MFF Community Trailblazer Award

Michigan Founders Fund is a network of trailblazers, disruptors, and problem-solvers in Michigan’s tech ecosystem who believe in the power of collective action. We are united by a common vision for Michigan to become the most successful and equitable state in the country – not only for startups, but for everyone who lives here. We also know we’re not experts in how to achieve this. We’re great at building technology but we’re still learning how to best collaborate with and support our neighbors to make Michigan the best place it can be.

That’s why we’re launching the MFF Community Trailblazer Award, to support the trailblazers, disruptors, and problem-solvers who are leading community-based efforts to advance our state.

Meet the 2022 Awardees: Advancing Racial Justice

MFF’s mission is to grow the presence of successful high-growth ventures and advance civic leadership in Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our network of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have taken the Michigan Pledge, committing 1 percent of equity, profit, or return on investment into a fund for state-based grantmaking. We are a group of founders and investors who have committed to fellowship, cultural intention, and funding solutions that uplift Michigan communities. 

The Community Trailblazer Award is a pilot that will help us learn, build relationships, and improve in future years. Our grantmaking fund will slowly grow as Michigan startups succeed so this pilot gives us the opportunity to learn how to be better civic leaders and philanthropists, but, like all trailblazers, we want to get moving now. Over the next three years, our goals are to:

  • Financially contribute to the efforts of trailblazing leaders and initiatives;
  • Learn more about community and social issues in our state;
  • Inspire civic leadership across the tech ecosystem;
  • Learn best practices and engage the MFF network to improve and scale our longer-term grantmaking and community impact strategy.

MFF Community Council

In creating this program, we built an advisory team of leaders who have expertise in racial justice and grantmaking, and have relationships with racial justice organizations across Michigan. These leaders are working with the MFF team to shape the program, launch the application process, support outreach efforts, and evaluate applications. The Community Council is committed to creating an equitable process for all applicants and we plan to create a longer-term Community Council once our future issue areas have been finalized. This year we are honored to collaborate with the following leaders on this project:

Erika Block

MFF Member & Principal, Sticky Lab

Mark Greer II

Co-executive Director, Transforming Power Fund

Jamila Martin

Michigan State Advisor, Movement Voter Project

Alisha Opperman

Chief Program Officer, Michigan Community Resources

Thank You To Our Sponsor