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Notre Dame College continues to advance Cleveland-area social entrepreneurs and develop civic-minded business students with its support of an annual Northeast Ohio community pitch competition.

College President Thomas G. Kruczek will serve as a judge in the preliminary “Educating for Tomorrow” segment of the Cleveland Leadership Center’s Accelerate 2019: Citizens Make Change civic vision contest on Wednesday, February 27, at the Global Center for Health Innovation, which is part of the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland.

This is the third year Kruczek is serving as a member of an evaluators’ panel for the Accelerate event, and the fifth year the College has helped social entrepreneur applicants hone their proposals prior to the annual contest. Competitors practice their pitches on campus in front of current Notre Dame students, faculty and staff, who provide valuable feedback.

In addition to his role in higher education administration, Kruczek is a successful business executive and entrepreneur who is inspiring student-centered, career-focused education at Notre Dame to help create a new generation of civic-minded, global citizens. He is a member of the Cleveland Leadership Center Class of 2015 and remains active in the organization.

Accelerate contestants in categories other than the education section practiced their presentations for the 2019 event at Notre Dame in January. At least two contestants who have worked on their pitches at the College in the past have been selected as finalists at previous Accelerate competitions.

The innovative learning experience develops participants in the contest and Notre Dame’s business majors, many of whom are aspiring entrepreneurs themselves. By analyzing the work of others, students better prepare their own pitch presentations. The scholars also build their professional networks through contact with regional business professionals, all while providing the service of aiding Accelerate competitors contending for startup funds.

Notre Dame Entrepreneurship Programs

In addition to offering online and on-campus degree programs in numerous areas of business, Notre Dame this year has introduced an entrepreneurship co-major, which can be earned in conjunction with another degree program at the College. Notre Dame has offered a minor in entrepreneurship for several years now.

The campus also is home to Notre Dame’s Enterprise Development Center, or EDC @ NDC, an interdisciplinary initiative that connects students with internships at Cleveland-area startups and supports eligible social enterprise entrepreneurs.

For additional information on Notre Dame degree and EDC programs, complete the College online inquiry form.

Accelerate 2019 Event

Nearly 40 Cleveland-area social entrepreneurs with more than 25 ideas across six different categories will vie for finalist positions during Accelerate 2019. The overall winner of the six finalists receives $5,000 in startup funds, while the remaining four each earn $2,000 toward implementation of their ideas.

In addition to Education for Tomorrow, other sections in the Accelerate civic pitch competition are Authentic Cleveland Experiences, which is new to the event this year; Community Change; Economic and Workforce Development; Health and Wellness; and Quality of Life.

Details of the Accelerate event are available online through the Cleveland Leadership Center website.

February 2019

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or