25 ‘Civic Visionaries’ Will Make Funding Pitches at Accelerate 2017 at the Global Innovation Center


Wed 2/22 @ 5:30PM

While big-ticket projects get the bulk of the attention, it’s the people with grassroots concepts who are making Cleveland come alive from the ground up. Seriously, think what real “transformation” we could fuel if $160 million were committed to small entrepreneurs and idea people instead of to gussying up Quicken Loans Arena.

Those little people with big ideas will be the focus of Accelerate 2017: Citizens Make Change at the Global Center for Health Innovation, a pitch session presented by Citizens Bank and the Cleveland Leadership Center.

There, 25 “civic visionaries,” chosen from 80 submissions, will make pitches for funding in five categories: Community Change, Economic and Workforce Development, Educating for Tomorrow, Quality of Life and Transformative Arts and Culture. A panel of experts will pick the winner in each category and the audience will vote on the grand prizewinner who receives $5,000. The other four will each win $2,000. You can preview the pitches here.

Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door, $20 for students. The pitch competition happens at 5:30pm, follows by cocktails, networking and entertainment at 6:30, and the finals’ competition, audience voting and awards at 7:30.



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