Grant Recipients

16 Tech Community Investment Fund Grantees

16 Tech awarded $289,000 for Cycle 5 of the Community Investment Fund to 7 resident-endorsed projects that directly benefit the vitality of nearby neighborhoods. See the full list below.

The 16 Tech Community Investment Fund was established in 2019 to support resident-endorsed projects that are vital to the growth and vitality of neighborhoods near the 16 Tech Innovation District. 16 Tech Community Corporation awarded $1 million in grants in its inaugural year.


Innovation Pool Grant Awardees

This funding pool supports projects that are designed, led and implemented by grassroots and neighborhood-based organizations with funding up to $25,000.

Impact Pool Grant Awardees

The Impact Pool funds projects up to $100,000 that have a significant impact on neighborhoods and residents.


Cycle 5: $289,000

Innovation Pool
Grant Awardees

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.

GoScholars 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 actives guided by skilled mentors, designed to promote positive behavior and mindset through engaging programming, inspiring role models and nurturing environments.

Many individuals compare chess to the principles of life. Chess trains you to think strategically with every move. Indy’s Inner-city Chess Club not only teaches valuable playing tactics, but it fosters qualities of good citizenship, encouraging players to exercise thoughtful decision-making in both the game and in real life.

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.

Impact Pool
Grant Awardees

The Naptown African American Theatre Collective is committed to providing equal opportunities for success. Through the NAATC’s Education 4 All program, artists in Indianapolis will have access to study all aspects of theater, completely free of charge. This accessibility can contribute to diversifying employment within the theater arts industry.

Just Community Inc. supports expecting mothers though its empowering program, The Near West Doula Collective. This initiative grants all participants access to executive doula mentorship, with the hope of creating career opportunities for members to become certified doulas to help improve maternity experiences for all women.

Empower Hub offers a comprehensive three-year program in collaboration with Girls Inc. affiliates, to deliver intentional focus-based programming to young aspiring girls. Participants will identify educational pathways to success, cultivate healthy self-care habits, and develop leadership and life skills through community awareness and involvement.

Cycle 4: $325,350

Innovation Pool
Grant Awardees

Re-Generation Indy and its partners will develop a creative writing and illustration program for 44 middle school and high school students who live in the Near Northwest. The students will create a 22-page graphic novel that represents what their community means to them. Students will design multiple characters, develop plots, engage with community members, participate in photography workshops, and dive into the process of printing and bindery.


The Chess in the Park Initiative will provide a platform for community residents to connect with resources, tools, techniques, and relationships that support personal and community wellness. Youth 2 Greatness’s goal is to provide engaging and educational experiences that will enhance individual, household and community wellbeing.


At Code Black Indy, their programming for many, is the first and only exposure to digital literacy and skills training. Without this resource, many high-paying jobs are out of reach and result in the continued cycle of generational poverty. Code Black Indy’s strategy is to introduce young adults and working age adults to foundational computer science skills and opportunities to earn industry-recognized credentials that open technology job and entrepreneurial pathways.


Community Assets believes one of the problems the Near Northwest area faces is that the neighborhood has become a “tech desert”. This causes a lack of resources and opportunities for young adults (14-24), lower school graduation rates and unlikely entry into technology related careers. Community Assets will advance community, school, and business partnerships to build a collaborative, after-school learning space where youth can learn at their own pace in an entrepreneurial environment, benefitting from individualized academic supports, enrichment, and interventions.


Growing Places Indy aims to increase food access for area residents through usage of their one-of-a-kind SNAP Triple-Match program and the Fresh Bucks program at the Indy Winter Farmers Market – resources that can stretch family dollars and also build healthy habits. The Indy Winter Farmers Market also establishes a venue where local farmers and vendors can extend their selling season and profits through the winter and where people can gather to build a sense of shared community.


Impact Pool
Grant Awardees

Vanguard Collegiate scholars will participate in “STEAM Fridays”, where students in grades 5-8 will take coding, robotics, fine arts, foreign language and mass media classes during the first semester of the academic year 2023-2024. During the second semester, students will take engineering and drone technology classes. Vanguard’s investments are intended to expand STEAM education for young people and their families, in order to improve students’ academic achievement and improve post-secondary educational access.


