How the Pitch Competition Works

Five pitches took place in each of the six categories across three evenings. A panel of judges drawn from community leaders selected one finalist in each category. The six finalists pitched again to the full audience, which voted on the winner. The winner received $5,000 and the remaining five finalists each received $2,000 to help bring their ideas to life. The Technovation Competition took place on Thursday and received $3,500.

Watch the category pitches >

Watch the Finalist competition >

Accelerate 2021 winners

Grand Prize: $5,000 
Sara Kidner: Read Like Me Watch now>

Finalists: $2,000 each
Antwoine Washington + Michael Russell, MOCHA Gallery Watch now>
Abigail Poeske + Rachel Hosler, An Ecosystem of Innovators Watch now>
Laylah Allen + Ashley Welch, Project Coping Box Watch now>
Michelle Park, Project DeLight: Dark Night, Stars Bright Watch now>
Lisa Rose-Rodriguez, Planting Stems of Peace Watch now>

Technovation 2021 winner

$3,500
Jing Lauengco, OTHER BROWN GIRL Watch now >

Small Organization Solutions 2021 winners

Strategy & Design Package (valued at $4,000)
Abigail Poeske & Rachel Hosler, An Ecosystem of Innovators

Strategy & Design Package (valued at $1,000) each
Margot Nazari, Redefining Cleveland
Sara Kidner, Read Like Me
Patrick Hackett, The Cleveland Impact Awards
Laylah Allen & Ashley Welch, Project Coping Box
Jessalyn Boeke & Sarah Pottle, The Cleveland Linen Project
Jing Lauengco, OTHER BROWN GIRL

Click on each of the tabs below to see the presenters and judges in each category.

Schedule

  • Monday, February 22, 2021
    • 4:00-5:00 p.m. Authentic Cleveland Experiences
    • 5:00-6:30 p.m. Virtual networking
    • 5:30-6:30 p.m. Education
    • 6:30-7:00 p.m. Virtual networking
  • Tuesday, February 23, 2021
    • 4:00-5:00 p.m. Economic Development
    • 5:00-6:30 p.m. Virtual networking
    • 5:30-6:30 p.m. Health & Well-being
    • 6:30-7:00 p.m. Virtual networking
  • Wednesday, February 24, 2021
    • 4:00-5:00 p.m. Social Change
    • 5:00-6:30 p.m. Virtual networking
    • 5:30-6:30 p.m. Quality of Life
    • 6:30-7:00 p.m. Virtual networking
  • Thursday, February 25, 2021
    • 4:00-5:00 p.m. Technovation
    • 5:00-5:30 p.m. Virtual networking
    • 5:30-6:00 p.m. Teen Entrepreneur Showcase
    • 6:00-6:30 p.m. Virtual networking
    • 6:30-7:30 p.m. Finalist competition

Check out all the event details.

Authentic Cleveland Experiences

Presented in partnership with Destination Cleveland and KJK

Judges
  • Sharrona Burns, Senior Director of Convention Sales, Destination Cleveland
  • Allison Hite (Accelerate 2019 Finalist), Founder, Never Ever Give Up Cleveland
  • Haley Mills, Founder, The Cleveland Bucket List
  • Jon Pinney (LC2 2019, LC 2018), Managing Partner, KJK
  • Jason Therrien (LC 2017, CLC Board), President, thunder::tech
CLE-ative Cottage

Jen Jones Donatelli
IG: @cleativecottage

The CLE-ative Cottage is a charming century home near the shores of Lake Erie in Euclid that will become a gathering place and private short-term retreat for creatives and writers. The CLE-ative Cottage will celebrate and enhance Cleveland’s strong arts legacy by: featuring works of local artists; curating artistic experiences and classes; hosting writing, art classes, and networking events; providing suggested itineraries for viewing public art, taking classes, and exploring the city; and offering a series of weekend residencies for both local and visiting writers and artists.

My Why
I consider myself an enthusiastic CLE-vangelist and am thrilled to be presenting at Accelerate for the second year in a row. My hope by pitching the CLE-ative Cottage is to help shine a spotlight on Cleveland’s rich arts and cultural scene and to support creatives both near and far through free weekend residencies.

