,000)

Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio - $32,500 to support five science and technology forums in Northeast Ohio

Hebrew Free Loan Association - $50,000 to create and manage a loan fund for small business owners and entrepreneurs without access to conventional funding services

Hispanic Business Center - $25,000 to support the development and implementation of bilingual curriculums for Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio

Ideastream - $40,000 to sponsor Nightly Business Report in fiscal year 2017

Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio - $40,000 for entrepreneurship programming and operations

Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland - $50,000 for entrepreneurship programming and operations

Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley - $35,000 for entrepreneurship programming and operations

Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio - $85,000 for entrepreneurship programming and operations

Since May, the Foundation also approved a number of smaller grants to support youth, collegiate and adult entrepreneurship programs and philanthropy. Among the recipients were: 89.7 WKSU for sponsorship of the Exploradio program ($8,500); Girl Scouts of North East Ohio for the Girl Executive Program ($10,000); Independent Sector for the C-Suite convening in Cleveland ($5,000); Launch League for programming and operations ($20,000); and National Council for Community Development for operating support ($20,000).

In addition to supporting entrepreneurship initiatives in the region, the Foundation also makes grants to institutions in Hudson. The following grants have been made since May to benefit the Hudson community: Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association for the purchase of portable screens, projectors and a PA system for use at community events ($2,515); Case-Barlow Farm for updates to the electrical system ($7,000); and Music from the Western Reserve for operating support ($5,000).

PITCH U Competition Attracts 40 Student Entrepreneurs

October 21, 2016

On Saturday, October 15, The University of Akron hosted the latest PITCH U competition, which was sponsored by Burton D. Morgan Foundation. The competition attracted over 40 student entrepreneurs from Northeast Ohio who were competing for $6,000 in prizes.

The PITCH U event was coordinated by Scott Shane, Ph.D., professor of entrepreneurial studies and economics at Case Western Reserve University and research fellow for Morgan Foundation. Last year, Shane organized four PITCH U competitions as a part of his research efforts for the Entrepreneurial Education Experiment on training techniques related to making persuasive business pitches. The general reaction to the competitions was so positive that Shane and Morgan Foundation agreed to hold an additional Pitch U event, but replaced the research component with a training session that incorporated materials developed as a result of last year’s study.

The winners of the PITCH U competition were:

  • 1st Place ($4,500) – Kent State University student Shanice Cheatham, for her portable handwashing system to aid healthcare workers in underdeveloped countries.
  • 2nd Place ($1,000) – Case Western Reserve University student Matt Campagna, for his system to test for concussions.
  • 3rd Place ($500) – The University of Akron student Kaushik Mishra, for his light-sensitive adhesive that allows for bandages to be removed with little to no pain.

Letter from the President

August 4, 2016

Burton D. Morgan Foundation was recently recognized for its groundbreaking work in the field of collegiate entrepreneurship education. At the 5th annual Deshpande Symposium held at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in June, the Foundation was honored with the Outstanding Contributions to Innovation and Advancing of Entrepreneurship in Higher Education Award. Our founder, Burton D. Morgan, would be extremely proud of this accolade. He was an entrepreneur who believed in the power of entrepreneurship to change lives and played a role in the start of more than 50 companies during his lifetime. It was this level of entrepreneurial passion that allowed him to establish Burton D. Morgan Foundation in 1967 following a major exit from one of his companies. Morgan was trained as a mechanical engineer at Purdue University, where he was an avid glider designer and pilot. He graduated in 1938, long before entrepreneurship education was even a concept. Several decades into his career as an entrepreneur, he started to think about what it would have meant to his journey to have had training in entrepreneurial skills--and this musing is what gave rise to the Foundation's mission to champion the entrepreneurial spirit.

Mr. Morgan first explored how best to support entrepreneurship education on a college campus as a Purdue alum. In 1987, he founded the Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition at Purdue--still operating today and we believe the third such competition in the nation. The 30-year history of this competition demonstrates the long range vision of Mr. Morgan, far ahead of his time! Today Morgan Foundation supports a burgeoning ecosystem in Northeast Ohio--a strong network of organizations promoting the venture development goals of the region. This network serves courageous innovators designing new products and creating jobs, collegiate-level entrepreneurs leading the way through ingenious solutions to pressing societal problems, and even creative grade-schoolers with novel ideas. Morgan Foundation is proud to provide support to advance the ideas of bold entrepreneurs through grants, convening, thought leadership, and shared know-how.

The Foundation today continues in the experimental vein Mr. Morgan pioneered. Over the last decade, we have engaged in a series of experiments on university campuses trying to understand how entrepreneurship can best be embedded and advanced. In 2007, we launched the NEO Collegiate Entrepreneurship Program in partnership with Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to explore how liberal arts campuses could embrace entrepreneurship and instill the entrepreneurial mindset in their students.

What important lessons did we learn? Entrepreneurship programs must grow from the culture of an institution. Every campus is different with its own strengths and vibe. The most successful programs capitalized on their strengths and built their programs from these core foundational elements. The expanded reach engaged champions from all corners of the campus--science, arts, athletics, languages, religion, and computer science. Giving the schools the freedom to figure this out on their own--to try things, to make mistakes, and devise solutions--was key to building sustainable programs. The Foundation, rather than sitting on the sidelines and judging the meandering path to success, worked hand in hand with campus champions to figure out the critical pivot points. This early experiment eventually led to partnering on Blackstone LaunchPad, now NEOLaunchNET; funding of close to 20 different campuses pursuing entrepreneurship programming; a regional collegiate ecosystem; and a host of collegiate competitions and hackathons.

We are now even more explicit in our experimental quest--in 2015, we established our new research institute, the Entrepreneurship Education Experiment, under the umbrella of the Foundation to capture the results of our experiments and create vehicles to share the results. We recognize that there are many more important lessons in our future and we are fortunate to have friends and colleagues gained through the Deshpande Symposium and many other robust partnerships. We look forward to continuing to learn with all of our collegiate colleagues and freely share what we discover so that future generations of aspiring entrepreneurs can soar.

 

Tribute to Stanley C. Gault 1926 - 2016

August 4, 2016

Burton D. Morgan Foundation mourns the loss of our longtime Trustee, Stanley C. Gault, who passed away on June 29, 2016. Mr. Gault joined the Board in 1994, at the invitation of Burt Morgan, who fully expected to be turned down by this iconic leader of some of the nation's most revered corporations including General Electric and Rubbermaid. At the time, Mr. Morgan confided in trustee Marty Erbaugh "I don't think he will do it. He thinks in billions; I think in millions." Instead, Stan Gault, an exemplar of high achievement, integrity, and humility, surprised Burt Morgan. He agreed to serve on the Board, a role he fulfilled with distinction until his retirement at the end of 2015.

In September of 2015, a small group of friends, family, and colleagues joined Foundation staff and trustees at The Wooster Inn to celebrate Gault and his many years of exceptional service. Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Hoover presented Gault with a proclamation adopted by the Board which praised Gault for his sound judgment, outstanding leadership, and unwavering dedication. After each Trustee offered his own individual tribute, Board members treated Gault to a rousing rendition of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow."

Deborah Hoover commented, "Our Trustees aptly captured Mr. Gault's role on the Board in their Resolution of Appreciation stating that, 'Mr. Gault has guided the evolution of the Foundation through steadfast contribution of his wisdom, time, and many talents over more than two decades, freely sharing his vast experiences and frequently mentoring others. He has exemplified a generosity of spirit and deep understanding of critical issues that promote the mission and ethos of the Foundation and serve as an inspiration to others in the philanthropic community.' All of us at Burton D. Morgan Foundation are grateful for Mr. Gault's extraordinary contributions to our evolution and for his engagement as Trustee Emeritus."

Stanley Gault graduated from The College of Wooster and had three distinguished business careers: Senior Vice President of General Electric Company; Chairman and CEO of Rubbermaid Incorporated; and Chairman and CEO of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. He was a Director and Chairman of the Board of Avon Products, Inc., and a Director of The New York Stock Exchange. He also served as Chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers. Gault was Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of The College of Wooster.

Trustee Richard Seaman recalls that Stan Gault personally recruited him to join the Board and in recent years, he provided Gault with transportation to Board meetings. Seaman remembers those drives with fondness. "It's an extraordinary privilege to spend a couple hours with one of the top business minds in the country," he noted.

Hoover was among the fortunate professionals for whom Gault provided mentorship over the years. She expressed her gratitude to Gault as follows: "When Stan Gault called the office, no matter what else was happening, I excused myself and took his call. He always had an important message to convey and you can be sure that I listened carefully. With all his experience and major commitments, he took the time to ensure that he counseled me when the going got tough, congratulated me when I got it right, and shared pearls of wisdom that guided me in daily decision making. I will be forever grateful for his friendship and tutelage, and will never forget all that I learned from him. Our Foundation has lost a pillar of strength and wisdom and all the trustees and staff who worked so closely with him will deeply miss Stan Gault."

 

Trustees Award $1.3 Million in Grants at June Meeting

August 4, 2016

At their June meeting, Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved more than $1.3 million in grants to organizations that promote entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio, including a grant of $300,000 to John Carroll University to create a Creativity and Entrepreneurship Classroom.

John Carroll University will transition a 1,540 square foot classroom into the Burton D. Morgan Creativity & Entrepreneurship Classroom, a multipurpose space that will facilitate dynamic teaching and active learning through moveable furniture, display areas, and technology. The classroom will support courses within the entrepreneurship minor, as well as faculty workshops related to embedding exercises in creativity and entrepreneurship into courses.

Deborah Hoover, Foundation President and CEO stated, “John Carroll University boasts strong campus champions who have helped to advance entrepreneurial opportunities for students through both curricular and co-curricular programs. As a result, John Carroll students perform well in generating ideas, developing ventures, and participating in regional competitions. Morgan Foundation believes the addition of this technology-rich classroom will create a dynamic environment to inspire entrepreneurship-minded students to pursue creative thinking, collaborative projects, and shared learning.

Mark Hauserman, Director of John Carroll University’s Muldoon Center for Entrepreneurship, commented, “A recent study of employers revealed that the number one trait they sought from their employees is creativity/innovation. A focus of our program, this new facility will assist us in helping our students to develop these skills.”

Other grants that will benefit organizations supporting innovation and entrepreneurship at the youth, collegiate and adult levels include the following:

Bad Girl Ventures - $60,000 to support operations of the Cleveland office

BioEnterprise - $150,000 to support business development efforts and internship programming

Economic and Community Development Institute - $150,000 to support operations of the Akron satellite office

Hiram College - $80,000 to support the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship (2 years)

JumpStart - $200,000 to support Phase III of the scaleup initiative

Team NEO Foundation - $150,000 to support the further development of Anchor Customer Engagement Academy and to create an Open Innovation Network

University School - $70,000 to support Lemonade Day and Selling Bee

University School - $61,500 to support Young Entrepreneur Institute programming

Youngstown Edison Incubator Corporation - $50,000 to support the 2016 AMPED Business Competition

Youth Opportunities Unlimited - $30,000 to support the E CITY program at eight Northeast Ohio high schools

Since February, the Foundation also approved a number of smaller grants to support youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship programs and philanthropy. Among the recipients were: Akron Art Museum for a series of Community Conversations focused on strengthening the relationship between entrepreneurship, the arts, and economic development ($10,000); Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron for student scholarships and associated expenses for the 2016 BioInnovation Academy ($20,000); Cleveland Festival of Art and Technology for coordination of American Maker Cities North coalition and production of a maker space best practices resource guide ($20,000); Cleveland SCORE to establish branch offices in Ashtabula and Lorain Counties and to enhance services in the recently established Huron County branch office ($9,550); Cleveland State University Foundation for the Startup Vikes competition ($2,500); Effective Leadership Academy for Entrepreneurship Day of the LEAD Chamber program in Beachwood ($2,500); Great Trail Council Boy Scouts of America for the Entrepreneurship Merit Badge program ($7,000); Hathaway Brown School for salary support and student startup costs ($15,000); Kent State University Foundation for sponsorship of the Fashion School’s fashion show ($3,800); LaunchTown for the business idea competition ($10,000); Lorain County Community College Foundation for the Roy and Bobbi Church Visionary Leadership Institute ($2,500); National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship for scholarships for four Northeast Ohio community college teams to attend the national conference ($10,000); Philanthropy Ohio for operating support ($19,964); StartupBus to sponsor a startup maker bus trip from Akron to the national competition in Boulder for 25 Akron-area entrepreneurs ($15,000); TechPint for events and activities that help promote informal connections among entrepreneurs ($5,000); The University of Akron Foundation for the BEST Medicine Engineering Fair and BEST Entrepreneurship Camp ($10,000); University of Massachusetts-Lowell for support of the Deshpande Symposium ($3,775); University School for the Veale Regional Business Plan Competition and the Veale Executive Coaching Day ($10,750); and Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio for the EMPOWER! Women’s Entrepreneurship Mastery Program ($10,000).

In addition to supporting entrepreneurship initiatives in the region, the Foundation also makes grants to institutions in Hudson. The following grants have been made since February to benefit the Hudson community: Hudson Bandstand for the 2016 Hudson Summer Music Festival ($2,500); Hudson City Schools to bring the Earth Balloon inflatable globe to Ellsworth Hill Elementary School ($1,500); Hudson Community First for the Intern for a Day/Career Panel ($10,000); Hudson Farmers Market to support marketing initiatives in conjunction with the 10th anniversary season ($7,500); Hudson Library and Historical Society for business books to honor Burton D. Morgan ($250); and Temple Beth Shalom to paint the exterior of the building ($9,375).

 

Startup Scaleup 2016 is a Success

August 4, 2016

JumpStart Inc. held its second annual Startup Scaleup event on June 28. The event, composed of over 40 different sessions at 15 venues within the Gordon Square Arts District, was designed to celebrate Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and to provide a space for entrepreneurs and support organizations to gather together.

One of the notable changes from last year’s event was the addition of two distinct track options – startup and scaleup. While attendees were still free to choose any session of interest, the change was made for those who wanted help in selecting which sessions to attend. Some of the attendees were looking for help with very specific issues, and the tracks would allow them to more easily discern which programmatic offerings may meet their needs.

In addition to being an event sponsor, Burton D. Morgan Foundation also hosted the What it Means to be a Student Entrepreneur session. The session included a panel of collegiate entrepreneurs, including Brandyn Armstrong (Cleveland State University), Cal Al-Dhubaib (Case Western Reserve University), Shanice Cheatham (Kent State University), Nathaniel Eaton (Hiram College), Randall Hoover (John Carroll University), and Krista Jordan (Kent State University). Additionally, the panel was moderated by local high school students Leo Holland (Western Reserve Academy) and Rosalie Phillips (Hathaway Brown School). The panelists described their experiences starting and running businesses as college students, talked about the importance of the support they received on campus, and shared ideas about how schools could better support college entrepreneurs.

The culminating session for Startup Scaleup was the announcement of the Sidewalk to Stage Pitch Competition winners and the Inspiring CEO Award winner. The Competition included 70 applicants, who competed in a series of competitions throughout the day to take home one of three $5,000 first-place prizes. The winners were: (1) Parihug, which makes electronically connected teddy bears that allow for loved ones to hug each other from a distance; (2) StyleMyEvent.com, a party-planning website that allows user to plan a party in five simple steps; and (3) KinderKits, which creates kits with information about what children must know entering kindergarten and how everyday items can be used to develop those skills. The Inspiring CEO Award, which was created to highlight the CEO of a fast-growing small business who has helped create substantial job growth in Northeast Ohio over the past calendar year, was given to Mark Campbell and John Fenn from BudgetDumpster.

 

Forward Cities Convening in Cleveland on Inclusive Innovation

August 4, 2016

With the backdrop of the Republican National Convention and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ historic championship run, Cleveland hosted the final convening of Forward Cities from June 14-17. Over 300 people from the four participating cities – Detroit, Durham, New Orleans, and Cleveland – and Washington D.C. took part in the convening, to continue the conversation about inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship.

Out-of-town participants were given an in-depth tour of Cleveland, including the city’s four Forward Cities’ corridors – the West 25th and Clark Avenue Corridor, the Opportunity Corridor, the East 55th Street Corridor, and the East 105th Street Corridor. Notable sights along the corridors included the San Lorenzo Social Club, Green City Growers, Rid All Farm, UpCycle Parts Shop, Hub 55 and the East Side Market. In each of the corridors, visitors were able to see firsthand the challenges and opportunities local leaders are facing in an effort to rebuild each of these distinct Cleveland neighborhoods.

The city tour also included stops along the Health Line on Euclid Avenue, to showcase the most successful bus rapid transit (BRT) line in the United States -- the line has resulted in almost $6 billion in investment along Euclid Avenue since its opening in 2011. The Health Line is a central component of the Health Tech Corridor (HTC), which has developed into a node of entrepreneurship in Cleveland; over 80 biomedical companies, 30 technology companies, 8 business incubators, 4 healthcare institutions, and 4 higher education institutions are located in the HTC. While not a focus area of the Cleveland Forward Cities Council, the HTC is important to the discussion because it is situated between some of the poorest neighborhoods in Cleveland. Local leaders continue to strategize about ways to ensure neighborhoods and residents living next to the HTC can also benefit from its success.

In addition to the corridor tours, the Forward Cities convening included several panel discussions and presentations. Topics that were covered included globalization and immigration, the role of anchor institutions, supporting individual entrepreneurs and innovators, and philanthropy as a promoter of inclusive innovation. The key discussion of the convening was a discussion between Apsen Institute President & CEO Walter Isaacson and Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson. Isaacson and Mayor Jackson talked candidly about the importance of inclusive innovation, and reinforced the idea that all citizens should be able to participate in a city’s success.

While the Cleveland convening served as an end to the “formal” Forward Cities’ initiative, much work remains to be done in each city. Just as important as the successes that were highlighted over the past two years, Forward Cities also brought some significant challenges to light. And though no magic bullet solutions were shared, the participants walked away with a new network of colleagues committed to increasing inclusive innovation.

 

Deborah Hoover Receives Award at Deshpande Symposium

August 4, 2016

The 5th annual Deshpande Symposium for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education was held in Lowell, Massachusetts in June. The conference attracted 250 attendees from around the globe who are interested in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation at the collegiate level.

The 3-day conference included interactive sessions in various tracks including ecosystems, curriculum, commercialization, and trends, all of which emphasized peer-to-peer learning and highlighted best practices. It also provided plenty of opportunity for informal learning and networking amongst attendees. Additionally, this was the first year that a track was offered for student participants.

Foundation President and CEO Deborah Hoover was recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education. The purpose of this award is to recognize an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary achievements to entrepreneurship in higher education. The recipient of this award should be known for leadership activities, service, and/or contributions to advancing the field of entrepreneurship in higher education.

Hoover was honored for her dedication and commitment to fostering entrepreneurship across higher education. Through her work at the Foundation, she has helped inspire hundreds of students at colleges across Ohio and the country to adopt entrepreneurial activities on their campuses. As a result of Hoover's tireless work, coalitions have been built across institutions and geographies to strengthen the economic fabric of local communities.

Hoover stated, "As Morgan Foundation has experimented over the last decade with support for curricular and co-curricular approaches to collegiate entrepreneurship education, we have greatly valued opportunities to share lessons learned with experts in the field. Deshpande Symposium has provided the Foundation with knowledgeable colleagues who have shared their expertise with us and listened carefully to our ideas and results. As recognition of our journey of discovery, we are thrilled to receive this national recognition of our work. The award will fuel our energy for the future and inspire us to continue to not only experiment, but also to share our stories and results. We express deep gratitude to Deshpande Symposium for this boost to our role as champion of the entrepreneurial spirit."

Mark your calendars: next year's conference is scheduled for June 12-14, 2017 in Lowell, Massachusetts.

 

EEE Explores Frontiers of Startup World

August 4, 2016

Burton D. Morgan Foundation launched its research institute, the Entrepreneurship Education Experiment (ECubed), in early 2015 to further the work of the Foundation by engaging in research, outreach, and evaluation through grantmaking and partnerships with other stakeholders. Dr. Scott Shane of Case Western Reserve University became the first Research Fellow of the Burton D. Morgan Fellowship Program, a research institute initiative.

During his first year of the fellowship Dr. Shane piloted PITCH U, a series of business pitch competitions held at area universities designed as an experiment to identify the best training to enhance performance at pitching new venture ideas to early stage investors. Elevator pitch competitions were held at Case Western Reserve University, John Carroll University, and Kent State University. The PITCH U experiment examined a number of issues including pitch order, gender and style versus substance.

Dr. Shane has held presentations on his initial findings at JumpStart and the Hudson Library & Historical Society (click HERE to view presentation slides.) Additionally, he has assembled training materials for aspiring entrepreneurs on how to effectively pitch investors, which have been used at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and will be used at an upcoming pitch competition at The University of Akron on October 15.

Now in his second year as an institute fellow, Dr. Shane is continuing his work on this research project with the help of intern Victoria Sung. Shane is working on several academic papers related to the experiment, which he is preparing for publication.

Dr. Shane was recently ranked first among research scholars in the field of entrepreneurship in a study published in the New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, "Entrepreneurship Research in Management and Organization Studies: A Contribution-Based Assessment of the Literature.” The purpose of the study was to identify the researchers and universities that have had the greatest influence on entrepreneurship research from 2000-2015. The authors analyzed articles from seven top-tier academic journals in business management using four different criteria for measuring. Dr. Shane was ranked in the top spot across all four methodologies used to rate individual researchers.

 

 

 

Congratulations!

August 3, 2016

The Foundation staff and trustees congratulate Program Officer Emily Bean on earning her Master's Degree in Human Development from Kent State University's Graduate School of Education, Health, and Human Services.

 

John Carroll University Takes Top Prize At Immersion Week

August 2, 2016

The Congratulations to John Carroll University for taking 1st place at Entrepreneurship Immersion Week, held at the University of Mount Union in early August. Kudos also to Lake Erie College, which took 2nd place for Hot Spot Sticker and University of Mount Union which was awarded 3rd place for Quicker Liquor.

 

Letter from the President

May 10, 2016

Wisdom Begins in Wonder

Wonder and wisdom--a concept we are borrowing from Socrates--elegantly captures the essence of our journey as an entrepreneurship funder and ecosystem builder. When we embarked on our reenergized mission to champion the entrepreneurial spirit more than a decade ago, we could only imagine where that journey would take us. We were filled with a sense of wonder. Thanks to the combined efforts of many partners coupled with a collaborative spirit focused on economic revival, Northeast Ohio today boasts a strong network of organizations promoting the venture development goals of the region. This network serves cutting edge innovators advancing solutions to pressing societal problems, intrepid collegiate-level visionaries connecting the dots, and even eager grade schoolers with cool ideas. Morgan Foundation is proud to provide support to advance the ideas of these bold entrepreneurs through grants, convening, thought leadership, and shared know-how.

We have learned a great deal over the last decade and it would be easy to keep all the great lessons within the halls of the foundation. We have made a deliberate decision NOT to do that. Instead, through our daily work and the efforts of Entrepreneurship Education Experiment (EEE), we are broadly sharing what we know and what we have learned. Through EEE, we are preparing to share the results of Pitch U on types of training that inspire the best pitches, to support analysis of the impact of the Beyond Silicon Valley MOOC on entrepreneurs around the globe, and a decade after the founding of NEOCEP, to reflect on how liberal arts colleges have embedded entrepreneurship across their campuses. We are refining how we measure the impact of the programs we support, a contribution to advancing the whole field of entrepreneurship education. Additionally, we are working with our partner Young Entrepreneur Institute to plan another thought-provoking ENSPIRE conference for K-12 educators.

When we say we are sharing lessons, we never mean that there is one cookie-cutter approach to entrepreneurship education. On the contrary, one thing we know for sure is that everybody has to figure it out for themselves. This important lesson is at the core of an entrepreneurial journey and it is indeed, what makes the journey fun and exciting, even if at times, terrifying. To all our partners, readers, and supporters who have been with us on this wild ride, we say thank you. Please stay tuned as we continue to evolve and take these next steps in our own entrepreneurial journey, finding ways each day to combine the magic of wonder with the power of wisdom.

Deborah D. Hoover
President & CEO

 

Hackathon Held at The University of Akron to Encourage Innovation

May 10, 2016

On April 15 and 16, The University of Akron's EX[L] Center hosted the first in a series of three student hackathons, a 24-hour event to develop concepts into workable business ventures. In spite of the exceptionally good weather, 24 students enthusiastically participated in this event, sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

Students each made several 60-second pitches, after which they voted for their favorites. The top five pitches were identified and student teams formed around them to develop the business ideas, with the help of seasoned mentors from the community and several workshops held throughout the night.

The winners were selected by a panel of judges, who listened carefully to final pitches and quizzed the teams about their ideas. Judges included The University of Akron TEDX President and Vice President, Kyle Flynn and Akhila Gopal; Akron City Councilwoman Tara Mosely-Samples; Launch League Founder Rick Stockburger; the University Library Specialist John Beckham, and Undergraduate Student Government Vice President, Ricky Angeletti.

Taking first place and $2,000 was PROJECT CALENDAR, for a digital calendar system that would merge and manage calendars provided by different software systems. The second place prize of $1,000 went to YOU-AV for a personal drone designed for the active user, which would dock on a wrist-worn device. Both teams also won office space, continued mentoring, and a visit with Senator Sherrod Brown.

The event was coordinated by EX[L] staff Jeff Hoffman and Ian Schwarber, along with their student staff, who were pleased with the inaugural event. Schwarber commented, "This pilot of our 24-hour FAIL SAFE format was a true success for all, most of all the EX[L] team, as we prepare for a Northeast Ohio-wide event this October, with at least 100 participants. We couldn't be more excited with the support we got from the foundations, Senator Brown and The Akron Beacon Journal."

For more information on this event or the hackathon planned for the fall, click HERE.

 

Northeast Ohio Youth Learn About Entrepreneurship through Lemonade Day

May 10, 2016

May has arrived, which signals the advent of Lemonade Day, an entrepreneurship program for young people.

Lemonade Day – which is not just one day but actually spans the spring and summer months – is a national program that was brought to the region by Burton D. Morgan Foundation and University School's Young Entrepreneur Institute in 2011. Founded in Houston in 2007 by Prepared4Life, Lemonade Day is a free, annual community-wide event dedicated to teaching children how to start, own and operate their own business through the simple and time-honored act of running a lemonade stand. It provides an opportunity for families, businesses, faith-based community organizations and schools to come together for a common purpose – to train the next generation of entrepreneurs through a free, fun, engaging and experiential activity.

Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio currently serves more than 1,700 students, in collaboration with partner organizations. The program has grown each year through expanded partner relationships such as community development corporations, and in 2016, an additional 500 students are expected to participate. Lemonade Day contributes to the rich entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northeast Ohio by exposing young children to business concepts and creating a passion for entrepreneurship among our youngest citizens.

Burton D. Morgan Foundation is proud to support this initiative, along with the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, The Veale Foundation, Hudson Community Foundation, KeyBank Foundation, Heinen's Fine Foods, and Kovach Design. If you are interested in learning more about Lemonade Day or becoming a community partner or sponsor, contact Jessie Jones at 216-831-2200, ext. 7456 or jjones@lemonadedayneo.com. Also, check out the public registration information by clicking HERE.

 

Celebrate Youth Entrepreneurship Held at University School

May 10, 2016

On April 13, 2016 the Young Entrepreneur Institute at University School hosted its 8th annual Celebrate Youth Entrepreneurship Day. The event, which consisted of a daytime and event speaker, attracted nearly 1,000 students and educators from across Northeast Ohio. The keynote speaker for this year's event was Andrew Yang, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Venture for America and author of the book, "Smart People Should Build Things."

During the morning session at University School's lower campus in Shaker Heights, Yang spoke to an audience of middle school students and teachers about his own experiences as an entrepreneur, as well as the importance of learning both in and out of the classroom. Yang also discussed the role of Venture for America in preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs, adding that he asks himself the question, "what are we doing to help young entrepreneurs" on a daily basis. Before the evening session, which closely mirrored the morning session in content and structure, Foundation President Deborah Hoover and Vice President Denise Griggs joined Yang and a group of Venture for America fellows for a riveting dinner discussion.

After the conclusion of Yang's evening keynote speech, local youth entrepreneurs were given an opportunity to sell their products during the Young Entrepreneur Market. Over 50 student vendors participated in the Market, selling jewelry, crafts, accessories, and an assortment of food-related items. For more information about this and other programs provided by the Young Entrepreneur Institute, click HERE.

 

John Carroll University Hosts 2016 ideaLabs Competition

May 10, 2016

Remote controlled snow plows, a traveling disco party, and a virtual marketplace to connect lifestyle eaters were among the ideas pitched at the 2016 ideaLabs competition, which took place at John Carroll University on March 31. The competition is a signature program of the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium (EEC), which provides practical, experiential and theoretical entrepreneurship education opportunities to students at 11 public and private colleges and universities in Northeast Ohio – Ashland University, Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Hiram College, John Carroll University, Kent State University, Lake Erie College, Lorain County Community College, The University of Akron, and University of Mount Union.

