Applications Open for the Paradox Prize

Awards Range From $20,000 to $100,000

The Fund for Our Economic Future, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, Greater Cleveland Partnership, The Lozick Family Foundation, and DriveOhio are seeking to invest in big ideas to improve the mobility of Northeast Ohioans stranded economically by their geography. Your idea will help residents connect to tens of thousands of open positions with paths to family-sustaining wages.

For decades, industrial, commercial and residential development has migrated outward, but there has been no net increase in jobs or population to substantiate the regional spread. The result: Jobs are farther and farther away from where people live, which creates a disconnect between people and the economy. This disconnect has real costs: People spend more time and money commuting, if they can get to a job at all; businesses struggle to fill open positions; municipalities spend on infrastructure to support new development while having to maintain the underutilized assets left behind; and our environment suffers as air quality declines due to long, car-based commutes. Ultimately, our regional economy loses its competitive edge.

The mission of this inaugural challenge is to inspire innovations through an open call for ideas aimed at generating sustainable solutions that will eradicate the ‘no car, no job; no job, no car’ paradox in Northeast Ohio.

Anyone with a good idea can apply. We’ll grant funding (awards will range from $20,000 to $100,000, depending on the needs and potential impact of each project) as well as technical assistance to help further develop early-stage concepts. We will be reviewing applications through a series of deadlines and will award funding or technical assistance in rounds until funding is exhausted. We expect to do three rounds in 2019. (See the timeline for more details.)

If your idea is not yet ready for implementation, we’re here to work with you. Please refer to the timeline below for opportunities to meet with Fund for Our Economic Future staff and to discuss your proposal and connect with potential partners.

Experiencing a transportation challenge and don’t know quite what to do? Let’s talk! We can connect you with others who may be in a similar situation, explore potential partners to work with, and help shape ideas that may be considered for technical assistance or funding in a future round. Email us at paradoxprize@thefundneo.org.

Ready to submit? Enter The Paradox Prize here. You will be asked for a 300-word summary of the transportation challenge you’re trying to address, a proposed solution, and potential partners you’ll work with in the process. Those with the most promising ideas will be selected as finalists and be asked to present a business plan before our Advisory Committee that meets the following criteria.

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