News/Press



Local Entrepreneurs Launch $1,000 Grants to Spur Innovation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 25, 2013

Media Contact: Jessica Walden, (478) 301-2014 or [email protected]

Local Entrepreneurs Launch $1,000 Grants to Spur Innovation

MACON – Motivated by a strong desire to spur innovation and entrepreneurship in the Central Georgia region, a group of local entrepreneurs and business leaders in Bibb County have established the 478 Bibb Fund as a micro-grant organization to fund great
ideas with $1,000 at a time.

Macon entrepreneur Stewart Vernon launched the 478 Bibb Fund with his peers. 

"Sometimes all a start-up business needs is a small push and a little guidance from those who have been there before. Twelve years ago, I had the fortune of a similar experience when I started my business, and it made all the difference in the world,” said Vernon, founder and CEO of America’s Swimming Pool (ASP) Company, the nation’s largest swimming pool cleaning, repair and renovation franchise system.“Now, I want to provide the same assistance in return. I reached out to other local businessman and entrepreneurs in Macon to assist me in this venture and received immediate, enthusiastic responses from every one of them. We all want to see this take off in Central Georgia"

The 478 Bibb Fund is open to all individuals and organizations in the Central Georgia region. There are no other prerequisites to apply. Any idea, from innovative businesses, community projects and city development plans, can be submitted. The 478 Bibb Fund
takes no equity, does not expect repayment, a stake in the idea or any other compensation post-award. According to its site, the leaders who established the grants simply “want to help great ideas become reality.”

To submit an idea, visit 478bibbfund.com/apply.

The College Hill Alliance is promoting the 478 Bibb Fund as part of its partnership with JumpStart America to launch a regional plan for fostering entrepreneurs. This new effort is currently working with an advisory committee of business and academic leaders
(among them, Vernon) from all over the Central Georgia region to launch pilot programs this summer.

Initially established with a grant to Mercer University from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in 2009, the College Hill Alliance assists the community in creating positive change to the physical, social and economic fabric of the College Hill Corridor,
a two-square mile area between Mercer’s campus and Macon’s downtown business district. For more information, contact Jessica Walden at the College Hill Alliance: 478.301.2014 / [email protected]