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Accelerate 2018: Citizens Make Change accepting civic pitches until Nov. 30

November 7, 2017 GMT

Accelerate 2018: Citizens Make Change accepting civic pitches until Nov. 30

CLEVELAND, Ohio - People who have great ideas to improve the region are encouraged to compete in Accelerate 2018: Citizens Make Change, the third-annual pitch competition that has attracted nearly 400 people since it started.

Winners of the competition, scheduled for Feb. 21, 2018, at the Global Center for Health Innovation, will get seed funding and broad exposure to help their vision become a reality. The annual event is hosted by Citizens Bank and the Cleveland Leadership Center.

Pitches will be accepted until Nov. 30, and anybody with an idea to improve the community can enter. Proposed ideas cannot be affiliated with an established organization. They should be compelling, innovative and even wild ideas that address a community issue. Pitches can range from one-and-done projects or sustainable, ongoing efforts. A short application is available at www.cleveleads.org/Accelerate.

Pitches will be accepted in five broad categories:

Community Change: Initiatives that make a meaningful change in people’s lives and neighborhoods.Economic & Workforce Development: Initiatives that stimulate economic growth, promote economic self-sufficiency, encourage neighborhood development or address poverty.Educating for Tomorrow: Initiatives that advance pre-kindergarten through college education, including literacy, numeracy, access, readiness and success.Health & Wellness: Initiatives that promote the health of individuals and communities by addressing access, lifestyle and recreation.Quality of Life: Initiatives that create positive life experiences through arts, culture and social services.

Five pitches in each category will be presented at Accelerate, where panels of community leaders will select a winning category pitch. Winners pitch to a larger audience, and votes on an overall winner will receive $5,000.

The four finalists will each receive $2,000. All 25 presenters have an opportunity for community support.