$5,0000 Winner

Karson Baldwin & Israel Kambomba: Onè Respè

$2,000 Runners-up

Allison Meyer: Never, Ever Give Up
Sonya Pryor-Jones: My Fab House
Ronald Nelson: People and Food on the Go
Kayla Ruffner: Unchained Filters
McKenna Hankins: Art on Wheels

Thanks to everyone who made Accelerate 2019 a tremendous success! Read all about it >

Authentic Cleveland Experiences

Presented in partnership with Destination Cleveland

  • Steve Intermill, Museum Curator, A Christmas Story House
  • Colette Jones (LC 2018, CBB 2011), Vice President of Marketing, Destination Cleveland
  • Chris Ronayne (LC 2007), President, University Circle, Inc.
  • Linda Warren (LC 2006), Senior VP of Placemaking, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
Never, Ever Give Up

Allison Meyer
IG: @neverevergiveupcle

Honoring Cleveland’s perseverance by allowing people to share and motivate others to never, ever give up with a wall of handwritten stories, answering the question: What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?

Daylilies and eErie Nights

Annemarie Roeder

This initiative engages city dwellers and visitors in community gardening and local history by day (Daylilies) while showcasing the landmark Armory and Erie Street Cemetery by night (eErie Nights) with lantern tours and moonlit history.

Vyne: Connecting you to what’s happening in your city

Sahithya Wintrich

Vyne has one mission: to connect you to Cleveland experiences. Through an easy to use platform, you can discover events and stay in the know of what’s going on in your city.

Community Change

Presented in partnership with Oswald Companies & Westfield

  • Margaret Bernstein (LC2 2017, LC 2016, CLI 2014), Director of Advocacy & Community Initiatives, WKYC Channel 3
  • Freddy Collier (LC 2018), Director, Planning Commission, City of Cleveland
  • John Fasola, EVP, Managing Director Group Benefits, Oswald Companies
  • Elizabeth McIntyre (LC 2006), Publisher & Editor, Crain’s Cleveland Business
  • Sheila Trauernicht, Chief Communication Officer, Westfield

Kareemah Hairston + Tyler Olson

A three-month program for organizational culture-and-change influencers. The cohort will undergo training and individualized coaching, accompanied by a personal app, to learn techniques in conflict management, resolution, and transformation.

TW: @TyOlsonCLE

Just to Be Heard!

Andre Holland

Redesigning telephone booths into creatively designed spaces that give people in neighborhoods with high incidences of homelessness the opportunity to tell their story.

Compost Collaborative

Benjamin Krutko
LinkedIn profile

An opt-in public-private partnership composting program. Households will receive instructions and an odor-sealed container for compostable material, which will be collected in conjunction with their weekly recycling and trash city waste services.

My Fab House

Sonya Pryor-Jones
TW: @SyncConsult @FabFndn

A grassroots neighborhood-based digital fabrication lab and co-work space to combat social problems and inequity, such as the tech divide and housing vacancy and abandonment, while providing learning and entrepreneurship opportunities.


Ted Wetzel + George Williams

An online platform utilizing various methods of safe spaces/brave spaces, including face-to-face and online interaction, to build civil discourse skills and re-assemble the foundation of what “We the People” agree on, one issue at a time.

Economic & Workforce Development

Presented in partnership with Oatey Co. and The Lubrizol Corporation

  • Cathy Belk (LC 2012), President, JumpStart Inc.
  • Ted Carter (LC 2017), Chief Economic Development & Business Officer, Cuyahoga County
  • Julie Edgar (LC 2019), Vice President Innovation, Chief Sustainability Officer, The Lubrizol Corporation
  • Don Graves (LC 2019), Head of Corporate Community Relations, KeyBank
  • Dalithia Smith, Vice President, Human Resources, Oatey Co.
Protecting Pensions – Protecting People

Natasha Kalas, CFP

A nonprofit credit union, that utilizes blockchain technology, where all profits go to a foundation that will support pensions in danger of becoming insolvent, through grants, incentives, low-cost loans, and ongoing counseling services.

Queens Banquet

Jacci Hammer

Equipping women who struggle with issues such as poverty, domestic violence, recent incarceration, and paralyzation with the resources to “Step Up.”

People and Food on the Go

Ronald Nelson

Creating jobs and growth in Cleveland through partnerships with nonprofit organizations, culinary training organizations, and entrepreneurs to help people capitalize on the entrepreneurship opportunities that mobile food offers.

Stores @ Storer

Guillermo Sanchez

Reinvigorating Storer Avenue by forging an identity rooted in the arts through an anchor arts center. The building opening and accompanying “Summer Art Garden” festival will feature original artwork, poetry, performances, and music by local artists.

