16 Tech Awards $289K in Community Investment Fund Grants

INDIANAPOLIS – February 8, 202416 Tech Community Corporation, the non-profit organization leading the physical and programmatic development of the 16 Tech Innovation District, has announced $289,000 in grant awards to seven projects that directly benefit the vitality of nearby neighborhoods.

Launched in 2019, the 16 Tech Community Investment Fund ensures that the growth of the 16 Tech Innovation District creates opportunity for the adjacent communities by contributing $0.20 per square foot of every lease in the 50-acre innovation district to neighborhood-based projects. Since its inception, the fund has awarded $1.8 million in grants to 58 diverse projects that address community needs, promote equitable opportunities, and enhance the quality of life for the District’s closest neighbors.

The 16 Tech Community Investment Fund is guided by an advisory committee, consisting of 16 Tech neighbors and neighborhood organizations, that ensure the fund, and its grants, align with priorities identified by residents in the Near West, Near Northwest, Historic Flanner House Homes and Ransom Place neighborhoods with a focus on workforce training, business support, education, neighborhood capacity building and infrastructure and beautification.

“The 16 Tech Community Investment Fund ensures positive impact for our neighbors,” shared Sibeko Jywanza, 16 Tech Director of Community Access & Engagement. “Each project is endorsed and approved by neighbors to make sure our funding is aligned with what matters most to the Near West, Near Northwest and surrounding neighborhoods.”

Grants are awarded from two funding pools. The innovation pool funds requests up to $25,000 from neighborhood organizations with annual operating budgets of less than $1 million. The impact pool fund requests up to $100,000.

The slate of 16 Tech Community Investment Fund grantees includes:

Northwest Landing Neighborhood Association ($19,500)

The Northwest Landing Neighborhood Association is focused on expanding its reach and sharing information that directly impacts the growth and continuity of residents of the Near Northwest Area. The organization plans to enhance its partnership with IMPD through community meetings and events.

Inner City Chess ($20,000)

Indy’s Inner-City Chess Club teaches the game of chess while emphasizing life skills that will enable young people to be great citizens who challenge themselves to analyze and think before making decisions.

Go Scholars, Inc. ($25,000)

Go Scholars, Inc. STEAMUp Workshops will provide diverse educational opportunities for the young students. Through unique learning opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), participants will have access to a range of activities guided by skilled mentors, designed to promote positive behavior and mindset through engaging programming, inspiring role models and nurturing environments. 

New Life Development Ministries ($25,000)

New Life Development Ministries aims to empower citizens through training and employment of those experiencing reentry. Through home rehabilitation, participants will develop specialized skills and play a crucial role in contributing to economic sustainability.

Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis ($50,000)

EmpowerHub is a high-impact comprehensive three-year program designed to provide girls with continuous engagement.  Participants will identify educational pathways to success, cultivate healthy selfcare habits and develop leadership and life skills through community awareness and involvement.

Just Community Inc. ($50,000)

The Near West Doula Collective aims to introduce local women from the Near West to the possibility of becoming certified doulas. The program seeks to address critical maternal health issues by providing essential prenatal and maternal support to expecting mothers, and also combat other complex social issues through meaningful career opportunities.

Naptown African American Theater Collective ($99,600)

In order to diversify theatre arts employment, NAATC’s Education 4 All Program will give Indianapolis artists access to opportunities to study wig design, set design, sound design, technical directing, acting, theatre directing and more free of cost.

Cycle 6 of the 16 Tech Community Investment Fund will open in Summer of 2024. More information can be found at 16tech.com.

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About 16 Tech

Opened in 2020, the 16 Tech Innovation District is a growing destination for innovation and entrepreneurship and a driver of the tech enablement of the life-sciences and advanced manufacturing industries key to Indiana’s economy. Connected to diverse neighborhoods in downtown Indianapolis and intentionally resourced with facilities and programs to foster innovation, 16 Tech is home to three buildings with a variety of office, wet and dry lab spaces and makerspaces and 200+ innovation related entities that employ more than 800 people. At full build-out, 16 Tech anticipates more 2 million square feet of innovation related space that support 3,000 jobs. The nonprofit 16 Tech Community Corporation oversees the programmatic and physical development of the district and ensures benefits of economic growth, new investment and job creation extend to nearby neighborhoods as well as the city, the region, and the state.  More information can be found at