Redefining Cleveland

Margot Nazari

Redefining Cleveland will be a podcast that explores the unique makeup of Cleveland by looking at the history of its neighborhoods, its social history, and the current socioeconomic climate.

 

Revival Rail Ride

Jacob Sweet + Kunal Amin
LI: Jacob Sweet, Kunal Amin

Revival Rail Ride is a go-to destination for locals and tourists alike who want to experience the natural beauty of Northeast Ohio. Through a railbiking experience – pedaling down railroad tracks in a seated position – Revival Rail Ride will showcase the rivers, forestry, wildlife, and unseen history of our region, as well as highlight local breweries, restaurants, and other small businesses. Revival Rail Ride will also offer open air seminars for local schools on the history of the area on topics such as the Cuyahoga River, Underground Railroad, steel industry, Ravenna Arsenal, etc.

My Why (Jacob)
“I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. I attended both the University of Akron & Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, and am currently attaining my Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). In my spare time, I enjoy all things outdoors, reading, and spending time with my family. I hope to one day own my own pharmacy in the Northeast Ohio area.

My Why (Kunal)
I moved to Cleveland, OH from India when I was 15 years old. I have been an Ohio native ever since. I went to the University of Toledo to attain my Doctor of Pharmacy degree. After graduation, I moved back to Cleveland. I currently work at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice and VP & Director of Clinical Services at NEOvations Pharmacy Services. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, and travelling.

MOCHA Gallery

Antwoine Washington + Michael Russell
FB: @museumofcreativehumanart  |  IG: @museumofcreativehumanart

The Museum of Creative Human Art (MOCHA) – a curated workspace for creatives – will elevate Black visual artist(s), give them the freedom and a platform to tell their stories, help them gain visibility and career support, and connect them to the community through exhibitions and artist services. It will also give the artists the opportunity to share their journeys, explain how they prepare for a show, and offer tips and guidance for the next generation. Additional services will include skill sharing with young artists ages 6-16, opportunities for private/corporate/city art projects, and artist/youth development initiatives.

My Why (Michael)
“As co-founder of the Museum of Creative Human Art (MOCHA), I continue to follow through on my vocational aspirations to enrich my community. The organization’s conceptual framework harmonizes my ability to inspire and engage others through my love for the arts, while operating in the creative space I use to incubate ideas and strategies.”

What’s the Tea?

Ashley Watson + Shardé Morgan

What’s the Tea? is a teahouse in the Greater Cleveland area that will host community collaborations, conversations, and healing while providing the natural benefits of a delightfully soothing beverage. It will serve quality tea and provide a platform to discuss needs and discover solutions all within a physical atmosphere that feels and looks like home. It will be a place full of pleasant aromas, people, and vibrations that will encourage and support healthy lifestyle habits and overall healing in safe, comfortable surroundings.

Economic Development

Presented in partnership with The Lubrizol Corporation and MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network

Judges
  • Cathy Belk (LC 2012, CLC Board), President & CEO, Deaconess Foundation
  • Jenice Contreras, Executive Director, Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development
  • Elizabeth Grove (LC 2021), Chief Sustainability Officer, The Lubrizol Corporation; President, The Lubrizol Foundation
  • Dr. Ethan Karp (LC2 2018, LC 2017, CLC Board), President & CEO, MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network
  • Bill Koehler (LC 2011), CEO, Team NEO
The Cleveland Impact Awards

Patrick Hackett
LI: Patrick Hackett 

The Cleveland Impact Awards (CIA) is a program where young professionals rank companies on their alignment to the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit. CIA aims to create an ecosystem in which corporate responsibility is more than a catchphrase – it is something that drives organizations. As younger generations are highly interested in these aspects of an organization, the awards will showcase our region as a vibrant community and can assist with talent attraction and retention. CIA can also help build bridges between senior and emerging leaders as they work together to build a better future for the region.

Starving Artists 2 Working Artists

Alex Michaels
FB: @prelude2cinema  |  TW: @prelude2cinema
ioby: Starving Artists 2 Working Artists

Blockcityp2c is a social network and sales platform that allows artists to build a fan base and earn income by offering rewards online.

