Board Awards Grants Totaling More than $2 Million at January Meeting

At the January Board Meeting, Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved more than $2 million in grants for initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education in Northeast Ohio.  In addition to a number of grants that will support entrepreneurship programming for children and college students, the Foundation made grants to support adult entrepreneurs in the Akron area.

Bounce Innovation Hub was awarded $265,000 to support a variety of initiatives, including the incubator, software accelerator, and the Generating Real Opportunities and Wealth (GROW) program to support non-tech entrepreneurs.  The grant will also provide funding for Northeast Ohio Student Venture programming, which enables students at universities across Northeast Ohio to gain experience in venture capital.  In a few short years, Bounce has established itself as the key convener and central gathering place for entrepreneurship in Akron and surrounding areas.  This grant was partially funded by a $3.75 million grant the Foundation was awarded by the Richard J. Fasenmyer Foundation.

 “Burton D. Morgan Foundation’s continued support of Bounce and all of our programs shows their unwavering commitment to entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio,” said Doug Weintraub, Bounce CEO. “We are grateful to have them in our corner.”

Morgan Foundation also awarded a grant of $40,000 to MORTAR Cincinnati, which partners with Bounce Innovation Hub to provide a business accelerator that helps existing and emerging entrepreneurs learn more about business ownership. The program is open to everyone with a business or idea but focuses on businesses owned by people of color and women.  New to Akron in 2020, MORTAR conducted two program cohorts for 31 entrepreneurs. Three cohorts are planned for 2021, which are expected to serve 45 entrepreneurs.

Deborah Hoover, President and CEO of Burton D. Morgan Foundation commented, “Morgan Foundation continues to prioritize support for aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs as they innovate and bring their ideas to life.  Our grants this cycle to Bounce, MORTAR, and the five NEOLaunchNET campuses speak to the importance of providing resources to help entrepreneurs network with peers, build skills, access capital, and gain experience.  We celebrate the journeys of all entrepreneurs in our community for their drive, courage, and entrepreneurial spirit.  We are also pleased to provide support for Entrepreneurship Funders Network, a national community of philanthropic funders seeking “to inspire entrepreneurship, support entrepreneurs, and strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems.” 

Additional grants approved by Foundation Trustees at the meeting to benefit organizations supporting innovation and entrepreneurship include the following:

Baldwin Wallace University - up to $225,000 to support LaunchNET BWU programming (two years)

Buckeye Local School District - $45,000 to train and coach at least 30 educators

Case Western Reserve University - up to $280,042 to support LaunchNET CWRU programming (two years)

Entrepreneurship Funders Network - $45,000 for general operating support

John Carroll University - up to $302,265 to support LaunchNET JCU programming (two years)

Kent State University Foundation - up to $350,000 to support LaunchNET KSU programming (two years)

Lorain County Community College Foundation - up to $338,600 to support LaunchNET LCCC programming (two years)

University School - up to $136,920 for the Enspire 2021 conference

Other grants made by Morgan Foundation in the interim period between meetings to support entrepreneurship include:

Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio - $10,000 to support a community development position for Medina and Wayne counties
National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship - $3,000 for conference scholarships
Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation - $20,000 to support the NEOvations program
Prepared 4 Life - $8,000 for the license fee for 2021 Lemonade Day
VentureWell - $5,000 to sponsor the Open 2021 conference

The Foundation has also made the following recent grants to benefit the Hudson community:

City of Hudson - $1,200 for the production of Good Day in Hudson
Destination Hudson - $1,000 for operating support
First Congregational Church of Hudson - $10,000 for operating support
Hudson Heritage Association - $250 for a Preservationist Membership
Hudson Job Search - $10,000 for operating support

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.  Recent grants awarded to community agencies for operating support include the following:

ACCESS - $20,000
Akron-Urban Minority Alcoholism Drug Abuse Outreach Program - $20,000
Akron Urban League - $20,000
Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank - $20,000
AxessPointe Community Health Centers - $20,000
Community Legal Aid Service - $20,000
Family and Community Services - $20,000
Project Ujima - $20,000
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens - $10,000
Standing Rock Cultural Arts - $10,000
Victim Assistance Program - $20,000

A more complete list of grants awarded can be found HERE.