Hawthorne Social Service Association will provide income-based scholarships to 40 low-income families to reduce barriers and promote equitable access to those participating in the early childhood program. Scholarships will be used to support families that are transitioning employment, returning to work, or are in the process of accessing vouchers. Scholarships allow families to immediately access their early childhood programming without creating undue financial hardship or forcing parents to make the difficult decision of forgoing childcare.


Herron-Riverside High School will establish a new high-quality, low-cost educational summer camp option for middle school students on the Near Northwest side of Indianapolis. With this support, “Design Week” will expand Herron-Riverside High School’s ability to serve families year-round by offering a high-quality STEAM enrichment summer program for 6th-8th graders, with a goal of increasing representation by individuals of color in high-demand, high-earning professional areas of graphic and engineering design.


The synergistic relationship between subsidiary organizations, Flanner Farms and Cleo’s Bodega and Cafe offers the Near Northwest community access to healthy food and household needs in an area which has been neglected and in desperate need of fresh food and produce. Their mobile bodegas greatly widen their reach and break barriers that continue to inflict harm on under-resourced communities. Flanner House’s program structure demonstrates successful planning in CSA/urban agriculture by leveraging as a mobile market. In addition, they will offer customer-based training in food trauma, nutrition awareness, cooking classes for healthy food, value added food, and direct delivery.


The Nine 2 Six program provides a learning track that facilitates a comprehensive training regimen that will launch participants into a career in drone technology. Nine 2 Six graduates will be able to provide drone services in aerial photogrammetry, which deals with mapping and producing Orthmosaics for the agricultural industry, aerial inspections on cell phone towers, solar panel and wind turbine farms, powerline towers and their sub stations, along with providing construction sites with a plethora of data to help manage with greater safety awareness and cost savings.


Maximum Impact will empower Near West and Near Northwest residents to manage their health and wellness, and further establish Xcellence Fitness Academy as a trusted community partner. The program is designed to reduce the burden of the most vulnerable neighborhoods statistically harmed by Type 2 Diabetes by providing nutrition and physical activity education, exercise classes, and health and wellness evaluations directly to these communities.


Cycle 3: $300,000

Innovation Pool
Grant Awardees

Spolks, a a bike mechanic workforce training program.

SOURCE Entrepreneurship Center, Inc. working in concert with Near West local business owners, and others to lead efforts to help revitalize pockets of the West 16th Street business corridor, bounded to the west by Tibbs and to the east by Belmont.

SOURCE and partners will work with new and existing business owners to help ensure business recovery efforts and encourage that sustainable businesses remain or locate in the target area properties.

Identity Complex LLC will produce a documentary film about Haughville. The documentary will feature interviews with longstanding residents, business owners, and organizations. The film will highlight the history of small business enterprise, religious faith, education, and entertainment over the last 50 plus years with respect to racial equity and topics of segregation, redlining, and gentrification.

Indy Shakes presents a groundbreaking Hip Hop Shakespeare production led by artists of color and produced in Summer 2022 at the Taggart Memorial Amphitheatre in Riverside Park. Indy Shakes will create and implement the process: melding Shakespeare’s words to Hip Hop beats while celebrating the predominantly African American Near Northwest (NNW) neighborhood culture.

Impact Pool
Grant Awardees

Indy Convergence engages with the Near West’s cultural, artistic, and community-centered programs that lift resident-led ideas. This grant will allow Indy Convergence to grow internal staff capacity for program management.

Vision Academy @ Riverside plans to expand its out-of-school programming from one to four days a week during the school year and add a six week summer program to include unique STEM classes like “Code Black Coding and Creators Camp: Experimental STEAM Learning” for 3rd through 8th grade students. The goal is to introduce new concepts to students and empower them with the skills to succeed and adapt to this increasingly complex, changing, technological world.