My Why
“I’m an Emmy winning writer and filmmaker and I make movies and help others with my company Prelude2Cinema in my hometown of Cleveland Ohio. As an artist I’ve grown thanks to the relationships I’ve made being part of the Accelerate event. Being part of the Economic Development category is a joy because I want to showcase how artists can be essential in bringing wealth to the community.”

Cleveland Local History/Economic Development Initiative

Michael Milkovich
FB: @mpmilkovich  |  LI: Mike Milkovich

Most people think history is designed to teach just history.  This project uses our local history as a tool to alleviate poverty.  It will be a one hour video that uses our local history like a mentor then morphs it into the talent needs of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County and given to every middle school in the county.

An Ecosystem of Innovators

Abigail Poeske + Rachel Hosler

The Commons will connect university students from Northeast Ohio’s 27 universities with local industry through a multi-collegiate, interdisciplinary innovation program. The Commons in Cleveland will leverage the Health Tech Corridor’s Innovation District, as well as Cleveland’s strengths in healthcare and public health. By building networks between university students and healthcare organizations and teaching the students innovation skills, The Commons can simultaneously address brain drain and the need for healthcare innovation by upskilling young talent in an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Cleveland would employ the tried-and-true curriculum, and hopefully operational support, of The Commons in Milwaukee which has enjoyed great success.

Cleveland Big Give

Daniel Mansoor

Cleveland Big Give (CBG) would be an annual single-day community fundraising event for all of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio that mirrors similar local and regional events across the US. During a 24-hour period, all residents are encouraged to support one or more regional charities and nonprofits of their choice. Foundations, corporations, and individuals often provide challenge grants each hour to spur giving. Local media partners assist with promotion and marketing, as the community comes together to celebrate the charitable legacy of Cleveland.

Education

Presented in partnership with Nordson

Judges
  • Eric Gordon (LC 2013), CEO, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Habeebah Grimes (LC 2020), CEO, Positive Education Program
  • Dr. Alex Johnson (LC 2002), President, Cuyahoga Community College
  • Dr. Monyka Price (LC 2010), Chief of Education, City of Cleveland, Office of the Mayor
  • Cecilia Render, Executive Director, Nordson Corporation Foundation
DesignOff – Design your Dreams

Arianna DiMenna

DesignOff is a design competition made up of a variety of unique challenges that relate to at least one area of design (e.g. graphics, fashion, art, architecture, web design, advertisements, etc.) to allow students in middle school and high school to find the areas of design that interest them most. Challenges will be posted every other month during the school year on a dedicated website. Students will submit their entries on the site and submissions will be judged on criteria relevant to each challenge. Winners will be announced, and prizes will be awarded.

My Why
“I am a junior at Gilmour Academy who has a great interest in design and bringing my passion for design to others. I chose to participate in Accelerate to encourage students all over the Cleveland area to go for their goals and passions. I hope that my project will inspire people of all ages to work towards their dreams.”

Write, Illustrate, Create!

Ebony Donley + Sasha Beckette-Abdullah
FB: Ebony Donley

Write, Illustrate, Create! will help children in grades K-8 express themselves in writing. They will learn the steps of the writing process and write a book. They will have creative control of the type of book they choose to write and the illustrations included. Write, Illustrate, Create! will lead to entrepreneurial opportunities as participants learn to publish their work on digital platforms.

My Why (Ebony)
I was born and raised in Cleveland and am currently an intervention specialist for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District with over 20 years teaching experience. I am the program manager of Collinwood Reads, a neighborhood literacy initiative. I am a proponent of literacy and passionate about the youth.  

My Why (Sasha)
I am a proud, Black, Muslim woman who is a strong advocate of developing and nurturing a culture of literacy in the Black community. This is why I started a non-profit called ABC Read, INC in 2012, I‘m also a reading tutor and I started a podcast called Real Reading Talk. This also is what led me to collaborating with Ebony to pitch our idea Write-Illustrate-Create on the Accelerate platform.

It’s the Light – Writing Competition Show

Gerri Hudson

It’s the Light! is where writing becomes a sport just like baseball, basketball, hockey, or any other sport. It’s the Light is just like “American Idol”, only substitute the singers with writers. Writers cooperating and competing could fill the space now leaving intellectuals out of this impactful rivalry genre. It’s the Light seeks to make unknown writers overnight stars. Like “Idol” styled shows, the competition starts with 10-15 contestants of any age. Viewers select finalists using phones, internet, and SMS text voting. The competition consists of 3-4 rounds with questions/prompts changing each round until one writer is crowned the day’s best! 

