I am thrilled to announce that 540WMain Learning Academy has received its first ever grant funded by the local organization RocGrowth!
Led by Richard Glaser and a devoted volunteer team of community business leaders RocGrowth organizes and supports the region’s diverse community of innovators. They are interested in supporting and engaging entrepreneurs growing cool companies, upon a foundation built by the Creative Class. Techies. Foodies. Musicians. Social entrepreneurs. Gamers. Researchers. Artists. And more.
The platform is “open architecture,” forming partnerships with all similarly minded groups and organizations. RocGrowth hosts monthly events that foster creative collisions, generate useful content shared on their website, and provides platform for people seeking community support.
Diversity is at the core of RocGrowths’ function and I had the pleasure to see this in action about a month ago when I attended one of their monthly networking events called ” RocGrowth Coffee“. Ironically enough I was invited to this event by a chance encounter with Richard Glasser weeks prior at the City’s “Roc the Riverway” presentation. I firmly believe that good energy attracts good energy and organic collaboration when it is meant to be will always find a way to happen. This meeting led me to that networking event and more conversation with Richard. I then attended a RocGrowth candid event two weeks ago and Richard expressed interest in having me apply for the microgrant and the rest as they say is history.
I am so happy I made the effort to attend RocGrowth Coffee on that dreary Friday morning in early April. Anyone who knows me understands that rain and early mornings do not mix well with the chronic illness of fibromyalgia that I live with. This day it took more effort than usual to drag myself out of bed but deep inside I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that the effort would be worth it. Not only did I make some clearly amazing connections on that day but I was able to make a since life changing decision that I shared with you in a previous blog post.
It has been absolutely amazing getting to know Richard and the RocGrowth team and I look forward to continued work with the organization and community in the future.
This microgrant from Roc Growth comes at a pivotal growth period of change for 540WMain. As we approach our two year anniversary the need for more human capital and manpower has become essential for our mission to move forward. This $500 microgrant will be used primarily to cover wages for our part-time staff and interns. As we grow and attract larger funders and donations we will continue to ensure that all educators and staff persons are paid for their time, expertise and services.
RocGrowth’s microgrant is one more milestone in our grassroots approach to growth and sustainability and truly embodies our tagline of #togetherwegrow
A microgrant is a small sum of money distributed to a individual, organization, or grassroots group that is engaged in charitable activities. Microgrants are non-repayable.A microgrant serves as an opportunity for communities facing poverty to receive funding for impact-oriented projects, such as schools, health centers, farms and more.
Richard started as an investment banker in Merrill Lynch’s mergers and acquisitions department in the mid-’80s. He spent most of his career in venture capital as a partner in several New York City-based funds affiliated with Lepercq, de Neuflize, Hudson Ventures and Village Ventures. He now works directly with entrepreneurs and businesses owners as a financial advisor with a leading securities firm. He was an adjunct professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he taught entrepreneurship. He co-founded and was president of Digital Rochester and was an original board member of the Greater Rochester Enterprise. He started RochesterGrowth, a community of regional entrepreneurs, and RochesterCFO, a community of regional financial executives. He also served as a board member of the Venture Investors Association of New York, Upstate Venture Association of New York and as annual giving chair of Haverford College.