Why Accelerate?

Accelerate provides a public and influential platform for community members to share their vision for improving our region.

Since 2015, the 290 projects submitted to Accelerate have come from a broadly diverse set of individuals across age, race, gender identity, and background. 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 civic visionaries to elevate their ideas to new levels, and to other competitions. Several Accelerate presenters have subsequently pitched at the SEA Change social enterprise accelerator or become part of JumpStart Inc.’s Core City: Cleveland program.

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, the main stream media. All five Accelerate 2018 finalists received a one-year complimentary membership to the Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI).

In 2018, one sponsor, Thompson Hine LLP, created a spin-off pitch event. They selected their own five “finalists” from the 25 Accelerate presenters to vie for additional funds at a private pitch event in April.

Want to learn more about Accelerate, or get involved? Email Christian Swol or call (216) 592-2276.