Read Like Me

Sara Kidner
TW: @sarakidner

Read Like Me is a literacy and role model initiative providing internships to young Black males to help address the reading achievement gap in Black male students in grades 3-5. Hired mentors will work with local elementary schools to run book club and reading circles with high interest reading materials. They will also develop a YouTube channel to promote reading in this demographic. Read Like Me addresses not only the literacy gap, but also gives opportunities to promote education as a career field for Black, male student leaders.

Meanwhile in Africa…

Michelle Person

Meanwhile in Africa (MIA) is a supplemental social studies curriculum for students in grades K-5 built on the idea that African American history does not begin with slavery. MIA teaches students about the discoveries, inventions, and achievements that were cultivated in Africa before, during, and after the transatlantic slave trade and how that knowledge and culture impact us today. Designed to give African American students a greater sense of self and affirm their identities, MIA’s interactive and engaging activities, coupled with its emphasis on entrepreneurship, make it a well-rounded, representative, and factual view of history for any student group.

My Why
“I am a veteran educator with 20 years experience at both the elementary and building leadership level. I am choosing to present at Accelerate because I see a need within the children that I serve and Accelerate is a great vehicle through which I can try to meet that need and support my kiddos!”

Health & Well-being

Presented in partnership with Oatey and Thompson Hine LLP

Judges
  • Hadie Bartholomew, Media Content Leader, Westfield
  • Kip Bollin (LC 2020, CLC Board), Partner in Charge, Cleveland Office, Thompson Hine LLP
  • John Fasola (LC 2020), Executive Vice President, Director Group Benefits, Oswald Companies
  • Blaine Griffin (LC2 2015, LC 2014, CLC Board), Councilman, Ward 6, City of Cleveland
  • Dalithia Smith (LC 2020), Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Oatey Co.

Project Coping Box

Laylah Allen + Ashley Welch
FB: @TheMissingLinkCleveland | IG: @themissinglinkcle

Project Coping Box was born out of a social media campaign called #31DaysOfCoping. A Coping Box is a physical container with items that assist youth with calming and/or expressing emotions. More than 200+ Coping Boxes have been distributed to middle and high school students in Cuyahoga County. Plans are to expand Project Coping Box to additional populations, particularly those experiencing homelessness, addiction, and heightened stressors during the COVID19 pandemic.

My Why (Laylah)
“The Missing link is leveraging community connections and facilitating various projects and programs in effort of arming youth and with skills and tools to address trauma and lead productive lives. All programming is designed to inspire children to find their source of motivation, consider how actions influence outcomes, manage stress, and explore potential career routes based on natural interests. Introspective exploration and defining productive practices will give youth the commitment to follow through on the path to adulthood with a sense of self-confidence and purpose.”

Lifting Kids Up through Lifting

Eli Auerbach + Marzell Pink
FB: @clepowerliftingclub  |  IG: @clepowerliftingclub

The Cleveland Powerlifting Club provides a safe and healthy environment for underprivileged teens from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to train and compete in the sport of powerlifting. For many, it is their only substantive opportunity to be active, see friends, and feel a sense of normalcy. This program serves as a guide for students to learn about their boundless abilities and potential achievements. Our student athletes are diligently training toward the goal of qualifying for the USA Powerlifting High School Nationals competition. This is a one-of-kind opportunity for these students and a potential pathway to scholarships and college opportunities.

Our Why
“Our powerlifting program is dedicated to providing a safe and healthy environment for all students of the CMSD. This program is not simply about lifting weights; it is an opportunity for these students to challenge themselves, learn leadership skills, and develop a strong work ethic.”

Supporting You: Supportive Housing  

Kathryn Bryan, Ph.D.
FB: katy.bryan.14  |  IG: @kbryan90  |  LI: Kathryn Bryan

This website will be an all-inclusive online service for families with children with special needs to enable them to better understand housing options, learn about specific residential facilities, rate the facilities, and provide a virtual web tour so they can view the facilities before traveling around the city to see each in person. The site will help ease the anxiety and time it takes for families to research care facilities on their own and will serve as a guide to help them find the best option for their unique child’s situation.