Funding will support the Spring Rebuild Day 2022 with housing repairs for vulnerable populations. BUILD is working closely with Flanner House and the Near Northwest Neighborhood to identify low income senior and disabled homeowners who need assistance to make their home safe so they will be able to age in place.

The Riverside Promenade was designed to include seven interactive and interpretive nodes along its 1.44-mile-long corridor. The funding will complete interactive Promenade nodes and public art plan for Riverside Promenade.

Flanner House and its partners seek to continue a revolving Lease Purchase/Homeownership program that can provide home ownership opportunities for the foreseeable future.

BUILD (Believers United In Local Development) seeks to create meaningful workforce development for young adults 16-24 who are not in school, enlisted or employed in the Haughville and West side community through paid training work experiences.

Support the Groundwork Indy Green Team & GroundCorp Programs which engage youth to work on community-based projects located primarily in the Near Northwest (NNW). Groundwork Indy is based in the NNW in the Riverside neighborhood. Project work involves beautification and built environment improvements and incorporates life skills and job preparedness training and certifications. Funds will be applied to NNW projects and to wages of youth that reside in the NNW.

Cycle 2: $500,300

Innovation Pool
Grant Awardees

Project creating a new community gallery and performance venue in Purpose Park in the Hawthorne Neighborhood. The La Sardina Gallery will provide arts enrichment activities that will bring interest to the area and lead to connections between community members and local businesses.

A project to install accessible internet, increase community involvement and provide virtual workforce training with neighbors as a digital community hub to aid in closing the digital divide in the community. The project will provide immersive experiences- intergenerational opportunities for connection.

The project supports the creation of “mobile, non-invasive arts programming” in unique riverside locations along White River. Cleared by the Near West Livability task force and the ROW White River committee, there are several beautiful spaces for anyone to enjoy our shows, hiking, fishing, and picnicking. The project also includes a small stage crew training program that will provide paid training for four Near West residents.

The NLDM Youth Basic Training Project will offer construction skills training that will play a vital role in educating youth to be employable in semi-skilled labor for construction trades i.e. Carpentry, Drywall, Painting, Electrical, Plumbing, and Maintenance. The training center offers effective training and support services for youth that will serve as a catalyst for viable employment and additional training, education and career-advancement opportunities.

SOURCE Entrepreneurship Center, working in concert with WCDC, LISC, the Hispanic Business Council, the Business Opportunity Advisor Task Force (BOAT) and other local organizations and individuals, will lead efforts to revitalize the West Washington Street Business Corridor. This project will identify and encourage commercial building owners and landlords to improve properties and encourage locally owned business tenants to locate/relocate in the Near West, along the West Washington Street corridor.

Impact Pool
Grant Awardees

Aspire Higher Foundation will rehabilitate the first floor of the historic Aspire Firehouse and create a hub for the community, a place of connection and education. With this community space, we will develop and attract educational programs to the near North Neighborhood of Indianapolis. Aspire House will provide co-working spaces, workforce training, shared arts and a social service hub to our neighborhood.

The Melon Kitchen Ghost Kitchen and Food Entrepreneurship Accelerator is launching to help Near Northwest, Near West and Indiana Avenue/Ransom Place/Flanner House residents overcome poverty and create pathways to entrepreneurship capacity building, economic mobility, and enhanced opportunity for Black and Brown Hoosiers. The innovative model will help emerging food entrepreneurs build high-scale, high-impact businesses that lead to job creation and long-lasting economic self-sustainability and bounce back from the effect COVID-19 has had on the restaurant industry.

This project is one part of an organized effort to disrupt the current state of Haughville and other underserved west side communities while bringing about sustainable and equitable revitalization. The construction workforce and education training project is the second phase of an existing program funded by 16 Tech focused on creating meaningful workforce development opportunities for young adults 16-24. This new phase provides impact to our community through the training of (35) total trainees. As part of this expanded training BUILD will offer both construction and CDL training.

