The Community Foundation's Vogt Invention and Innovation Fund has supported the Vogt Awards for more than 12 years. In that time more than $2 million has been distributed to 50 entrepreneurs in the Louisville area.
Because Mr. Heuser entrusted the Foundation with his charitable legacy, we felt it was important to step back and evaluate our administration of the fund. So we "hit the pause button" in the fall of 2012 and spent several months evaluating the needs of the entrepreneurial community as well as the original intent of Mr. Heuser's gift. We are now launching "Vogt 2.0" as a means of supporting new businesses in Louisville by local inventors and business visionaries.
The “new” Vogt Awards program will identify four to five early-stage companies in the area of Manufacturing and Hardware Innovations. That is, the company produces a tangible product, invention or innovation involving manufacturing (including hardware, food/beverage clothing, etc.)
Each finalist will be provided a cash award plus:
• 10-week Lean Start-up Course (Curriculum to test their vision and adapt to create a more successful business launch)
• Prototype Development Resources (Partnership with U of L Engineering School Facilities)
• Strategic Introductions (large companies, possible customers, distribution channels, investors, production level manufacturers)
• Presentation to regional investors (Demo Day)
An additional award of up to $100,000 will be awarded at the end of the program.