Each EEC member organization was represented at the competition by the winning student or team from its respective on-campus competitions. Participants were given 7 minutes to make their pitch, before engaging in a 3-minute Q&A session with judges. Judges for this year's event included Richard Anter (The Anter Companies), Dorothy Baunach (OsteoSymbionics LLC), Jennifer Deutsch (Doner), Bill Fischer (Maximum Velocity), and Howard Mandel (Pepper Tree Capital).

Three schools earned prize money for their ideas. Mount Union student Brad Keller won First Place and the grand prize of $5,000 for his idea The Mulery, a pre-packaged bottle of the Moscow Mule alcoholic beverage. Keller believes the popular drink, which is gluten free, will appeal to those seeking consistent flavor and alcohol content. John Carroll students William Cameron, Michael Hurley, Tyler Gentile, and Derek Young received Second Place honors and $3,000 for their Main Street Disco idea, which seeks to host large disco parties at various cities across the United States. Finally, Cleveland State student Swapnil Shah was awarded Third Place and $1,000 for his idea UStyle, a stylus that easily attaches to a keychain or headphones for convenient storage.

 

Save the Date for ENSPIRE 2016

May 10, 2016

ENSPIRE 2016 will be held at University School, November 11-12. Join youth entrepreneurship educators from across Northeast Ohio and the world to learn from the best practitioners in the field. This year's conference will bring exciting keynote speakers, expert panels, and idea sharing designed to enhance youth entrepreneurship education programs.

The inaugural ENSPIRE conference, held last November, attracted approximately 200 enthusiastic entrepreneurship educators. This year's conference, presented by University School and Burton D. Morgan Foundation, will build on the success of the pilot and promises to be an exciting and worthwhile event.

While details are still being finalized, the following programming has already been planned:

• Panel discussion with John and Bill Nottingham of Nottingham Spirk, "the most successful inventors you've never heard of"

Cleveland-based business innovation firm Nottingham/Spirk has nearly 1,000 patents on behalf of its clients and partners, including some of the most ubiquitous American products like the Crest Spin Brush toothbrush, the Dirt Devil vacuum, and the Swiffer SweeperVac.

• Keynote speaker Angela Duckworth, noted psychologist, educator, and author

Duckworth is the author of Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance, to be published in May 2016. She was also awarded a 2013 "Genius Grant" for her research on the importance of grit and self-control to success in life.

• Keynote speaker, Sarah Prevette, entrepreneur and school founder, followed by Design Thinking Workshop
Prevette teaches creativity, innovation and design thinking to some of the country's biggest business leaders.

Prevette teaches creativity, innovation and design thinking to some of the country's biggest business leaders.

• Young Entrepreneur Panel and Young Entrepreneur Market

Enspire will feature the best of the brightest young entrepreneurs from near and far.

• Fireside Chat with Empathy Researcher Jackie Acho

Acho, founder of The Acho Group, a strategy and leadership consulting firm, will discuss with local educators the importance of empathy in innovation and entrepreneurship education.

More information, including the opportunity to register, can be found HERE as details become available.

 

Student-Run Expo a Great Success

May 10, 2016

EntrovationCLE 2016 took place on April 30 at Beachwood High School. The event, which was billed by organizers as a "one-day expo showcasing innovative entrepreneurs and out-of-the-box ideas," featured nearly 200 vendor participants.

While the event had the feel of a professionally run trade show, there were two significant characteristics that differentiated it from other expos. First, the diversity among vendors was evident almost immediately upon arriving at the event. Attendees could interact with established companies, small startups, colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, food trucks, and everything in between. The mixture of vendors, which also included 50 youth entrepreneurs, gave EntrovationCLE a unique flavor, and ensured that everyone in attendance found something of interest.

The second, and maybe more impressive, factor is who organized EntrovationCLE. The event was planned, organized and run by 44 Northeast Ohio high school seniors. The students planned Entrovation as a part of the Beachwood Excel TECC Marketing Education and Junior Achievement course at Beachwood High School. Eight area high schools had students participate in the class: Beachwood, Brush, Mayfield, Solon, Chagrin Falls, Aurora, West Geauga, and Orange. The students, who were selected through an application process, also ran the Beachwood Benny's Spirit Shop while planning the event throughout the school year.

In addition to putting on the marketplace, the organizers of EntrovationCLE raised $3,500 for Youth Outdoors, a partnership between Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio State University Extension, 4-H and the City of Cleveland that aims to augment the developmental needs of Cleveland's urban youth with outdoor adventures and nature exploration.

 

High School Students Compete for Prizes in Veale Business Plan Competition

May 10, 2016

The 3rd Annual Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum Business Plan Competition attracted innovative students from ten independent schools in Northeast Ohio. Hundreds of students participate in this competition each year, which helps student entrepreneurs recognize business opportunities and develop their ideas.

Finalists from each school convened at Case Western Reserve University on March 8 to deliver their pitches before a panel of judges. Providing feedback to the young entrepreneurs were judges Jim Cossler, CEO and Huntington Bank Entrepreneur-In- Residence, of Youngstown Business Incubator; Hallie Bram Kogelschatz, CEO of shark & minnow and cofounder of TEDxCLE; Nichelle McCall, Founder of BOLDGuidance; Brad Reynolds, Chairman of BER Holdings, LLC; and Bob Sopko, Director of the Case Western Reserve University NEOLaunchNET program.

CalendHER of Hathaway Brown School took first place and $1,200 for an app to help women document health data in an individually customized calendar. Second place was awarded to Frosting on the Cake of Magnificat High School, a business that provides full-service birthday parties for children. Monks Corner of Benedictine High School earned third place for an engraving company specializing in laser-engraved crosses.

Other ideas presented included a style advice service, a subscription service offering 3-D printed toys, and artisanal sodas with customizable labels.

The Veale Foundation and Burton D. Morgan Foundation co-funded this event, working in partnership with the Young Entrepreneur Institute.

 

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LaunchTown Competition Held in April

May 10, 2016

The 10th Annual LaunchTown Northeast Ohio Student Competition took place on April 19, 2016 at the Bit Factory in Akron. The competition, which was open to students from all local colleges and universities regardless of major, focused on the best ideas for a new business, product or service in the areas of science, engineering, biomedical and information technology. Recent competition winners have included Cannibuster, EveryKey and Disease Diagnostic Grop.

A crowd of about 50 people was on hand to support the six competition finalists, representing Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University and the University of Akron. Phil Brennan, Chief Executive Officer of Echogen Power Systems, delivered a keynote speech, "The Bottom Line in Efficient Energy." Deborah Hoover, President and CEO of Burton D. Morgan Foundation, also shared remarks about Burt Morgan and the mission of the Foundation in Northeast Ohio. Additionally, Akron Deputy Mayor Samuel DeShazior thanked the Morgan Foundation for its continued support of entrepreneurship in the city.

The first place winners of the competition were Kaushik Mishra and Prad Georges of PolyLux (University of Akron). Poly Lux utilizes photo-reversible technology to facilitate the easy removal of bandages, therefore minimizing pain, discomfort and injury to a patient's skin. Second place went to Xyla Foxlin of Parihug (Case Western Reserve University). Parihug makes electronically-connected teddy bears that let loved ones hug each other from a distance. Third place went to Nate Swift of Hedgemon (Case Western Reserve University). Hedgemon is using biomimicry to design protective sports helmets that can prevent concussions.

 

Letter from the President

February 25, 2016

Progress is impossible without change...
~George Bernard Shaw

Dear Readers,

One thing you can say for sure is that the world of entrepreneurship is always changing and our Foundation works very hard to stay ahead of the curve. Prominent on our radar screen at the moment are all the efforts in Akron aimed at lifting up entrepreneurship to make it a critical part of the DNA of the city. Over the last year, we have made grants to Akron venture support organizations including funds to ECDI to establish a micro-lending program in the city, to Women's Network of Northeast Ohio to offer workshops for aspiring female entrepreneurs, and to The University of Akron's EXL program to support a series of hackathons that will connect university and community entrepreneurship efforts.

Our latest round of grants approved at the February Board meeting reflects a continuing emphasis on the entrepreneurial culture of Akron. The Akron Global Business Accelerator received a grant to renovate an area at its entrance for a networking and cafe space designed to bring entrepreneurs together for peer to peer learning and workshops. Our Akron-based, award winning SCORE organization is the recipient of a grant to support its operations for the coming year as it provides assistance to growing businesses in the community. Burton D. Morgan Foundation continues to work with many partners in Akron to advance entrepreneurship including the Fund for Our Economic Future. The Foundation approved a three-year commitment to the Fund, continuing our strong support for the strategic priorities of our region's groundbreaking philanthropic collaboration.

We are excited to draw upon our extensive experience in ecosystem expansion to help build an even stronger entrepreneurial culture in Akron!

Celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit,

Deborah Hoover
President & CEO

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Foundation Grants Support Entrepreneurship in Akron

February 25, 2016

Rending<br />
      of AGBA space, courtesy of Fré Interiors At their February meeting, Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved more than $3.2 million in grants to organizations that promote entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio. Grants will benefit organizations supporting youth, collegiate and adult entrepreneurship initiatives. In the latter group are several organizations that will have a particular impact on innovation in the Akron area.

Akron Development Corporation was awarded a grant of $242,200 to construct a multi-purpose space at the entrance to the Akron Global Business Accelerator. It is anticipated that the new area, which will include a reception spot, a small restaurant/coffee shop, and multiple collaboration spaces, will serve to better connect a variety of community groups to the business incubator. Construction should be complete by the fall. A rendering of the space is pictured above, courtesy of Fré Interiors.

“Innovative leaders, entrepreneurs and businesses seek places where they can gather for conversation, have meetings and get a great cup of coffee,” said Anthony Margida, CEO of Akron Global Business Accelerator. “This generous grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation will create a space that not only encourages collaboration for our client companies, but meets the needs of neighboring businesses and organizations in our part of the city.”

The Fund for Our Economic Future of Northeast Ohio, which is working to strengthen the entrepreneurial community in Akron, was awarded $500,000 to bolster its strategic direction around growth and opportunity over the next three years.

Akron SCORE, which provides guidance and assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners through seasoned business executives, received a grant of $35,000 to support operations over the coming year.

Deborah Hoover, Foundation President and CEO commented, “It is a new day for entrepreneurship in Akron with a host of leaders and organizations stepping up to transform Akron into a vibrant entrepreneurial city. With passion, energy, and a diversity of perspectives, Akron is building on an already strong foundation of venture support to ensure that aspiring entrepreneurs can access the services and networks they need to build sustainable businesses. Morgan Foundation, in collaboration with our partners, will continue to invest resources, time, and leadership to strengthen Akron's growing entrepreneurial community for the future."

Other entrepreneurship-related grants approved by the Foundation’s Trustees in February include:

Case Western Reserve University - $193,381 to support the publication of a book and the design and execution of data collection protocols associated with the Beyond Silicon Valley massive online open course (2 years)

Emmanuel Christian Academy - $15,000 for a summer entrepreneurship camp for middle school students

Entrepreneurship Education Consortium - Up to $120,000 for Entrepreneurship Immersion Week and the ideaLabs competition and funds to assist with a comprehensive strategic planning process

Hawken School - $100,000 to support the development of a digital platform for the Hawken Educators Workshop, and provide scholarships for public school educators in Northeast Ohio to attend the workshop (2 years)

JumpStart - $1,000,000 to support the expansion of the Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program to serve companies in new sectors (3 years)

Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education - Up to $50,000 to pilot an entrepreneurial internship program collaboration

Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund - $77,000 to support operations, investments, and internships ($65,000), with an additional 1:1 challenge grant of $12,000 to attract support from member institutions

Notre Dame College - $100,000 to support entrepreneurship programming in 2016 and 2017 ($50,000) and to secure and improve program space on campus in 2016 ($50,000)

St. Clair Superior Development Corporation - $100,000 to develop youth entrepreneurship opportunities that integrate the unique maker culture of the St. Clair Superior neighborhood into Northeast Ohio’s rich entrepreneurship programming (2 years)

Summer on the Cuyahoga - up to $28,000 for employer fee subsidies and student recruiting expenses for the Entrepreneurial Outreach program

The Entrepreneurs EDGE - $50,000 to support fellow stipend payments for the 2016 EDGE Fellows Summer Intern program

University Hospitals Case Medical Center - $200,000 for costs related to mentorship and consulting support for the physician-scientists participating in the Harrington Project

University of Mount Union - $60,000 to support faculty development and student engagement activities related to the cultivation of an entrepreneurial culture at the university (2 years)

University School - $193,000 to support the 2016 Enspire conference and a business idea competition for youth

Venture for America - $200,000 for operating support for the Venture for America (VFA) Fellows Program and the VFA Community Partnerships pilot in Northeast Ohio (2 years)

To address community needs that fall outside the Foundation’s primary mission, the Trustees periodically make one-time community grants on a proactive basis to deserving charitable organizations that serve the local area. The following proactive grants were awarded by the Trustees in February:

89.7 WKSU - $9,750 to support the rebuilding and updating of studio technology and equipment for WKSU in Kent

Adaptive Sports Program of Ohio - $30,000 to provide 15 basketball wheelchairs to youth with disabilities in Akron Public Schools

Child Guidance & Family Solutions - $20,000 to support the Child Guidance & Family Solutions Toddlers and Preschoolers Succeeding (TAPS) Program

Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy - $25,000 for an “Eat Local” campaign & programming

Friends of Metro Parks - $9,000 to support the Outside Is In Program

Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary - $33,050 for capital expenses

Mature Services - $5,000 to purchase two reach-in freezers and support the organization’s food distribution programming

Military Aviation Preservation Society - $13,200 to purchase and install Plexiglas on the second floor mezzanine safety rail 

Ronald McDonald House of Akron - $20,000 to support the capital campaign

Victory Gallop - $10,000 to provide children with scholarships to participate in Victory Gallop’s therapeutic riding program

Since September, the Foundation also approved a number of small grants to support youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship programs. Among the recipients were: Akron Area Arts Alliance for the Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute program ($10,000); Beachwood City Schools for the EntrovationCLE Expo ($10,000); Canton Regional SCORE for program support ($10,000); Crafty Mart for a series of artist entrepreneur events ($4,000); Hershey Montessori School to initiate the creation of a retail shop ($7,500); Prepared 4 Life for underwriting the license fee for Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio ($10,000); The Ohio Academy of Science for the Invention Convention program ($8,600); and Walsh University for entrepreneurship programming ($7,500).

Also approved by the Trustees was a grant to Western Reserve Academy for the Burton D. Morgan Leadership program ($32,500). Other grants made to benefit the Hudson community since September include the following: City of Hudson for production costs associated with Hudson Cable TV’s Good Day in Hudson ($1,200); EMS Outreach Fund of Hudson for an automated CPR device for one of the Hudson EMS ambulances ($2,000); First Congregational Church of Hudson for operating support ($10,000); Hudson City Schools for Hudson High School clubs ($15,000); Hudson Community Service Association for the 2015 holiday lighting program ($250); Hudson Job Search for operating support ($10,000); Hudson Rotary Foundation for scholarship fund support ($1,000); and Seton Catholic School for a youth philanthropy program with Laurel Lake Retirement Community ($2,500).

New Home for IPVC on Case Western Reserve University Campus

February 25, 2016

Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) held a ribbon cutting ceremony in January for the Intellectual Property Venture Clinic (IPVC) to celebrate the accomplishments of the program, as well as its newly renovated dedicated space in CWRU’s School of Law. The IPVC provides legal counsel at no cost to new student-run enterprises, helping high-potential entrepreneurs launch successful, investment-ready companies.

The new quarters, supported in part by the Foundation, serves as a modern, technology-enabled space for both teaching and client meetings. Video conferencing and related information technology support the IPVC’s outreach efforts to students at other NEOLaunchNET campuses, which include Kent State University, Baldwin Wallace University, and Lorain County Community College, allowing students, clients, and collaborators to participate remotely in meetings held at CWRU.

The IPVC provides critical services to the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and will contribute mightily to the impact of what students will be able to achieve through their ventures. Under the supervision of licensed attorneys, students from CWRU’s School of Law provide legal counsel to IPVC clients, and receive valuable training and experience as a result. CWRU anticipates serving more students through this program in the coming years, as the number of student-run ventures increases and awareness of this service spreads.

NEOLaunchNET Celebrates Transition

February 25, 2016

The NEOLaunchNET schools have completed their transition from the Blackstone LaunchPad program, marked by celebrations in January at each campus. Foundation President and CEO Deborah Hoover joined the presidents of Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University, and Lorain County Community College at each campus event to celebrate the progress made in embedding entrepreneurship at the schools to date.

NEOLaunchNET has evolved from the Blackstone LaunchPad program, which was launched in the four Northeast Ohio schools in 2011 to support the next generation of entrepreneurs in our region. Originally supported by Burton D. Morgan Foundation and Blackstone Charitable Foundation as part of a national network of schools, the Northeast Ohio schools’ success has allowed the program to spin off on its own. To date, 2,500 students have participated in the program, nearly 1,500 ventures have been formed, and more than 200 companies have generated follow-on funding. Even more important, arguably, is that students from all majors are learning entrepreneurial skills that can help them be more innovative and successful as they progress though their careers.

Each school has adapted NEOLaunchNET to the unique personality of its campus, while maintaining the program’s cross-campus, co-curricular, student-centric focus. Case Western Reserve University organized student attendance at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in January. The NEOLaunchNET program at Kent State University continues to innovate with company-supported hackathons, while Baldwin Wallace maintains a close connection with Bad Girl Ventures to support female entrepreneurs. Lorain County Community College’s NEOLaunchNET program is exploring the connection between experiential entrepreneurship and degree completion.

The Foundation is proud to provide support to the NEOLaunchNET program and is excited by the progress the schools have made in exposing more and more students to entrepreneurial concepts and ventures.

Scott Shane Presents Research Findings from PITCH U

February 25, 2016

What kind of training leads to a successful pitch? Should training emphasize content or style? Many of us have ideas about this, but little scientific evidence exists to support them. Dr. Scott Shane, Burton D. Morgan Foundation Research Fellow and A. Malachi Mixon III Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University, offered some answers to these questions and many others at a presentation at the JumpStart offices on January 20.

As a Fellow of the Foundation’s recently formed research institute, the Entrepreneurship Education Experiment, Dr. Shane and his interns conducted PITCH U, an experiment to identify the best training to enhance performance at pitching new venture ideas to early stage investors.

The presentation was attended by approximately 60 participants in Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including entrepreneurs, investors, and educators, who were eager to hear Dr. Shane’s initial findings. While Dr. Shane is still slicing and dicing the massive amount of data gleaned from his study, his initial findings reveal that people can be taught to pitch investors more successfully, that how they are taught matters, and that training should be fit to the type of trainee (i.e. female, grad student, STEM student.) Also, the success of the pitch IS impacted by pitch order.

Dr. Shane will reprise his presentation at Hudson Library & Historical Society on March 2 at 6:30 pm. Click HERE for more information or to register. To view slides from Shane’s presentation, click HERE.

EY Entrepreneur of the Year Program

February 25, 2016

Burton D. Morgan Foundation is proud to sponsor the 2016 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®, which is the world's most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership, and achievement. Since its inception in 1986, Entrepreneur of the Year has grown dramatically and now includes programs in more than 145 cities and more than 60 countries.

Previous award winners include Foundation President and CEO Deborah Hoover (2014), Foundation Trustee Richard Seaman (2015) and Foundation Founder Burton D. Morgan (1991). Applications for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 program are being accepted through March 11. If you wish to nominate a successful entrepreneur for this honor, click HERE for more information.

 

Annual Report

February 25, 2016

Look for Transformation, Burton D. Morgan Foundation's 2015 annual report, in your inbox of mailbox in mid-March!

Welcome Back!

February 25, 2016

The Foundation gladly welcomes back to the office Program Officer Angela Evans, who returned in early February from maternity leave. Angela is pictured with her son, Finnegan August.

Letter from the President

December 7, 2015

Dear Foundation Friends,

Burton D. Morgan Foundation launched its new brand in early November and we thank you for the positive feedback we have received on our updated image. All of us at the Foundation feel energized by our new, colorful logo, but also by the process we employed to define our work. Not only did we emerge from this process with a new look, but we also came away with a deeper understanding of who we are as a grantmaking organization and an entrepreneurial ecosystem builder. The task we set for ourselves was a tall one--to capture the visual representation of our identity and our multifaceted role in Northeast Ohio as a thought leader and catalyst for entrepreneurial opportunities across our region.

Working with our designers at Triad Communications, we engaged with trustees and staff over many months to reflect on the best way to symbolize our mission, strategy, and goals. During the course of this soul-searching process, we looked at more than 20 unique designs--all visually appealing and interesting--but we needed to assess what each image conveyed and who we are as an organization. Through meetings and discussions, we talked at length, narrowed the field, tweaked and refined until finally we reached a consensus on our brand, logo, and color palette. I think we would all agree that the process was highly engaging, but also far more challenging than any of us anticipated. Reactions to visuals are very personal and we are not a shy bunch, so people freely shared their thoughts and interpretations!

A month into living with our new brand, we believe it suits us well. Many of you have shared what you see in the new logo--eye, beacon, compass, gyroscope, kaleidoscope! Our Foundation's new logo represents all of these concepts and more. We expect our image to evolve with us as we grow and change in the coming years to face new challenges in an ever-shifting entrepreneurial landscape. For now, we are still celebrating our new look and all the ways it symbolizes our Foundation's mission to champion the entrepreneurial spirit!

Deborah Hoover
President & CEO

 

Enspire 2015 Attracts Area Entrepreneurship Educators

December 7, 2015

On November 7, approximately 200 youth entrepreneurship educators gathered at University School for the inaugural Enspire event, a two-day conference focused on peer to peer learning and partnerships to improve student learning. Co-created by the Young Entrepreneur Institute and Burton D. Morgan Foundation, Enspire 2015 included many dynamic presenters, including keynote speakers Daymond John from ABC's Shark Tank fame, and Jessica Jackley, founder of the microlending website, KIVA. Young Entrepreneur Market students were also on hand to sell their products.

In conjunction with Enspire, a pitch contest for youth called TeenTechTank was held. More than 100 area youth submitted 90-second video pitches describing their tech-based idea. From this pool of entries, five teens were selected by a panel of judges to receive a number of great prizes, including scholarships to Cleveland State University and the opportunity to have their pitches critiqued by Daymond John.

The Foundation is grateful to University School, Young Entrepreneur Institute, and all of the partners, sponsors, speakers, communication ambassadors, volunteers, and attendees who helped to make Enspire 2015 such a success!
Plans are already underway for Enspire 2016. Please save the date: November 11-12!

 

New Branding for Burton D. Morgan Foundation

December 7, 2015

Burton D. Morgan Foundation has proudly championed the entrepreneurial spirit in Northeast Ohio since 1967. In partnership with the community and our grantees, we create opportunities and cultivate networks that advance entrepreneurship and inspire those with the courage to power the economy.

As we prepare to celebrate our first 50 years, we decided this was the ideal time to evaluate our brand and ensure that it reflects who we are as a forward-thinking organization. We are passionate about our mission and community. We are proud of our bold and innovative founder, Burt Morgan, and we strive to embody his values and vision in all that we do.

With this goal in mind, we embarked on a journey to better capture the personality of the Foundation in our brand. We enlisted the help of our colleagues at TRIAD Communications to guide us in this six-month interactive and dynamic process. In November, we proudly introduced our colorful new brand which better captures our mission through our redesigned logo, graphics, and palette. Our new brand perfectly symbolizes the Foundation's rich history while simultaneously preparing us for an exciting future growing Northeast Ohio's burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem.

To view our updated Brand Identity Guidelines, please click HERE. As usual, we request that you seek our approval before utilizing the Foundation's logo on any materials, and for those who are currently featuring our logo, we request that you update materials with our new logo, as practicality allows.

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#GirlPower Pitch Night

December 7, 2015

On November 17, NEOLaunchNET, the newly reconfigured Blackstone LaunchPad, joined forces with Bad Girl Ventures to present the 2nd Annual #GirlPower Pitch Night. Held at Baldwin Wallace University, the event featured twelve female entrepreneurs from Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University, and Lorain County Community College pitching their business ideas.

The presentations were judged by three Bad Girl Ventures alumna: Mary Farrell, CEO of Cherub's Blanket; Muhga Eltigani (pictured), CEO of NaturAll; and Elizabeth Pryor, CEO of Chill Pop Shop.

Congratulations to the following winners:

1st place ($500): Xyla Foxlin of Case Western Reserve University for BearHugs
2nd place ($300): Daphne Fecheyr-Lippens of Case Western Reserve University for Jaswig
3rd place ($200): Kaylee Yuhas of Baldwin Wallace University for Explorium

For more information on the winning business ideas, click HERE.

 

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Case Western Reserve University Highlights Innovation at Inaugural Summit

December 7, 2015

In late October, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) hosted its inaugural Innovation Summit, a massive three-day effort that attracted more than 520 attendees. This event brought together an international group of entrepreneurs, business and academic leaders, researchers, economic development professionals, policy makers, and others to explore the opportunities and challenges of global innovation.

More than 80 speakers were on hand including lan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese; Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup, Inc.; Jeff Hoffman, cofounder of Priceline.com; and Craig Maxwell, corporate vice president of technology and innovation for Parker Hannifin. Deborah Hoover, Foundation President, delivered a talk on Innovation Ecosystems and moderated a panel of ecosystem builders from across the country.

Sector-specific breakout sessions were held on health care, design, social entrepreneurship and sustainability, education, capital markets, corporate innovation, advanced energy, additive manufacturing, the Internet of Things, university-industry partnerships, and innovations in the legal sector.

Attendees also participated in workshops that provided the chance to “meet the market” Shark Tank style by pitching their product ideas; received hands-on training in the “Vertical Innovation” process developed by Nottingham Spirk; saw technological innovations in medical education; and explored academic makerspace in conjunction with the Make Schools Alliance.

One of the highlights of the summit was the celebration of the move of CWRU’s Sears think[box] innovation center to its new 50,000-square foot home, the newly renovated Richey Mixon Building. One of the world’s largest university-based innovation and entrepreneurship centers, think[box] houses ample collaboration space, top-of-the-line prototyping equipment, a fabrication workshop, business resources, intellectual property and legal assistance, and incubator space for promising startups.

Due to the overwhelming success of the Innovation Summit, CWRU is currently considering hosting another summit.

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Pitch Night a Success

December 7, 2015

The Hudson Library & Historical Center held its 3rd Annual Pitch Night on November 17, during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Ten companies from a pool of 47 applicants were chosen to pitch their businesses and compete for $5,000 in prize money.

Judging the presentations were Charles Stack, CEO and cofounder of Flashstarts and StartMart; Kirsten Lino, a banker with FirstMerit and President of the Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio; and Susan McGann, Certified Business Advisor for the Small Business Development Center at Summit Medina Business Alliance, Inc.

Congratulations to the following winners of Pitch Night: Ian Ferre, (pictured) for Greenlite Technologies took 1st place and $3,000; Emily Kennedy for Hedgemon, Inc. took the 2nd place prize of $1,500; and the 3rd place prize of $500 went to Dennis Althar for Althar Audio.

To view the video of Pitch Night and learn more about the businesses presented that night, click HERE.

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Philanthropy Day Award

December 7, 2015

On November 6, the Foundation was presented with the Foundation Leadership Award by the Association for Fundraising Professionals Cleveland at an awards luncheon. We are pleased and proud to be honored this way and thank our colleagues at Baldwin Wallace University for the nomination!

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Burton D. Morgan Foundation Welcomes Baby Finn

December 7, 2015

Congratulations to Program Officer Angela Evans and her husband, Dan, on the long awaited birth of Baby Finnegan August, born on November 14. We wish Angela and her family well!

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Letter from the President

September 24, 2015

Dear Foundation Friends,

The Foundation's calendar is full this autumn!  Our new research institute--the Entrepreneurship Education Experiment--is off to a busy start sponsoring Pitch U competitions on three campuses and engaging up to 400 students sharing their novel ideas.  For younger entrepreneurs, the TeenTechTank competition will culminate at Enspire 2015 on November 7 at University School with the opportunity for five lucky finalists to pitch before Daymond John! 

This fall, we are also celebrating the arrival of Treye Johnson to our staff as well as the longtime contributions of Trustee Stan Gault to the Foundation as he becomes Trustee Emeritus at the end of the year.

Finally, we are excited to continue our work with the four Blackstone LaunchPad campuses as we transition these dynamic programs to a new regional platform and network.

Thanks to all of our friends in the Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystem for being great partners to the Foundation and helping us to support the dreams of budding entrepreneurs!