CLD has a new initiative to develop a Satellite and In-School Program which will expand its reach and capacity to serve young people within the Near West neighborhood at Christamore House and Matchbook Learning Wendell Phillips. Services include programs that encourage self-esteem in minority youth, equip youth with tools and support needed to graduate from high school, prepare students for postsecondary education and scholarship application processes, help students identify their strengths and weaknesses as well as their future career goals, and connect students with mentors in their chosen career fields. CLD programming also includes workshops to assist supportive adults prepare for their students’ academic and career journey.

Hawthorne will transform our existing early education and out of school programming into a comprehensive and sustainable science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Initiative. Hawthorne will partner with The STEM Connection to integrate high-quality STEM activities into existing programming to provide seamless and sequential STEM focused learning opportunities to pre-kindergarten youth through 8th grade.

This project supports a community planning initiative and helps to build the capacity of the Reclaim Indiana Avenue Coalition (RIA), a group of residents, stakeholders, advocates and civic leaders who are passionate about preserving the area’s rich cultural heritage and history.

The Purdue Extension Youth Maker (PEYM) program will provide free, hands-on workforce and educational programming through engaging maker curricula at the Machyne makerspace. This program will serve youth in the 16 Tech Impact Area and will focus on the core disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). The PEYM program has established partnerships with the following organizations that serve youth: MatchBook Learning-Wendell Phillips #63 (140 Teens), Groundwork Indy (30 teens), and Community Assets Inc. (20-30 Teens).

Kids Building Bikes was designed as an opportunity to allow students to work with their hands learning mechanical aptitude skills within a program that also teaches other desired employability skills such as problem solving, oral communication, perseverance, attention to detail with the goal of impressing up on our students a career path mindset. STEM lessons are introduced throughout the 16-hour curriculum that is provided free of charge to the Near Northwest students in a new education and community space with a 12-bench learning space.

The Purdue Extension Youth Maker (PEYM) program will provide free, hands-on workforce and educational programming through engaging maker curricula at the Machyne makerspace. This program will serve youth in the 16 Tech Impact Area and will focus on the core disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). The PEYM program has established partnerships with the following organizations that serve youth: MatchBook Learning-Wendell Phillips #63 (140 Teens), Groundwork Indy (30 teens), and Community Assets Inc. (20-30 Teens).

Cycle 1: $500,000

Innovation Pool
Grant Awardees

Indy Convergence will make improvements and repairs to its building façade and facility on West Michigan and King Avenue. The building, which is over a century old, requires street lighting for safety, air conditioning enhancements and new signage leading to the beautification of the neighborhood and sustainability of the arts organization.

Indy Convergence empowers and connects artists from all backgrounds to their communities, other artists and new cultures in an inclusive, collaborative environment. Its programs, from professional development initiatives to community engagement, put “Artists at Work” to their fullest potential.

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library will design and fabricate a new outdoor exhibition to educate the public about Kurt Vonnegut’s relationship with jazz music and the history of jazz along Indiana Avenue.

In honor of his wit and wisdom, the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library champions the literary, artistic, and cultural contributions of the late writer, artist, teacher, and Indianapolis native Kurt Vonnegut.

The Lillian Davis Foundation will enhance its Enrichment Summer Camp by adding a 4-week STEAM-focused experience for 25 youth between the ages of 7-11. The foundation also will use grant funds to support the annual Riverside Parade and Community Celebration.The Lillian Davis Foundation, Inc. is continuing the legacy of Mrs. Lillian Davis who promoted and advocated for initiatives involving family, education, community and service by supporting youth education and activities in family and community service initiatives.

The Near Northwest Governance Committee and its partners will engage residents in community-building activities and beautify the Near Northwest neighborhood. The proposed activities include the creation and installation of banners along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Fiesta Fridays at Cleo’s Bodega to expand outreach to the Hispanic community, and support for a monthly newsletter to every household in the Near Northwest area.

The Near Northwest Governance Committee is a collaborative group that leads the work of the Near Northwest Quality of Life structure. The committee, comprised of residents and partnering organizational representatives, helps set and execute the neighborhood vision and associated plans.

ProAct Indy will launch a Proactive Community around Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis, creating an integrated framework for community engagement that connects the middle school students, corporations, and nonprofits to cross social, racial and economic boundaries.

