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Burton D. Morgan Foundation awards $1 million-plus in grants

3/13/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

HUDSON — The Burton D. Morgan Foundation Board of Trustees awarded grants totaling more than $1 million in February to support programs for youth, college students and adults to help them develop skills and gain experience in starting business ventures.

“Our roster of February grants includes both new and repeat grants, all aimed at advancing the energy and momentum of the Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Deborah Hoover, foundation president and CEO. “The Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund, for example, will offer advanced students the opportunity to experience the due diligence process on preseed capital investment for high-potential ventures in our region. The New York-based Venture for America will support fellows serving in two-year positions with Northeast Ohio startups. Finally, the Akron Global Business Accelerator will be able to establish the Bit Factory, space designed to bolster early stage ventures and help them thrive. The foundation believes in the power of our constantly evolving ecosystem to spur economic growth for our region.” 

Grants approved include:

  • Akron Development Corp., $150,000 to build out space at the Akron Global Business Accelerator for the new Bit Factory accelerator program for high-potential information technology startups and for initial marketing;
  • Akron SCORE Chapter 81, $30,000 for administrative and marketing expenses;
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland, up to $212,985 over three years to establish a Youth Market Garden and entrepreneurship program at two club sites, in collaboration with the Cleveland Botanical Garden;
  • Emmanuel Christian Academy, up to $23,800 for two summer 2014 entrepreneurship camps, one for middle school students and a small pilot for high school students;
  • The Entrepreneurs EDGE, $50,000 for the 2014 EDGE Fellows Summer Intern Program;
  • Entrepreneurship Education Consortium, up to $95,000 for support of the 2014 Entrepreneurship Immersion Week and the 2014 ideaLabs business idea competition for area college students;
  • Hudson Library and Historical Society, $56,000 for a two-year grant for entrepreneurship program enhancement and expansion, an annual pitch night and video conferencing equipment;
  • Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE), $50,000 to support the summer 2014 Entrepreneurial Internship Program;
  • Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund, $125,000 for a student-run investment fund that offers advanced students at Northeast Ohio universities experiential learning about the startup investment process while simultaneously providing preseed capital for high-potential ventures in the region;
  • Purdue University, up to $200,000 for two-year funding of the Burton D. Morgan Interns program in Northeast Ohio, the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Opportunities program and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation Student Entrepreneurship Fellows program; and
  • Venture for America, $150,000 to support five Venture for America Fellows in Northeast Ohio for two years.

In addition to supporting entrepreneurship initiatives in the region, the foundation also makes grants to institutions in Hudson. The foundation trustees awarded Western Reserve Academy $110,000 for renewed, two-year funding for the campus-wide Morgan Leadership Program, which reaches the entire student body, the faculty and selected student leaders. 

Several other grants have been made since last September to benefit the Hudson community. Among them were the following: city of Hudson for production costs associated with Hudson Cable TV’s Good Day in Hudson ($1,200); Hudson City School District to bring the Earth Balloon inflatable globe to Ellsworth Hill Elementary School ($1,500); Hudson Community First for the Intern for a Day/Career Panel program ($10,000); Hudson Community Service Association for the 2013 holiday lights program ($400); and Seton Catholic School for the youth philanthropy program with Laurel Lake Retirement Community ($2,500).

To address community needs that fall outside the foundation’s primary mission, the trustees periodically make one-time community grants on a proactive basis to deserving charitable organizations that serve the local area. The following proactive grants were awarded by the trustees in February:

√ Akron Art Museum, $15,800 for the Akron Art Museum’s Town Hall Series;

√ Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, $5,000 for operating funds;

√ Akron Zoological Park, $20,000 for veterinary equipment and supplies;

√ American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties, $10,000 for local disaster relief;

√ Boys and Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, $5,200 for computer equipment for Eller Teen Club;

√ Ballet Excel Ohio, $3,000 for equipment associated with costume archiving, inventorying and repairs;

√ Friends of 91.3, $10,000 for a radio broadcast booth in Akron Children’s Hospital for use by pediatric patients;

√ Keep Akron Beautiful, $25,000 for a customized van for the Flowerscape crew; and

√ Summit County Historical Society, $10,000 for stone fence repairs at the John Brown House.

Since last September, the foundation also approved a number of small grants to support youth, collegiate and adult entrepreneurship programs. Among the recipients were: Beachwood City Schools to support the 2014 Entrovation Expo ($6,500); Canton Regional SCORE for support of workshops for small businesses ($5,000); Gilmour Academy for entrepreneurship programming ($5,000); Great Trail Boy Scouts of America for the Entrepreneurship Merit Badge Program ($7,000); Prepared4Life for underwriting the license fee for Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio 2014 ($10,000); Shaker Heights Development Corp. to conduct a preparation session and a regional business plan competition for high school students ($9,900); Solon Engineers’ Club for equipment for the Young Innovators’ Pursuing Engineering and Entrepreneurship Program ($4,778); St. Edward High School to purchase resources for entrepreneurship courses ($10,000); and The University of Akron Foundation for the BEST Medicine Engineering Fair ($5,000).

A more complete list of grants awarded can be found by visiting the foundation’s website at bdmorganfdn.org/grants-awarded.

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