Deborah Hoover
President & CEO

Foundation Supports Youth Entrepreneurship with Grants at September Meeting

September 24, 2015

At their September meeting, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved grants totaling nearly $800,000, including $339,400 in support to area organizations that provide youth entrepreneurship programming.  Youth organizations receiving grants this funding cycle are Invent Now and four Junior Achievement affiliates.

Mike Oister, Invent Now CEO, said, “I spent this summer watching many of our 100,000+ Camp Invention kids become young inventors and entrepreneurs – inventing and creating go-to-market plans – in front of my eyes.  The evolution of Camp Invention has been impacted by the Foundation’s feedback, inspiration, influence and collaborative ideas.”

Deborah Hoover, Foundation President and CEO commented, “Mr. Morgan had a vision that the Foundation should be a pioneer -- seeding programs to inspire young entrepreneurs.  Decades later, our Northeast Ohio region now offers a wealth of opportunities for young people to experience the life of an entrepreneur and begin to connect threads from their classroom studies to their plans for the future.”

Grants approved by the Foundation’s Trustees in September include:

Ashland University - $134,000 to develop and embed academic units on entrepreneurship into courses, enhance faculty learning on the instruction of entrepreneurship, and to support student entrepreneurship programming over a two-year period

Economic Growth Foundation - $50,000 to serve minority business enterprises and minority entrepreneurs through the creation of Northeast Ohio minority business enterprise support organization collaboration

Friends of New Orleans - $25,000 to support year two of the Forward Cities learning collaborative

Hudson Community Foundation - $35,000 to provide ongoing support for the Hudson Independence Day fireworks display in 2016 ($5,000) and increased support to celebrate the Foundation’s 50th anniversary in 2017 ($30,000)

ideastream - $40,000 to sponsor Nightly Business Report

Invent Now - $114,400 to support five Camp Invention sites

Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio - $40,000 to support youth entrepreneurship programming

Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland - $50,000 to support youth entrepreneurship programming

Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley - $50,000 to support youth entrepreneurship education programming

Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio - $85,000 to support youth entrepreneurship programming

Music from the Western Reserve $25,000 for endowment support and $7,500 for operations

Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation - $40,000 to support and expand training, credit counseling, and microloan programs for entrepreneurs

Since June, the Foundation also approved a number of small grants to support youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship programs, as well as community initiatives.  Among the recipients were:  Case Western Reserve University for the Innovation Summit ($15,000); Downtown Akron Partnership for the Akron Art Prize event ($10,000); Effective Leadership Academy for the LEAD Chamber program ($3,200); The Foundation Center for operating support ($7,500); Girl Scouts of North East Ohio for the Girl Executive Officer program ($10,000); Hudson Community Service Association for the Helping Hands Assistance Fund ($4,000); 89.7 WKSU for sponsorship of Exploradio ($8,500); Launch League for program support for startup founders ($2,500); Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET) for the ProtoTech product pitch competition ($5,000); and The Oberlin Project for SEED Ventures ($10,000).

A more complete list of grants awarded can be found by visiting the Foundation’s website at bdmorganfdn.org/grants-awarded.

New Progam Officer Joins Foundation Staff

September 24, 2015

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation welcomed Treye Johnson to its staff in August as a full-time program officer.  Treye’s responsibilities include reviewing grant proposals, formulating recommendations to the Trustees, and evaluating the impact of the Foundation’s grants.  He will also work with grantees to build networks, develop proactive initiatives, and represent the Foundation at regional meetings relevant to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Treye most recently served as a Fellow with the George Gund Foundation, where he worked across all the Foundation’s program areas.  He also has extensive educational and non-profit experience, including work at Saint Martin de Porres High School, the Muhammad Ali Center, and St. Ignatius High School. 

Treye earned a Master’s Degree in Sports Administration from the University of Louisville and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from John Carroll University.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and become involved in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northeast Ohio, which I believe will play a vital role in the continued resurgence of our region,” stated Treye.

Deborah Hoover, Foundation President and CEO, noted, “Treye’s breadth of experiences working with the Gund Foundation and the Fund for Our Economic Future equip him with unique perspectives on our work and we are grateful to have him on our team.”

Treye currently resides in South Euclid with his wife, Tera and son, Quentin.  Treye enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sports, and sampling local craft beer.

Strong Support for Female Entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio

September 24, 2015

At the inaugural White House Demo Day in August, female entrepreneurship was prominently featured.  As a result of a call to action issued by President Obama, a number of new female-focused initiatives were announced, and more than a dozen companies launched new efforts aimed at ensuring diverse recruitment and hiring of women at all levels.  The call to action was made to help boost the economy.  As Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the Office of Science and Technology Policy stated, “Hiring women isn’t just the right thing for companies to do – it’s more profitable… and creates greater shareholder value.”

Northeast Ohio is home to a number of women-centered organizations focused on entrepreneurship. 

Bad Girl Ventures (BGV) is an educational and micro-finance non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and supporting female entrepreneurs in key areas of their business.  Founded in 2010 in Cincinnati, BGV expanded operations to include a Cleveland office headed by Reka Barabas.  BGV creates opportunities for female entrepreneurs through education, connections, and access to capital. 

Female entrepreneurs can choose to participate in BGV as a student or a finalist.  As students, any female (or male) business owner or entrepreneur may attend an entire course or attend individual classes a la carte.  As finalists, entrepreneurs go through a selection process to be accepted into the program, they are matched with mentors, and are considered for a BGV business loan up to $25,000 after completing the nine-week business course. Class topics include web and social media, marketing and branding, cash flow, legal essentials, accounting, pricing, financing, the 60-second pitch, and credit.  The kickoff reception for the current cohort of entrepreneurs will be held October 12 at 5:30 pm at Baldwin Wallace University's Center for Innovation and Growth.  For details and registration information, click HERE.

The Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio is a local, membership-based, non-profit organization in Akron that focuses on the professional and core leadership development of women professionals through networking events, leadership workshops, and mentoring programs.  Headed by Board President Kirstin Lino, the Women’s Network offers programs specifically designed to make women more employable, engaged, and confident in their abilities and skills to lead within their organizations and communities.

In May, Women's Network launched the EMPOWER! Women's Entrepreneurship Mastery Program, which is designed to enrich and empower women business owners.  Program elements include a workshop series that addresses issues all entrepreneurs face when starting, growing, or maintaining a business and meet-ups open to the public to help facilitate networking.  This program expects to serve up to 50 women this year and will be completed this fall.  For more information about this program, click HERE.

Northeast Ohio is also home to The Burning River Coffee Community, a peer support group for women entrepreneurs. Led by Laura Bennett, CEO and cofounder of Embrace Pet Insurance and BGV Cleveland board member, The Burning River Coffee Community hosts monthly mentoring sessions with discussions that center around the common challenges and struggles faced by women entrepreneurs, with straightforward, honest and useful conversations about leading a growing company.  

On October 21, the 4th Annual Female Entrepreneurship Summit will be held at the Cleveland Public Auditorium and Conference Center.  The event, presented by CBC Magazine and COSE, will feature Rent the Runway cofounders Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, and a pitch competition with $20,000 in prize money.  For more information or to register, click HERE
 

Register Now for Enspire Conference

September 24, 2015

Attention youth entrepreneurship educators:  registrations are currently being accepted for Enspire 2015, a joint production of University School and The Burton D. Morgan Foundation. 

The Enspire conference, to be held November 6-7 at University School, will feature exciting keynote speakers, expert panels, and idea sharing that will help educators take their programs to the next level.  Keynote speakers will include Jessica Jackley, founder of Kiva.org and Daymond John, founder and CEO of FUBU and TV personality on ABC’s Shark Tank.

Other featured speakers include Justin Bibb of Gallup, Derreck Kayongo of Global Soap Project, Laurie Stach of MIT Launch, and a special panel featuring young entrepreneur representatives of BeeSweet Lemonade, Mo’s Bows, and ManCans.

Another exciting feature is Teen Tech Tank, a technology business idea competition for high school students.  Entrants must submit a 60 second video to teentechtank.com.  Five winners will be chosen, and prizes include scholarship dollars to Cleveland State University, Chromebook laptops, cash, and Coca-Cola products.  Submissions will be accepted until October 5. 

For more information, visit teentecktank.com.  To register for the conference, click HERE

Case Western Reserve University to Host Innovation Summit in October

September 24, 2015

Mark your calendars!  Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) will host Innovation Summit 2015: Models of Innovation October 26-28. 

Corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, academic experts, and policy makers will convene to examine how diverse regions and industries leverage their strengths to fuel new companies, products, technologies, and ideas.  The Summit will explore different models that have capitalized on these opportunities, their impact, and how they can be replicated.  Trends such as the maker movement, startup accelerators, and community building will be part of the conversation.

World renowned presenters and panelists will offer insight into emerging themes and provide examples of innovative constructs and partnerships.  Included in the lineup are Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese; Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup Inc; Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Priceline.com; Dale Dougherty, founder and CEO of Make:  Magazine; Curt Carlson, former president and CEO of SRI International; Cheryl Martin, founder of Harwich Partners; Craig Maxwell, corporate vice president of technology and innovation for Parker Hannifin, and Susan Helper, chief economist for the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Foundation President and CEO, Deborah Hoover, will lead a panel discussion on regional-based innovation models.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to explore the first phase of CWRU’s think[box], one of the world’s largest university-based innovation and entrepreneurship centers.  The newly renovated building houses ample collaboration space, top-of-the-line prototyping equipment, a fabrication workshop, business resources, intellectual property and legal assistance, and incubator space for promising startups.

Sector-specific breakout sessions will be held on health care, design, social entrepreneurship and sustainability, education, capital markets, corporate innovation, advanced energy, additive manufacturing, the Internet of Things, university-industry partnerships, and innovations in the legal sector. 

Attendees may participate in workshops that provide the chance to “meet the market” Shark Tank style by pitching their product ideas; get hands-on training in the “Vertical Innovation” process developed by Nottingham Spirk; see technological innovations in medical education; and explore academic makerspace in conjunction with the Make Schools Alliance. 

For more details or to register, click HERE.

PITCH U Coming to a Campus Near You

September 24, 2015

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is sponsoring a new business idea pitch competition on three area campuses.  This free competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students from any university and from any field of study.  Students will make a 90-second elevator pitch to a panel of judges, competing for a total of $4,000 in prizes.

Celebration Held for Stan Gault

September 24, 2015

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation Staff and Board of Trustees honored Stanley C. Gault on Tuesday, September 15 for 22 years of service as Foundation Board Trustee.  Gault will retire at the end of the year.

A small group of friends, family, and colleagues joined Foundation Staff and Trustees at The Wooster Inn to celebrate Gault and his many years of exceptional service.  Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Hoover presented Gault with a proclamation adopted by the Board which heaped praise upon Gault for his integrity, sound judgment, outstanding leadership, and unwavering dedication.  After each offered their own individual tributes, Foundation Trustees treated Gault to a rousing rendition of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.”

Stanley Gault graduated from The College of Wooster and had three distinguished business careers:  Senior Vice President of General Electric Company; Chairman and CEO of Rubbermaid Incorporated; and Chairman and CEO of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.  He was a Director and Chairman of the Board of Avon Products, Inc., and a Director of The New York Stock Exchange.  He also served as Chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers.  Gault is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of The College of Wooster.  He has served as Trustee of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation since 1994. 

Deborah Hoover commented, “Our Trustees said it best in their Resolution of Appreciation stating that, ‘Mr. Gault has guided the evolution of the Foundation through steadfast contribution of his wisdom, time, and many talents over more than two decades, freely sharing his vast experiences and generously mentoring others. He has exemplified a generosity of spirit and deep understanding of critical issues that promote the mission and ethos of the Foundation and serve as an inspiration to others in the philanthropic community.’  All of us at The Burton D. Morgan Foundation are grateful for Mr. Gault's extraordinary contributions to our evolution and for his ongoing engagement as Trustee Emeritus.”

Blackstone LaunchPad Transitioning to Regional Network

September 24, 2015

Due in large part to four years of success and growth, Northeast Ohio’s Blackstone LaunchPad (BLP) program will be transitioning to its next phase soon.

In 2011, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation formed a partnership with The Blackstone Charitable Foundation to support the next generation of entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio by awarding $3.2 million in funding to four area institutions - Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University, and Lorain County Community College - to implement BLP campus programs.  BLP, a national initiative founded by the University of Miami, is a campus based entrepreneurship program designed to support and mentor students, staff, and alumni, regardless of major. 

During the past four years, entrepreneurship programming on all four campuses has grown by leaps and bounds, with more than 2,100 students participating in the program and close to 1,200 ventures explored, resulting in 200 companies that have attracted over $1 million in follow-on funding and created 230 full and part-time jobs.  Further, the BLP program has been instrumental in advancing the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and its connectivity to the four campuses. 

By the end of 2015, programs at the four campuses will transition to a unique regional entrepreneurship program, building upon but separate from the BLP program, and supported by the Foundation and the four institutions.  Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s support of this program will taper off, as it focuses on nurturing its many other BLP programs across the nation and in Ireland. 

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is committed to continuing to partner with all four campuses to promote collegiate entrepreneurship.  Stay tuned for more news on this exciting transition, which will include details of program and support, as well as a new name.

Letter from the President

July 9, 2015

Dear Foundation Friends,

Since April when we launched the Entrepreneurship Education Experiment, our new research institute, the halls of the foundation have been bustling with activity.  Dr. Scott Shane and our two interns, Laura Mummey and Eoghan Bees, are preparing for PITCH U and the four campus pitch competitions that will take place this fall--a means to understand the elements of a great pitch. Many other exciting projects are underway including a youth entrepreneurship conference, ENSPIRE 2015, scheduled for November. 

To help the Foundation handle this growing body of work, we will be expanding our staff this summer as Treye Johnson, Gund Foundation Fellow 2013-15, joins our team as a new program officer in August.

The spring and early summer have presented many opportunities for the staff to share the results of our work from Detroit to Cleveland to Boston.  The Foundation is growing and evolving all the time and we are excited to tackle all the new, intriguing challenges that are coming our way!

Deborah Hoover
President & CEO

Burton D. Morgan Foundation Research Institute Staff

July 9, 2015

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation welcomed Eoghan Bees, Laura Mummey, and Scott Shane to our staff in May.  Dr. Shane of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is the first Research Fellow in the Burton D. Morgan Fellowship Program.  His project involves the study of pitch competitions, and he will be launching a series of pitch competitions this fall. 

Laura and Eoghan joined the Foundation as research associate interns to assist with the pitch competitions and other work within the Entrepreneurship Education Experiment, the Foundation’s research institute.  Both are students at CWRU.

Eoghan, (pronounced Owen) grew up in the Youngstown area and is currently a junior majoring in Finance.  When not in class, Eoghan plays basketball for the CWRU team and volunteers at Mary M. Bethune School in Cleveland.  He also enjoys fishing, traveling, and reading.  Eoghan plans to eventually go into investment management or entrepreneurship.

Laura is a senior majoring in Economics and Psychology with a minor in Business Management, and she also plays basketball for CWRU, serving as captain of the team.  Laura, who grew up in Hudson, is a member of the Phi Mu sorority and Case Association of Student Athletes.  She enjoys skiing, hiking, boating, running, and traveling.  Laura is interested in a career in market research or consulting, and is interested in moving to the West Coast.

We’re not sure how they get it all done, but Eoghan has spent three semesters on the Dean’s List and Laura has visited eight countries in the past year!  We’re happy to have Laura, Eoghan, and Dr. Shane at the Foundation and look forward to sharing news of their research with you.

Foundation Announces Grants Awarded at June Meeting

July 9, 2015

At their June meeting, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved grants totaling approximately $800,000, including a grant of $175,000 to Team NEO Foundation.  Team NEO is a regional, private-sector organization that markets Northeast Ohio to the world and collaborates with its partners and others to attract new businesses, help those that are here grow, and accelerate the pace and impact of innovation in the region.

William Koehler, CEO of Team NEO commented, “We are grateful to have the Burton D. Morgan Foundation as a trusted partner in our collective efforts to foster innovation and help nurture growth companies in our region. This funding will allow us to bring our valuable services to a larger number of companies within our advanced energy and flexible electronics clusters. This in turn will enable us to help spur business retention and expansion in Northeast Ohio."

Additional grants approved by the Foundation’s Trustees in June include:

Bad Girl Ventures - $40,000 for operating support

BioEnterprise Corporation - $200,000 to support bioscience business development activities and internship programming

Destination Hudson - a challenge grant of $125,000 to support the renovation of Hudson's Town Hall to include Destination Hudson and the new Hudson Fire Museum & Historical Education Society

Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio - $22,000 to support the Scholarship for Entrepreneurial Engagement (SEE) program

Hiram College - $35,000 for operating and program support of the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship

University School - $56,500 for programming provided through the Young Entrepreneur Institute

University School - $70,000 for support of Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio

Youth Opportunities Unlimited - $30,000 for E CITY program operations at six schools and a challenge grant of $15,000 to expand programming to at least one new site

Since February, the Foundation also approved a number of small grants to support youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship programs.  Among the recipients were:  Ashland University to send ten attendees to the 2015 Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education ($12,500); Gilmour Academy for salary support and entrepreneurship education programming ($14,000); ideastream for SEA Change social enterprise grants ($20,000); LaunchTown for a business idea competition ($10,000); Learning About Business for LAB Week 2015 ($10,000); National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship for scholarship support to the annual conference in 2015 ($10,000); Notre Dame College for entrepreneurship program support ($15,000); Shaker Heights Development Corporation for scholarships for students to participate in LaunchHouse Institute programs ($16,000); TechPint for the TechPint Startup Summit ($5,000); University of Massachusetts – Lowell for support of the 2015 Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship ($3,658); and Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio for the EMPOWER! Women’s Entrepreneurship Mastery Program ($9,450).

In addition to supporting entrepreneurship initiatives in the region, the Foundation also makes grants to institutions in Hudson, Ohio.  The following grants have been made since February to benefit the Hudson community:  Alzheimer’s Association, Greater East Ohio Area Chapter for office equipment ($9,100); Hudson Bandstand  for the Hudson Summer Music Festival ($2,500); Hudson Community First for the Intern for a Day/Career Panel program ($10,000); Hudson Community Foundation for the Hudson Independence Day fireworks display ($5,000); Hudson Library and Historical Society for sponsorship of the 10th anniversary celebration ($500); Leadership Hudson for solar panels on Barlow Community Center ($10,000); RED Company real.edge.dance toward construction of a dance floor ($2,500); and Taste of Hudson for marketing of the Taste of Hudson event ($9,500).

 

Deshpande Symposium Attracts 300 Attendees to Explore Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

July 9, 2015

UMass-Lowell recently hosted the 4th Annual Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education.  Several Foundation staff members attended, along with approximately 30 other participants from Northeast Ohio. 

The conference is a gathering of like-minded practitioners focused on accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship across the college and university environment.  This symposium delivered on its promises to provide a venue for attendees to learn from each others’ experiences; to gain wider exposure for their ideas, successes and startups; and to collaborate on activities that increase innovation and entrepreneurship in their academic communities. 

Nearly 300 attendees from across the globe were in attendance and participated in workshops focused on four tracks:  Developing Entrepreneurial Universities:  Culture & Ecosystems, Entrepreneurship in the Curriculum, University Research Commercialization and Startups, and Emerging Trends & Topics. 

Several sessions were presented by panels composed of Northeast Ohio attendees, including Entrepreneurship and Innovative Commercialization Collaboration in Higher Education in Northeast Ohio; Liberal Arts Campuses & Entrepreneurship:  Enduring Cultural Transformation; and NSF I-Corps Program:  Driving Commercialization of Federally Funded Research and Changing the Entrepreneurial Culture.  

Participants had the opportunity to take a bus tour that included stops at some of Boston’s and Cambridge’s key players in Cambridge’s innovation ecosystem as well as a tour of UMass-Lowell’s maker space, University Crossing and Innovation Hub.  Uber-entrepreneur Jeff Hoffman, who cofounded Priceline.com and is now heading the Center for Experiential Learning, Entrepreneurship and Civic Engagement at The University of Akron, wrapped up the three-day event with an inspiring and energizing keynote speech. 

The 5th Annual Deshpande Symposium is scheduled for June 13-15, 2016 at UMass-Lowell.

Forward Cities Convenes in Detroit

July 9, 2015

In late June, over 200 business and community leaders gathered in Detroit to discuss how their respective cities can increase entrepreneurial activity and connectivity in distressed neighborhoods so that the local innovation economy does not leave anyone behind. The convening is part of a multi-city collaborative called Forward Cities that includes Detroit, Cleveland, New Orleans, and Durham. Detroit's Forward Cities is the second conference, following the New Orleans conference last December. The third will be in Durham (December 2015), with the last convening in Cleveland (June 2016). The work is supported by the Aspen Institute, the Urban Institute, and Issue Media group, along with other national and local partners.

The themes in the Motor City were: (1) Working with Immigrant Entrepreneurs in their Neighborhoods; (2) Food Entrepreneurship: A Strategy for Neighborhood Revitalization; (3) Teaching Entrepreneurship in Public Schools; (4) Developing Women Entrepreneurs; and (5) Innovative Solutions to the Blight Problem.  Panel participants from Cleveland included Reka Barabas from Bad Girl Ventures Cleveland, Radhika Reddy from Ariel International Center, Jim Rokakis from the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Mansfield Frazier from Neighborhood Solutions and Chateau Hough Winery, and Deborah Hoover from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

Most Clevelanders have followed the saga of the bankruptcy and other challenges in Detroit. However, many came away from this visit with a realization that the scale of work to be accomplished closely resembles that of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  As Mansfield Frazier said in his recent blog for Cool Cleveland, “The word ‘dystopian’ doesn’t adequately capture the full extent of the devastation that has been visited upon a very wide swath of the inner realms of the Motor City. It simply doesn’t accurately describe the magnitude of urban decay and abandonment that has beset what once were thriving neighborhoods.” While the challenges in Cleveland remain very real, there is still a vibrancy to the neighborhoods that could not be found in Detroit.

Detroit is not without hope. Many bright spots could be found, such as Mexican Town and the Madison Block downtown filled with incubators and accelerators. Private investors such as Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans are partnering with philanthropic organizations such as the New Economy Initiative (NEI) to support city revitalization.  Grassroots organizations are filling the gaps. Maurice Cox has just been hired as the new City Planner for Detroit. His success in both government and academia positions him well to help move the city forward.  Mr. Cox, speaking to the Forward Cities group, underscored his connection to the neighborhoods stating, “Anything that’s about us, that doesn’t include us, isn’t for us.” Cleveland’s Forward Cities Council, chaired by Randy McShepard from RPM, Inc. and Deborah Hoover, takes that sentiment to heart and is working to connect the grassroots organizations in Cleveland neighborhoods with the policy and financial resources necessary to revitalize the city.

JumpStart's Startup Scaleup Highlights Northeast Ohio's Exciting Entrepreneurship Scene

July 9, 2015

JumpStart’s inaugural Startup Scaleup event was a great success, with approximately 1,200 people in attendance.  Held throughout Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District on June 17, the agenda featured 28 events at 13 venues throughout the day.

Startup Scaleup attracted many area entrepreneurs, as well as representatives of the area’s entrepreneurial support organizations.  The work and resources of Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem were showcased with such programs as “Is Crowdfunding a Good Fit for Your Startup or Scaleup” and “From Innovation to Manufacture:  What it Really Takes to Bring a Tech Product to Market.”  There were also two pitch competitions that awarded a total of $50,000 to six startups, and plenty of opportunities to network and share ideas over ice cream or beer. 

Winners of the NEO Up-And-Comers Pitch Competition were Apollo Medical Devices, which took first place and $20,000 for a device that can quickly analyze a single drop of blood; 02 Regen Tech, a wound healing technology company that won $10,000; and KnotProfit, a company that helps couples raise money for charity through their wedding registries, took the 3rd place prize of $5,000.

For more information about JumpStart, visit jumpstartinc.org.

Foundation Trustee Richard Seaman Named Entrepreneur of the Year

July 9, 2015

We are proud to announce that Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustee Richard Seaman is one of Ernst & Young's 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year winners in Northeast Ohio.   Seaman, who is chairman and CEO of Seaman Corp in Wooster, won in the Family Business category.  Under his leadership, this industrial fabric business has grown more than fifteen-fold.  Seaman also serves as a Commissioner of the Ohio Third Frontier, the state’s investment initiative in innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Seaman’s award was announced at a black-tie gala in Cleveland on June 25.  He will go on to compete at the national awards gala in Palm Springs, California, November 11-15.

Previous award winners include Foundation Founder Burt Morgan (1991) and current President and CEO Deborah Hoover (2014).

AMPED Deadline Approaching

July 9, 2015

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is proud to sponsor AMPED, a technology startup competition launched by The Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) and America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.  The competition is open to entrepreneurs, students, and technology innovators from across the nation.  At stake is $100,000 of investment funding and up to $50,000 in in-kind services from YBI. 

The deadline to submit ideas via PitchBurner is August 14.  Seven finalists will be invited to present their ideas to a panel of judges on November 2, 2015.  The winning team or teams will then join YBI as a portfolio company, where they will work toward taking their ideas from an early stage startup to a scalable business.  Click HERE for more information. 

Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Diagrams

July 9, 2015

We have newly created diagrams that depict Northeast Ohio’s youth and collegiate entrepreneurship ecosystems.  The Northeast Ohio entrepreneurship ecosystem is never static, but continually grows and evolves.  The diagrams will be updated frequently to reflect this growth.  Links to the full-size views of the diagrams can be found by clicking HERE.

Save the Date!

July 9, 2015

The 3rd annual pitch night business competition will be held at Hudson Library and Historical Society on November 17, 2015.  Watch for details!

Letter from the President

May 4, 2015

Dear Foundation Friends,

This spring, in keeping with the entrepreneurial journey theme of Odyssey, our 2014 annual report, we have been traveling the pitch competition circuit in Northeast Ohio, enjoying the energy flowing at all levels in our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Most of the time, Foundation staff is focused on the behind-the-scenes research and analysis related to grant proposals.  This work represents the nuts and bolts of how we achieve our mission and we are passionate about it!  But we also relish the opportunity to be out in the field seeing the results of our grant investments, and understanding firsthand the impact the foundation is having on entrepreneurs.    

In recent weeks, we cheered as a team from Hudson High School triumphed at the JA Titan competition and as teens from University School excelled at the Veale Youth Forum Business Plan Competition.  We tasted food products pitched at the vibrant Young Entrepreneur Market held during the Celebration of Youth Entrepreneurship at University School.

At the collegiate level, we were wowed by stiff competition at ideaLabs organized by the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium and hosted by Lorain County Community College, where an entrepreneur from John Carroll University took top honors.  At the LaunchTown Entrepreneurship Awards, two female graduate students were awarded $10,000 in prize money for their intriguing Cannibuster device.  Finally, the Idea Center provided the ideal venue for a riveting evening of eight social enterprise pitches organized by SEA Change.

In April, the Hudson Library & Historical Society hosted a speaker from Babson College, which is renowned for its entrepreneurship programming, to describe the art of the pitch.   Dr. Lakshmi Balachandra, who has conducted extensive research on pitching, has found that calmness, passion, eye contact, and lack of awkwardness are strong predictors of success.   And the Foundation is excited that the first project our newly formed research institute will be taking on is the exploration of pitch competitions!

What is the significance of all this pitch activity for Northeast Ohio?  These events capture the entrepreneurship buzz rippling across our region--the bright spots of idea generation, venture development, and ecosystem dynamism!  Discover the details of these exciting events and more inside our newsletter, and congratulations to all the competing entrepreneurs and the mentors who guided them! 

With applause,

Deborah Hoover
President & CEO

Foundation Hosts Open House to Announce New Programs, Present Newly Renovated Space

May 4, 2015

On April 29, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation hosted an open house at its office in Hudson to announce the establishment of a new research institute within the Foundation, along with the new Burton D. Morgan Fellowship Program, to support it.

Approximately 125 guests from across Northeast Ohio, most involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem central to the mission of the Foundation, gathered for a reception hosted by staff and trustees.  President and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Hoover, along with Trustees Marty Erbaugh and Michael Hochschwender, made remarks about the work of the Foundation in promoting entrepreneurship in the youth, collegiate, and adult spheres, and the decision to expand this work to include a new research institute, which will be headquartered in the newly renovated Innovation Space in Hudson, which was also unveiled at the event.

The Institute will further develop the work of the Foundation by engaging in research, outreach, collaboration and communication, and evaluation through grantmaking and partnerships with other stakeholders. The Institute is intended to work on the leading edge of entrepreneurship education, and will serve as a vehicle to share nationally and globally the outstanding work happening in the Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystem.  

Deborah Hoover commented, “The Foundation has evolved over the last decade and achieved a level of expertise in entrepreneurship education that well positions our organization to play a leadership role in the field.  Trustees and staff are excited to take this next step, establishing a fellowship and research initiative that will build upon our own work and the programs of our many dynamic entrepreneurship education partners.”