My Why
“I chose to participate in Accelerate because it is such an awesome opportunity to meet other individuals that have great ideas, learn how to pitch an idea to investors, and be part of something that makes change in Cleveland. I appreciate Cleveland Leadership and the Accelerate program for their mission, time, and effort they spend to help ideas come to life.”

Totes of Hope

India Hobbs
LI: India Hobbs

Totes of Hope is designed to spread compassion and build community by honoring and showing healthcare workers the appreciation, care, compassion, and support they deserve for their heroic work through care packages. The Totes of Hope will be filled with at least 30 days of PPE masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant, etc. They will also include an inspirational journal with an inspirational booklet filled with motivational phrases to help lift their spirits and keep them going on challenging days. Totes of Hope will also provide bags to the underserved senior citizen community.

My Why
“Born and raised Cleveland native.  Corporate professional, community leader, Patient Advocate and small business owner.”

CLE SAFE H(arts)

Amanda Leizman

CLE SAFE H(arts), the Cleveland School Alliance For Emotional Health and Arts, will foster an interconnection between students and schools in the Greater Cleveland area by focusing on improving the emotional well-being of children and developing lasting school-wide art murals. Student artists and youth of all ages passionate about emotional well-being from districts all over Cleveland will meet monthly, along with staff leadership, to discuss ways of improving emotional wellbeing and will lead initiatives in their respective schools to develop school-wide murals that foster school interconnectedness.

Quality of Life

Presented in partnership with The MetroHealth System

Judges
  • Julie Jacono, Chief Strategy Officer, The MetroHealth System
  • Laura Kepley (LC 2021), Artistic Director, Cleveland Play House
  • Karlton Laster, Cleveland Metro Director, Ohio Environmental Council
  • Greg Peckham (LC 2019), Executive Director, LAND studio
  • Brian Zimmerman (LC2 2014 & 2012, LC 2011), Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Metroparks
The Cleveland Linen Project

Jessalyn Boeke + Sarah Pottle
FB: @rustbeltfibershed  |  IG: @rustbeltfibershed

Rust Belt Fibershed will connect people to their clothing materials and encourage them to help grow the fiber for a luxury fabric: linen. Volunteers will be given the seeds and the education to grow flax (from which linen is derived) on personal and/or vacant plots of land using regenerative agriculture techniques. At the end of this project, seeds will be saved for the following year to improve local flax seed resilience and the linen yardage produced from the locally grown flax will be used at a gathering/show to demonstrate the possibilities of local linen and create a viable model to attract industry and investors to this area to form a decentralized regenerative textile system.

Our Why
“We are twin sisters and co-founders of Rustbelt Fibershed, and our work is anchored in stewardship of land, people, and beauty. As public school educators by day, our body of work aims to uplift and connect community to possibility.”

earthxyz: Sustainability Simplified

Brittany Corsi
TW: @earthxyz2021  |  LI: Brittany Corsi, earthxyz

earthxyz leverages NASA data to provide resources that contribute to climate correction and sustainable food systems. There is a significant gap in sustainable energy solutions, the rate at which they are implemented, the market that exists, and the knowledge required to accomplish the climate correction we so desperately need. earthxyz is designed to bridge the awareness gap that stagnates progress toward sustainability and climate solutions by simplifying renewable energy, sustainable buildings, and agroclimatology for residential, commercial, and business use cases.

Uke Can Do It, Cleveland!

Ananya Kalahasti + Aditya Kalahasti
IG: @ukecandoit_cle

Uke Can Do It, Cleveland! plans to expand casual music education and create a community of music learners and enthusiasts throughout the city of Cleveland. Uke Can Do It, Cleveland! will buy gently used ukuleles from local residents to donate to Cleveland youth and offer ukulele lessons and workshops from local artists and music teachers. This project seeks to inspire students to pursue other musical endeavors outside of the workshops by sparking a strong love for learning and music, as well as create a community centered around a love of music and a shared musical education experience.

