Early Stage Businesses Could Win $25,000 and More

Tendai Charasika


Applications Open for 20th Annual Community Foundation of Louisville’s Vogt Awards

(LOUISVILLE, KY) — Beginning on April 15, early-stage businesses can apply to win $25,000 plus lean startup education and mentorship through the 20th annual Community Foundation of Louisville’s Vogt Awards

In July, six startups will be selected to participate in a comprehensive, 10-week accelerator program that will run each Thursday during August, September and October. Startups selected will also each receive $25,000 in non-dilutive funding. The program will culminate with a Demo Day / 20th Anniversary Celebration on October 15 during which the selected entities may showcase their businesses to the community and additional potential funding sources.

“Our intent is to receive a diverse cross-section of entrepreneurs in this year’s applicants,”said 2020 Vogt Awards Program Director Lisa Bajorinas. “We welcome companies with innovative ideas disrupting a multitude of sectors, which is very much in line with Henry Heuser Sr.’s vision of the Vogt Awards.” 

Past winners have gone on to national and international accelerator programs, to secure significant funding, and to grow into successful, thriving businesses bringing new jobs and investment to our community. 

2017 Vogt Award winner Demetrius Gray, CEO of WeatherCheck, said, “It’s really the only award that you can win in Kentucky for entrepreneurship that is actually recognized by investors globally. So when you’re tracking it on Crunchbase or within PitchBook, it has such a long history, now 20 years, that folks are like, oh yeah, you won that Vogt Award. It really is a signal for what’s coming next, which is a huge deal.” 

More information and a link to the  2020 Vogt Awards application can be found at www.vogtawards.com from April 15 to May 31, 2020. 


The Community Foundation of Louisville’s Vogt Awards program is the longest-standing program of its kind. The program was made possible by an endowment left by Henry Vogt Heuser Sr. in 1999. The program uniquely allows founders to retain full ownership of their business, leverage education, receive mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs, and obtain access to an extensive network of startup support.

Heuser’s endowment created the Vogt Invention & Innovation Fund, which is hosted and manager by The Community Foundation of Louisville.The mission of the fund is to help entrepreneurs, inventors, and tinkerers to commercialize their startup ideas, products, and projects so they can develop into viable and successful businesses. The Vogt Awards program and the fund’s other initiatives support economic growth, diversification, stability, and employment for the greater Louisville region including Southern Indiana. 


The Community Foundation of Louisville is a force for good. As a leader in philanthropy, we connect donors, nonprofits, and civic partners to create lasting impact in the community so people and place thrive. Founded in 1984, the Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in Kentucky with more than $600 million in assets and more than 1,800 charitable funds. Each fund has its own name and charitable purpose as defined by its donors. In 2019, these funds made over 10,000 grants totaling $64 million, approximately 79% of which stayed in Kentucky and Southern Indiana to support area nonprofits. To learn how you can be a part of this force for good, visit www.cflouisville.org.