Educating for Tomorrow

Presented in partnership with Nordson

  • Eric Gordon (LC 2013), Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Tom Kruczek (LC 2015), President, Notre Dame College
  • Monyka Price (LC 2010), Chief of Education, City of Cleveland
  • Cecilia Render, Executive Director, Nordson Corporation Foundation
  • Harlan Sands, President, Cleveland State University

Oné Respé

Karson Baldwin + Israel Kambomba
TW: @ProjectRaceKids  | IG: @KB_trey_5 @one_respe

A partnership where students at local schools and the International Newcomers Academy visit each other’s schools, play, create, and eat together as they share their lives. These friendships cultivate honor and respect for immigrants and refugees.


Patrick Hackett + Jack Lupica
IG: @JackLupica | LinkedIn (Jack)

Teaching youth to dialogue intelligently with those in the community through podcasting. The show will feature episodes from different students, each presenting her or his idea after learning how to develop a podcast aimed at constructive protesting.

Shoreway Kids

Gail Johnson + David Adams

Bridging the two Detroit-Shoreways (the vital arts district and those living in poverty) through arts activities and programs such as a reader’s theater to increase literacy and a club that encourages the social-emotional growth of preteen/teen boys.

Leaders for the Educational Advancement of Disabled Students (LEADS)

Constantine Madias
IG: @costa_ madi  |  FB: @constantine.madias

Leaders for the Educational Advancement of Disabled Students (LEADS) is a mentorship program promoting post-secondary education and career advancement for disabled students in local middle and high schools.


Diane Mastnardo

Teaching children four self-care techniques (breathing, aromatherapy, acupressure and movement – BAAM) in five minute increments during the school day to decrease anxiety and increase impulse control to aid in academic achievement.

Health & Wellness

Presented in partnership with Cleveland Clinic

  • Jacquelyne Bailey (CLI 2015, LC 1996), Director of Community Outreach, Patient Navigation & Research, Taussig Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic
  • Mitch Balk (LC 2001), President, Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation
  • Anne Goodman (LC 2003), President & CEO, Saint Luke’s Foundation
  • Baiju Shah, President & CEO, BioMotiv
  • Robert W. Varley, Board President, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center
Divorce Talk

Lex Briggs

A website for children, supervised by medical professionals, featuring text and voice chat rooms where the medical staff can identify and address issues affecting the children. It will also help anti-social kids open up and establish friendships.

Easy-off Medical Tapes

Donghui Li + Zhe Ren
LinkedIn (Donghui) | LinkedIn (Zhe)

Bandage that removes easily after the adhesive holding it in place is exposed to ultraviolet light—an especially important development for elderly patients with delicate skin which can actually tear when a standard adhesive is removed.

Recipe Re-Mix

Susan Porter
TW: @SusanPorterCLE  | LinkedIn

A program and website focused on changing how Cleveland’s urban population prepares their food, instead of trying to change the food they eat. The recipes on the website will have simple instructions and videos to follow for those with limited reading skills.

Unchained Filters

Kayla Ruffner
FB: @awofasi.irunsewe | IG: @kaylaruff17

Coffee filters containing protein amino acids to be infused when you brew your favorite coffee. The benefits include increased attention, improved cognitive function, blood sugar regulation, reduced hypertension, burning visceral fat, and much more.

Mobile Med-Connect

Faye Thornton

An onsite mobile medical check for the homeless. Volunteer nurses, doctors, and social workers would provide health screenings, counseling, and referrals.

Quality of Life

Presented in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College and Thompson Hine LLP

  • Kip Bollin, Partner-in-Charge, Cleveland, Thompson Hine LLP
  • Marsha Dobrzynski (LC2 2013, LC 2007), Executive Director, Center for Arts-Inspired Learning
  • Michael Schoop (LC 2008), President, Metropolitan Campus, Cuyahoga Community College
  • Kristin Warzocha (LC 2010, CBB 2002), President & CEO, Greater Cleveland Food Bank
  • Brian Zimmerman (LC2 2014 + 2012, LC 2011), Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Metroparks

Jenny Buck

Arties™ is an art + philanthropy kit that includes the ideas + supplies to host a pop-up mini-art show for a cause. Guests select a work of art and leave a donation in its place for the artist’s chosen charity.

Bee Friendly Neighbors

Brian Hall

A city-based bee keeping program and competition that provides participants with a bee box and pairs them with an experienced keeper to maintain the hive. The competition provides the bee-friendliest city a donation to a charity of their choice.

Art on Wheels

McKenna Y. Hankins
FB: @enhood  |  IG: @McKenna_art87

An art truck stocked with all the essentials for people to express themselves creatively. The programming would focus on populations that may not have access to these resources, particularly inner-city youth, troubled teens, and geriatrics.

Elevating Local Art

Liz Maugans + Hillary Lyon

An initiative to help commercial real estate projects stimulate the economy and create community engagement through local art. The project also aims to expose local artists and make art accessible to everyone through events and education.

Feed CLE

Kennon Walton + Antony Peng

Collecting leftover foodstuffs from various local restaurants to help those struggling to feed their families. Volunteers would collect the food and take it to libraries and churches where it can be distributed to those in need.