vogt awardsApplications are now open for the 2016 Vogt Awards. The Vogt Awards provide non-dilutive funding, dedicated mentorship, workshops and support to startups in the Metro Louisville area.

This year, criteria for acceptance into the program has changed. In order to be eligible in previous years, the startup had to manufacture a physical product; this year, the program will accept companies with the potential to create a scalable business based on innovative, technology-based products.

Another big change is the elimination of a competitive Demo Day.

“This year, Vogt Demo Day will not have a competition for a final prize,” said Amelia Gandara, director of commercialization and engagement for EnterpriseCorp, the entrepreneurial arm of Greater Louisville Inc. “Instead, to support more companies and maximize the benefits of working together, this year we are able to offer $25,000 awards for up to six companies, along with a more robust portfolio of services, mentorship and training that will be of value to early stage companies.”

Henry Vogt Heuser, who died in 1999, created the endowment at the Community Foundation of Louisville to establish this award. Heuser was a noted inventor and entrepreneur who established this program to help Louisville foster its emerging inventors, engineers and entrepreneurs.

“We heard 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 Gandara.

“I can’t help but wonder how pleased Mr. Heuser would be to see the innovation his award has helped to catalyze since its inception in 2000,” added Susan Barry, president & CEO of Community Foundation of Louisville. “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.”

The winners will be selected in August, and mentoring and support programming will occur throughout the fall. Demo Day will be in November.

Applications are being accepted now through May 31 and are open to entrepreneurs based in Louisville and surrounding counties in Southern Indiana. For all criteria and to apply, click here.

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