Project DeLight: Dark Night, Stars Bright

Michelle Park
IG: @project_delight

Project DeLight spreads awareness regarding light pollution and brings change within local communities. Writers from diverse locations discuss outdoor lights in their communities on the DeLight blog and provide different perspectives on light pollution’s consequences in their locations. Project DeLight collected global data on outdoor lights by distributing an international outdoor light survey to better analyze the global trend of unshielded, unprotected lights across the world. Locally, this initiative aims to increase outdoor lighting efficiency while reducing light pollution.

Grow Everlasting Roots

Adam Smith

Adams Orchards is designed to help alleviate food deserts, promote positive green space, and remove the scars of blight found throughout Greater Cleveland by installing community-based micro-orchards on vacant and abandoned land managed currently by the Cuyahoga County Land Board and associates. Unlike traditional gardens, these micro-orchards (100-feet by 60-feet) will be for the entire community to enjoy and harvest free of charge. Each orchard will be outlined in a white split rail fence and have a traditional rust-red barn style shack that will beautify the neighborhood in which they are seeded.

Social Change

Presented in partnership with The MetroHealth System

Judges
  • Drew Genszler (LC2 2016, LC 2015), President & CEO, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry
  • Phyllis Harris (LC2 2020, LC 2019), Executive Director, LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland
  • Elizabeth McIntyre (LC 2006), Executive Editor, Crain’s Cleveland Business
  • Dr. Jim Misak (LC 2020), Medical Director, Institute for H.O.P.E., The MetroHealth System
  • Peter Whitt, Senior Program Officer, St. Luke’s Foundation
The People’s Network

Chad Biggers

The People’s Network is a new social media platform built on networks, community building, and ethical social media design. There is no algorithm – all users see all posts within each network they join – and all posts will be moderated by the users through a voting system. Posts will fall within three categories: community exchange, community discussion, and community photos. Community exchange is where users post non-monetary requests and offers for items or services they need or can provide. Community discussions is for conversations on topics identified as important for a given network. Community photos are images related to the community.

Crime Line CLE

Navetta Clark
FB: Navetta.Clark

Crime Line CLE is a resource line for victims of violent crimes – a free phone number to call to find resources after experiencing a violent crime. The hotline will provide information on various community resources and how to obtain services that can help the victims navigate through this crisis in their life.

OTHER BROWN GIRL

Jing Lauengco
WEB:  www.otherbrowngirl.com + www.jinginc.com |  LI: Jing Lauengco

OTHER BROWN GIRL (OBG) is a Brown-owned, woman-owned social impact community storytelling platform that encourages WOMEN of CULTURE leading COLORFUL + CREATIVE LIVES to spark deeper diversity conversations through design + digital storytelling. Through the OBG brand, website, blog, podcast, city + in-school programming, multicultural diversity panels, + mentoring, OBG elevates multicultural voices + visibility. OBG creates a pipeline for mentoring and role modeling; links cities, educators, + companies through design + innovation; addresses the lack of modern multicultural female representation in media, creative entrepreneurship, + speaking roles; and expands diversity, equity, + inclusion to include a first- and second-generation multicultural immigration lens.

My Why
“As a Brand Strategist, Chief Optimist, + the original OTHER BROWN GIRL, I deeply believe in the power of BRAND, BUSINESS, + HUMAN POTENTIAL through modern diversity, design + digital storytelling adventures. I am inspired + delighted to share the stage with my peer presenters for Accelerate + Technovation – all thanks to Cleveland Leadership Center, Citizens Bank, + Cleveland Foundation!”

Planting Stems of Peace

Lisa Rose-Rodriguez
LI: Lisa Rose-Rodriguez 

This initiative is designed to reduce the incidents of firearm assaults within at-risk populations. Using harm reduction models and a place-based approach to this public health issue will create a measurable sustainable outcome. The initiative plans to engage at-risk individuals and their communities in: developing conflict resolution skills, and working to enhance neighborhoods by removing trash, placing pressure on landlords to destroy or renovate abandoned buildings, and planting more trees.  According to a 2018 USDA article, a direct association between tree canopy coverage and firearm assaults exists: the more trees the fewer incidents of gun violence.


