Accelerate is a pitch competition which gives northeast Ohio citizens the chance to win seed money to help launch their idea to make the region a better place.

Accelerate 2018 will take place on Wednesday, February 21. Pitch applications are open from November 1 to November 30, 2017. If you have questions or want to learn more, contact Christian Swol at or (216) 592-2276.

How it works
Twenty-five applicants are selected and five in each of the pitch categories present before event attendees and a panel of judges drawn from community leaders. The judges select one finalist in each category. The five finalists take the main stage to pitch their ideas to the combined audience, which votes on the winner. The winner receives $5,000 and the remaining four finalists each receive $2,000 to help bring their ideas to life.

Community Change
In partnership with Oswald Companies and Westfield Insurance Foundation
Initiatives that make a meaningful change in people’s lives and neighborhoods.

Economic & Workforce Development
In partnership with Oatey Co.
Initiatives that stimulate economic growth, promote economic self-sufficiency, encourage neighborhood development or address poverty.

Educating for Tomorrow
In partnership with Nordson
Initiatives that advance pre-kindergarten through college education, including literacy, numeracy, access, readiness and success.

Health & Wellness
In partnership with Cleveland Clinic
Initiatives that promote the health of individuals and communities by addressing access, lifestyle and recreation.

Quality of Life
In partnership with Cuyahoga Community College and Thompson Hine LLP
Initiatives that create positive life experiences through arts, culture and social services.

Accelerate provides not only the chance to win money to help launch your idea, it also provides a unique opportunity to network with top leaders and community members who may have connections or resources to help your idea take flight.

Still not sure if you should apply? Check out last year’s ideas, read about some of the advancements past Accelerate presenters have made, and watch Jeremy Langham’s winning 2017 pitch below. You can see the other four 2017 finalists’ pitches, as well as pitches from past years on CLC’s YouTube Accelerate playlist.

Register Now