Concurrently, the Foundation is launching the Burton D. Morgan Fellowship Program, which is expected to draw in new and diverse perspectives and energize and inform the work of the Foundation and Institute.  Dr. Scott Shane of Case Western Reserve University was introduced as the first Research Fellow, along with two student interns, Eoghan Bees and Laura Mummey.  Dr. Shane’s team will be working on research that explores elements of experiential entrepreneurship education, pitch competitions in particular. 

“I am very excited to once again be working with the Burton D. Morgan Foundation,” Scott Shane said. “The Foundation’s willingness to support serious scholarly research on entrepreneurship education shows its commitment to identifying the best ways to train would-be entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio and around the world.”

Another early initiative of the Institute and in partnership with University School’s Entrepreneur Institute will be a regional youth entrepreneurship education conference.  ENSPIRE 2015, which targets entrepreneurship educators, will be held in November at the University School campus and will feature Jessica Jackley, cofounder of KIVA, and Daymond John of ABC TV’s Emmy award-winning how, Shark Tank

Spring Competition Roundup

May 4, 2015

The months of March and April were filled with opportunities for entrepreneurs of all ages to test their ideas and compete for prizes that included recognition and seed money.

The Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum Business Plan Competition, held at LaunchHouse on March 5, brought together 10 teams from independent schools.  Teams pitched business ideas such as homemade granola, jewelry, and screen repair services before a panel of judges.  Ultimately, the Vamonos team of University School took the top prize of $1,000 for a smart phone application that automatically sends text messages on behalf of a user. 

Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley (JAMV) and Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio (JANCO) held JA Titan Business Challenges in March, with each bringing together hundreds of teens to compete in the operation of a virtual business.  Students made decisions about price, production, marketing, capital investment, and research and development.  These choices determined which businesses would thrive and which would fail.  Scholarship prizes were awarded to several teams, including 1st place winners from Hudson High School (JANCO) and Howland High School (JAMV).

On March 9, Lorain County Community College hosted the regional ideaLabs competition, which brought together teams from nine collegiate institutions.  The competition, sponsored by the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium, was a platform for a number of diverse ideas, including a business that allows individuals to design their own superhero costumes, and a cranial enhancement headset.  Hammerhead Paint of John Carroll University took home the top prize of $5,000 to further develop a marine paint for boats that is resistant to chipping and peeling.

SEA Change, a social enterprise accelerator, hosted the SEA Change Happen pitch event on April 6 at the Idea Center. Eight companies and nonprofits competed for prize money, with Rust Belt Riders Composting (RBRC), pictured top left, coming out on top.  Competitors for RBRC earned $20,000 for the business, which uses bicycles to pick up food waste from businesses, schools, and residents in downtown Cleveland and the near west side. The waste is then delivered to nearby community gardens, which turn it into nutrients for soil.   

The 2015 LaunchTown Business Idea Finals Competition was held on April 23.  Five collegiate teams competed for a $10,000 prize, as well as mentoring and advisory services valued at $20,000.  An all-female team from The University of Akron bested the competition with its Cannibuster device, which law enforcement officers can use roadside to detect the levels of THC, the primary intoxicant in marijuana, in drivers in a matter of minutes. Currently, drivers must be taken to a hospital for blood work, with lab results taking up to six weeks to process. Cannibuster was featured on national television in late April, when the Conan O’Brien show staged a skit based on the product (see video above).

Bit Factory Opens for Tech Entrepreneurs

May 4, 2015

The Bit Factory, a program of the Akron Global Business Accelerator (AGBA), held its grand opening on March 24 to unveil the new 5,000 square foot custom space in downtown Akron.

The Bit Factory is a six-month program for tech entrepreneurs, set to begin in August.  The program is free to participants and features rolling admission so that clients can apply and join when they are ready.  Programming will include intensive mentoring and coursework, including lessons on product development and investment.  Mentors will be accessible to entrepreneurs, with their own work spaces at the Bit Factory. 

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation provided initial funding for the Bit Factory with a grant of $150,000, which was followed by $250,000 in funding from Ohio Third Frontier. 

“There are thousands of software engineers throughout Northeast Ohio that are developing apps for businesses and consumers,” said Deborah Hoover, President and CEO of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation.  “The engineers can write groundbreaking apps, but often need programs like The Bit Factory to help them build the business.”

The Bit Factory is expected to fill a void in Akron. “There has been a gap here; we didn’t have an offering like this,” said Anthony Margida, CEO of AGBA, who noted that Cleveland has several tech-focused startup accelerators.  

The Akron Global Business Accelerator, founded in 1983 as an initiative of the City of Akron, is led by Anthony Margida and provides entrepreneurial support to technology-based start-ups in diverse fields.  Its newest venture, the Bits and Atoms Innovation Center, is currently in development.  It will be a coworking and maker space for innovators to create and make new products.  It is expected that the Bit Factory will become a part of this initiative. 

To learn more, visit www.thebitfactory.com.

Blackstone LaunchPad Engaging Students Across NEO Campuses

May 4, 2015

Blackstone Launchpad (BLP) programs across campuses in Northeast Ohio have been abuzz with activities to support and nurture the entrepreneurial spirit among students from all disciplines. 

Lorain County Community College is excited to announce that the Blackstone LaunchPad program will be integrated into all Entrepreneurship 200 courses, beginning this fall.  Because the ENTR 200 course is offered in other majors besides business, this move is expected to expose more students to entrepreneurship opportunities.

Baldwin Wallace University’s StartSomethingBW idea contest, which recently concluded, yielded exciting results.  The contest attracted 163 entries (a 50% increase over last year) from students in 44 majors.  A total of $1,800 was awarded to nine teams in three separate categories – Business Idea, Baldwin Wallace-centric, and Social Enterprise.  One particularly timely and intriguing idea was a project that would install RFID transmitter chips in the body of toy guns, which would enable Law Enforcement receivers to identify the signal within a 300' radius of the toy gun.  For a complete list of winners, visit: http://startsomethingbw.strikingly.com/.

KSU holds "Maker Faire" in library from KentWired.com on Vimeo.

On April 7, Kent State University (KSU) held its annual Blackstone LaunchPad Awards & Expo to honor KSU entrepreneurs and innovators.  Jonathan M. Holifield, co-founder of Scale-up Partners and consultant for Inclusive Competitiveness, was the keynote speaker.  The event also included an expo of 30 KSU entrepreneur exhibitors and many other funding and award recipients.  Over the course of two and a half years, BLP KSU has worked with more than 1,000 clients and 650 ventures, and is proud to recognize the achievements of its entrepreneurs at this event.

The 2nd annual KSU Mini Maker Faire, held on April 10, offered a venue for students, faculty/staff, and alumni, as well as the greater Kent community, to exhibit their work, explore new technologies and creative processes, and talk with makers while sharing information and resources.  More than 300 people attended this event, which was a collaborative effort among the Fashion School’s TechStyleLAB in the College of Arts, the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, University Libraries, and Blackstone LaunchPad. 

Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) has been celebrating a number of impressive showings by its BLP students in an array of competitions.  Additionally, CWRU is in the midst of a project to renovate a seven-story former cold storage building on campus for its think[box] innovation and entrepreneurship center.  The Foundation recently awarded a $1 million grant toward this $35 million project.   

Currently in the basement of an academic building, think[box] will expand from 4,500 square feet to 50,000 square feet, and will offer students and community members the space, technology, and guidance needed to imagine, prototype, and transform ideas into products.  The first four floors are scheduled to open this fall and the upper three floors will open by fall 2016.  The Burton D. Morgan Suite for Entrepreneurship will be on the sixth floor and will include a BLP satellite office.

 

University School Holds 7th Annual Celebration of Entrepreneurship

May 4, 2015

On April 15, University School’s Young Entrepreneur Institute held its 7th Annual Celebration of Youth Entrepreneurship event, which was attended by 400 students from 15 schools across Northeast Ohio.  The event featured speaker Clint Greenleaf, founder and CEO of Greenleaf Book Group and author of several books including Give, Save, Spend with the Three Little Pigs and Beyond the Piggy Bank

Greenleaf discussed his love of startups and described the companies he has formed, including Pigs & Bricks, bambinoballs, and TreeNeutral.  Greenleaf responded to questions from the audience, including what it takes to be an entrepreneur.  They learned that his best marketing method is still one-on-one, despite the prevalence of social media, and that to be successful they have to learn how to be rejected over and over again.  Greenleaf claimed it was “great practice for dating.”

The event included an evening program, at which Greenleaf gave another talk, which was open to the publicGreenleaf spoke about the importance of financial literacy education for young children, urging attendees to share their financial values with their kids and encourage children to learn about money from a young age. 

Greenleaf’s presentation was followed by a youth entrepreneurship fair, which enabled students to promote and sell wares from their own businesses.  As it was tax day, one student made cookies with the letters IRS on them.  He encouraged buyers to procure his wares with the following words, “the IRS took a bite out of you, why don’t you take a bite out of them?”  Other young students sold jewelry, granola, paper flowers, lemonade, toffee, dog feeders and biscuits, jam, and bread. 

For more information about this and other programs provided by the Young Entrepreneur Institute, visit:  http://www.us.edu/page/Academics/Enrichment-Opportunities/Young-Entrepreneur-Institute.

Lemonade Day Expands Throughout Northeast Ohio

May 4, 2015

Spring has finally sprung which means Lemonade Day stands managed by budding young entrepreneurs will be popping up all around us.  Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio currently serves more than 1,500 students in grades 1-8 in collaboration with partner organizations.  Through  creative avenues and expanded partner relationships, such as public registration and public libraries, the program grows each year, with an additional 500 students expected to participate in 2015.

Lemonade Day – which is not just one day but spans the spring and summer months – is a national program brought to the region by The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and University School’s Young Entrepreneur Institute. The mission of Lemonade Day is to help prepare youth for life through a fun, experiential program infused with life skills, character education, and entrepreneurship.

Founded in Houston in 2007 by Prepared4Life, Lemonade Day arrived in our region in 2011 and has been growing ever since. Children set up lemonade stands across Northeast Ohio and learn valuable lessons on budgeting, goal-setting, customer service, repaying investors, teamwork, and philanthropy. Students operate stands in neighborhoods, outside local businesses, along parade routes, and at youth sporting events. The program’s 42 community partners include public, private, and charter schools, and area youth and community organizations.

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is proud to support this initiative, along with The Veale Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Hudson Community Foundation, KeyBank, Heinen’s Fine Foods, and Kovach Design. If you are interested in learning more about Lemonade Day or becoming a community partner or sponsor, please contact Jessie Jones, Regional Director, at 216-831-2200, ext. 7456 or jjones@lemonadedayneo.com. Also, check out the public registration information page and form at www.lemonadedayneo.org/registration.

Letter from the President

February 18, 2015

Dear Friends,

When we set out a decade ago to change the trajectory of entrepreneurship in our region, we could not have imagined where this journey would take us.  Northeast Ohio is leading the way as a proving ground for innovative approaches to venture development and entrepreneurship education.   We are driving a movement to actively connect entrepreneurship to campus career centers, guiding students to consider the start-up world as a viable career path -- a topic recently explored at a gathering of the JumpStart Higher Education Collaboration Council.  Kent State University has capitalized on its strengths in fashion, technology, and entrepreneurship by establishing the world's first Fashion/Tech Hackathon, attracting talented students from Ohio and many other states to co-create products on the leading edge of wearable technology. Based on our abundant entrepreneurial resources and dynamic champions of entrepreneurship education, Northeast Ohio is launching its own regional conference in the fall of 2015 to share best practices among K-12 education leaders.  This event will be a not-to-be-missed extravaganza, so please mark your calendars! 

The Foundation is about to unveil its new Innovation Space where we will continue to promote and celebrate all the progress we have made as a region changing the face of entrepreneurship.  We look forward to working on bold new ideas with our partners, because in entrepreneurship, standing still is not an option!

Deborah Hoover
President & CEO

Foundation Trustees Award More Than $2 Million at February Meeting

February 18, 2015

At their February meeting, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved grants totaling more than $2 million, including a grant of $1,000,000 to establish The Burton D. Morgan Suite for Entrepreneurship within the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University’s think[box] facility.  Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) plans to transition its current think[box]1.0 facility over a two-year period  from a 4,500 square foot space to a renovated seven-story building with over 50,000 square feet of space. The new think[box], which will be open to the community, will offer a comprehensive innovation ecosystem in one location that will provide visitors with the space, technology, and expert guidance that is needed to imagine, prototype, and transform ideas into products.  In addition to incubation and co-working space, the Foundation-funded Blackstone LaunchPad and the Intellectual Property Venture Clinic will have offices at think[box].

Foundation President and CEO Deborah Hoover commented, “The new think[box] facility will add a dynamic new dimension to our ecosystem supporting entrepreneurs of all ages developing their ideas through a continuum of product development and commercialization services.  The goals of think[box] are well aligned with the Foundation's mission to champion the entrepreneurial spirit and we are excited to play a role in the realization of this ambitious project.”

Additional grants approved by the Foundation’s Trustees in February include:

Akron SCORE Chapter 81 - $30,000 for general operating support

Emmanuel Christian Academy - $30,690 for two summer 2015 entrepreneurship camps

Entrepreneurship Education Consortium  - $95,000 for Immersion Week and the ideaLabs regional competition

Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education - $65,000 to support a restructured Entrepreneurial Internship Program

Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund - $66,500 to support operating expenses in 2015

Summer on the Cuyahoga - Up to $39,000 to fund an Entrepreneurial Outreach Program which recruits talented undergraduates nationally to paid entrepreneurial summer internships in Northeast Ohio

The Entrepreneurs EDGE - $50,000 to support fellow stipend payments for the EDGE Fellows Summer Intern Program

The Presidents’ Council Foundation - $25,500 to support operations of the Emerging Entrepreneurs Program

University School - $125,000 to support the inaugural 2015 Entrepreneurship Educator Conference

Youngstown Edison Incubator Corporation - $100,000 to expand operations to a fifth building and provide support for a business concept competition

To address community needs that fall outside the Foundation’s primary mission, the Trustees periodically make one-time community grants on a proactive basis to deserving charitable organizations that serve the local area.  The following proactive grants were awarded by the Trustees in February:

Battered Women’s Shelter - $10,000 to renovate a shelter residential room

Building for Tomorrow - $57,000 to support the sustainability campaign of the Reach Opportunity Center ($50,000) and for peer-to-peer marketing efforts ($7,000)

Community Legal Aid Services - $10,000 for general operating support

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park - $250,000 to support the planning and design stage of a new visitor center within Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Crown Point Ecology Center - $10,000 to support the 2015 Organic Farm Apprentice Program

East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation - $10,000 to assist with East Akron Neighborhood Revitalization Plan efforts that restore vacant lots

Greenleaf Family Center - $15,000 to support programming and transition costs of the Parent Empowerment, Education, Resources, and Support (PEERS) Program and the Adolescent Suicide Prevention Program ($10,000), and the installation of automatic doors ($5,000)

NAMI Summit County - $5,000 to support event costs associated with fundraising efforts

Summit Education Initiative - $30,000 to support costs associated with a marketing and rebranding strategy

The Community Hall Foundation - $20,000 to support the development of a comprehensive communications website for Summit County arts organizations

United Way of Summit County - $15,000 to support strategic planning efforts of Bridges Summit County

Victim Assistance Program - $12,200 to support computer and carpet replacement ($7,440) and general operations ($4,760)

Western Reserve Folk Arts Association - $5,800 to repair the Kent Stage’s marquee 

Since September, the Foundation also approved a number of small grants to support youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship programs.  Among the recipients were:  Akron Community Foundation for consulting costs in support of Growth & Opportunity: Akron ($5,000); Canton Regional SCORE for workshops for small businesses ($5,000); Gilmour Academy for entrepreneurship programming for students ($4,000); Great Trail Council Boy Scouts of America for the Entrepreneurship Merit Badge program ($7,000); MAGNET for the ProtoTech product pitch competition ($5,000); Prepared 4 Life for license fee for Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio ($10,000); Shaker Heights Development Corporation for the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum Business Plan Competition ($9,950); The Lippman School for curriculum development of the Coffee Entrepreneurship Project ($5,000); and Walsh Jesuit High School for materials to support the entrepreneurship Explorer Lab ($6,050).

In addition to supporting entrepreneurship initiatives in the region, the Foundation also makes grants to institutions in Hudson, Ohio.  The following grants have been made since September to benefit the Hudson community:  City of Hudson for production costs associated with Hudson Cable TV’s Good Day in Hudson ($1,200); First Congregational Church of Hudson for operating support ($10,000); Hudson City Schools to support clubs at Hudson High School ($15,000); Hudson Community Service Association for a tree sponsorship ($1,000); Hudson Job Search for operating support ($10,000); Hudson Rotary Foundation to benefit the scholarship fund ($1,000); and Seton Catholic School for a youth philanthropy program with Laurel Lake Retirement Community ($2,500).

Blackstone LaunchPad Happenings

February 18, 2015

Blackstone LaunchPad Northeast Ohio, consisting of programs at Baldwin Wallace University (BWU), Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Kent State University (KSU), and Lorain County Community College (LCCC), is thriving, with more than 2,000 participant profiles created, approximately 1,100 ventures explored, and 140 companies launched. 

On a cold January night, 144 fashion and technology students gathered at the KSU Fashion School for the second annual Fashion/Tech Hackathon.  Organized by KSU’s Blackstone LaunchPad, the event attracted creative students from 19 different universities to spend an intense weekend of designing, inventing, and pitching.  In addition to KSU, Hiram, and CWRU, students traveled from Purdue, Pratt, Carnegie Mellon, Temple, Ohio State University, and Parsons to participate.

This event consisted of a 40-hour student prototyping Hackathon, an academic research symposium, and a regional business alley.  Chris Wentz, Case Western Reserve University grad and Everykey founder, served as the keynote speaker.  

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation was credited with being a catalyst for connecting fashion and technology, as a result of the grant the Foundation made to KSU nearly a decade ago to explore connections between liquid crystals and textile design.  Click HERE to check out all of the amazing projects worked on at the Hackathon.

Blackstone LaunchPad, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and Entrepreneurship Education Consortium (EEC) sponsored an ideaLabs local student competition on February 19 at Lorain County Community College (LCCC).  Jason White won first place at the competition, and the team of John Brennan and Joe Owens won the Social Entrepreneurship Award.  These winners are current clients of Blackstone LaunchPad.  Jason will move on to compete with 10 other colleges/universities across Northeast Ohio in the regional ideaLabs competition on March 31.  This event will also be held at Lorain County Community College, hosted by EEC and Blackstone LaunchPad.

Baldwin Wallace University is currently running Start Something BW, an idea contest for students, staff, and faculty.  Participants have until February 27 to write a brief description of an idea to solve a business, social enterprise, or BWU problem.  Nine winning ideas will share $1,800 in prizes.  We wish all contestants good luck and look forward to hearing about the ideas the contest generates!

Young Entrepreneur Institute Promotes Youth Entrepreneurship Through Programs and Events

February 18, 2015

Each year, University School’s Young Entrepreneur Institute (YEI)* hosts the Entrepreneur Educator Retreat – an event intended to facilitate networking among teachers and other stakeholders within the entrepreneurship education field.  On December 2, 2014, over 50 individuals, including teachers, nonprofit leaders, college representatives, and funders of entrepreneurship initiatives, assembled to discuss entrepreneurship education opportunities and to share knowledge and best practices concerning the topic of school-based businesses, which provide opportunities for students to practice what has been learned within the classroom.

Representatives from University School, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (CVCA) sat on a panel to discuss the variety of businesses that can be pursued by students and the benefits and challenges of operating such a business.   University School highlighted its student-run book buy-back program that allows University School families to purchase quality used textbooks that have been selected and priced by two University School students.  CVCA highlighted its connection with a village in Rwanda.  CVCA sells handbags, duffel bags, and other items that are made by women in the village. 

Program staff for YEI’s Young Entrepreneur Market and Lemonade Day highlighted additional entrepreneurial opportunities for schools. Junior Achievement, Shaker LaunchHouse, and Hiram College were also available to talk with attendees about their respective entrepreneurial programming over a networking dinner.

Teachers - some new to entrepreneurship and others established veterans in this field - left the event with new contacts and ideas that could be implemented upon return to the classroom.  Survey results from the event highlighted that 100% of attendees were satisfied with their participation. 

The Entrepreneur Educator Retreat is just one of many events facilitated by Entrepreneur Institute.  On April 15, 2015, Clint Greenleaf, founder and CEO of Greenleaf Book Group, will provide a keynote address, as part of the Celebration of Youth Entrepreneurship, regarding the importance of teaching children about financial literacy.  In conjunction with this event, a Young Entrepreneur Market will take place.  Space is available for students to sell their products to the attendees that evening.  Contact Reka Barabas at rbarabas@us.edu for more information.

Also, save the date for YEI’s inaugural entrepreneurship conference, scheduled for November 6-7, 2015.

*University School has recently renamed the Entrepreneur Institute as the Young Entrepreneur Institute to better reflect the focus of its efforts.

Investment Fund Provides Learning Experience for Students

February 18, 2015

Students benefit most from real-world experience in the startup process. The Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund (NEOSVF) is a prime example of an experiential model that is working for graduate students. Acting as investors, students participating in the NEOSVF learn what venture capitalists and industry investors look for when making investment decisions. As students take companies through an intensive due diligence process, they learn to appreciate the perspective from “the other side of the table” and apply this first-hand experience to their own future companies or startups.

Although NEOSVF is intended primarily to provide a learning experience for students, the investment fund also introduces a new source of pre-seed capital into the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This investment capital, provided by the Ohio Third Frontier Commission and The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, gives chapters the ability to invest financially in companies with the greatest chance of success.

Jessica Peplowski, Program Specialist for Akron Global Business Accelerator, was a member of the NEOSVF from 2012 to 2013 and a Managing Partner of the fund for the 2013-2014 year.  When reflecting on her experience with NEOSVF, Jessica states, “I have held a lot of leadership positions in my academic career, but nothing compares to the real-world learning experience I had with the NEOSVF.  I learned first-hand what investors are looking for in a pitch and today that enables me to help my entrepreneurs develop meaningful investment pitches. My experience with the fund has also grown my network.”

While the fund has made four investments to date, its greatest success has been in Wastebits, an Akron based software company that provides a universally accepted waste profiling platform for waste facilities, service providers, and waste generators.  Wastebits presented to the fund in 2014, at which time the company had three full-time employees, $70,000 in annual revenue, and no capital.  A year after receiving $25,000 from NEOSVF, Wastebits has repaid its debt in full, plus interest.  Wastebits now has 11 full-time employees, seven part-time employees, and over $1 million in revenue, and project continued growth.  Wastebits understands the crucial role NEOSVF has played in its growth. "We owe a large part of our success to the guidance, and support from The University of Akron Research Foundation, as well as the strategic Investment made in Wastebits by NEOSVF."

In addition to the founding chapter, The University of Akron, there are five more chapters of NEOSVF:  Case Western Reserve University, The College of Wooster, Kent State University, Notre Dame College, and Walsh University.  For more information on NEOSVF or how to get involved, please visit the website and stay tuned for website enhancements in 2015!

JumpStart Higher Education Collaboration Council Instrumental in Developing Collegiate Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

February 18, 2015

The JumpStart Higher Education Collaboration Council (JSHECC) has been providing valuable networking experiences and learning opportunities for the higher education community in Northeast Ohio for just over five years.  The JSHECC, a collaborative venture of the Foundation and JumpStart, was borne out of the need to develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem at the collegiate level. 

Since late 2009, the JSHECC has been helping to create a more connected communication network between colleges and universities, allowing the region’s resources to be more visible and accessible to all members of the higher education community in Northeast Ohio.  This group has served to develop entrepreneurial pathways before and after college, increase the diversity and quality of entrepreneurship educational opportunities, and foster better engagement between universities and entrepreneurial companies. 

To accomplish these goals, the JSHECC routinely utilizes guest speakers with key insight on cutting edge programs and resources.  Deliberate dialogue is facilitated, allowing members to brainstorm ways to incorporate these resources and programs to grow the entrepreneurial culture at their institutions.  Topics have included trends in entrepreneurship education, various forms of seed funding, best practices of incubators and accelerators, ways to engage other areas of colleges and universities in the entrepreneurial culture, and the myriad of resources available to support emerging entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio. 

The increased awareness of regional resources and opportunities for students, combined with the vast body of knowledge and experience of Council members and experts in the region, has helped JSHECC to build up an informed, nimble, and united collegiate entrepreneurial ecosystem.  To learn more about the JumpStart Higher Education Collaboration Council, contact Haley Burk at haley.burk@jumpstartinc.org.

In Brief...

February 17, 2015

Foundation Annual Report

Look for Odyssey, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation's 2014 annual report, in your inbox or mailbox in early March!

 

 

 

New Appointment

Foundation President and CEO, Deborah Hoover, has been appointed to Team NEO's Board of Directors. 

 

 

Letter from the President

December 3, 2014

Dear Foundation Friends:

Fall 2014 has presented a dizzying array of activities and excitement in our Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystem, from the restructuring of Team NEO to serve as an ecosystem umbrella organization, to collegiate ventures taking top prizes in regional and national competitions, to Believe in Ohio traversing the state to inspire high schoolers about STEM and entrepreneurship.  Reaching outside our region, we celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week in November, along with thousands of other sites around the globe, and participated in the “Beyond Silicon Valley” MOOC with participants from more than 100 other nations. The pulse of entrepreneurship can be felt everywhere, and the foundation is thrilled to be a part of this movement! 

The foundation itself is humming, with our new program officer, Emily Bean, jumping in with both feet, a dynamic strategic plan emerging that will guide our work for the next three years, and construction starting on a flexible innovation space for meetings and group work.  I just returned from the Ernst & Young 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Celebration in California where I was able to connect with hundreds of entrepreneurs and learn about the DNA that drives them forward.  It was a great honor to be selected for this award and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from and celebrate with bold and ingenious entrepreneurs who have a passion for making a difference!

We thank all of our partners who shared our goals this year and look forward to continuing our work in 2015 as a champion of entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio.  Happy holidays to all!

Deborah D. Hoover
President & CEO 

Renovations Underway

December 3, 2014

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is getting ready to kickoff an exciting new construction project.  We will be creating a multi-function meeting space within our building. 

The construction will start in late November and conclude in February 2015.  During this time we ask you to “pardon our dust.”  You may find our front entrance unavailable from time to time and parking may be limited.  If you are unable to access the front door, please call 330-655-1660 and we will be happy to let you in through the back entrance.

And remember, additional parking is available at the Downtown Hudson parking deck, which can be accessed off Clinton Street, between Main Street and First Street.  Both lots are free of charge and just a short walk from the Foundation.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.  We look forward to welcoming everyone to our new space!

Area Students Compete in Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day

December 3, 2014

On October 28, four teams of students from universities in Northeast Ohio competed at the inaugural Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day in New York.  A total of 20 venture teams from Blackstone LaunchPad programs at colleges and universities across the nation were selected to compete in a day-long pitch event for prize money to invest in their businesses.

Northeast Ohio Blackstone LaunchPad programs were represented by SensID, Carbon Origins, and Everykey from Case Western Reserve University, and The New Fuel from Kent State University.

Amogha Srirangarajan and Kailey Shara of Carbon Origins, an aerospace technology company, took third place and an award of $10,000.  The first place prize of $25,000 was awarded to Wash Cycle Laundry of Philadelphia University, and the second place prize of $15,000 went to O’Dang Hummus, a University of Central Florida venture.

Deborah Hoover, President and CEO of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation commented, “Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day offered an opportunity for students to pitch their ventures before teams of sophisticated judges who asked tough questions and broadened the entrepreneurs' perspectives on how to advance their growth objectives.  We are very proud to have our Northeast Ohio campuses represented among the teams pitching in New York.  We congratulate all these ambitious founders on their success!” 

Originally developed by the University of Miami in 2008, Blackstone LaunchPad is an innovative program that presents entrepreneurship as a viable career path and provides students, faculty and alumni with concrete tools and guidance to transform ideas into thriving businesses.  Unlike traditional college programs available to a limited population, Blackstone LaunchPad is open to all students, regardless of major, and engages local entrepreneurs to mentor students.

Currently, Blackstone LaunchPad is offered at 15 colleges and universities nationwide, including Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University, and Lorain County Community College, and is funded locally by grants from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.  To date, Blackstone LaunchPad has advised more than 5,100 ventures and created or supported more than 1,400 jobs.

Deadline for Funding Requests

December 3, 2014

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation will be accepting Letters of Inquiry up until February 1.  Applications will then be due on March 1 for those organizations invited to submit proposals, which will be considered at the Board of Trustees meeting in June.  For a complete list of proposal deadlines and application guidelines, click HERE

Global Entrepreneurship Week Celebrated Across the Region

December 3, 2014

A number of exciting activities and events were held across the region during the week of November 17 to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week.  Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world's largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth, and expand human welfare.

