Foundation Awards Nearly $3.5 Million in Entrepreneurship Funding at Winter Board Meeting

At the Winter Board Meeting, Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved approximately $3.5 million in grants for initiatives to impact the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northeast Ohio. The Foundation supports entrepreneurship at the youth, collegiate, and adult levels.

More than $1.6 million in grants was directed to initiatives supporting the adult entrepreneurship space.

Among these awards was a $500,000 grant to bolster Fund for Our Economic Future over the next three years.  Fund for Our Economic Future, commonly referred to as the Fund, is a regional collaborative dedicated to advancing economic growth and equitable access to opportunity in Northeast Ohio through research, civic engagement, and grantmaking.  Since its founding in 2004, the Fund has helped its partners jointly retain or create 33,900 jobs, add $1.5 billion in payroll, and attract $8.4 billion in capital to the region. 

Brad Whitehead, CEO of Fund for Our Economic Future, stated “We are grateful to have the recommitment of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation to this philanthropic collaborative.  Over the next three years, our alliance is dedicated to carrying forth priorities we proposed in The Two Tomorrows to drive growth and opportunity.”

Another notable grant was made to JumpStart in the amount of $1,000,000 to support the Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program over the next three years.  Now in its sixth year, the program matches experienced volunteer mentors with regional entrepreneurs to provide support, guidance, and expertise to help spur growth of entrepreneurs and their ventures. As of last August, the Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program had 167 mentors serving 177 companies that raised $155.8 million in cumulative capital and generated approximately 243 full-time jobs created. 

Foundation President and CEO Deborah Hoover commented, “Burt Morgan’s ventures benefited from the mentorship he enjoyed as a fledgling entrepreneur and throughout his career, he generously paid it forward serving as mentor to dozens of startups as they navigated the challenges of the journey.  We believe that the Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program honors our founder’s legacy by recruiting mentors who know the right questions to ask and then matching them with ventures that can benefit from their hard-earned wisdom.” 

Additional grants approved by the Foundation Trustees to benefit organizations supporting innovation and entrepreneurship are detailed below.

Adult Entrepreneurship Grants:
Hebrew Free Loan Association - $50,000 to expand a business loan pool for small business owners and entrepreneurs without access to conventional funding services
Hudson Library and Historical Society - $75,000 to support Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship Research youth and adult activities (two years)
Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center - $14,400 for Founder’s Exchange programming, an energy hackathon, and speaker honoraria for an energy expert
University of Akron Research Foundation - $10,000 to support Northeast Ohio StartupBus

Collegiate Entrepreneurship Grants:
Baldwin Wallace University – $225,000 for NEOLaunchNET programming (two years)
Case Western Reserve University - $252,530 for NEOLaunchNET programming (two years)
Cleveland State University Foundation - $62,000 for entrepreneurship programming (two years)
Entrepreneurship Education Consortium - $93,500 for entrepreneurship programming and salary support
Kent State University Foundation - $45,900 to support SkyHack 2019
Kent State University Foundation - $300,000 for NEOLaunchNET programming (two years)
LaunchTown Experience - $20,000 for the LaunchTown idea competition
Lorain County Community College Foundation - $338,600 for NEOLaunchNET programming (two years)
Summer on the Cuyahoga - $7,700 for employer fee waivers for summer interns
The Entrepreneurs EDGE - $25,000 to pilot an internship program for scaleup companies
University of Akron Research Foundation - $50,000 to support the I-Corps Sites program (two years)

Youth Entrepreneurship Grants:
America SCORES Cleveland - $10,000 for the One Hen program
Buckeye Local School District - $15,950 to support teacher training and coaching
Center for Arts-Inspired Learning - $17,100 to develop and implement The Creative Path
Effective Leadership Academy - $4,000 for Camp LEAD scholarships and Entrepreneurship Day at Chamber Leadership Academy
Girl Scouts of North East Ohio - $20,000 for the Teen CEO: Be Your Own Boss program
Learning About Business - $10,000 to support the 2019 summer camp
The Greater Expectations Intercontinental Sacred Arts Society - $7,500 for the Arts & Entrepreneurship program
University School - $227,660 for the 2019 Enspire conference
University School - $10,000 for a keynote speaker at the thinkBIG! Summit

Hudson Community Grants:
City of Hudson - $10,000 for equipment for the Active Shooter Rescue Task Force Team
Hudson Community Service Association - $8,000 to support the Helping Hands program
Hudson Montessori School - $15,633 for the Maple Syrup Program and the Microeconomy Program

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 Foundation at the winter board meeting:

Asian Services in Action, Inc. – $20,000 to fully renovate and equip the Burton D. Morgan Foundation community room
Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio – $16,000 to provide education classes for students in Summit County and for educator training
Portage County Literacy Coalition – $14,000 for the high school equivalency recognition event and for classroom technology
Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs - $19,500 for a Weather Station and an Auto Belay System
Stewart’s Caring Place – $4,300 for makeup consultations and wig distribution
Summit Metro Parks Foundation - $20,000 to contribute to the Valley View Barn Restoration
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Portage County - $25,000 for paint, flooring and soundproofing materials
The Community Hall Foundation, Inc. - $25,000 to assist with the restoration of Akron Civic Theatre’s Grand Lobby and Arcade
The Up Side of Downs of Northeast Ohio - $10,000 for education and support services
Tri-County Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates - $21,200 to establish and outfit a technology/lab classroom
United Way of Summit County - $25,000 to provide matching funds for the Bold Goals initiative

Other grants that have been approved by the Trustees in the interim period between meetings include:

American National Red Cross - $20,000 for hurricane disaster relief in the United States
Babson College - $3,000 to sponsor the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference
Beachwood City Schools - $10,000 for the NOISE Expo 2019
Bounce Innovation Hub - $17,000 for strategic planning and capital costs
Destination Hudson - $1,100 for the promotional downtown shopping map and for the Chocolate Walk
Great Trail Council Boy Scouts of America – $6,000 for the Entrepreneurship Merit Badge Program
Hudson Community Service Association - $250 for the holiday lighting program
Hudson Job Search - $10,000 for marketing and program expenses
Hudson-Landsberg Sister City - $5,000 for the Christkindlmarkt
Ideastream - $20,000 to sponsor Nightly Business Report
Inclusioneers, Inc. - $5,000 for the Adapt-A-Car Program