Changemaker Grant Award Recipients Announced

At the tenth anniversary celebration of the JumpStart Higher Education Collaboration Council (JSHECC) on October 23, Burton D. Morgan Foundation announced the Changemaker Grant awardees.

The Changemaker Grant program was the first project launched by the Morgan Scout Fund, an initiative established by the Foundation earlier this year to encourage proactive and innovative solutions to gaps in the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.  In addition to kicking off the Morgan Scout Fund initiative, the Changemaker Grant program honors the decade-long collaboration between the Foundation and JumpStart to connect campus entrepreneurship programs to the region’s ecosystem and its assets through the JSHECC. 

Northeast Ohio colleges and universities were invited to submit applications for a Changemaker Grant to support programs, projects, and research efforts that address gaps in collegiate entrepreneurship in an innovative way.  Applicants were encouraged to focus on work that bridges the transitions between the youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship spaces, referred to by the Foundation as pathways.

From fourteen applications, the following five institutions of higher education were selected as recipients of Changemaker Grants and received $10,000 awards to implement their projects:

Baldwin Wallace University - to address the lack of pathways from college-to-career for female, undergraduate STEM students through an intensive workshop, in partnership with Ohio Aerospace Institute, focused on the hard and soft professional skills needed for internships and/or careers in STEM startups

Cleveland State University - to address the gap in entrepreneurship and business education for film production by pairing CSU’s Film and Media Arts curriculum with the Weston Ideation Lab to create a comprehensive program titled “Every Film is a Startup:” a series of seminars, a Film Pitch Challenge, a pathway to the Undergraduate Minor in Entrepreneurship, and access to mentors and other resources to help students produce, market, sell and launch a film.

Kent State University - to work with four local high schools to pilot a scalable student and educator training program, curriculum, and resources that inspire participants to become changemakers within their schools

Stark State College - to become a FlexFactor replication site with a goal of informing, attracting, and recruiting students to be part of the advanced manufacturing and STEM economies

The University of Akron - to partner with the Research Triangle Institute Innovation Advisors on a multi-part workshop on systematizing university-industry connections, involving students, university leadership, and guests from large, regional corporations known for innovation

Foundation President and CEO Deborah Hoover commented, “Morgan Foundation utilizes a Request for Proposal process when we want to encourage our grantees to try novel approaches.  Such is the case with our Changemaker Grants initiative offered to colleges and universities in Northeast Ohio to inspire projects that test new ways of supporting entrepreneurship on campuses, with particular emphasis on the generation of new pathways for students.  We received many exciting proposals making for stiff competition among the submissions. Congratulations to all the awardees!  We look forward to learning from your experiments as the projects take shape.”