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation collaborated with the Hudson Library & Historical Society, Destination Hudson, the Hudson Chamber of Commerce and the City of Hudson to hold several events in the Hudson community.  Brad Stone, Bloomberg Businessweek writer and author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, spoke about his work to students at Hudson High School on November 17, and did an encore performance and book signing for the community in the evening. 

Another highlight of the week was the 2nd Annual Pitch Night business competition, held at the library.  Six finalists were chosen from a pool of 37 applicants to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges in this competition for cash prizes.  The top prize of $3,000 went to Beegit, LLC, a Cleveland startup, for an online app designed to make it easier for writers to work together on a project. 

Second place and $1,500 went to Lufthouse also based in Cleveland for an app that makes it easier to learn information about a landmark, venue, or event while visiting that place.  Digital Animation for Kids LLC , a Hudson startup that provides online instruction in a variety of subjects including computer skills and animation to youth in pre-kindergarten through high school, took the $500 3rd place prize.

On November 19, #GirlPower Pitch Night was held by area Blackstone LaunchPad campuses, in collaboration with Bad Girl Ventures (BGV).  Female students from Baldwin Wallace University (BWU), Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Kent State University (KSU), and Lorain County Community College (LCCC) gathered at TOAST, founded by BGV alum Jillian Davis, to compete for cash prizes. 

Shanina Knighton of CWRU took 1st place for a hospital patient hand care system.  Second place went to BWU student Tessa Louche for Link to Success, a business maximizing LinkedIn pages for students and people returning to the workforce.  Aditi Mararka of CWRU took 3rd place for Trendenza, a kiosk-based service that enables shoppers to find matches for a single clothing item. 

Entrepreneurship Case Available for Use

December 3, 2014

Daniel Isenberg, Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice at Babson Executive and Enterprise Education, wrote a case on JumpStart’s role in Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.  The JumpStart case may be used in graduate and undergraduate courses on public policy, innovation, and innovation and entrepreneurship.  To obtain a copy of the case for a nominal fee, go to www.thecasecenter.org.  Once registered, you may search the site by case and author to find the case, which is titled, “JumpStart:  A Hop, A Leap or a Fall in Northeast Ohio?”  

Everykey Takes Top Prize at ProtoTech Pitch Competition

December 3, 2014

Six finalists competed in MAGNET’s first ProtoTech pitch competition on October 21 in Cleveland, where over $20,000 in prize money was at stake.  Pitches were judged on technical feasibility, investment possibility, and the overall pitch.

Chris Wentz of Everykey took the $12,000 first place prize for his electronic wristband designed to replace keys and passwords.  Wentz, a 2013 graduate of Case Western Reserve University, believes that his device will eliminate the need to remember passwords.  He expects the device to be available to consumers by spring 2015, but needs more money for production, so he plans to launch a Kickstarter fundraising campaign soon.

Michael Baird won the $7,500 second place prize as well as the $1,000 audience favorite award for RoboNail, a robotic roofing installation machine controlled by a mobile app.

In addition to the cash prizes, both winners will also receive product design and prototyping hours from SmartShape and coaching from Scientific Entrepreneur Evaluations.

Young Entrepreneur Market Expanding in 2015

December 3, 2014

Are there students at your school that want to experience the thrill of selling at local farmers markets? Do you work with students who want to interact with customers face-to-face and hone their sales skills?

The Young Entrepreneur Market (YEM) program hosted 20 market days at the Shaker Square and Crocker Park farmers markets with 44 students from 15 schools and organizations during its pilot year. These middle school and high school students made approximately $4,000 in sales, and many of them now have repeat customers.

YEM will be partnering with the Hudson Farmers Market in spring 2015.  This new collaboration will increase the geographic reach of the program and provide opportunities for the program to expand to include new schools and organizations in the Hudson area.

Registration for the 2015 Market is now open, and the full schedule can be found HERE.  For more information, contact Reka Barabas, Director of The Young Entrepreneur Market, at rbarabas@us.edu or 216-831-1984, extension 7456.

Letter from the President

October 3, 2014

Dear Foundation Friends,

We have long ruminated on the connection between Mr. Morgan's entrepreneurial success and his philanthropic vision.  Now Robert Strom, a scholar from the Kauffman Foundation working with co-editors and contributors, has assembled a collection of essays on this engaging topic, exploring the intersection between the dynamic worlds of entrepreneurship and philanthropy.  In one section, the Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurs' Engagement in Philanthropy (Edward Elgar: 2014), explores through case studies of entrepreneurs, including Ewing Marion Kauffman, the roads taken from wealth creation to wealth distribution.

Of particular interest to understanding the history of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, is the observation that entrepreneurs' early success in business may inspire them to adapt their business acumen to designing solutions to social challenges.  Mr. Kauffman and other high-powered philanthropic entrepreneurs have also typically demonstrated a penchant for mentoring others.  These characteristics "fit to a T" the evolution of Mr. Morgan's philanthropic vision.  He charted his own course throughout his career and when the exits occurred, he applied his energy and experience to advising others and creating a foundation that would, in perpetuity, carry on his vision.

And that is where the Trustees and Staff of the foundation come in.  It is our job to understand how our donor's vision germinated so we are best positioned to implement and adapt that vision as the years go by.  We are currently in the thick of a developing a new strategic plan and each time we go through this process, it is critical that we return to the core of that vision so we remain true to his intent and simultaneously optimize our opportunities and resources.  We are blessed with both the vision of our founder and the latitude to continuously evolve.  Stay tuned! 

Deborah Hoover
President & CEO

September Grants Total More than $2.5 Million

October 3, 2014

At their September meeting, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved grants totaling more than $2.5 million, including grant dollars of $1,030,000 to provide support to the Blackstone LaunchPad programs at campuses in Northeast Ohio through 2017.  The Blackstone LaunchPad program fosters entrepreneurship through higher education by encouraging entrepreneurial thinking and activity among students.  Campuses in Ohio that will benefit from these grant dollars include Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University, and Lorain County Community College, the only community college in the nation that offers this unique program.  Trustees also approved a three year grant of $679,400 to support the expansion of Case Western Reserve University’s Intellectual Property Clinic, to provide support to Blackstone LaunchPad participants and their ventures.

Foundation President and CEO Deborah Hoover commented, “Northeast Ohio has proved to be fertile ground for the growth and development of the Blackstone LaunchPad methodology.  Campuses in our region are contributing significantly to innovations being adopted by other schools in the national Blackstone LaunchPad network.  The Foundation is gratified to play a role in advancing the elements of this groundbreaking experiential program that is reaching thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio.”

Additional grants approved by the Foundation’s Trustees in June include:

The College of Wooster - $300,000 to expand the College of Wooster’s entrepreneurship program through a series of five targeted developmental activities (3 year grant)

Hudson City School District - $25,000 to support modified and expanded tennis facilities

Ideastream - $50,000 to sponsor Nightly Business Report in FY2015 and to support the Campaign for Community

Invent Now – up to $114,400 to support five Camp Invention sites during summer 2015: two in the Akron Public Schools, two in the Wooster City Schools, and a new partial camp of approximately 80 children in Mahoning County

John Carroll University – $51,450 to support the design of new academic units on entrepreneurship and creativity and enhance faculty learning on teaching entrepreneurship and creativity (2 year grant)

Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio - $40,000 to support entrepreneurship programming, the purchase of Lightning Grader software, and the offering of a women’s youth forum

Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland - $50,000 to support middle school and high school entrepreneurship-related programming and an educator listening tour

Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley - $50,000 for entrepreneurship-related programs and to offset organizational expenses

Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio - $85,000 to support kindergarten to grade 12 JA programming and to support JA Titan programs during the 2014-2015 year

Shaker Heights Development Corporation- $9,950 to support the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum Business Plan Competition

The University of Akron Research Foundation - $200,000 to expand the reach of the Innovation Practice Center by increasing participation and access to the I-Corps Sites program and the Proof of Concept Center (2 year grant)

Since June, the Foundation also approved a number of small grants to support youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship programs.  Among the recipients were:  Akron Area Arts Alliance for the Artist Entrepreneur Institute in Summit County ($10,000); Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education  for scholarships for teachers to attend the 2014 Forum and for administrative support ($10,000); Hudson Library and Historical Society for a city-wide celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week in Hudson ($10,000); Northeast Ohio Medical University  for the REDIzone (Research, Entrepreneurship, Discovery & Innovation Zone) Seminar ($6,774); and Summer on the Cuyahoga for the recruitment of interns ($9,900).

In addition to supporting entrepreneurship initiatives in the region, the Foundation also makes grants to institutions in Hudson, Ohio.  The following grants have been made since February to benefit the Hudson community:  Hudson Community Foundation for the Hudson Independence Day Fireworks display ($5,000); Hudson Heritage Association for a Preservationist Membership ($250); Music from the Western Reserve for operating support ($10,000); and Taste of Hudson for marketing of the 10th Annual Taste of Hudson ($9,500).

A more complete list of grants awarded can be found by visiting the Foundation’s website at bdmorganfdn.org/grants-awarded.

 

New Program Officer Joins The Burton D. Morgan Foundation

October 3, 2014

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation welcomes Emily Bean to our staff as a new full-time program officer.  For the past four years, Emily Bean served as the community investment officer at Akron Community Foundation, where she was responsible for managing the foundation’s grant distribution process and was the point of contact between the foundation and its current and potential grantees. Prior to her work at the foundation, Emily advanced the Early Childhood Initiative at Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority through fundraising, strategic planning, and program development.

Emily received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Kent State University and will soon receive her Master’s from Kent State University’s Graduate School of Education, Health, and Human Services.  Emily also serves on the board of Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates and the steering committee for the Summit County Fatherhood Initiative.

Emily currently resides in Northfield Center with her two young children, Anabel and Ace.  Her hobbies include painting, cooking, dancing, and scrambling.

College of Wooster Student Earns Spot in Y Combinator Accelerator Program

October 3, 2014

Hard work and good ideas pay off.  Fahim Aziz, a student at The College of Wooster, formed Backpack, an internet-based company last spring.  He worked nearly every day in the school’s Collaboration Space with a small team of students to further develop his business idea.  This past summer, Aziz was accepted into Y Combinator, a highly selective accelerator program in Silicon Valley. 

Twice a year, Y Combinator invests about $120,000 in a large number of startups.   Each startup moves to Silicon Valley for 3 months, and works intensively within the accelerator to get the company into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors. Each cycle culminates in Demo Day, when the startups present their companies to an invitation-only audience.  The Y Combinator staff and extensive alumni network continue to help founders for the life of their company, and beyond. 

Aziz’s company was listed in the top 10 among 75 on Demo Day.  He has delayed his return to school this semester, as he is currently negotiating with several venture capital firms for funding.  Peter Abramo, The College of Wooster’s Director of Entrepreneurship, commented, “"Fahim's business is a great example of how a college like Wooster works to develop our students so they are able to leverage external resources. In this case, Fahim participated in the advising opportunities at the Entrepreneurial Expo in Cleveland, networked with alumni working in the technology space, and ultimately was accepted into Y Combinator. This shared mentorship approach provided Fahim with increasing levels of expertise as his needs become more sophisticated."

Fahim is enjoying the process.  “We are moving faster than ever and having a lot of fun”, was his most recent update.  We wish Fahim continued success with his business! 

For more information about Y Combinator, vist:  http://www.ycombinator.com/about/.

Learning Collaborative for Cities of Innovation

October 3, 2014

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation recently joined a host of other foundations and corporations to support the Forward Cities National Learning Collaborative, a national learning cohort of cities of innovation, which includes Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans and Durham, and their surrounding areas.

This two-year project is led by Forward Impact and Friends of New Orleans, and also includes involvement from the Urban Institute, the Aspen Institute, and Issue Media Group.  The purposes for this project are to strengthen networks and entrepreneurial activity within the participating cities; foster best practice sharing, relationship building, and entrepreneurial activity between the cohort cities; and serve as a dynamic knowledge resource for other cities that are looking to build out their innovation ecosystems.

This two-year pilot program will incorporate cross-city convening, an open knowledge platform, entrepreneurial collaboration and networking, collaborative planning, and advocacy and measurement.  The first Forward Cities convening will be this December in New Orleans.  Cleveland will host the group in the fall of 2015. 

For more information on this project, visit:  http://www.forwardimpact.info/national-learning-collaborative/.

Hudson to Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week in November

October 3, 2014

Brad Stone, Bloomberg Businessweek writer and author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, will be the keynote speaker for Hudson’s celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), November 16-22. Stone’s appearance, one of many events to celebrate entrepreneurship in the City of Hudson, will be at the Hudson High School auditorium on Tuesday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m.

Other events during the week include “Essential Presentation Skills for Student Entrepreneurs” on Monday, November 17, from 4:30-6:00 p.m. at the Hudson Library & Historical Society. The program will be presented by LightHouse Ohio, the first true entrepreneurial accelerator program for high school students, run by Cleveland's LaunchHouse.

On Thursday, November 20, at 7:30 a.m. the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Hudson Economic Growth Board will present the Annual Awards Breakfast at the JoAnn’s Stores Conference Center. One or more outstanding businesses and individuals will be recognized for their contributions to the Hudson economy and the quality of life in Hudson. Dr. Frank Douglas, President of the Austen BioInnovation Institute, will be the keynote speaker. The cost to attend is $10 and reservations can be made online at www.explorehudson.com.

Also on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship Research at the Hudson Library will hold its second annual “Pitch Night” where entrepreneurs can pitch their business ideas to a panel of expert judges. Participants will need to apply online for one of the six 20-minute time slots available for this “shark tank” style program.  Applications will be accepted starting Wednesday, October 1 and must be received by Saturday, November 1, 2014. A $3,000 cash prize will be awarded to the first place winner, second place will receive $1,500 and third place will receive $500. There is no registration required to be a member of the audience and watch the competition. Visit www.hudsonlibrary.org for details.

A Community Shopping Event is also planned. Hudson residents are encouraged to support its entrepreneurs on a day already dedicated to small businesses – “American Express Small Business Saturday,” November 29th. Almost every business in Hudson was started by an entrepreneur – someone with an idea or a desire to fill a need, from Little Tikes (started by Tom Murdough in his garage) to Club Z In-Home Tutoring (started by Jan Schrader and still run successfully out of her home).  Peruse the Hudson Hub-Times in the weeks leading up to GEW for the stories of Hudson-based entrepreneurs. 

The 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Week in Hudson is supported by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, the City of Hudson and Morgan Bank, with assistance from The Hudson Library & Historical Society, The Merchants of Hudson and the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce. More information and links to register can be found at www.explorehudson.com.

 

On the Move

October 3, 2014

Matt Utterback is the new Director of Entrepreneurship for Oberlin.  An Oberlin alum from the class of ’95, Matt previously worked at MIT's entrepreneurship center before working with a startup for 10 years, and then starting his own company eKitabu, which is a digital book company in Kenya. 

Tom Sutton, former chair of the Political Science department at Baldwin Wallace University was named BWU’s Burton D. Morgan Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies in July.

Bill Nemeth is the new director of JumpStart’s Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program.  Bill recently sold his company Mirifex Systems and served as a mentor with the program he now directs. 

The Foundation congratulates these champions of entrepreneurship on their new positions and wishes them success.

Entrepreneurship Immersion Week Held at The University of Akron

October 3, 2014

The Entrepreneurship Education Consortium (EEC) held its 8th annual Entrepreneurship Immersion Week (EIW) at The University of Akron in August.

Fifty-three students from 11 Northeast Ohio universities participated.  Students engaged in classes, brainstorming, panel discussions, team meetings and networking during Immersion Week, which aims to prepare them for new enterprises, to work for existing business or startup ventures, and to encourage them to remain in the region.  The week concludes with an idea competition, which this year was won by the John Carroll University team.  Case Western Reserve University took 2nd place, and 3rd place went to Lake Erie College. 

Other participating schools were Ashland University, Baldwin Wallace University, Cleveland State University, Hiram College, Kent State University, Lorain County Community College, The University of Akron, and the University of Mount Union. 

Since program inception in 2007, 285 students have participated in Entrepreneurship Immersion Week. 

Julie Messing, executive director of Kent State University’s Blackstone LaunchPad program, commented, “We have created an amazing network of young entrepreneurs.  They remain in close contact with other students and advisors, and some move on to other entrepreneurial support networks like incubators and accelerators – right here in Northeast Ohio.”

EIW 2015 is planned for the week of August 2 at Lake Erie College.

2014 Entrepreneurship Education Forum to be Held in Cincinnati

October 3, 2014

The Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education (CEE) will be holding its 32nd Annual Entrepreneurship Education Forum in Cincinnati, October 11-13. 

This year, CEE is joining forces with the MBA Research Conclave, so participants will essentially have access to two conferences for the price of one, with double the available sessions and networking opportunities.   

This  must-attend event for entrepreneurship educators will kick off Friday night with The Celebration, which will include stellar views of Cincinnati, hors d’oeuvres, and beverages. 

Dave Knox, Founder of The Brandery, an exciting Cincinnati startup accelerator, will be the keynote speaker.  The following are just a few of the conference speakers:

Ronni Cohen, CEE board member, on JOLT (Just Ordinary Little Tricks) on teaching creative thinking

Horace Robertson, CEE Treasurer, on the Roadmap to Entrepreneurship software

Mike Gibbons, President of the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation on recognizing opportunity

Gary Schoeniger, co-author of Who Owns the Ice House? on the Ice House entrepreneurial curriculum

For a complete list of sessions and speakers, and for more information on the conference, including registration information, visit http://www.entre-ed.org/_network/forum.htm.

 

Letter from the President

July 17, 2014

Dear Foundation Friends,

With this July issue of In the Pipeline, we are adopting a fresh approach to our newsletter creation.  For the past five years, we have been producing specialized newsletters--eSpirit for collegiate entrepreneurship and Venture Adventure for youth entrepreneurship.  While we have enjoyed sharing news through targeted publications, we find that the stories we bring to you these days are no longer so neatly siloed into discrete age brackets.  The Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystem has matured and we are very proud of this evolution!   We now want the stories we share to cross boundaries and present the richness of the programs that engage people as they pursue their startup dreams and aspirations.  In the Pipeline will now present news about all the programs we fund under one masthead produced every other month, so you will get the news you need in a more timely fashion.

In this issue, we will cover events and programs that are happening here in Northeast Ohio, but also developments across the country and even around the world that have ramifications for our region--Lemonade Day NEO, the Deshpande Symposium for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education, Blackstone LaunchPad, and the Beyond Silicon Valley MOOC.  The Foundation works every day to build bridges among our region's entrepreneurship programs in order to enhance their reach and impact.  We hope you will enjoy our new approach to storytelling as we capture the flurry of entrepreneurial activity that is reinventing Northeast Ohio!

Deborah D. Hoover
President & CEO

June Grants Total More Than $1.5 Million

July 17, 2014

At their June meeting, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved grants totaling more than $1.5 million, including grant dollars to University School totaling $376,500.  University School grant funding will be used to support programming provided through the Entrepreneur Institute, which includes Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio, and to establish an endowment to support the Entrepreneur Institute. 

Deborah D. Hoover, Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “During the June grant cycle, the Foundation made a significant investment in our partnership with University School and its dynamic Entrepreneur Institute.  Under the leadership of youth entrepreneurship champion Greg Malkin, the Entrepreneur Institute coordinates and promotes Lemonade Day NEO across the region, professional development for teachers, the Young Entrepreneur Market, and the annual Celebration of Youth Entrepreneurship.  The Foundation and Entrepreneur Institute share common goals of instilling an entrepreneurial mindset in young people at an early age and we are excited to pursue our partnership in the coming school year with renewed energy.”

Additional grants approved by the Foundation’s Trustees in June include:

Akron Urban League - $20,000 to support the Partnership for the Minority Business Accelerator (PMBA) cohort VI

Ashland University - $21,700 for entrepreneurship programming

Bad Girl Ventures - $25,000 for Cleveland operations and marketing in Summit County

BioEnterprise Corporation - $275,000 for business development and internship programs, and support to develop and pilot financial sustainability initiatives

Economic and Community Development Institute – up to $200,000 to provide support to initiate microlending in Summit County

Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio - $25,000 for the Scholarship of Entrepreneurial Engagement (SEE) program

Hiram College - $35,000 for operating and program support for the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship

Kent State University Foundation - $39,750 for a Marketing and Events Manager for the Blackstone LaunchPad program

Oberlin College - $500,000 for a permanent endowment to support Creativity & Leadership:  Entrepreneurship at Oberlin

Youth Opportunities Unlimited - $30,000 for the E CITY program

Since February, the Foundation also approved a number of small grants to support youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship programs.  Among the recipients were:  Cleveland Festival of Art and Technology for the Ingenuity Spark Plug Festival ($5,000); Downtown Akron Partnership for the 2014 Akron Art Prize ($10,000); Girl Scouts of North East Ohio for the Girl Scout Cookie Rally ($10,000); ideastream for prize money for the SEA Change idea competition ($10,000); Kent State University for the Small Business Development Center’s Entrepreneur Experience Program ($5,000); LaunchTown for the 2014 business idea competition ($10,000); Learning About Business, Inc. for LAB Week 2014 ($10,000); National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship for scholarships for the 2014 conference ($9,882); Painesville City Schools for summer business education programming ($2,695); Summer on the Cuyahoga to include entrepreneurship interns in special event programming ($2,500); University of Massachusetts-Lowell for the 2014 Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education ($5,000); and Western Reserve Public Media for the START UP television program ($10,000).

In addition to supporting entrepreneurship initiatives in the region, the Foundation also makes grants to institutions in Hudson, Ohio.  The following grants have been made since February to benefit the Hudson community:  Hudson Bandstand, Inc. for the 2014 Hudson Summer Music Festival ($2,500); Hudson City School District for the Keep Hudson Safe initiative ($1,000); Hudson Community Foundation for the 2014 Screen on the Green movie series ($5,000); Hudson Community Service Association for the Helping Hands Assistance Fund ($8,000); Hudson Rotary Foundation for scholarship fund support ($1,000); and Hudson United Methodist Church for the 2014 Appalachian Service Project Mission ($5,000). 

A more complete list of grants awarded can be found by visiting the Foundation’s website at bdmorganfdn.org/grants-awarded.

 

Trustee and Father Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

July 17, 2014

Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustee Pat Finley took an amazing journey over Father’s Day with his father, Tom.  Together, Pat and Tom successfully climbed to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, a feat achieved by only about 45% of climbers who attempt it. Moreover, Tom is one of fewer than 5 people in the world his age that has successfully summited Mt. Kilimanjaro. It took the Finleys a week to reach the top of the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, which is 19,000 feet tall. 

Tom and Pat decided to make the climb to support North Coast Community Homes, an organization which provides homes for people with disabilities across Northeast Ohio.  Pat, who is chairman of the Board of Trustees for North Coast Community Homes, stated ahead of the adventure, “I want to do this climb for all those people who would like to try, but due to their disabilities, are unable. I will be thinking the whole time about the people NCCH serves.”

Tom Finley is 79 years old, and Pat turned 50 during his trek up the mountain.  What a way to celebrate a birthday and Father’s Day!  We are inspired by their journey, as were many others judging from the many donations made to North Coast Community Homes.  To date, Pat and Tom have raised more than $43,000 toward their $50,000 goal.  To learn more, or to make a donation to North Coast Community Homes in support of their journey, click HERE.

Foundation News

July 17, 2014

Deborah Hoover, President and CEO of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, is an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Northeast Ohio 2014 award recipient.  Deborah received her award in the Educational Services and Non-Profit category. 

Foundation Founder, Burton D. Morgan, received a similar award in 1991 from Ernst & Young.  “I was tremendously honored to be included and have the foundation recognized as a finalist,” Hoover said.  “Knowing Burt Morgan received the same award in 1991 also made us think about how happy he would be to see the foundation is continuing his legacy in support of entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio.”

The Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur of the Year Program honors and recognizes outstanding business founders and owners.  An independent judging panel selected the winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards in Northeast Ohio for 2014 and recognized them on June 26 at a gala held in Cleveland.  For more information on this award, click HERE.

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At the Board of Trustees meeting on June 18, Denise Griggs, Foundation CFO, was elected Vice President of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

Denise joined the Foundation in 2007 as Chief Financial Officer, and was elected Secretary and Assistant Treasurer in 2010.  Prior to joining the Foundation, she was the President and Managing Partner of Brott Mardis & Co. 

Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Hoover commented, “The Foundation is very fortunate to have Denise serving in this new leadership capacity.  She adeptly blends her financial expertise with programmatic knowledge, strengthening our regional work and contributing in a pivotal way to the sophistication and complexity of the projects we tackle in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  All of us at the Foundation congratulate Denise on her success.”

 

New Session of Entrepreneurship MOOC Begins in October

July 17, 2014

In case you missed it the first time around, you will have another chance to participate in Case Western Reserve University’s MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), “Beyond Silicon Valley:  Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies.” The second session is set to begin on October 3. 

The MOOC launched April 28 to global success, with more than 18,000 participants registered from 118 countries.  Made possible through funding from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, the MOOC was developed by CWRU Professor Michael Goldberg, who was inspired to develop the course after spending five months in Vietnam on a Fulbright grant in 2012 teaching entrepreneurial finance.  Through this MOOC, participants explore how communities in transitioning economies around the world are working to enable the growth of entrepreneurship when resources from the private sector are limited.  Participants look through the lens of Northeast Ohio, a transitioning market that has utilized innovative approaches to support the growth of entrepreneurs. 

Offered through the Coursera platform, this 6-week course is a series of short weekly video lectures that feel more like engaging documentaries than a static classroom setting.  There are also opportunities for live engagement with featured entrepreneurs and thought leaders through a number of interactive sessions.  The following topics are covered during the course:

  • Government Support
  • Engaging Philanthropy and Donors
  • Creating Intermediary Organizations
  • Leveraging Anchor Institutions
  • Seed Acceleration
  • Fostering Angel Investment
  • Access to Venture Capital

For more information, or to register for the upcoming session, click HERE

 

Youth Entrepreneurship Thrives at Farmers Markets

July 17, 2014

The Young Entrepreneur Market had a successful first season this spring.  A total of 36 student entrepreneurs, representing 20 unique businesses, participated in 11 Market Days held at Shaker Square and Crocker Park farmers markets.  More than $3,000 in revenue was generated by students as of June 21.

The objective of the program is to help students develop skills in sales, customer service, pricing, promotion, and gauging competition by providing them with real world experience selling their products and services in person.  At the same time, the Young Entrepreneur Market is also raising public awareness of youth entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio. 

The following schools and organizations were represented by young entrepreneurs:  Beaumont School, Gilmour Academy, Hathaway Brown School, Laurel School, Magnificat High School, National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM High School, Teen Enterprise, University School, and Young Innovators’ Society. 

This program, which is coordinated by the University School’s Entrepreneur Institute, is open to high school and middle school entrepreneurs who are affiliated with a school or organization.  Check out the Young Entrepreneur Market website at www.youngentrepreneurmarket.org for more information, to visit the recently launched online store, or for a look at the fall schedule, which will be finalized soon.

Camp Invention Program is a Hit with Local Youth

July 17, 2014

Hundreds of children in Northeast Ohio are having fun while developing inventive thinking and problem solving skills through hands-on STEM programming, thanks to Camp Invention.  Developed in 1990 by Invent Now and the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Camp Invention is a week-long summer program that incorporates entrepreneurship and intellectual property elements along with collaboration and teamwork. 

Since its inception, Camp Invention has impacted nearly 24,000 children in the Greater Akron area and 800,000 children nationwide.  This summer, there are 25 Camp Invention host schools in the Greater Akron region.  The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is providing support for Camp Invention at Leggett Community Learning Center and Voris Community Learning Center in Akron, and Cornerstone Elementary in Wooster.

Camp Invention is the only nationally recognized, non-profit elementary enrichment program backed by the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  With an emphasis on invention, the problem-solving mindset, and entrepreneurship, the program’s curricula give children exposure to the bring-to-market aspect of invention and innovation, as well as the entrepreneurial skills required to make new inventions available to the public. 

“We are grateful for our partners, whose investment in children, and specifically scholarship support for underserved children, has allowed us to make a great impact here in our backyard,” explains Michael J. Oister, CEO for Invent Now. “Parents consistently tell us Camp Invention increases their child’s creative problem-solving and interest in STEM, and their children are excited to return each summer.”

For more information on Camp Invention, visit www.campinvention.org.

Female Entrepreneurship Topic at Deshpande Symposium

July 17, 2014

Close to 250 collegiate entrepreneurship leaders from across the country gathered at UMass Lowell on June 10-12 for the third annual Deshpande Symposium for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Higher Education.  The Burton D. Morgan Foundation helped sponsor the symposium, and Deborah Hoover, President and CEO, served as a panelist for a well-attended session on Women & Entrepreneurship.

