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Member News: NACCE Press Releases

$80,000 in Elevator Grants Available from the Coleman Foundation at the 10th NACCE Conference

Thursday, September 6, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kristina Moy
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CONTACT: Heather Van Sickle
(413) 306-3131 ext. 303


Entrepreneur Engagement Practices Will Be Focus of Grants

Springfield, MA – Sept. 6, 2012 – As part of the 10th Annual National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship Conference, being held in Chicago, IL, October 7- 10, 2012, the Coleman Foundation will conduct an elevator grant session with the potential to award $80,000 to community colleges. This year’s program will focus on successful practices for creatively involving entrepreneurs in entrepreneurship and self-employment education. Entry deadline is 8:00 a.m. Central time on Thursday, September 27, 2012. As many as 16 $5,000 grants will be awarded.

This marks the ninth time the Coleman Foundation has offered elevator grants at the NACCE Conference; the foundation has provided $509,000 to community colleges through this program to date to support the initiation of various entrepreneurship education programs. The elevator grant method is based on the business presentation model that involves describing a new business venture in a short pitch that could be given to a potential investor during an elevator ride. Grant decisions are made at the NACCE Conference, resulting in a rapid funding approach that greatly benefits the grant recipients.

"NACCE’s partnership with the Coleman Foundation is a very important benefit to our members,” said Heather Van Sickle, executive director of NACCE. "Increasing entrepreneur engagement is one of the five commitments that members of our Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum, which we launched late last year, have pledged to fulfill. Both NACCE and the Coleman Foundation believe that successful practitioners, including local and alumni entrepreneurs, must be part of a student’s learning experience. Having exposure to people who have started businesses significantly strengthens the education experience.”

How to Apply

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. More details and registration forms are available on the NACCE Conference website at

About The Coleman Foundation

The Coleman Foundation is a private, independent grantmaker focusing primarily on supporting Midwest non-profit organizations.Foundation resources support cancer care, treatment and research, developmental disability services, and entrepreneurship education. In 1981, the Foundation began to question why individuals are encouraged to "get a job” rather than to "create” one.Since that time, the Foundation has committed over $46 million to improve the quality of entrepreneurship education, promote the option of self-employment, and help create a new generation of business owners.For more information, visit


The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates community-based entrepreneurship. Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the "entrepreneurship movement.”

Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serv, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. NACCE is a founding member of the White House-led Startup America Partnership.

For more information on NACCE’s 10th Annual Conference, visit

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