Technovation

Presented in partnership with the Cleveland Foundation

Judges
  • Jasmine Bibb (Accelerate Technovation Winner 2020), Founder, Yes, I’m Covered!
  • Brenda Cummins (CLI 2016), Donor Relations Officer, Cleveland Foundation
  • Shilpa Kedar, Executive Director, Digital & IoT Innovations, Cleveland State University
  • Will Skora, Co-Founder, Open Cleveland
  • Catherine Tkachyk (LC 2019), Chief Innovation & Performance Officer, Cuyahoga County
Supporting you: Supportive Housing  

Kathryn Bryan, Ph.D.
FB: katy.bryan.14  |  IG: @kbryan90  |  LI: Kathryn Bryan

This website will be an all-inclusive online service for families who have children with disabilities to enable them to better understand housing options, learn about specific residential facilities, rate the facilities, and provide a virtual web tour so they can view the facilities before traveling around the city to see each in person. The site will help ease the anxiety and time it takes for families to research care facilities on their own and will serve as a guide to help them find the best option for their unique child’s situation.

Kathryn is also pitching in the Health & Well-being category

My Why
“I chose to participate in Accelerate because it is such an awesome opportunity to meet other individuals that have great ideas, learn how to pitch an idea to investors, and be part of something that makes change in Cleveland. I appreciate Cleveland Leadership and the Accelerate program for their mission, time, and effort they spend to help ideas come to life.”

DesignOff – Design your Dreams

Arianna DiMenna

DesignOff is a design competition made up of a variety of unique challenges that relate to at least one area of design (e.g., graphics, fashion, art, architecture, web design, advertisements, etc.) to allow students in middle school and high school to find the areas of design that interest them most. Challenges will be posted every other month during the school year on a dedicated website. Students will submit their entries on the site and submissions will be judged on criteria relevant to each challenge. Winners will be announced, and prizes will be awarded.

Arianna is also pitching in the Education category

OTHER BROWN GIRL

Jing Lauengco
WEB:  www.otherbrowngirl.com + www.jinginc.com |  LI: Jing Lauengco

OTHER BROWN GIRL (OBG) is a Brown-owned, woman-owned social impact community storytelling platform that encourages WOMEN of CULTURE leading COLORFUL + CREATIVE LIVES to spark deeper diversity conversations through design + digital storytelling. Through the OBG brand, website, blog, podcast, city + in-school programming, multicultural diversity panels, + mentoring, OBG elevates multicultural voices + visibility. OBG creates a pipeline for mentoring and role modeling; links cities, educators, + companies through design + innovation; addresses the lack of modern multicultural female representation in media, creative entrepreneurship, + speaking roles; and expands diversity, equity, + inclusion to include a first- and second-generation multicultural immigration lens.

Jing is also pitching in the Social Change category

My Why
“As a Brand Strategist, Chief Optimist, + the original OTHER BROWN GIRL, I deeply believe in the power of BRAND, BUSINESS, + HUMAN POTENTIAL through modern diversity, design + digital storytelling adventures. I am inspired + delighted to share the stage with my peer presenters for Accelerate + Technovation – all thanks to Cleveland Leadership Center, Citizens Bank, + Cleveland Foundation!”

Hackers Towards Perception 

Samuel Paredes
LI: Sam Paredes  |  WEB: coffeejunkie.me

Hackers Towards Perception will encourage young people in the Cleveland area to discover, learn, and build cybersecurity skills for ethical and positive use in the workplace. Young people will be able to learn a variety of cybersecurity skills that can be profitable and useful for a future career without the need to attend college or pursue expensive professional certifications. Hackers Towards Perception will use cybersecurity professionals to teach and develop the skills needed through creative workshops.

Write For Your Life

Marisol Ramos, M.A.

The arts have been proven to support overall emotional and mental health; expressive writing is a form of creative therapy. Write For Your Life (WFYL) is a multigenerational platform/App that allows people to submit stories, poems, journal entries, etc., related to self-preservation and community outreach.  It takes individuals and collectives to improve the quality of life not only for us, but our families, neighbors, community members, and the overall city. In this WFYL world, equity and inclusion work leads us to become more accepting of others, to honor our differences and unique struggles, and to share our methods of overcoming adversity!