Joining Deborah on the panel was Corey Drushal, Executive Director of Bad Girl Ventures in Ohio.  Corey shared moving stories about the transformative power of Bad Girl Ventures programming for aspiring female entrepreneurs.  Northeast Ohio was well represented at the conference with representatives/panelists from Kent State University, John Carroll University, Lorain County Community College, Case Western Reserve University, and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Letter From the President

March 17, 2014

Dear Foundation Friends,

In our spring edition of In the Pipeline, we are sharing the Foundation's latest round of grantmaking, a roster of grants that reflects the ever-evolving and increasingly sophisticated state of the Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystem.   Through the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund graduate students will have the opportunity to experience the early-stage investment process first hand.  The Venture for America program is providing startups in the region with access to the talents of recent college graduates from Ohio and other places to serve as fellows in key areas of business development. 

We also highlight other recent grants--Western Reserve Historical Society for its program that introduces Cleveland schoolchildren to the history of entrepreneurship in our region and the imminent launch (April 28) of the Case Western Reserve University MOOC, Beyond Silicon Valley:  Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies, a Coursera online class that is generating big excitement and huge enrollment numbers.   Consider signing up so you can explore the evolution of our renowned Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystem and compare notes with others from around the globe! 

The Foundation is in the midst of a staff transition this spring with the departure of longtime program officer and colleague Alison Burner, as she pursues other interests in the nonprofit sector.  We thank her for all she has contributed to the Foundation over the last decade and wish her every success in all her future endeavors.  We welcome Angela Kwallek Evans to our team in the role of program officer and look forward to introducing her to our grantees and friends. 

The Foundation will be examining its strategies and focus during the coming months in order to ensure that our efforts continue to accelerate the momentum of the NEO entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Deborah D. Hoover
President & CEO

New Program Officer at The Burton D. Morgan Foundation

March 17, 2014

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation welcomes Angela Kwallek Evans to our staff as a new full-time Program Officer.  Angela comes to the Foundation with a background in philanthropy, having served as a Program Officer with the Toledo Community Foundation from 2008 – 2012.  In that capacity, she provided support for multiple grantmaking opportunities that advanced arts, education, and health and wellness programming, and efforts to promote strategic alliances and partnerships between nonprofit organizations. 

Angela earned a BA in Political Science and Spanish from Youngstown State University, where she was a recipient of a Phi Kappa Phi National Fellowship and an Ohio Board of Regents Fellowship.  She obtained a JD from the University of Toledo; during her graduate studies, she completed a fellowship in mediation.  As a current resident of Shalersville, she and her husband enjoy visiting museums, hiking, gardening, and traveling.

Angela indicated, “As The Burton D. Morgan Foundation continues to explore and support regional programs that maximize philanthropic impact via entrepreneurship, I am eager to begin engaging with the Foundation’s diverse partners from the education, business, and philanthropic and nonprofit communities who have each played a critical role in revitalizing Northeast Ohio.”  Angela’s start date with The Foundation is March 24, 2014.

JumpStart Entrepreneur Expo in April

March 17, 2014

JumpStart, Inc. will host its 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo, “Connections Matter”, on Monday, April 7, from noon - 5:30 pm in the atrium of the Cleveland Museum of Art.  The Expo is the largest of its kind in Greater Cleveland; at JumpStart’s event last year more than 110 young companies exhibited to an enthusiastic crowd of investors, media, resource providers, and community leaders.  This year’s event will focus on making connections that matter.

A highlight of this not-to-be-missed event will include Speed Advising Sessions.  Investors, members of the media, and service providers will be pre-matched with entrepreneurs and tasked with giving feedback and advice to these young companies.  The Expo will also feature the Charter One Foundation Student Business Idea Competition, a moderated investor panel discussion, and a large-scale networking reception highlighting SunDown RunDown, TechPint, Burning River Coffee Club, Startup Weekend, and other peer networking opportunities in the region. 

This event will kick off “Get Connected”,  a two-week celebration of diverse entrepreneurs, emerging industries, and the communities that support them.  It features the Expo, a female entrepreneur summit, a 54-hour entrepreneurial competition, and a week-long tech initiative.

Registration is already open for the Expo.  To learn more about the Expo or Get Connected, or to register, click HERE.

Case Western Reserve University to Launch MOOC on April 28

March 17, 2014

Case Western Reserve University is on the brink of launching their newest MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), Beyond Silicon Valley:  Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies.  A recent development in distance learning, MOOCs are free, online courses with unlimited participation and open access via the web. 

Made possible through funding from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, the MOOC was developed by CWRU Professor Michael Goldberg, who was inspired to develop the course after spending five months in Vietnam on a Fulbright grant in 2012 teaching entrepreneurial finance.  Through this course, participants will explore how communities in transitioning economies around the world are working to enable the growth of entrepreneurship when resources from the private sector are limited.  Participants will look through the lens of Northeast Ohio, a transitioning market that has utilized innovative approaches to support the growth of entrepreneurs. 

Offered through the Coursera platform, this 6-week course is a series of short weekly video lectures that will feel more like engaging documentaries than a static classroom setting.  There will also be opportunities for live engagement with featured entrepreneurs and thought leaders through a number of interactive sessions.  The following topics will be covered during the course:

Government Support
Engaging Philanthropy and Donors
Creating Intermediary Organizations
Leveraging Anchor Institutions
Seed Acceleration
Fostering Angel Investment
Access to Venture Capital

No specific background is needed to take this course, though it is noted that an “entrepreneurial mindset” would be useful.  All students will receive a Statement of Accomplishment upon successful completion of the class.  For more information or to sign up for the course, click HERE.

Farewell to Alison Burner

March 17, 2014

It is with a heavy heart that we bid a fond farewell to Alison Burner, who has been a Program Officer with the Foundation for the past nine years.   Alison is leaving the Foundation in March to enjoy some leisure time and explore other opportunities. 

Alison has played a pivotal role in many important grants and grant initiatives.  She was instrumental in successfully launching and managing the NEOCEP program, spanning 2006 to 2013.  This initiative has been transformational for developing our strategy, building our knowledge and connecting us to thought leaders in the field. 

Alison also spearheaded the creation of our Blackstone LaunchPad network during the formation stage, coordinating the details among all three key partners in the initiative.  Her attention to detail has been a critical factor in the ongoing success of BLP.  

In addition, Alison completed the Leadership Akron program, served on a Leadership Akron planning committee for Entrepreneurship Day, redesigned our community grantmaking program, and performed her program officer role with distinction.  She also played a key role in the oversight of our highly successful entrepreneurship program at the Hudson Library.  All of these developments have contributed mightily to the evolution of BDMF over the last decade. 

Alison has supplied innovative ideas, strategic thinking and plenty of good humor to our work and she will be greatly missed by all of us here at The Burton D. Morgan Foundation.  We thank Alison for her many contributions and wish her well in all of her future endeavors!

Foundation Awards Grants Totaling More than $1 Million

March 17, 2014

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees awarded grants totaling more than $1 million in February to support programs for youth, college students, and adults to help them develop skills and gain experience in starting business ventures.

Deborah D. Hoover, Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our roster of February grants includes both new and repeat grants, all aimed at advancing the energy and momentum of the Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystem.  The Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund, for example, will offer advanced students the opportunity to experience the due diligence process on pre-seed capital investment for high-potential ventures in our region.   The grant to New York-based Venture for America will support Fellows serving in two-year positions with Northeast Ohio startups.  Finally, the Akron Global Business Accelerator will be able to establish the Bit Factory, space designed to bolster early-stage ventures and help them thrive. The Foundation believes in the power of our constantly evolving ecosystem to spur economic growth for our region.” 

Grants approved by the Foundation’s Trustees in February include:

Akron Development Corporation - $150,000 to build out space at the Akron Global Business Accelerator for the new Bit Factory accelerator program for high-potential IT startups and for initial marketing

Akron SCORE Chapter 81 - $30,000 for administrative and marketing expenses in 2014

Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland – up to $212,985 over three years to establish a Youth Market Garden and entrepreneurship program at two club sites, in collaboration with the Cleveland Botanical Garden

Emmanuel Christian Academy – up to $23,800 for two summer 2014 entrepreneurship camps, one for middle school students and a small pilot for high school students

The Entrepreneurs EDGE - $50,000 for the 2014 EDGE Fellows Summer Intern Program

Entrepreneurship Education Consortium – up to $95,000 for support of the 2014 Entrepreneurship Immersion Week and the 2014 ideaLabs business idea competition for area college students

Hudson Library & Historical Society - $56,000 for a two-year grant for entrepreneurship program enhancement and expansion, an annual pitch night, and video conferencing equipment

Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) – $50,000 to support the summer 2014 Entrepreneurial Internship Program

Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund - $125,000 for a student-run investment fund that offers advanced students at Northeast Ohio universities experiential learning about the startup investment process while simultaneously providing pre-seed capital for high-potential ventures in the region

Purdue University - up to $200,000 for two-year funding of the Burton D. Morgan Interns program in Northeast Ohio, the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Opportunities program, and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation Student Entrepreneurship Fellows program

Venture for America - $150,000 to support five Venture for America Fellows in Northeast Ohio for two years.

In addition to supporting entrepreneurship initiatives in the region, the Foundation also makes grants to institutions in Hudson, Ohio.  The Foundation Trustees awarded Western Reserve Academy $110,000 for renewed, two-year funding for the campus-wide Morgan Leadership Program, which reaches the entire student body, the faculty, and selected student leaders.  Several other grants have been made since last September to benefit the Hudson community.  Among them were the following:  City of Hudson for production costs associated with Hudson Cable TV’s Good Day in Hudson ($1,200); Hudson City School District to bring the Earth Balloon inflatable globe to Ellsworth Hill Elementary School ($1,500); Hudson Community First for the Intern for a Day/Career Panel program ($10,000); Hudson Community Service Association for the 2013 holiday lights program ($400); and Seton Catholic School for the youth philanthropy program with Laurel Lake Retirement Community ($2,500).

To address community needs that fall outside the Foundation’s primary mission, the Trustees periodically make one-time community grants on a proactive basis to deserving charitable organizations that serve the local area.  The following proactive grants were awarded by the Trustees in February:

Akron Art Museum - $15,800 for the Akron Art Museum’s Town Hall Series
Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank - $5,000 for operating funds
Akron Zoological Park - $20,000 for veterinary equipment and supplies
American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties - $10,000 for local disaster relief
Boys and Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve - $5,200 for computer equipment for Eller Teen Club
Ballet Excel Ohio - $3,000 for equipment associated with costume archiving, inventorying and repairs
Friends of 91.3 - $10,000 for a radio broadcast booth in Akron Children’s Hospital for use by pediatric patients
Keep Akron Beautiful - $25,000 for a customized van for the Flowerscape crew
Summit County Historical Society - $10,000 for stone fence repairs at the John Brown House.

Since last September, the Foundation also approved a number of small grants to support youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship programs.  Among the recipients were:  Beachwood City Schools to support the 2014 Entrovation Expo ($6,500); Canton Regional SCORE for support of workshops for small businesses ($5,000); Gilmour Academy for entrepreneurship programming ($5,000); Great Trail Boy Scouts of America for the Entrepreneurship Merit Badge Program ($7,000); Prepared4Life for underwriting the license fee for Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio 2014 ($10,000); Shaker Heights Development Corporation to conduct a preparation session and a regional business plan competition for high school students ($9,900); Solon Engineers’ Club for equipment for the Young Innovators’ Pursuing Engineering and Entrepreneurship Program ($4,778); St. Edward High School to purchase resources for entrepreneurship courses ($10,000); and the University of Akron Foundation for the BEST Medicine Engineering Fair ($5,000).

Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund

March 17, 2014

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation Board of Trustees awarded a grant of $125,000 to the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund (NEOSVF) to continue to help grow technology companies in the region. The funding matches $125,000 provided through the Ohio Third Frontier Commission’s Pre-seed Fund Capitalization Program, giving the NEOSVF access to a total of $250,000 to be invested in high-tech, high-growth companies that meet the State of Ohio’s definition of its primary industry focus.

NEOSVF is a student-run, independent, not-for-profit organization that is a collaboration of colleges and universities in Northeast Ohio and supported at no cost by The University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF). All colleges and universities in the region are invited to establish a campus chapter of NEOSVF and have students participate in the process of identifying and vetting promising startups to recommend for investment by the fund. The University of Akron’s Student Venture Fund is the first campus chapter of NEOSVF, and other area campuses are in the process of initiating participation.

“The goal of NEOSVF is to provide an experiential learning opportunity to Northeast Ohio college students who gain the confidence to begin their own companies, become investors or become employed by startups, while fostering economic development in the region,” says John Myers, Vice President of NEOSVF and Executive-In-Residence at UARF.  Participating students will be guided in the due diligence process by their campus advisors and NEOSVF’s board members, who will make the final investment decisions.

Deborah Hoover, President of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, noted “The Foundation is excited to support this innovative means of engaging talented students in the startup process while simultaneously providing funds to help fledgling businesses grow.  We expect NEOSVF to be a win-win for students and startups.”

For more information about the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund, contact John Myers at jmyers2@uakron.edu, or 330-703-3947, or visit http://neosvf.weebly.com/.

Cleveland Students Immersed in the History of Entrepreneurship

March 17, 2014

It’s “all systems go!” for the innovative program developed by the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) that will enable elementary students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to experience more than a century of entrepreneurship and innovation in Northeast Ohio. 

Supported by a three-year grant from the Foundation, every 4th, 5th, and 6th grader in the district will visit Hale Farm & Village or the History Center for activities and lessons around entrepreneurship. These experiences, which incorporate WRHS’s extensive entrepreneurship and business collections, tell the century-long story of entrepreneurs who built Northeast Ohio “from a wilderness to an industrial innovation powerhouse.”

In February, 5th and 6th graders began their visits to the History Center in University Circle.  Once the weather warms up a bit, 4th graders will head to Hale Farm in Summit County to live and learn through the “Roots of Entrepreneurship” program. About 9,000 students will participate each year.

As part of the program, WRHS is providing day-long professional development to CMSD teachers at both sites. With this training, the teachers can enhance and reinforce student learning through classroom activities before and after the visits. More than 100 enthusiastic CMSD educators have completed the training.

Cathy Ashmore Tribute

March 17, 2014

The Trustees and Staff of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation sadly recognize the passing of Dr. Cathy Ashmore on March 1, 2014.  For 31 years, Cathy served as Executive Director of the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, an organization she founded to promote entrepreneurship education among youth and teachers.  Cathy was recently inducted into the Entrepreneurship Education Hall of Fame, during the 31st Annual Entrepreneurship Education FORUM held in Cleveland.  Cathy worked tirelessly as a champion of entrepreneurship education, and was recognized as a leading authority in the field.

President's Letter

October 15, 2013

Dear Friends,

As the leaves take on tinges of fall, the Northeast Ohio entrepreneurship ecosystem is revving up for another season of kinetic activity, fueled by success, new dimensions, and strategic outreach.  This issue of In the Pipeline announces the results of our most recent grantmaking cycle and captures a series of stories that paint the picture of a region on the move. 

Our Northeast Ohio decade-long saga of generating startups is attracting attention not only across the region, but also in far flung places. Northeast Ohio is the topic of The Metropolitan Revolution (Chapter 4), a 2013 Brookings Institution publication authored by Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley that celebrates a decade of transformational impact driven by the Fund for Our Economic Future. Northeast Ohio will host the 2013 Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education Forum November 16-18, an event that will attract entrepreneurship educators from across the U.S. to share innovative ideas for use inside and outside the classroom.    I will also be sharing the Northeast Ohio revitalization story at a Bilateral Meeting of Spanish and U.S. Foundations to be held in Madrid, Spain in late October. 

The connectivity among the various components of our ecosystem gets stronger each year as the ARCHAngels update conveys.  This increased connectivity among collegiate programs is generating big results, and this story is the focus of my Connecting the Dots (On Overdrive!) blog posted by JumpStart in September.  Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has transformed the startup landscape of our region, inspiring a culture that celebrates entrepreneurship and widely embraces the startup adventure for all ages.

We extend our condolences to the Morgan family as we remember Burt's wife, Margaret Clark Morgan (Peg), who passed away on September 22 at the age of 95.  We are grateful to Burt and Peg Morgan for their philanthropic vision and for the privilege of continuing their work in support of our community and region.  I share the continuing impact of Burt’s vision on the work of The Foundation in my Philanthropy Ohio blog post.  I also extend my sincere thanks to the Trustees and Staff of the Foundation for their ongoing and extraordinary dedication to our mission. 

Several other stories of interest about our vibrant hometown of Hudson, Ohio round out this issue. We hope you enjoy all our news, and we appreciate your interest in the Foundation's strategic work and priorities.

All the best,

Deborah D. Hoover
President & CEO

Margaret Clark Morgan: September 5, 1918 - September 22, 2013

October 15, 2013

Margaret “Peg” Clark Morgan, philanthropist and widow of Burton D. Morgan, the Foundation’s founder, died on September 22, 2013, in Santa Rosa, California, surrounded by her family.

Mrs. Morgan grew up in Kent and went to school at Kent Roosevelt High School, where she graduated as valedictorian of her class.  She went on to receive a bachelor’s degree from Miami University.  After graduation, Mrs. Morgan worked at B. F. Goodrich Co. in Akron as an executive secretary, and met her future husband, an engineer in the synthetic rubber department.

Peg and Burt were married in 1941, and settled in Hudson in 1959, where she remained a resident until 2010.  Mrs. Morgan’s great-great-grandparents settled in Hudson in 1805, six years after the town was established. 

Mrs. Morgan had a strong interest in fashion and was an avid supporter of The Fashion School at Kent State University.  In 2001, the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation was formed, and Mrs. Morgan took an active part in the grantmaking, which focuses on mental health, education, and the arts. 

The Morgans raised three children:  Suzanne, Mary and Dave.  Mr. Morgan died in 2003.  Mrs. Morgan was also preceded in death by her granddaughter, Deborah Morgan.  In addition to her children, she is survived by four grandchildren, Mark Robeson (a trustee of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation), Keith Riley (a trustee of the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation), Brooke Riley, and Tina Morgan; and four great-grandchildren, Tanner, Logan and Max Robeson, and Colton Samuel Lewis. 

The Foundation’s Staff and Trustees fondly remember Mrs. Morgan and extend our deepest sympathies to the Morgan family.  As a tribute to Mrs. Morgan, the Trustees have approved a grant of $100,000 for the Margaret Clark Morgan Endowed Scholarship Fund at Kent State University’s Fashion School. 

 

 

Grants Awarded at September Trustee Meeting Total $1,119,800

October 15, 2013

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation announced grants totaling $1,119,800 in September to support programs that focus on entrepreneurship for youth, college students, and adults.  The latest round of grants includes an award of $407,000 for the Western Reserve Historical Society to support a 3-year youth entrepreneurship program for students in grades 4-6 in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. 

“The Foundation is excited about the transformational potential of our grant to the Western Reserve Historical Society and the opportunity to inspire thousands of Cleveland students each year through the rich entrepreneurial history of our region,” commented Deborah Hoover, President and CEO of The Foundation.  “The program will build on the resources of the History Center in University Circle and Hale Farm in Bath to make the stages of our economic history come alive.  We look forward to working with our partners to make this ambitious project a great success for the benefit of students as they think about their future careers.”

Additional grants approved by the Foundation’s Trustees in September include:

Case Western Reserve University – $69,000 to develop and produce a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) about the role of entrepreneurship in transitioning economies, with a focus on lessons from Northeast Ohio

Foundation for Teaching Economics – $15,000 to support 15 Northeast Ohio rising seniors to attend an Economics for Leaders program at the campus of their choice during the summer 2014

Ideastream - $40,000 for support of Nightly Business Report

Invent Now, Inc. – $96,800 for four Camp Invention sites during summer 2014, two in the Akron Public Schools and two in the Wooster City Schools

Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio – $27,000 for entrepreneurship-related programming in the 2013-2014 academic year

Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland, Inc. - $50,000 for 2013-2014 middle school programs, high school programs, and the Student Company Program Challenge

Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley, Inc. - $35,000 for entrepreneurship-related programs in 2013-2014 ($25,000) and a $1-for-$1 challenge grant of $10,000 to pilot the “High School Heroes” and “Coder Dojo” programs

Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio- $75,000 for 120 Junior Achievement classroom programs during the 2013-2014 school year

Northeast Ohio Technology Coalition – $175,000 for the Regional Resource Mapping program in 2013-2014 and for cluster acceleration activities in FY13

Youth Opportunities Unlimited - $30,000 for E CITY classroom-based programs in 2013-14

“We are pleased with the full range of entrepreneurship-related grants approved in this fall cycle, and are particularly excited to be charting new territory through support of a Northeast Ohio ecosystem-focused MOOC, as well as NorTech’s Regional Resource Mapping program, which will facilitate access to technology resources on campuses in our region,” said Deborah Hoover.

Foundation Trustees also approved a grant in the amount of $100,000 for Kent State University’s Margaret Clark Morgan Endowed Scholarship Fund, as a tribute to Margaret Clark Morgan, who passed away in September.  The scholarship supports design students at the Fashion School.   J.R. Campbell, Director of KSU’s School of Fashion Design commented, “This phenomenal donation from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation in honor of Margaret Clark Morgan is a perfect way to respond to her legacy.  Mrs. Morgan truly served as a guiding light for the Fashion School and was directly (and through the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation) responsible for the success of many of our students as well as countless support for other innovations in the School.  This contribution to her endowed scholarships in the school will help to raise our scholarship support to an even greater level in her name.”

Since June, the Foundation also approved a number of small grants to support youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship programs.  Among the recipients were:  Hudson Library & Historical Society for prize money for Pitch Night ($5,000); and Montessori Development Partnerships for entrepreneurship program expansion in 2013-2014 at Montessori High School at University Circle ($7,500). 

The following grants were also made to Hudson Community Foundation to support programs in Hudson, Ohio, the Foundation’s home community:  $1,500 for the HeART of Hudson Art Walk; $10,000 for Destination Hudson to purchase portable audio-packs to be used by groups touring Hudson; and $5,000 for Hudson’s July 2013 fireworks display.

A more complete list of grants awarded can be found by visiting the Foundation’s website at bdmorganfdn.org/grants-awarded.

Northeast Ohio Highlighted in The Metropolitan Revolution

October 15, 2013

The City Club of Cleveland held a special program in September with Bruce Katz as the featured speaker.  Katz, along with Jennifer Bradley, is the co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution:  How Cities and Metros are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy.  In his book, Katz discusses how power is shifting away from the nation’s capital and toward the country’s major metropolitan areas.  Katz’s position is that it is not our elected leaders who are making progress; it is the handful of innovative leaders in metropolitan pockets across the nation that are transforming our national economy and changing our collective destinies.  One of the highlighted success stories is Northeast Ohio. 

The Metropolitan Revolution iPad app brings this revolution to life.  The app features animations, interactive infographics, data visualizations, and original video interviews that let you hear firsthand from the metropolitan leaders behind our bottom-up national renewal.  To download the app, visit www.metrorevolution.org/app on your iPad.

National Entrepreneurship Education Forum to be Held in Cleveland

October 15, 2013

The 31st Annual  Entrepreneurship Education Forum will be held in our own backyard next month, at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel in Public Square.  The conference, conducted by the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education (CEE), is themed “The Entrepreneurial Journey” and will focus on creativity and innovation. 

This conference will feature dynamic keynote speakers, including Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Priceline.com, and Steve Mariotti of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship; a fundraising workshop; best practices sessions designed to inspire; a student entrepreneur fair; and “meet the entrepreneur sessions.”  

The fundraising workshop will be co-presented by Foundation President and CEO Deb Hoover, along with Cindy Bailie of the Veale Foundation, Rosa Berardi of The Coleman Foundation, David Holmes of The Foundation Center, and Greg Malkin, of the Entrepreneur Institute at University School.  A special dinner honoring CEE founder, Cathy Ashmore, will be a highlight event. 

The conference will be held November 15-18.  Registrations are still being accepted and some scholarships are still available for educators.  For more information, or to register, visit:  http://www.entre-ed.org/_network/forum.htm

ARCHAngels Network Making Connections

October 15, 2013

Last month, Foundation President and CEO, Deborah Hoover, delivered the keynote address Northeast Ohio Innovation Economy:  The Future in Our Hands at the ARCHAngel (Akron Regional Change Angel) Network’s quarterly meeting.  The 100+ attendees included mentors, faculty, corporate partners, and dozens of students from Hiram College, John Carroll University, and The University of Akron.  Two students from Hudson High School, winners of the 2013 Hudson SharkTank, were also in attendance.  Deborah discussed the work of the Foundation and the Fund for Our Economic Future, focusing on how the system is shifting to address the next decade of work to grow and diversify the economy.  The agenda also featured three startup pitches and plenty of networking. 

Formed in 2005, the ARCHAngels Network connects entrepreneurs with the resources, advice, and financial support needed to create successful businesses.  Made possible through the sponsorship of the University of Akron Research Foundation, the Network also provides opportunities for ARCHAngel volunteers to mentor and advise young technology companies.  To date, the ARCHAngels have funded 108 companies that have attracted $500 million in follow-on capital with numerous exits among the companies.  If you wish to learn more or become involved, visit: http://www.uakron.edu/archangels/.

Blog Posts by Foundation President and CEO

October 15, 2013

If you haven't yet seen Deborah Hoover's recent blog posts for JumpStart, Inc. and Philanthropy Ohio, here are links to both:

http://letstalkphilanthropy.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/out-of-our-comfort-zone/

http://www.jumpstartinc.org/blog/130912-connecting-the-dots.aspx

HeART of Hudson

October 15, 2013

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation served as a venue for the 2013 HeArt of Hudson Art Walk on October 10.  The event, first organized in 2012 by Leadership Hudson participants, showcased art in many forms, at many locations throughout the Main Street and First and Main downtown areas.  We were pleased to participate in this event, and provide tours of the Foundation’s collection of Norman Rockwell prints and other artwork and photographs.  The Foundation joined the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, which served as lead sponsor, the Hudson Community Foundation, and Leadership Hudson in providing a grant to support this event.

International Opportunity to Discuss Entrepreneurship and The Burton D. Morgan Foundation

October 15, 2013

Foundation President and CEO Deborah Hoover will be visiting Madrid this month to discuss the work of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation in the field of entrepreneurship.  Deb will be a speaker at the US-Spanish Foundations Meeting, at the invitation of Alejandro Polanco, Secretary General of the Spain-US Council Foundation.  The Spain-US Council Foundation was set up in 1997 and brings together representatives from the business sector, the public administration services, politics, cultural institutions and the academic world of both countries. The purpose of the council is to foster cooperation and better mutual understanding between Spain and the United States in all areas.  Deb looks forward to sharing some stories upon her return.

 

The Artist as Entrepreneur Institute Comes to Akron In November

October 15, 2013

Artists are known as innovators and creators.  Can they be good managers of their own careers and ideas as well?  Creative professionals are redefining what it means to be an artist. They are taking action, building professional networks, investing in neighborhoods, collaborating with each other and sparking excitement in communities. The answer is YES, thanks to a program, funded by The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and coordinated by the Akron Area Arts Alliance taking place at Summit Artspace for 6 weeks in November/December.  This program has been delivered in Cleveland, as well as in Charlotte, NC and Miami, FL, receiving rave reviews from all types of individual artists.

The Artist as Entrepreneur Institute (AEI) is the creation of the Community Partnership on Arts & Culture (CPAC) in Cleveland, and the business skills for artists curriculum is award-winning and transformative.  It is for artists from every discipline who are serious about advancing their careers and deriving more of their income from their creative work.  It takes talent, of course, but equally important is the commitment of making the right decisions about marketing, intellectual property, insurance and operations for the future.  Combining these skills with a passion and writing a business plan for advancement is what AEI is all about.

The Institute is set up as a 6-session, 24-hour course of study.  Participants receive a comprehensive resource book that includes worksheets, presentations, and readings. The program covers topics that impact an artist’s daily operations, from selecting an incorporation model to marketing and writing a personalized business plan.  Throughout the program, participants interact with professional practitioners from business areas including art, law, marketing, research, and accounting. Session formats are varied and include a mix of lectures, panels, group discussions, and practical exercises.

Sandy Kreisman, Executive Director of Akron Area Arts Alliance, states, “Working in partnership with CPAC and the other cities involved with this Institute is a concrete step towards creating a more cohesive, and respected artist-inspired community in Summit County.  We are proud to be a part of this program and indebted to The Burton D. Morgan Foundation for believing in the creativity of our local artists.”

For more information about the Institute, including cost, schedule, specific topics and faculty, call the Akron Area Arts Alliance at 330-376-8480, or visit the website at www.akronareaarts.org.

