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2012 Coleman Elevator Grants
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2012 Coleman Elevator Grants

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The Coleman Foundation to Fund Successful Entrepreneur Engagement Practices at 10th Annual NACCE Conference

On Monday, October 8, 2012, from 2:30 – 5:30 pm, as part of the 10th Annual NACCE Conference,The Coleman Foundation will conduct an elevator grant session to advance successful practices for creatively involving entrepreneurs in self-employment education and award up to $80,000 to contest winners. The session will provide community college faculty members with the opportunity to compete for grants to implement approaches to increase engagement by entrepreneurs in their local community colleges.

Elevator grants awarded in 2011 to assist eleven community colleges in implementing Entrepreneurship Engagement Plans resulted in the identification of several successful practices.

In the 2012-13 program, community colleges are invited to propose the launch of such practices on their campuses.

Successful practices include:

  • Active leadership by college presidents to advance self-employment education
  • Bringing entrepreneurs into the classroom
  • Establishment of alumni and entrepreneur councils to inform the development and improvement of entrepreneurship education
  • Student field trips to the businesses of local entrepreneurs
  • Students working closely with local entrepreneurs in internships in their businesses
  • Informal meetings of entrepreneurs to build networks among them as well as others on campus
  • "Start-up weekends” and "boot-camp” activities for aspiring local entrepreneurs

At the 10th NACCE conference, the Foundation will not only award new elevator grants to programs advancing the successful practices identified above, but it will also award $25,000 to the 2011 elevator grant winner which had the most impactful implementation of its Entrepreneurship Engagement Plan.

The Foundation is targeting as many as sixteen $5,000 launch grants (totaling up to $80,000) to fund the implementation of successful practices to increase the engagement of entrepreneurs in campus activities. Applicants may be colleges initiating self-employment education activities as well as those with existing programs.

The elevator grant program highlight activities which are part of NACCE recommended "Community College Presidents Commitment to Entrepreneurship”, an initiative outlining five actions which college presidents should take to advance self-employment education. One of the commitments – to "increase entrepreneur engagement in community colleges” – aligns with one of the Foundation’s key beliefs — that successful practitioners, including local and alumni entrepreneurs, must be part of a student’s learning experience.

The elevator grant method is based upon the business presentation model which involves describing a new business venture in a short pitch that could be given to a potential investor during an elevator ride. Using these same concepts, the Foundation has conducted similar sessions for secondary, community college and collegiate educators over the past nine years, employing a rapid grant making process to award well-placed, small grants in support of entrepreneurship education.

Interested applicants must be NACCE members and must submit a three-page description of their plans to increase the engagement of entrepreneurs in campus activities, including a plan budget, which will be evaluated in advance of the elevator grant session by the Foundation and NACCE.

Select applicants will be invited to participate in the session. At the session, the Project Director from each invited community college will present an overview of their proposed project, 3 minutes in duration, to a panel of representatives of the Foundation and NACCE. Questions from Foundation and NACCE representatives will follow. Presentations must be made by the Project Director. Winners may be invited to present their project at future NACCE events.

Registration materials must be received BY 8 a.m. Central Time on Thursday, September 27, 2012. Late and incomplete entries will not be accepted.

Registration forms are available on the NACCE web site ( Forms must be submitted as MS Word or Adobe Acrobat documents to The Coleman Foundation via e-mail at The Foundation will confirm receipt of proposals at the end of the workday via an e-mail to applicants who have submitted proposals that day.

However, please send submittals such that a delivery receipt is returned to you to provide immediate confirmation of receipt (if your e-mail system allows this).

Applications are now closed.
Winners will be revealed at NACCE2012!

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