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Accelerate 10th Anniversary on February 22, 2024

How it works

Applicants are selected to pitch in one of six categories and a panel of judges drawn from community leaders select one finalist in each category. The six finalists pitch again to the full audience, which votes on the winner. The winner receives $5,000 and the remaining five finalists each receive $2,000 to help bring their ideas to life. The Technovation competition will award $3,500 to the most innovative technology-based idea. Click on the tabs below to learn more about the event.

See the 2023 presenters, ideas, and winners >

Thursday, February 22, 2024
Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland

Add Accelerate 2024 to my calendar
02/22/2024 04:30 PM
02/22/2024 08:30 PM
Accelerate 2024

Applications to pitch open November 1, 2023.

Remind me on November 1
11/01/2023 08:00 AM
Accelerate 2024 applications open

Economic Prosperity
Creating pathways to financial success for people and places.

Advancing access, readiness, and success for pre-k through college students.

Health & Well-being
Promoting the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals and their communities.

Quality of Life
Improving lives through art, culture, the environment, and community improvement projects.

Social Change
Increasing equity, access, and opportunities within communities.

Applications for Accelerate 2024 will open in November 2023.
Applications to pitch open November 1, 2023.

Remind me on November 1
11/01/2023 08:00 AM
Accelerate 2024 applications open

Anyone with an idea to improve the Greater Cleveland community can apply. Proposed ideas cannot be affiliated with an established organization or business.

Application & Selection
Applicants submit proposals to pitch their idea at the event via an online form, through which you’ll address each of the following areas in 250 words or less.

  • A description of the initiative.
  • The community issue it addresses.
  • How it will benefit the community.
  • Why you are passionate about the issue.
  • How you will know if the initiative is successful.
  • How the prize money would help you achieve your goals.

An independent panel of reviewers selects five from each category to be presented at the event based on:

  • Potential for community impact and advancing NE Ohio.
  • How unique, creative and innovative the initiative is.
  • A realistic implementation plan that would be aided by the prize money.

Those selected have up to five minutes to pitch at the event.

View the Application Guidebook to learn all about the application process, how to craft your best application, and what to expect if you’re selected!

Thank you to presenting sponsor 
Citizens, and to sponsors Lubrizol, Nordson, The NRP Group LLC, and Thompson Hine LLP, who are making Accelerate possible! For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Michael Bennett, (216) 592-2426.

Accelerate 2023 presenters in the news

See updates from past presenters >