 

Teens Learn How to Start a Business

October 15, 2013

Cincinnati-based CPA Carol Topp presented “Micro Business for Teens” at the Hudson Library & Historical Center on September 17.  Hudson High School business teacher and Entrepreneurship Club Advisor Betty Banks-Burke brought some of her students, who were joined by several area home-schooled students, for the program.  Ms. Topp’s free workshop gave students the opportunity to develop an idea for a business that a teen could start, and learn the basics of how to get started.  The students heard from Ms. Topp about the experiences of other teens who started their own micro businesses, and applied the lessons in the workshop to figure out how to start their own lawn mowing, greeting card, and other micro businesses. Later that evening, Ms. Topp conducted another session at the Library for more than 40 local writers interested in the business of self-publishing.

Last year’s public television broadcast of Micro Business for Teens, hosted by Ms. Topp and produced by Western Reserve PBS, is now available online at http://www.westernreservepublicmedia.org/micro.htm along with a teacher’s guide for educators who wish to use it in the classroom.

In Memoriam: Dr. John "Jack" C. Soper

October 15, 2013

May 16, 1937 – August 9, 2013

It is with sadness that the Foundation notes the passing of Dr. John “Jack” C. Soper.  Jack held the Kahl Chair in Entrepreneurship and was Professor of Economics at John Carroll University’s Boler School of Business, where he taught and conducted research on macroeconomics, monetary policy, and entrepreneurship for 31 years. Jack will be remembered fondly by students and colleagues across the region for his dedication to entrepreneurship education.

President's Letter

July 24, 2013

Dear Readers,

The voice on my Garmin (whom I fondly call Gertrude) has become a close personal friend.  We spend a lot of quality time together as I drive across Northeast Ohio visiting our grant recipients, meeting new people, and attending Foundation and Fund for Our Economic Future events.  This outreach represents a highlight of my professional life, allowing me to keep on top of the vibe of philanthropy and entrepreneurship.  All of this travel helps me to to do a better job investing resources in the most productive places so we continue the evolution of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.  My latest pastime as I go about my travels is tweeting about the interesting things I observe and learn.  Happily, my recent tweets reflect a crescendo of positivity and progress in Northeast Ohio. 

During June, my travels took me north, south, east, and west.  I visited JumpStart, the Flats, West Side Market, the new Cleveland Convention Center, Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the new Watershed Stewardship Center in Parma.  Everywhere, there are projects underway – construction, openings, new facilities, exciting plans, and boundless pride.  The Fund for Fund for Our Economic Future, now in its tenth year, is embarking on a fresh chapter of work, tackling the next layer of challenges Northeast Ohio must address to sustain growth and create opportunity.  It seems that the work of the last decade is paying big dividends and finally engaging battalions of people who share the vision of greater prosperity for our region.  Even the data reflect this new sense of optimism, indicating that the region has recovered from the recession at a faster pace than the rest of the nation. 

All of this burgeoning activity prompted The Burton D. Morgan Foundation to double down on its investment in the Fund for Our Economic Future.  The Trustees voted at the June board meeting to boost our total commitment to the Fund's Phase 4 work to $500,000.  With the momentum underway, we are betting on the next decade to achieve the full potential of Northeast Ohio's relentless resurgence.

In celebration,

Deborah Hoover
President & CEO

Mentoring Program Accelerates at JumpStart

July 24, 2013

JumpStart’s mentoring program, which was founded in 2012 to provide strategic guidance to early-stage tech startups, received a $1,000,000 infusion in the form of a grant from the Foundation to be used over three years for program expansion. This award will allow the program, now known as the Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program, to expand and reach more than 100 companies served by 120-140 volunteer mentors. 

test hereMentoring can accelerate the progress of the region’s newest technology entrepreneurs by channeling the experience and expertise of mentors in support of these ventures. The mentoring program will give a boost to promising young companies that could go on to attract funding, generate revenue, and become significant employers in our region. 

To date, 28 startups have received assistance through JumpStart’s Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program.  Thirty-eight mentors, with 1,147 years of experience collectively, have donated more than 1,690 hours over the past 16 months.  Additionally, the program was a finalist in the 2013 Team NEO Economic Development Plus Awards in the category of “Fostering Entrepreneurship.”

“In a little over a year, our mentors and clients have made tremendous progress,” said Anthony Hughes, Director, The Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program. “Our companies have received follow-on funding, generated revenue and generally contributed to the ongoing revitalization of Northeast Ohio. With the support of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, we’re planning to add mentors and clients, increase our support services, and build on our commitment to entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio.”

JumpStart’s mentor program was created in partnership with MIT’s world-class Venture Mentoring Service. Companies entering the program work with teams of one to four mentors, depending on their needs. The team mentoring approach was developed based on evidence that well-coordinated mentoring is a critical element of success for tech-based startups.

Hughes added, “I’m excited to see what the future holds for our program—and, by extension, the region—in the coming years.”

For more information about the Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program at JumpStart, please visit https://www.jumpstartinc.org/entrepreneursupport/services/mentoring.aspx.

Grants Awarded at June Trustee Meeting Total Nearly $1,000,000

July 24, 2013

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation announced grants totaling $982,500 in June to support programs that focus on entrepreneurship for youth, college students, and adults.  The latest round of grants included an additional award of $350,000 for the Fund for Our Economic Future to assist with Phase 4 activities (2013-2016). TAusten BioInnovation Institute<br />
      in Akronhis follow-on grant boosts the Foundation’s contributions to a total of $500,000 for the Fund’s latest three-year phase.  The Fund for Our Economic Future, now in its tenth year, aims to strengthen the economic competitiveness of Northeast Ohio through grantmaking, research, and civic engagement.

Brad Whitehead, President of the Fund for Our Economic Future, commented, “Over the last decade, the Burton D. Morgan Foundation has provided great leadership within the philanthropic community to advance a growing, opportunity-rich economy for the people of Northeast Ohio. Their enhanced commitment to our Fund is gratifying evidence that our collaboration is generating real results and this grant ensures that our region’s progress will be accelerated.”

Additional grants approved by the Foundation’s Trustees in June include:

Akron Public Schools – $50,000 over two years to develop the Akron STEM High School’s entrepreneurship program and to equip the school’s Entrepreneur Learning Lab;

Akron Community Service Center & Urban League – $20,000 for the Partnership for the Minority Business Accelerator (PMBA) Class V;Tobin Buckner facilitates social media workshop at the Akron Community Service Center<br />
      & Urban League for PMBA 5 (tee shirt courtesy of Covenant Army, PMBA V client company)

Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron - $100,000 for the entrepreneurship graduate internship program and for the Technology Development Fund;

Bad Girl Ventures – Up to $25,000 for Cleveland operations and for an Akron pilot program;

BioEnterprise – Up to $200,000 for business development and entrepreneurial assistance and for the graduate internship program in 2014;

Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio - $55,000 for Northeast Ohio programs in 2013-14, including the new Introduction to the Innovation Economy of Northeast Ohio online course;

Hiram College - $30,000 for the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship;

JumpStart, Inc. - $20,000 for meeting coordination and facilitation, communications, and strategy implementation associated with the regional “Gazelles Strategy” initiative;

Oberlin College – $40,000 for entrepreneurship programming;

University School - $56,500 to support entrepreneurship programs and outreach, including the startup of the Young Entrepreneur Marketplace in 2013-2014;

University School - $20,000 to support Lemonade Day activities in Northeast Ohio in 2014; and

Akron Area YMCA – $16,000 for a business boot camp and entrepreneurship program for youth.

Since February, the Foundation also approved a number of small grants to support youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship programs.  Among the recipients were:  Akron Area Arts Alliance for the Artists Entrepreneurship Institute in Summit County ($5,000); Kent State University Foundation for the Burton D. Morgan Foundation Technology Endowment ($3,720); Learning About Business, Inc. for the LAB Week program in 2013 ($10,000); and Wooster City Schools for the 2013 Youth Entrepreneurship Summer Academy ($5,000). 

The following grants were also made to support programs in Hudson, Ohio, the Foundation’s home community:  Hudson Bandstand for the 2013 Hudson Summer Music Festival ($2,000); and the Hudson Rotary Foundation for scholarship fund support ($1,000). 

 

Philanthropy and Business: Working in Tandem

July 24, 2013

Over the last two years, Northeast Ohio has engaged in a comprehensive economic development planning process, beginning a fresh chapter of progress toward enhanced economic vitality for the region.  During this time, the philanthropic and business sectors collaborated to shape the next stages of Bill Christopherwork necessary to advance the economic competitiveness of the region (Regional Economic Competitiveness Strategy, or RECS).  While both sectors had invested significant resources in efforts to rebuild the economic health of the region, these investments had not previously been coordinated in a meaningful way.

In recent months, philanthropic and business leadership formed two groups to carry on this work:  the Regional Competitiveness Council (RCC), an oversight body that sets goals and establishes priorities, and the Strategy Coordinating Committee (SCC), a working group to oversee the day-to-day efforts necessary to accomplish the goals.  TheseDan Klimas bodies will focus on the highest priorities identified through the comprehensive regional plan, including educational attainment, workforce development, entrepreneurship, “gazelles” (small to mid-size companies with high growth potential), shale exploration and production, and innovation.

At WIRE-Net’s annual meeting in June, keynote speaker and RCC Chair Bill Christopher spoke about recent progress on RECS, commenting that the collaborative approach to advancing economic competitiveness represents the optimal way "to harness the collective power of Northeast Ohio."   Heading up the SCC is Dan Klimas, President of Lorain National Bank.  Work in all of the priority areas will be ramping up in the coming months with the support of teams of volunteers from the business and philanthropic communities.

Purdue University Interns Bring Their Talents to Northeast Ohio

July 24, 2013

Purdue University, Burt Morgan’s alma mater, provides high-tech startup companies with access to high-quality Purdue undergraduate students through the university’s Interns for Entrepreneurship (IfE) program, supported in part by The Burton D. Morgan Foundation.  IfE, which operates during the summer months, is intended to slow “brain drain” from the Midwest, while increasing student awareness of employment opportunities.  Interns are paid through a combination of employer contributions and grant dollars.

Earlier this summer, seven students participating in the 2013 internship program visited the Foundation, along with Program Coordinator Monica Shively, to learn more about the Foundation and Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.  At the end of the day, Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Hoover and Senior Program Officer Leslie Nelson escorted the group on an excursion to Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to showcase the recreational assets of the region (see photo).

The interns, who hail from New Jersey, Northeast Ohio, Indiana, Indonesia, China, and Qatar, are working this summer at ABSMaterials, MegaJoule Storage, Force Robots, and GenomOncology.  Participating students are pursuing a variety of majors, including engineering, computer science, and physics.  The students report that they have learned a tremendous amount in just their first few weeks on the job.  By summer’s end, many will have helped the new ventures make progress toward their startup goals. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's Letter

March 14, 2013

Dear Foundation Friends,

In March of 2013, we commemorate the decade that has elapsed since Mr. Morgan passed away on March 6, 2003. Much has been accomplished during this decade to advance his vision for The Burton D. Morgan Foundation through our strategic work in the region to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Foundation has explored the reaches of what a private foundation can achieve through collaborative and interactive relationships with our grantees to shift the regional culture and to prepare new generations of entrepreneurs to create and build their ventures. Together, we have come far.

  • Our Hudson headquarters offers space that now serves as a hub in Northeast Ohio for convening meetings on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education.
  • Five college campus buildings named in honor of Burt Morgan house entrepreneurship centers.
  • Northeast Ohio Boy Scouts have earned 724 entrepreneurship badges, with the support of foundation-supported coaches.
  • Our grants have supported four Northeast Ohio Junior Achievement affiliates to include 37,000 children and teens in programs that teach them about entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system.
  • Through Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio, the Foundation supported 1,500 young people in the last two years with the planning and operation of lemonade stands.
  • We collaborated with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation over the last five years on five entrepreneurship liberal arts programs that have generated new college courses, 390 business plans, exciting student businesses and thriving programs on each campus.
  • We provided funding for another 10 collegiate entrepreneurship programs in Northeast Ohio, that include both curricular and experiential components.
  • We launched four Blackstone LaunchPad programs in collaboration with The Blackstone Charitable Foundation; in the first six months, these programs have spawned 700 student entrepreneurs and 434 ventures.
  • We funded more than 400 entrepreneurship internships for college students.
  • The Foundation attracted nearly $5 million in collaborative philanthropic resources to Northeast Ohio from foundations outside Ohio for the implementation of programs.
  • Through Foundation funding, nearly 5,900 teachers and college faculty members nationally are now trained to utilize entrepreneurship in the courses they teach to inspire their students to think like entrepreneurs. The ripple effect that flows to students from that number of entrepreneurship-trained teachers is exponential!

As we recognize Mr. Morgan’s extraordinary ten-year legacy, we look back with pride, anticipate the future, and express our thanks for his generosity in support of entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio and beyond.  

With gratitude for our founder’s legacy,

Deborah D. Hoover
President & CEO

Donation to Hudson Library Bolsters Entrepreneurship Collection

March 14, 2013

As we observe the decade since our founder’s passing this March, we recognize Burt Morgan’s legacy with the addition of 40 new titles to the Hudson Library & Historical Society’s entrepreneurship collection for adults and teens. Each volume is marked with a special commemorative bookplate.

In 2007, a grant from the Foundation established the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship Research at the Hudson Library. This grant also launched an entrepreneurship lecture series, a fitting tribute to Mr. Morgan. Over the years, the Foundation has continued to make grants to the Library’s Center for Entrepreneurship Research, which now boasts 1,527 entrepreneurship titles. 

In addition to research databases and other library resources, the Center offers many programs for entrepreneurs. More than 6,500 participants have taken advantage of the Library’s entrepreneurship lectures and workshops since program inception. In 2011, the Center began offering the MBA Lite series, to help aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses with targeted lectures that go beyond business basics. 

The Center’s reach was greatly expanded in 2012 when the Library acquired technology to stream programs online with equipment purchased with Foundation funding. Programs can now reach far more clients in Northeast Ohio and beyond. Plans are in place to make programs available on YouTube in 2013.  

The Center partners with several organizations to provide business mentoring opportunities for individuals seeking additional assistance. Some of the organizations that provide counseling services are Akron SCORE, TiE Ohio, and TECHudson.

Renowned Ecosystem Expert to Study Northeast Ohio

March 14, 2013

On December 4, 2012, Dr. Daniel Isenberg visited Northeast Ohio to share his thoughts on entrepreneurship, both locally and globally, presenting to a group of professionals involved in the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.   Dr. Isenberg joined Babson Global as Professor of Entrepreneurship in 2009, where he established and heads the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project, designed to help leaders around the world create policies, structures, programs, and cultures that foster entrepreneurship. 

Dr. Isenberg believes that mentorship is a critical element for entrepreneurs.  He also stressed that, in order for entrepreneurship to thrive in a region, its leaders must develop an ecosystem mindset.  Regions must approach transformational change in the entrepreneurship space from many angles simultaneously, and understand that it is the interplay of these many forces that will ultimately lead to sustainable shifts in culture. 

Recognizing the value of his insights about ecosystems, the Foundation is providing support for Dr. Isenberg to develop a case on JumpStart, Northeast Ohio’s leading entrepreneurship support organization.  Although in the development stage, the case is expected to explore the impact of the political system on the functioning of an entrepreneurship support organization; the innovations of early stage financing, particularly the evolution of a “virtual seed stage fund” network; and the codification of an entrepreneurship support organization’s know-how as it has evolved over time and transfer of that knowledge to other players in our own region and beyond. 

The case will provide JumpStart with a broad platform for communicating its activities and mission to other regions, and serve as an important teaching tool for students and professionals exploring the evolution of entrepreneurial ecosystems.   It is also anticipated that the case will be a contribution to entrepreneurship policy makers around the world.

Grants Awarded at February Meeting Advance Founder’s Legacy

March 14, 2013

Trustees of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation awarded grants of more than $1.5 million in February to support entrepreneurship programs for youth, college students, and adults, as well as to support programs serving Hudson and other charitable groups across the region.

The largest grant was awarded to JumpStart, Inc., in the amount of $1 million, to be used over three years on mentoring and related services for 100+ early-stage entrepreneurs. Foundation President & CEO Deborah D. Hoover noted, “The Foundation’s support of JumpStart’s Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program aligns in a meaningful way with Mr. Morgan’s practice of mentoring fledgling entrepreneurs. We believe that volunteer mentoring has the potential to transform the way Northeast Ohio supports its aspiring entrepreneurs as they navigate the challenges of the startup process.”

Additional grants approved by the Foundation’s Trustees in February include:

Akron SCORE – $25,000 for administrative and marketing expenses in 2013

Ashland University – $36,000 for entrepreneurship-related activities, faculty professional development, and the annual Morgan Lecture, for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years

Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education - $15,000 for scholarships for Northeast Ohio teachers to attend the 2013 national conference

Emmanuel Christian Academy - $16,295 for a summer 2013 entrepreneurship camp

The Entrepreneurs EDGE - $50,000 for the EDGE Fellows Program in summer 2013

Entrepreneurship Education Consortium - $85,000 for support of the 2013 Entrepreneurship Immersion Week and the 2013 ideaLabs business concept competition for undergraduates

Fund for Our Economic Future - $150,000 to support Phase Four (2013-2015) of the Fund’s regional economic development and entrepreneurship support programs

Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) – Up to $50,000 to support the summer 2013 Entrepreneurial Internship Program.

In addition to supporting entrepreneurship initiatives in the region, the Foundation’s Trustees made two grants to institutions in Hudson, Ohio. The First Congregational Church of Hudson was awarded $20,000 for 2013 operating support, and Seton Catholic School was awarded $25,000 for its new Family Center, specifically to name the Burton D. Morgan Concession Stand and Ticket Office in the building addition’s new gymnasium.

To address community needs that fall outside the Foundation’s primary mission, the Trustees periodically make one-time community grants on a proactive basis to deserving charitable organizations that serve residents in the local area. The following proactive grants were awarded by the Trustees in February:

Akron Marathon Fund of the Akron Community Foundation - $5,000 for the sustainability campaign

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank - $8,000 for operating support and for an industrial floor scale for its warehouse

All Star Training Club - $7,500 for start-up costs associated with the REACH program, in conjunction with United Disability Services

Alzheimer’s Association, Greater East Ohio Chapter - $8,500 to furnish and equip The Burton D. Morgan Foundation Community Resource, Training and Conference Room

American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties - $10,000 for local disaster relief

Child Guidance & Family Solutions - $5,000 for Sandtray Therapy equipment and supplies

Hattie Larlham Community Living - $5,500 to construct and install a hoop house to help launch an urban garden in Akron

Humane Society of Greater Akron - $5,500 to furnish and install three dog runs and a privacy fence

International Soap Box Derby, Inc. - $10,000 for the Gravity Racing Challenge STEM Program

Project LEARN of Summit County - $7,000 to train staff to administer the new 2014 GED test

Summit Education Initiative - $9,000 to help underwrite costs associated with an education data system dashboard

Tuesday Musical Association - $5,000 to assist with the transition to a new executive director

Weathervane Community Playhouse - $9,000 for renovations to the upstairs men’s and women’s restrooms

Women’s Endowment Fund of the Akron Community Foundation - $5,000 for the endowment campaign.

Since last September, the Foundation also approved a number of small grants to support youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship programs. Among the recipients were:

Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron for the 2013 BEST Medicine Engineering Fair for youth ($6,000)

Beachwood City Schools to support the 2013 Entrovation Expo ($6,500)

Canton Regional SCORE for support of workshops for small businesses ($5,000)

Friends of Breakthrough Schools for entrepreneurship programming ($5,000)

Gilmour Academy for entrepreneurship programming ($5,000)

Great Trail Boy Scouts of America for the Entrepreneurship Merit Badge Program ($10,000)

Hawken School for a new Entrepreneurial Studies course ($5,000)

NorTech for prize money for the Ohio Clean Energy Student Business Plan Challenge ($5,000)

Ohio Business Week Foundation for scholarships for students to attend Ohio Business Week 2013 ($10,000)

The Presidents’ Council Foundation for an entrepreneurship program for African-American business owners ($10,000)

University of Mount Union for support of entrepreneurship programs ($10,000)

Additional grants were also made to support programs in Hudson, Ohio, the Foundation’s home community.

Deb Hoover to Chair the Fund for Our Economic Future

March 14, 2013

Deborah Hoover, President & CEO of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, has been elected Chair of The Fund for Our Economic Future, and begins serving in this role in March 2013.  Deb succeeds David Abbott, Executive Director of The George Gund Foundation, who has chaired the Fund since 2008. 

Deb has served as Vice-Chair of the Fund since 2010, and has held a variety of other leadership roles, including Co-Chair of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Action Team. 

Formed in 2004, The Fund for Our Economic Future is a collaboration of philanthropic organizations and individuals devoted to strengthening the economic competitiveness of Northeast Ohio through grantmaking, civic leadership, and nurturing philanthropic collaboration.  Since its inception, the Fund has raised nearly $80 million to support strategies that produce positive economic outcomes, promote sustainable systems, and build a regional collaborative culture that strengthens the economic competitiveness of our region.  The Fund’s goal is to raise $15 million during its fourth three-year phase, which began in 2013.

Area Youth Prepare for Lemonade Day 2013

March 14, 2013

Plans are in full swing for Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio to take place this spring.  To date, 29 community partners are participating, including seven partner schools and organizations that have signed up for the first time.  In all, 1,900 elementary and middle school students are expected to take part, nearly doubling participation rates from last year.  A kick-off meeting was held at the Foundation offices in January for enthusiastic representatives of both new and returning organizations.

Lemonade Day is a national program that uses the lemonade stand model to teach kids about running a business.  Free workbooks and mentor guides are provided to participants to teach them the basics of business through the process of setting up and managing a stand.  National Lemonade Day is on May 5th, but eager Northeast Ohio youth will have stands dotting their communities throughout May and into the summer.

Lemonade Day, which was introduced to our region by the Foundation in 2011, is thriving under the leadership of University School’s Greg Malkin, who functions as Director of the school’s Entrepreneurship Institute, and Jessie Jones, Assistant Regional Director for the program.  For more information about Lemonade Day or becoming a community partner or sponsor, contact Jessie Jones at 216-831-2200, ext. 7456 or jjones@lemonadedayneo.com.

Blackstone LaunchPad Adding to the Northeast Ohio Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

March 14, 2013

The Northeast Ohio Blackstone LaunchPad program, initiated in 2012, is already making an impact.  The program underscores entrepreneurship as a prestigious career option and assists students and alumni in developing their entrepreneurial spirit and business ideas on four campuses in the region. Baldwin Wallace University, Kent State University, and Lorain County Community College celebrated the formal openings of their centers in September.  Case Western Reserve University’s program began serving students in January 2013, and will celebrate its grand opening on April 23, 2013.

“Mentoring is at the heart of the Blackstone LaunchPad program,” commented Deborah Hoover, Foundation President & CEO.  “Burt Morgan was a mentor to many aspiring entrepreneurs, and we think he would be pleased to see so many students benefiting from the advice and experience of volunteer mentors.”

The Northeast Ohio Blackstone LaunchPad program, jointly funded by The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and The Blackstone Charitable Foundation, was assisting 700 student entrepreneurs and 434 ventures region-wide as of late February, and is growing quickly.  The co-curricular program attracts participants from all majors.  Fewer than half of the students are business majors, validating the belief that anyone has the potential to be an entrepreneur.

Each campus has its own office and advisors, but all students have access to the regional network, as well.  The students also benefit from participation in the larger national Blackstone LaunchPad network, with programs in Detroit, Philadelphia, and Florida. We look forward to sharing student stories in future issues of this newsletter.

Watch for Foundation’s 2012 Annual Report

March 14, 2013

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation’s Annual Report for 2012, Ventured, is in its final stages of production and is expected to be available by mid-April.  This year’s edition features the perspectives of area entrepreneurs, both aspiring and experienced. For the first time, the annual report will include web-based video interviews with several of the featured entrepreneurs, as well as a snapshot of the Foundation’s role in the past year of growth in the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

As we reflect on the events and highlights of the past year, we are inevitably drawn to the story of our founder, Burt Morgan, and his beliefs and accomplishments, which continue to guide us and shape the role and direction of the Foundation a decade after his passing.   Burt Morgan was a visionary, a leader, and a mentor to many, and we are proud to continue his legacy through the work of the Foundation he established nearly five decades ago.

In Memoriam

March 14, 2013

The Trustees and Staff of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation wish to express our appreciation for our late friend and colleague, Chris Schmid (1947 – 2013), and the powerful insights and support he contributed to our work over many years. He will be greatly missed.

Blackstone LaunchPad Doors Open

October 3, 2012

September was an especially busy month on three of the four Northeast Ohio college campuses that were awarded funding for the Blackstone LaunchPad program through $3.2 million in combined grant support from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and The Blackstone Charitable Foundation this past year. The innovative program, which was started on the campus of the University of Miami, introduces entrepreneurship as a viable career path and offers students and alumni guidance in developing their business ideas and starting new ventures.

Baldwin Wallace University officially opened its Blackstone LaunchPad on Thursday evening, September 6, at the Center for Innovation & Growth on the Berea campus. Faculty and students were on hand to hear President Robert Helmer laud the program, noting that the university “places high value on teaching all of our students to think and function like entrepreneurs.”

The very next day, September 7, the Blackstone LaunchPad at Lorain County Community College (LCCC) celebrated its grand opening, with an event attended by members of the LCCC faculty and administration, along with students and local dignitaries. LCCC President Roy Church noted that LCCC’s Blackstone LaunchPad reinforces the college’s position as a learning and training bridge between students and the Lorain community.

Deborah Hoover, President of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, was joined by Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of The Blackstone Charitable Foundation, at both opening events in celebration of the philanthropic partnership. The two leaders praised the four schools that are bringing this innovative learning experience to their campuses and expressed confidence in the schools’ respective unique capabilities that will contribute to the program’s success in the region.

Later in the month, on September 28, Kent State University hosted grand opening ceremonies for its Blackstone LaunchPad. Having started out in June with a “soft opening,” Kent State’s Blackstone LaunchPad already had nearly 90 students signed up to discuss their ideas for new ventures by the time it officially opened in late September.

The fourth Blackstone LaunchPad in Northeast Ohio, located at Case Western Reserve University, is scheduled to open in early 2013. Together, the Blackstone LaunchPads on the four campuses expect to make vital contributions to the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as draw from its rich resources.

Insights from Cutting-Edge CEOs on WVIZ/PBS

October 3, 2012

Be sure to tune in to WVIZ/PBS each Saturday at 6:30 pm (or set your DVR) to watch CEO Global Foresight.  This new weekly series presents a half-hour conversation with the world’s most innovative CEOs.  In interviews with business anchor Maryanne Kane, CEOs and entrepreneurs share their foresight on the future of their industries and discuss trends and innovations expected to impact our lives over the next two decades. 

Upcoming episodes include field reports and interviews with Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer and Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides. Through local support from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, CEO Global Foresight will air on WVIZ for 26 weeks, beginning Saturday, October 6.  Each show will be repeated on Sundays at 9:30 am. 

On Display: Burt Morgan’s Adventuresome Side

October 3, 2012

A unique piece of our founder’s history was unveiled at The Burton D. Morgan Foundation’s September Trustees meeting. The Board – which includes Mark Robeson, Mr. Morgan’s grandson – along with invited guests, were delighted when Foundation President Deborah Hoover unveiled a display of Mr. Morgan’s well-worn flight suit from his days in the 1930s as a member of the Glider Club at Purdue University. The embroidered suit is mounted in a large shadow box, along with several photographs of Mr. Morgan flying in a student-built Club glider and demonstrating his mechanical prowess in launching one of them. The accompanying caption for the display is in Mr. Morgan’s own words describing the launch mechanics and quoted from one of his published memoirs:

“At Purdue University in 1936-1938, I joined the Purdue Glider Club. We built our own gliders of wood, linen cloth, and airplane dope. The one we built that I remember the most was enclosed, that is, it had a body, although our heads were out in the open. These gliders were launched by means of a winch and a steel drum and one mile of single-strand steel cable. To launch the plane, the cable pulled it by winding the winch. We got up to about 1,500 feet in this way.

I also remember building the winch. We bought a used Model A Ford and used the chassis to mount the steel drum and the engine to power the drum with the standard gearshift and clutch arrangement. I can also remember that, to buy the Model A Ford, we negotiated with a used car dealer and got one for $25.”

After the meeting, Mr. Robeson fondly reminisced about his grandfather’s tales from the Glider Club days. “Gramps would always tell us grandkids about the Purdue Glider Club with great animation.  He demonstrated with his hands how the winch worked and how he operated it. He loved to mimic the sound the glider made when they would put it in gear, and it would pull the steel cable with glider up to launch speed.” Mr. Robeson continued, “The story so brilliantly captured who he was.  He loved to describe the mechanics of the winch and drum, as he truly was an engineer.  This particular story also underscores the inventor and entrepreneur in that they cobbled together such an apparatus from simple elements.  And, of course, he loved being in a leadership role with the car salesman to make the deal happen.”

Mr. Robeson added, “Even today, I marvel at the thousands of exciting stories Gramps had for all occasions. He lived life so fully that he could amass such a personal history.” 

