Neighborhoods Receive $500,000 in Grants in First Round of 16 Tech Community Investment Fund Awards
“Philanthropy is an essential piece of the American way of life. The 16 Tech Community Investment Fund is providing innovation in the field by engaging residents in the decision-making process and making place-based investments as well as being the first development of our kind to employ this means of building community with neighbors.”

- Starla Hart, 16 Tech Director of Community Initiatives

16 Tech Community Corporation awarded $500,000 in grants this week to 15 projects and resident-led initiatives that support the neighborhoods closest to the 16 Tech Innovation District. The grants are the first awards of the 16 Tech Community Investment Fund, which was launched in 2019 to ensure access, opportunity and revitalization of the Near West, Near Northwest and surrounding neighborhoods.

The grant awards are the culmination of more than a year-long collaborative process to develop fund priorities and guidelines with the 16 Tech Investment Fund Advisory Committee, neighborhood associations and the City of Indianapolis. Grants will support new neighborhood-based projects and expand existing programs, helping residents start and grow small businesses, preserve and celebrate neighborhood culture and history and deliver skills training for tomorrow's workforce.

Grants are awarded for grass-roots, neighborhood-based organizations, as well as projects that have an impact on the neighborhoods that surround 16 Tech, and are endorsed by neighborhood residents as having meaningful impacts on their communities. A second round of grants, totaling another $500,000, will be awarded later in 2020 for a total of $1 million in grants this inaugural year.

The grants listed below were among the more than 60 grant applications submitted in late 2019 and early 2020 for consideration.
Innovation Pool Grant Awardees
The Innovation Pool funds projects that are designed, led and implemented by grassroots and neighborhood-based organizations with funding up to $25,000.

Indy Convergence ($20,000): Façade and street scape improvement
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library ($15,000): Outdoor jazz exhibition
Lillian Davis Foundation ($8,500): STEM enrichment and resident engagement
Near Northwest Governance Committee ($13,500): Resident engagement and outreach
ProAct Indy ($25,000): Service-learning program with Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis
Rebuilding Together ($13,000): Additional support for home repair in the Riverside neighborhood
Stringtown Neighborhood Association ($5,000): Resident engagement
Impact Pool Grant Awardees
The Impact Pool funds projects up to $100,000 that have a significant impact on neighborhoods and residents.

Believers United in Local Development ($42,000): Construction training and apprenticeship program
Christamore House ($70,000) : STEM education and workforce program
Christel House ($33,000): Industry certifications
Elevate Indianapolis ($37,000): College and career readiness program
Flanner House ($57,000): Retail entrepreneurship training program and pop-up market space
Marian University ($72,500): Dual-enrollment pilot program
Near Northwest Governance Committee ($45,000): Homeownership lease-to-own program
Stemnasium Learning Labs ($43,500): STEM education program

Read more about the organizations that received grants and the programs the grants will support on our website.
16 Tech Participates in Indy Design Week: Join Us Friday
Alex Bandar, director of the 16 Tech Makerspace, presented "How the Maker Culture Can Empower Designers, Entrepreneurs, Techies, Creatives, and More" as the first of two presentations during Indy Design Week. You can catch his second presentation "Innovation Neighborhoods - How to Create a Planet of 10 Billion Innovators" tomorrow, Friday, May 8, at 12:50 p.m.

You can still get tickets to participate in Friday's event. Indy Design Week also will make the presentations available for viewing on its social media channels. Check out their website for more information.
Introducing Our Virtual "Meet a Maker" Series
The 16 Tech Makerspace is proud to announce its new "Meet a Maker" series, which will feature local makers in Indy and highlight events, programs and communities important to the maker community. The interactive, online series features casual conversations with influential makers and are held live on the 16 Tech Makerspace Facebook page.

Upcoming events include:
Monday, May 11
5 p.m.

Gary Schwebach, professor of practice and director, BioHealth Informatics Research Center at IUPUI.

We will discuss his background in law, marketing, and most recently in a new startup diagnostic company that is being driven by COVID-19 .
Monday, May 18
5 p.m.

Moriah Miller, intern coordinator at the Harrison Arts Center.

We'll discuss her work at the Harrison Center, motivation around creative placemaking, how the places we live influence our culture, and her recently completed artist residency in Delhi, India.
To view previous events with Indy makers, visit the 16 Tech Makerspace YouTube channel:

  • Poppe Guthrie, senior interaction designer @ SEP, executive director of Indy Design Week and co-owner Indy Coffee Box
  • Professor Chris Rogers, head of the Center for Student Innovation within IUPUI's Institute for Engaged Learning
16 Tech Community Corporation |