Individuals who have visions to improve Northeast Ohio can submit their ideas to compete in Accelerate: Citizens Make Change, a civic pitch competition to be held virtually at 8 a.m. Feb. 25, 2021.

The annual competition, presented by the Cleveland Leadership Center in partnership with Citizens Bank, provides funding and exposure to help people bring their ideas to reality.

Pitches can be for one-and-done projects or ongoing efforts. Proposed ideas cannot be affiliated with an established business or nonprofit. Pitches will be accepted in six categories:

• Authentic Cleveland experiences: Creating an immersive and one-of-a-kind experience that (re)connects residents and visitors with Cleveland’s diverse population, resilient spirit, and destination assets.

• Economic development: Stimulating the economy, growing employment, and building financial literacy.

• Education: advancing access, readiness, and success for pre-k through college students.

• Health and well-being: Promoting the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals and their communities.

• Social change: Addressing complex social challenges by promoting equity, access, and opportunity.

• Quality of life: Improving lives through art, culture, the environment, and community improvement projects.

Pitches can win a top cash prize of $5,000 and runner-up prizes of $2,000. Ideas that use technology for social good will also be eligible for a $3,500 award from the Cleveland Foundation, which is supporting a Technovation Competition at Accelerate.

Applications are accepted through Dec. 4 at cleveleads.org/Accelerate.

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