Since 2010, ProAct Indy has helped urban youth build solid foundations based on relationships and service to help alleviate disparities in poverty and education. Leveraging social capital, they specialize in intentionally bringing together organizations in the city – helping groups cross social, racial, and economic boundaries through meaningful service projects and social equity training.

Rebuilding Together will provide additional rehabilitation during the Spring Build, a partnership with Flanner House and the Central Indiana Union Construction Industry to repair homes at no cost to homeowners.

Rebuilding Together preserves and revitalizes houses and communities, assuring that people in need, people with disabilities, and seniors may continue to live in warmth, safety, and independence.

The Stringtown Neighborhood Association will improve resident engagement in its neighborhood by increasing the connectivity, economic stability, safety and health of residents as well as beautifying the neighborhood.

The Stringtown Neighborhood Association represents the residents of the Stringtown area and works toward having a better education, increased employment opportunities and a safer and more beautiful neighborhood.

Impact Pool
Grant Awardees

:BUILD will expand its construction jobs training program to serve up to 15 young adults in Haughville and the west side community.

With a team of dedicated clergy, sponsors and volunteers, BUILD trains youth ages 16-24 in various building trades. The program targets westside youth to participate in a 14-week education and construction training program leading to college credits, a paid internship and a pathway to employment.

Christamore House will launch the Technology Enhancement At Christamore House Project (T.E.A.C.H.) program to connect and engage neighborhood residents across two generations in interactive STEM programming, education and workforce development opportunities.

The Christamore House provides child and youth educational services, senior programming and life skills training to empower residents of the Near West and Haughville communities to be self-sufficient and contributing members to a safe and healthy community.

Christel House DORS will provide day and evening courses to adults who reside in neighborhoods surrounding 16 Tech leading to a high school diploma and industry certifications to increase job readiness.

Christel House Schools is a network of public charter schools educating children and adults throughout the Indianapolis area, teaching both academics and the social skills necessary for students to thrive.

Elevate Indianapolis will expand the Pathways to Purpose college and career readiness program at George Washington High School to prepare 60 new students for life after high school.

Elevate Indianapolis is an initiative privately funded primarily by the Central Indiana business community to positively change the lives of urban kids, reduce generational poverty, enhance the city’s workforce, and prepare the next generation of leaders.

The Flanner House will provide entrepreneurial support and development services for retail-based entrepreneurs in the King Commons neighborhood, including female and male business founders of color, returning citizens and seniors.

The Flanner House supports, advocates for and empowers individuals, children and families by applying educational, social and economic resources that move residents of the Northwest side of Indianapolis toward self-sufficiency.

Marian University will launch a new initiative with Riverside High School (RHS) to promote post-secondary access and success for underserved youth. The program will allow students to earn dual credits, engage with employer partners and career-focused experiences and earn preferential admission to Saint Joseph’s College of Marian University.

Marian University provides educational opportunities to children, teens, and adults throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana. St. Joseph’s College of Marian University delivers an innovative and mission-driven two-year college education.

The Near Northwest Governance Committee, Near Northwest Housing Committee and its team of collaborators will partner with the Flanner House to create a Family Lease Program, a revolving lease/purchase program that provides home ownership opportunities to eligible families in the Near Northwest neighborhoods. The program gives residents the ability to establish a legal interest in property for future homeownership. The program also rehabilitates housing units in the Near Northwest and makes them available to program participants for future homeownership.

The Near Northwest Governance Committee is a collaborative group that leads the work of the Near Northwest Quality of Life structure. The committee, comprised of residents and partnering organizational representatives, helps set and execute the neighborhood vision and associated plans.

Stemnasium Learning Labs will provide scholarships for Riverside students to attend the Stemnasium Learning Labs Saturday Academy academic enrichment program. The 40-week program is held on Saturdays at Global Prep at Riverside 44 and is dedicated to providing STEM education to children from preschool to high school.

Stemnasium introduces children to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, and partners with elementary schools to introduce children living in low-income communities to careers they might have not thought of otherwise.