Why Accelerate?

Accelerate provides a public and influential platform for community members to share their vision for improving our region. To date, more than 270 ideas have been pitched at Accelerate and $183,500 has been awarded. See the progress of some of the ideas >

The presenters have been a diverse set of individuals that come from a broad cross-section of age, race, gender identity, and backgrounds. The projects too are diverse, addressing issues such as, kindergarten readiness, workforce training, STEM education, caregivers’ support, healthy eating and exercise, career prep, and neighborhood beautification. Many have focused on supporting those with special needs and/or marginalized communities.

Accelerate has served as a jumping-off platform for these visionaries to elevate their ideas to new levels, and to other opportunities. A number of Accelerate presenters have become a part of the SEA Change social enterprise accelerator, JumpStart Inc.’s Core City: Cleveland program, or other local pitch competitions.

Accelerate often provides assistance far beyond the monetary prizes and connections made at the event. CLC provides ongoing media and social media attention and connects presenters with community members and organizations who can help advance their ideas. The innovative projects have also caught the attention of, and been featured by, main stream media outlets. For the past six years, all finalists have received a one-year complimentary membership to the Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI).