Coleman Foundation Awards $84,000 in Elevator Grants at 9th Annual NACCE Conference

At the 9th Annual NACCE Conference, the Coleman Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit, awarded $84,000 in elevator grants to 11 community colleges across the nation.

Springfield, MA, November 19, 2011 --( Eleven community colleges came away from the 9th Annual Conference of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship with a total of $84,000 in Elevator Grants provided by the Coleman Foundation, a long-time supporter of NACCE and its members. This year’s competitors submitted proposals for an Entrepreneurship Engagement Plan through which they will identify practicing entrepreneurs in their local community and engage them in educational programs.

Each winning school received a base grant of $5,000. Five of the winners each received an additional $2,500 for proposals that involved finding ways to engage alumni with their entrepreneurship programs. All the colleges will receive an additional $1,500 to produce a 3-5 minute video that captures the activities and outcome of their Entrepreneurship Engagement Plans.

“This year’s elevator grant program highlights activities that are part of NACCE’s newly launched Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum, an initiative outlining five actions community college presidents should take to advance self-employment and entrepreneurship education,” said NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle. “One of the commitments is to increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges; that commitment aligns with one of the Coleman Foundation’s Bull’s-Eye Entrepreneurship Concepts - that successful practitioners, including local and alumni entrepreneurs, must be part of a student’s learning experience.”

Here’s a run-down on the projects of the winning schools, including their total grant amounts:

- West Shore Community College, Scottville, MI: $9,000 to launch an entrepreneurship program, WSCC will seek local practicing entrepreneurs and related service providers, build relationships and an advisory committee, and partner in implementing a regional entrepreneurial support program and a community launch event. Project manager: Julie Van Dyke

- Tacoma Community College, Tacoma, WA: $6,500 to support engaging local entrepreneurs and resources in the redesign of TCC's Entrepreneurship certificate and degree program. The Entrepreneurship concentration is being redesigned around a capstone class leading to a business plan competition. Project director: Annalee Rothenberg

- Feather River College, Quincy, CA: $7,500 to support a youth entrepreneurship business plan competition and entrepreneurial workshops, speakers and networking events. The college is focusing on strengthening the entrepreneurial pathway and has added the NFTE curriculum to their program. FRC plans to engage the entrepreneurial community with workshops, speakers, and networking opportunities. Project director: Amy Schulz

- Cayuga Community College, Auburn, NY: $5,000 to support the Entrepreneurial road trip and boot camp. Cayuga will organize three tours and presentations for student and community entrepreneurs of 10 local businesses followed by a seminar and panel discussions on planning, organizing, financing, marketing and operating a small business. A mentoring program will complement the planned activities. Project director: Thomas Paczkowski

- NorthWest Arkansas Community College, Bentonville, AR: $6,500 to support activities to strengthen existing entrepreneurs and create a network for new entrepreneurs. Project director: George Tanner

- North Central State College Foundation, Mansfield, OH: $6,500 to connect local entrepreneurs with students in targeted industries; identify unique needs of urban, women and minority entrepreneurs; and establish a micro-loan program. Project director: Lynn Jones

- Northwest Community College, Powell, WY: $6,500 to support an interactive project between practicing entrepreneurs and students that will offer entrepreneurs an opportunity to work with students to identify issues, build projects and arrive at solutions. Project director: Janet Kraft

- Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa, IA: $9,000 to support the college’s Regional Economic Advancement Center's efforts to develop an entrepreneur mentoring program for their service area. The goal is to connect entrepreneurs with high school students as positive role models while presenting alternate career choices. Program director: Ashley Moyer

- Community College of Beaver County, Monaca, PA: $9,000 to support a one-to-one mentoring program and venture capital fair for youth entrepreneurs. This initiative engages practicing entrepreneurs to expand CCBC's successful youth SummerBiz Camp to include a year-long mentoring program, a business incubator, and a Venture Capital Fair where students will present their business plans to potential investors, community members, and panel of judges. Project director: John Goberish

- Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington, Bloomington, IN: $9,000 to support development of a video library featuring local entrepreneurs to be used by students, staff and faculty. This grant also supports engagement of the Advisory Board to conduct a capital formation strategy through an internship program. Project director: Steven E. Bryant

- Edison Community College, Piqua, OH: $6,500 to support a weekend boot camp for entrepreneurs and small business owners. The program features successful entrepreneurs, subject matter experts, and college faculty and connects practicing and aspiring entrepreneurs to resources and services at the college. Project director: Shirley Moore

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates for community-based entrepreneurship. Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the "entrepreneurship movement.” For information, visit

National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship
Jeanne Yocum