‘Innovation Fund America’ will help communities in California, Kansas, North Carolina access key resources for high-growth tech startups
Innovation Fund America (IFA), a 501(c)3 partnership between Lorain County Community College (LCCC) in Elyria, Ohio, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, has selected Long Beach (Calif.) Community College, Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan., and Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, N.C., as the first schools to pilot its program that invests in, mentors and motivates high-growth entrepreneurs.
“The IFA partners share a vision and passion for democratizing technology-based entrepreneurship,” said Thom Ruhe, Kauffman Foundation vice president of entrepreneurship and IFA board member. “Together we aim to make community colleges a front door for entrepreneurship across our country.”
Leaders of the Kauffman Foundation and LCCC will introduce their pilot IFA partners on Feb. 2 at the 2013 American Association of Community Colleges’ Workforce Development Institute in San Diego.
“Our partner schools in Long Beach, Kansas City and North Carolina already are doing standout work to support entrepreneurs in their regions, and they have clearly demonstrated the innovative spirit needed to take on such an ambitious, game-changing program,” Ruhe said. “I expect our IFA pilot will provide a replicable baseline methodology that can advance the movement already under way to position community colleges as front doors to high-growth entrepreneurship in under-resourced communities across the country.”