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Economy

Akron's Entrepreneurial Efforts Will Benefit from Foundation's Focus

a rendering of the reception area in the Generator at Bounce
HAZEL TREE DESIGN STUDIO
Bounce Innovation Hub houses a number of startups and will open a new first floor generator space next month that will offer co-working, meeting rooms, and makerspace as well as a cafe.

A major foundation that supports entrepreneurs in northeast Ohio is putting its focus on Akron. The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is based in Hudson. It’s spent the past 18 months reviewing its strategy. Foundation president and CEO Deb Hoover said they’ve long supported entrepreneurs of all ages across Northeast Ohio. But now they see an opportunity to focus on adults starting businesses in Akron.

“There’s just a lot happening in the city and we want to be a key part of that and really help to continue the momentum that has been building over the last couple of years.”

Hoover said the Foundation will continue to work with Elevate Akron, Spark Akron, and the Bounce Innovation Hub, which will open its first floor generator space next month. It will offer co-working, meeting, and maker spaces. Hoover is chairperson of the Bounce board.

The Foundation is also launching a new fund in an effort to model the entrepreneurial mindset it supports. It will invest some of its grant dollars through the new Morgan Scout Fund. Hoover said it’s aimed at creating a conscious culture of innovation within the foundation.

hoover_bdm_new_fund_.mp3
The Foundation will utilize the Morgan Scout Fund to support new entrepreneural initiatives.

“We’re going to be proactively putting together some projects and initiatives that we think will help fulfill some gaps in the ecosystem, create some excitement and some new ways of looking at entrepreneurship.” 

Hoover expects to announce one or more of those intiatives in the coming months.