LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 13, 2016) – The application period for the 2016 Vogt Awards is now open through May 31. The Vogt Awards help start-up ideas and products develop into viable and successful businesses by providing non-dilutive funding, dedicated mentorship, workshops and support.
This year, the Vogt Awards advisory committee is pleased to expand the criteria to allow for a broader group of applicants. In the past, applicants were required to manufacture a physical product to be eligible for this coveted source of funding. Now, it is also available to entrepreneurs from the Greater Louisville area that have the potential to create a scalable business based on innovative, technology-based products.
Based on feedback from the entrepreneurial community, this year the program will emphasize and award robust mentorship and support services to up to six early-stage entrepreneurs. Each winner will receive $25,000 in non-dilutive funding and an additional package of valuable services for early-stage entrepreneurs.
“We heard that collaboration was more valuable than competition, so we have continued to evolve the awards to help best encourage entrepreneurship in our community as Mr. Heuser would have wanted,” said Amelia Gandara, Director of Commercialization and Engagement for EnterpriseCorp, the entrepreneurial arm of GLI.
The new criterion fits closely with Henry Vogt Heuser’s vision for growing innovation. Heuser pioneered the creation of multiple inventions during his career. The Vogt Invention and Innovation Fund, an endowment at the Community Foundation of Louisville, was created to help support entrepreneurial efforts of engineers and innovators to fund the product development and commercialization of their ideas. With today’s entrepreneurs going online in droves, it is time to include visionary business models and ideas of all types.
“I can’t help but wonder how pleased Mr. Heuser would be to see the innovation that his award has helped to catalyze since its inception in 2000. With almost $2.5 million to nearly 50 companies, I like to think of his gift as a way for him to be immortal in our entrepreneurial community,” said Susan Barry, President & CEO, Community Foundation of Louisville.
The winners will be selected in August and mentoring and support programming will occur throughout the fall. The full roster of partners will be released at a later date.
Vogt Demo Day will be held in November and each winner will have the opportunity to showcase their business to the community and share the progress they are making thanks to the funding, collaboration, mentorship and support services.
Applications are being accepted from April 4 to May 31, 2016 and are open to entrepreneurs based in Louisville and surrounding counties in Southern Indiana. For all criteria and to apply, visit http://www.vogtawards.com/
About The Vogt Awards & Henry Heuser
Henry Vogt Heuser, who died in 1999, was an exemplary corporate citizen and a gifted inventor and entrepreneur. He was a native of Louisville who spent his entire career working for Henry Vogt Machine Company, including 28 years as its president. Whenever Henry had an idea about how to make something better, quicker, or easier, all he had to do was walk out to the shop floor to assess its viability and commercial potential. The endowment he created at the Community Foundation of Louisville to establish this award will allow engineers and entrepreneurs to access the same kinds of resources. The Vogt Award is intended not only to memorialize Henry’s legacy, but also to inspire more inventors to pursue their goals right here in Louisville.
About Community Foundation of Louisville
Founded in 1984, the Community Foundation of Louisville is the largest charitable foundation in Kentucky with $448 million in assets and more than 1,377 charitable funds. Each fund has its own name and charitable purpose as defined by its donors. In 2015, these funds made over 10,500 grants totaling $49 million, approximately 90% of which stayed in Kentucky to support area nonprofits. A community foundation is unique in that it works with the donors and community partners to leverage collective knowledge, creativity and resources for greater impact than anyone can working in isolation. For more information, visit www.cflouisville.org.
EnterpriseCorp is the entrepreneurial arm of Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) – the region’s leading economic development organization and the Louisville Regional Office for the Kentucky Innovation Network (KIN). GLI’s EnterpriseCorp is dedicated to building a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and culture for early stage and fast growth companies. For more information, visit EnterpriseCorp.com.
About Greater Louisville Inc.
Greater Louisville Inc. – the Metro Chamber of Commerce is where regional business leaders come together to accelerate business competitiveness, economic growth and job creation in the Greater Louisville region. The region’s largest business leadership organization, GLI leads economic and global outreach strategies focused on business attraction; nurtures the entrepreneurial eco-system and fast growth companies; and champions the development of the community’s talent base. As the voice of the business community, GLI advocates for a pro-business environment and facilitates business leadership engagement on issues that impact regional competitiveness. For more information, visit www.GreaterLouisville.com.