The flight suit was loaned to the Foundation by Burt Morgan’s daughter Suzanne Morgan, who discovered it recently in an old suitcase while looking through memorabilia in the family home. The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is grateful to Suzanne Morgan for generously loaning the suit so that her father’s adventuresome side could be showcased in the Foundation’s boardroom and another piece of his fascinating personal narrative could be shared with others.

Help Wanted: Sponsors and Volunteers for Youth Programs

October 2, 2012

With the opening of the new school year, the Foundation’s grantees that provide youth entrepreneurship programs are also gearing up to bring the excitement of entrepreneurship experiences to classrooms across Northeast Ohio. Right now they are focused on securing additional corporate and individual sponsors for their programs, as well as volunteers to help teach and mentor elementary, middle, and high school students.

Among those seeking financial support and/or adult volunteers are the four Junior Achievement (JA) affiliates serving students in Northeast Ohio. Many of the programs introduce students to the basics of managing and developing a business and benefit from being taught by experienced entrepreneurs and business managers. If you or your company would like an opportunity to sponsor a JA program or to volunteer, please contact one of the following:

  • Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland (Cuyahoga, Lorain, and surrounding counties) – Jennifer Yuhas at jyuhas@jacleveland.org
  • Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio (Summit and surrounding counties) – Donald Sedlock at  Donald@janco.org
  • Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio (Stark and surrounding counties) – Franny Buell at FBuell@jaonline.org
  • Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley (Mahoning, Trumbull, and surrounding counties) – Michele Merkel at  jamvmichele@onecom.com

Through another major youth entrepreneurship initiative supported by the Foundation, Lemonade Day, local children are given a free curriculum to learn about and experience the thrill of starting a business – a lemonade stand. In spring 2012, more than 1,000 children across Northeast Ohio participated, and even more schools and youth organizations are ready to sign up as partners for next spring. Additional corporate sponsorship will enable more kids to participate next spring. For more information, contact Jessie Jones, Assistant Regional Coordinator of Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio at jjones@us.edu or visit http://northeastohio.lemonadeday.org.

New Staff Member Joins the Foundation

October 2, 2012

The Foundation welcomed Gina Dotson to the staff in August as Grants Manager and Social Media Coordinator. Gina joined the Foundation after 14 years with area Girl Scouts organizations. Most recently, she served as Assistant Director of Fund Development at the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio.

In her role as the Foundation’s Grants Manager, Gina is responsible for managing the flow and documentation of grants information, from online inquiry and application through the reporting and evaluation processes. As Social Media Coordinator, she is also responsible for maintaining and updating the Foundation’s website, producing newsletters, and keeping the Foundation and its grantees connected through social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter. Please contact Gina at gdotson@bdmorganfdn.org to share your organization’s news, volunteer and employment opportunities, and upcoming events.

Junior Achievement Affiliates Are Among Those Awarded Foundation Support

October 2, 2012

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation announced grants totaling nearly $443,000 in September to support programs for youth, college students, and adults to develop skills and gain experience in starting business ventures. A significant portion of the funding was awarded to four Junior Achievement affiliates that provide entrepreneurship and financial literacy programs reaching more than 80,000 students in K-12 public, private, and parochial school classrooms across Northeast Ohio.

In announcing the grants, Foundation President Deborah D. Hoover noted, “The Foundation continues to believe in the power of the Northeast Ohio entrepreneurship ecosystem. With each passing year, we see that ecosystem become more expansive and robust. This round of grants reflects the full spectrum of our support as we foster the region’s growing entrepreneurial spirit, especially among young people exploring their ideas and dreams.”

Grants approved by the Foundation’s Trustees in September include:

  • Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio – $75,000 for classroom programs in 2012-13 in grades K-12.
  • Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland – $45,500 for middle school and high school programs in 2012-13.
  • Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio – $27,000 for entrepreneurship-focused programming in 2012-13.
  • Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley – $25,000 for elementary, middle and high school programs in 2012-13.
  • Invent Now – $75,680 for Camp Invention sites in summer 2013: two in Akron Public Schools and one in Wooster City Schools.
  • Foundation for Teaching Economics – $44,000 for the Economics for Leaders high school program in summer 2013 on a Northeast Ohio college campus.
  • John Carroll University – $42,350 to develop and embed academic units on entrepreneurship and creativity within ten existing courses in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • NorTech - $50,000 toward development of the FlexMatters® prototyping network.
  • ideastream – $40,000 for CEO GLOBAL FORESIGHT and Nightly Business Report broadcasts on WVIZ-TV in 2012-13.

In addition to the grants awarded by the Trustees in September, the Foundation announced small grants totaling $18,000 that had been approved since last June. The small grant recipients for entrepreneurship program support were LaunchTown™, for the 2012 collegiate competition ($10,000), and the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, for support of the Youth Entrepreneurship Alliance in 2012-13 ($5,000). Several other small grants totaling $3,000 also were announced, including a grant of $2,500 awarded to the Ohio Grantmakers Forum to help sponsor its 2012 annual conference.

President's Message - Fall 2012

October 2, 2012

Dear Friends,

Burt Morgan was always very generous with his time and expertise. He welcomed aspiring entrepreneurs into his office on the top floor of the Morgan Bank building in Hudson, Ohio, and counseled them on his start-up philosophy. His office was tucked into the elbow of the building, featuring a lunette window and a bird’s eye view of the Green and the Boy Scout log cabin below. He graciously encouraged visitors to have a seat in the comfortable, barrel-shaped chairs facing out to the scenic view below. Often visitors would leave with a copy of one of his books, including the most popular, Start at the Top (1982), full of sage advice on how to avoid the pitfalls that often cause entrepreneurs to stumble.

I suspect that if blogging had been around during the heyday of his career, Burt would have been a persistent blogger! Instead he voiced his opinions through typed and carefully carbon-copied letters, memos, white papers, and book manuscripts he drafted over the years. The written legacy he left behind tells us that he valued mentorship and was grateful to the people who helped him along the way as he built his companies from scratch. He observed that “the successful people I know seek advice from all sources, but they seem to have an uncanny skill in picking out the right advice.” This is one of the principal reasons we have been so eager to embark on the Northeast Ohio Blackstone LaunchPad program and promote the role of mentorship as a means of supporting young entrepreneurs. As the four Blackstone LaunchPad programs in our region take off during 2012-13, we will celebrate the students who come forward with their brave new ideas AND the mentors who volunteer to coach these entrepreneurs to find the right path for them to create successful businesses.

Deborah D. Hoover
President & CEO

Entrepreneurship Lessons – and Fun! – Continue through the Summer

July 2, 2012

School might be out, but students across Northeast Ohio are continuing to have fun learning the basics of entrepreneurship, innovation, business, and financial literacy through several summer programs taking place in the coming weeks.

At Akron’s Emmanuel Christian Academy (ECA), 50 middle school students are participating in the E-Camp entrepreneurship program. The camp takes place during afternoons for four weeks in July as part of ECA’s summer enrichment program. Using a Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship-based curriculum, students are learning business fundamentals through a combination of classroom lessons, guest speakers, field trips, small group discussion, one-on-one mentoring, and business plan development. Young alumni from previous years’ entrepreneurship camps have volunteered to help lead the program for younger students.

Another youth camp, run by Invent Now and called Camp Invention, also takes place this summer at multiple sites across the United States. The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is proud to sponsor two Camp Invention sites at the Akron Public Schools and one at the Wooster Public Schools. A weeklong program for elementary school children, Camp Invention utilizes curricula focused on developing creative and inventive thinking and problem solving through science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The program incorporates entrepreneurship, history, and the arts, along with collaboration and teamwork, to provide a stimulating, hands-on summer enrichment program. Camp Invention allows children to make the most of their summers and start the school year better prepared to learn. Approximately 330 children and 42 teachers and counselors will benefit from the three Camp Invention sites in Akron and Wooster this summer.

Organized camps are not the only way students are staying plugged into entrepreneurship learning this summer. The popular and successful Lemonade Day youth entrepreneurship program continues into the summer, with local students setting up stands in well-chosen locations to meet demand during the hot weather and earn additional profits. Lakewood City Schools sold lemonade during their city’s CityWide StreetSale on June 30, and during the week of July 11 the Akron Child Development Center will set up shop. On July 14, the Heights Youth Club will set up at Quail Hollow Country Club, and University School will be open for lemonade-selling business at Shaker Square. In addition, students from Seton Catholic School and Hudson Montessori School will sell lemonade at the Hudson Farmers’ Market on selected Saturday mornings throughout the summer. Be sure to stop by students’ stands to quench your thirst and support our region’s young entrepreneurs. And stay tuned to the Foundation’s Web site and lemonadedayneo.org for information about additional stands to be announced this summer!

Entrepreneurship Interns Gather at Cleveland Event

July 2, 2012

On June 27, JumpStart and the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) hosted “Entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio 101,” a gathering of students who are participating in various internships throughout Greater Cleveland this summer. Held at JumpStart’s downtown Cleveland offices, this intern-only event attracted attendees who met many of the other college students interning in the region, learned about each other’s programs, and discussed entrepreneurship with organizations working with the “next generation” of Fortune 500 companies. Nearly 60 students from the NOCHE Entrepreneurial Internship program, Summer on the Cuyahoga, iCleveland, and the Purdue Entrepreneurial Interns programs participated in the event, as well as interns working this summer at several of the region’s entrepreneur-focused organizations.

Students had an opportunity to learn about the region’s robust entrepreneurship ecosystem -- in particular, services available to young entrepreneurs -- from representatives of BioEnterprise, The Beta Space at MAGNET, Shaker LaunchHouse, JumpStart, and Downtown Cleveland Alliance. Students are working in a wide variety of jobs this summer, many of them start-up ventures. The evening concluded with a buffet dinner and a chance for students to network. A post-program survey indicated that students rated the event worthwhile and engaging.

*Photo courtesy Patrick Britton, NOCHE

Blackstone LaunchPad Moving Forward on Northeast Ohio Campuses

July 2, 2012

Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Baldwin Wallace University (BWU), Kent State University (KSU), and Lorain County Community College (LCCC) are spending the summer preparing to launch the Blackstone LaunchPad (BLP) program on their campuses. These four institutions of higher learning were selected by The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and The Blackstone Charitable Foundation last fall to serve as sites for the Blackstone LaunchPad program in Northeast Ohio. The two foundations are working together to train the next generation of entrepreneurs in the region, awarding a total of $3.2 million in grants to the four colleges to implement Blackstone LaunchPad, which provides aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and supportive mentors they need to transform untested ideas into vital companies.

Based on a program developed in 2008 by the University of Miami, Blackstone LaunchPad pairs students and alumni with venture consultants who help them develop their business ideas. As their ideas mature, Blackstone LaunchPad connects students with entrepreneurs, lawyers, accountants, venture capitalists, and others with professional expertise to help them bring their ideas to market. The program is quickly becoming a national model for fostering entrepreneurship through higher education. The aim of Blackstone LaunchPad in the region is to encourage entrepreneurial thinking and activity among undergraduate and graduate students as well as recent alumni to help them start new ventures that will contribute to the economic revitalization of Northeast Ohio.

CWRU, BWU, KSU, and LCCC are currently preparing for the official launch of Blackstone LaunchPad this fall by hiring program directors and staff, selecting sites to house the program, and outfitting the selected spaces to serve as centers of entrepreneurship activity on campus. One of the unique principles of the BLP program is that it encourages all members of the university community to become entrepreneurs. As a result, the centers are situated in a prominent location on campus at a crossroads of student activity – places such as student centers, libraries, or adjacent to key student services. Many have large windows or glass walls to attract both the student who has an idea percolating and the passerby – the accidental entrepreneur. Another key attribute of the program is that it is co-curricular, with no grades or credit for any of the work. The motivation comes from within, and the students can start (and fail) and start again with no academic consequences. It is a process that provides authentic experiential learning.

Clearly the students benefit, and the community benefits as well. Students who start ventures through BLP tend to stay in the region. The anticipated 150 ventures with significant jobs potential over the next five years will help increase the vibrancy of Northeast Ohio.

Foundation Welcomes New Staff Members

July 2, 2012

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation completed several major staff transitions this spring. Our longtime program officer, Alison Burner, has taken some time off from the Foundation. In her seven years with the Foundation, Alison has been instrumental in overseeing our collegiate grantmaking program. We thank her for her dedication to The Burton D. Morgan Foundation’s mission and wish her well. She will continue to consult on key projects in the coming months, and we look forward to having her back at the Foundation in 2013!

We are pleased to announce that Victoria Broer has started with the Foundation as Program Officer working in collegiate entrepreneurship. We extend a warm welcome to Vikki and are grateful to have her on board.

Our multi-talented officer manager, Paula McCulloch, retired at the end of May. She was a mainstay of the Foundation for more than six years, and we will miss her good cheer, green thumb, and eye behind the camera! We wish her many great adventures in retirement and thank her for all she has done to keep the Foundation running smoothly.

Sharon Lingo assumed the role of Office Manager on June 1. We are very pleased to have Sharon join our team, and we know that her wide-ranging skills and broad experience will be a great advantage to the Foundation’s ongoing work.

Foundation Grants Support Entrepreneurship for All Ages

July 2, 2012

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation announced grants totalling nearly $482,000 in June to promote entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education in the Northeast Ohio region, through support of innovative programs for youth, college students, and adults seeking skills and experience in starting ventures.  Grants awarded to benefit Hudson-based and other non-profit organizations totaled over $50,000.

In announcing this latest set of grants, Foundation President Deborah D. Hoover noted, “The grants this cycle reflect the full spectrum of programs the Foundation supports for young people, college students, and adults. We are gratified to witness strategic connections develop among all segments of our robust regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, and we hope these grants will contribute to the growing vibrancy around entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio.”

Grants approved by the Foundation’s Trustees in June include:

Akron Urban League – $20,000 for the Partnership for the Minority Accelerator IV (PMBA IV) program.

Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron – $50,000 to support internships in 2012-13 for graduate-level students to assist with assessment, development, and commercialization of novel biomedical technologies.

BioEnterprise – $150,000 for the Business Development and Entrepreneurial Assistance Program and the Business Associates internship program in FY13.

Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio – $45,000 for the SEE Economics & Entrepreneurship classroom program and the Science & Technology Forum, for high school students in 2012-13.

Hiram College – $40,000 for entrepreneurship-related, co-curricular activities and resources in 2012-13.

Oberlin College – $40,000 to help support entrepreneurship-related programs in 2012-13, specifically, the Creativity Fund and the Creativity & Leadership Fellows program.

University School – $46,500 for Entrepreneur Institute programs, as well as outreach to students and curriculum advice and workshops for educators in 2012-13.

The Foundation renewed its support of the Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio youth initiative with an additional grant to University School of $20,000 to lead and coordinate the program in 2013. Lemonade Day is a free, community-wide program dedicated to teaching children how to start and operate their own business through the simple act of creating and running a lemonade stand. The young entrepreneurs practice the basics of budgeting, marketing, and operating a business. Many students in our area learned valuable financial lessons by re-paying mini-loans from community loan boards that helped finance their stands. With the help of 24 partner schools and community organizations, more than 1,000 children across Northeast Ohio participated this year. At least double that number are expected to sign up in 2013. For more information about the program, visit www.lemonadedayneo.org.

“Based on the success of Lemonade Day in Northeast Ohio over the last two years, we are excited to support the planning for expansion of the program in 2013,” Foundation President Deborah Hoover said. “We believe that Lemonade Day teaches young people valuable lessons about entrepreneurship and involves the larger community in meaningful dialogue about the importance of this fun and educational activity.”

In addition to the grants awarded by the Trustees in June, the Foundation announced a number of small grants approved since last January to support local entrepreneurship programming. Among the recipients were: Boy Scouts’ Great Trail Council, for the Entrepreneurship Merit Badge program ($10,000); Learning About Business (LAB), for the 2012 LAB summer program for high school students ($10,000); Wooster City Schools, for the 2012 Youth Entrepreneurship Summer Academy ($10,000); TiE Ohio, for a regional high school business competition through the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum ($10,000); Youngstown Business Incubator, for new co-working, collaboration, and innovation space ($10,000); and the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds, for sponsorship of the 2012 national conference, to be held in Cleveland ($10,000).

Grants to benefit programs in the Foundation’s home community of Hudson also were announced, including: Hudson Community First, for the Career Panel/Intern for a Day program in 2012-13 ($10,000); Hudson Community Service Association, for the Helping Hands Assistance Fund ($8,000); Music from the Western Reserve, for concert sponsorship and operating support ($7,500); Hudson Community Foundation, for Hudson’s July 2012 fireworks ($5,000) and for marketing of Taste of Hudson in 2012 ($3,000); Hudson Bandstand, for the 2012 Summer Music Festival ($2,000); and the City of Hudson, for production of “A Good Day in Hudson” on Hudson Cable Television ($1,200).

President's Message - Summer 2012

July 2, 2012

Dear Pipeline Readers,

As we head into the heart of summer, we have just hit the halfway mark of 2012. School is out, the temperature is rising, and lemonade stands are popping up on neighborhood corners. I have to admit that I am looking forward to a little extra time this summer to catch my breath, reflect on the first part of this year, and begin gearing up again for the whirlwind of fall and the opening of our long-anticipated Blackstone LaunchPad programs.

During the first half of 2012, the Foundation has been engaged in several external planning processes, each with a component that has a direct bearing on entrepreneurship in our state and region. We assisted with the work of the Ohio Board of Regents Commercialization Task Force and preparation of a comprehensive report just released outlining recommendations for how higher education, industry, and government can work together to strengthen technology transfer and commercialization for innovations emanating from our colleges and universities. Similarly, the Fund for Our Economic Future completed work on its strategy for the launch of Phase 4 early in 2013, including continued efforts to promote business growth. In Portage, Summit, Wayne, and Stark counties, the JumpStart Community Advisors are wrapping up the process to complete a Regional Entrepreneurship Action Plan. Finally, the Northeast Ohio Regional Economic Competitiveness Strategy is emerging from the work spearheaded by JobsOhio, and we will be working in the fall to amplify aspects related to continuing the momentum of entrepreneurship activities for the region.

We expect that our involvement in these four efforts will provide a voice for making sure that alignment and cooperation prevail as we embark on implementing these plans designed to take the region and the state to the next level of entrepreneurial success.

We wish all our readers a summer filled with new adventures and plenty of time for reflection!

Deborah Hoover
President & CEO

President's Letter

February 16, 2012

Dear Foundation Friends,

In 2011, the Foundation provided lead sponsorship support for the production of Micro Business for Teens: Starting a Micro Business, to be broadcast on Western Reserve PBS and nationally. On February 9, we attended the taping of the show at Kent State University before a live studio audience of enthusiastic students, parents, and teachers. Carol Topp, CPA and author of the Micro Business for Teens book series, hosted the show, providing tips to teens on how to start and operate a micro business while maintaining balance between school and work. Her practical advice was interspersed with inspiring taped interviews with successful teens discussing their micro business experiences.

Among the audience members were champions of youth entrepreneurship from across our region. It was gratifying to be in the audience to witness this professional production in the making and realize that the collaborative work of all our partners will now lead to an educational program that will be available nationally. It was a celebration of all that we have accomplished in recent years by working together to advance entrepreneurship education in Northeast Ohio. The collaborative spirit of the project included generous funding from co-funders: The Veale Foundation, The Fred A. Lennon Charitable Trust, Dominion, Ohio Small Business Development Centers, Hudson Extrusions Inc., Deluxe Corp., and JAG Ohio. We thank everyone, including Western Reserve Public Media, for their dedication to excellence and for sharing our vision about the power of entrepreneurship.

The program will premiere locally on February 23 during National Entrepreneurship Week. During the spring of 2012, the program will be released to PBS stations nationwide. After that, the program DVD will be distributed to area high schools for viewing. Again, Northeast Ohio proves that the region is indeed working on the forefront of entrepreneurship education.

Deborah Hoover
President & CEO

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation Welcomes Two New Trustees

February 12, 2012

The Foundation is pleased to announce the election of two new Trustees in 2012, Patrick T. Finley and J. Michael Hochschwender.

Patrick T. Finley is managing partner of OMNI Property Companies in Cleveland, commercial real estate development and consulting firm. He has served as Chairman of the Cleveland Young Presidents Organization, was involved in the Young Entrepreneurs Organization, and is past president of the Northern Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties. Currently, he is Vice Chairman of the Board of North Coast Community Homes and serves on the Cuyahoga County Library Foundation Board. He also volunteers for Junior Achievement in elementary school classrooms. Mr. Finley graduated from The University of Akron with a degree in finance.

J. Michael Hochschwender has more than 20 years of corporate management and consulting experience. Currently, he is President and CEO of The Smithers Group, a position he has held since 1996. Mr. Hochschwender holds a master’s degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University. He also served five years in the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams, deploying to Southeast Asia and the Middle East. He is active in local health, civic, and educational organizations, currently serving on the boards of the FirstMerit Bank N.A., Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges, and The University of Akron Foundation. Previously Michael has served on the boards of the Akron General Medical Center, the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, Old Trail School, and The American Council of Independent Laboratories.

“Our recently-elected Trustees bring a breadth of expertise and knowledge to the Foundation Board that will serve us well as we steward our resources and tackle new entrepreneurship initiatives. We welcome Pat and Mike to the Foundation and look forward to engaging them in our work,” Foundation President and CEO Deborah D. Hoover said.

2012 Foundation Trustees Award Entrepreneurship and Community Grants

February 9, 2012

Trustees of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation awarded grants of nearly $660,000 in January to promote entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education in the Northeast Ohio region, as well as to support programs in Hudson and at charitable organizations serving the region.

Foundation President Deborah D. Hoover noted, “The grants made at our winter Board meeting emphasized programs that support student interns working in entrepreneurial settings.  We believe strongly that these entrepreneurship experiences are critical building blocks for students considering a career in entrepreneurship.” She added, “We are gratified to see a wellspring of support from organizations and businesses in the region willing to play a role in creating these opportunities for young people.”

Grants approved by Foundation Trustees in January include:

  • Akron SCORE – Up to $20,000 for administrative expenses.
  • Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education – $15,000 for annual conference planning and promotion and for scholarships for Northeast Ohio teachers to attend the 2012 conference.
  • Emmanuel Christian Academy – $13,130 for a summer 2012 entrepreneurship camp for 4th-8th graders.
  • Entrepreneurs EDGE – $50,000 for the 2012 EDGE Fellows summer internship program.
  • Entrepreneurship Education Consortium – $80,000 for support of 2012 Entrepreneurship Immersion Week and the 2012 ideaLabs business concept competition for undergraduates.
  • Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) – $40,000 for the 2012 Entrepreneurial Internship Program.
  • Purdue University – Up to $150,000 over two years for the Burton D. Morgan Interns program at Northeast Ohio start-ups in summer 2012 and summer 2013.

In addition to supporting entrepreneurship initiatives, the Foundation’s Trustees made three grants to Hudson, Ohio, institutions. The Trustees made a proactive grant of $50,000 to the Hudson City Schools Foundation for the district’s new stadium. The funds are for a concession stand to be named in memory of Burt Morgan. “The Foundation is pleased that the Hudson Memorial Stadium campaign has reached its fundraising goal,” Ms. Hoover said.  “We believe that this community project will create valuable leadership opportunities for students by supplementing classroom lessons with experiential learning.” 

Also in Hudson, the First Congregational Church of Hudson received $30,000 for 2012 operating support. And Western Reserve Academy was awarded a grant of $116,000 over two years for the Burton D. Morgan Leadership Program in 2012-13 and 2013-14. The grant will enable the independent school to infuse leadership learning and experiences in academic and co-curricular programs reaching all students.

In recognition of community needs that fall outside the Foundation’s primary mission, the Trustees periodically make one-time grants on a proactive basis to deserving charitable organizations that serve the local area. The following proactive grants were awarded for 2011:

  • American Red Cross of Summit & Portage Counties – $25,000 for local disaster relief.
  • Business Volunteers Unlimited – $20,000 toward technology-related costs associated with the merger of BVU with the Akron-based Center for Nonprofit Excellence.
  • Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park – $5,000 toward capital costs to renovate the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s new retail space in Peninsula.
  • Family and Community Services Inc. – $7,000 to build and equip the Concierge Office in Valor Home, a transitional housing facility for homeless veterans in Summit County.
  • Flashes of Hope – $1,500 for photo sessions of pediatric cancer patients at Akron Children’s Hospital.
  • Magical Theatre Company – $5,000 to upgrade the lighting system.
  • Mobile Meals Inc. – $28,500 toward the purchase of a specially outfitted, meal-delivery vehicle.

Since last September, the Foundation also approved several small grants to advance youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship initiatives, as well as programs in the Foundation’s home community of Hudson. Among the recipients were:

Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron for the 2012 BEST Medicine Engineering Fair for youth ($5,000); Canton Regional SCORE to strengthen the chapter’s marketing and outreach program ($5,000); Gilmour Academy for entrepreneurship programs in 2011-12 ($5,000); Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network for the Resource Room at the Incubator at MAGNET ($10,000 challenge grant); North Union Farmers Market for the 2012 business development conference “A Time to Grow” ($5,000); Prepared 4 Life to support the participation of Northeast Ohio in Lemonade Day 2012 ($5,000); Hudson City Schools to bring the Earth Balloon to Ellsworth Hill Elementary School ($1,500); Hudson Community Foundation for the Destination Hudson Visitor Center ($4,650); and Newborns in Need for the purchase of new sewing machines and material for the Hudson chapter ($3,000).

Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio Is Just Around the Corner

February 9, 2012

Though it seems the winter has yet to set in, spring is quickly approaching and plans for Lemonade Day 2012 in Northeast Ohio are in full swing!

With funding from the Foundation, University School’s Entrepreneur Institute, led by Greg Malkin, is spearheading the initiative this year. Many new participants and partners have already joined the program. Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio was introduced in 2011, with four schools participating. In 2012, 19 schools, districts, and organizations representing more than 1,300 students already have formally committed to participate, including schools in Akron, Hudson, Canton, Youngstown, and Lakewood, and such organizations as the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, Junior Achievement, and the University Park Alliance.

Mr. Malkin has secured several important sponsorships throughout the region in support of Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio. The Knight Foundation has partnered with the University Park Alliance to bring Lemonade Day to the University Park neighborhood in Akron. Kovach Design provided valuable graphic design services for the Lemonade Day brochure, letterhead, and business cards. Heinen’s Fine Foods has signed on as a corporate sponsor: every participating student’s Lemonade Day backpack will include coupons for discounts on lemonade supplies purchased at any Heinen’s location. The Hudson Economic Development Corporation is providing funding for the Lemonade Day curriculum for all fifth graders in the Hudson district, and Hudson Mayor William A. Currin will issue a proclamation that May will be “Lemonade Day Month.” We are extremely grateful for the regional community’s support of this program.

With so many districts and organizations participating, Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio will span every weekend in May, including Memorial Day weekend. Keep an eye out for the young entrepreneurs in your community and support their efforts by sampling their lemonade recipes!

For more information and to get involved, please visit lemonadedayneo.org.

Valued Foundation Staff Member to Retire

February 9, 2012

Paula McCulloch, Office Manager for The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, will retire from her position in May. Paula has served as the Foundation’s Office Manager since 2006, and before that, worked at The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation and Park Place Business Services, a small business started by Burton D. Morgan.

The Foundation appreciates Paula’s many accomplishments and long association with Mr. Morgan’s business and foundation interests. While Paula’s title may be “Office Manager,” her role at the Foundation is much broader – it includes bookkeeper, event planner, photographer, green practices guru, gardener, chef, and “reality check” manager! She will be greatly missed by all of us. We wish Paula great happiness with her husband and grandchildren and many years of wonderful outdoor adventures in Ohio, Michigan, and beyond!

Technology Transfer Under the Microscope

February 9, 2012

The Ohio Board of Regents is required by law to produce an annual conditions report in order to keep the Ohio legislature well informed about the state of higher education. This year the report will provide an in-depth look at research commercialization, including ways that the system can be strengthened and improved. The nine-member Board of Regents has assembled a Technology Transfer and Commercialization Task Force to produce this report, and Regent Vinod Gupta has been charged with chairing this Task Force. The members include representatives of industry, government, philanthropy, higher education, venture development organizations, and financial institutions.

The Task Force has divided into sub-committees (Academia, Capital, Government, Industry, Technology, and Workforce) to address the detailed research and information gathering that must be completed in order to produce the report. Each sub-committee will hold one to two forums in different corners of the state during the month of February. Foundation President Deborah Hoover is a member of the Task Force and is working with the Academia sub-committee. She helped organize an Academia Forum held on February 14 at Case Western Reserve University. Approximately 50 people attended the Forum and offered their perspectives on how technology transfer offices can connect more deliberately with industry and how universities and industry can work to overcome barriers to success. The final conditions report will be ready for presentation to the legislature by late May.