UpDayton Project Incubator

We believe in the power of everyday citizens who rise to the occasion of doing something instead of sitting on the sidelines complaining about what needs to change. All you need is the desire to do something bigger than yourself and UpDayton will guide your path on how to make a difference. The UpDayton Project Incubator helps you build a volunteer-powered community project using the social issues and causes you’re passionate about.

Supported by:
Vectren Foundation | Gosiger Foundation | Better Business Bureau of Dayton
University of Dayton Center for Leadership | The Entrepreneurs Center

The What

Our signature program is designed for community members to transform community project ideas into action and includes a pitch at the UpDayton Summit. Applications are accepted year-round. Individuals or teams accepted into the incubator are part of a cohort-like environment building relationships with like-minded changemakers.

  • Turn ideas into a real, actionable project

  • Get connected to valuable community partners

  • Develop leaderships skills and a more connected community

  • Tailored workshops to help you define your idea, create a plan, and tell your story to maximize volunteer power


The Details

This program provides those with an idea to better the Dayton community with:

  • Workshops to better define, plan, promote, and achieve their project idea.

  • An opportunity to pitch their idea at the UpDayton Summit to gain volunteers, connections to community partners and resources and a chance to win $1,500.

  • Ideas are voted on by Summit attendees. Two winning ideas will be awarded $1,500 and UpDayton support for up to a year.

  • Workshops continue after the UpDayton Summit for all accepted participants. (For those who do not win at the UpDayton Summit, UpDayton is not required to offer additional assistance outside of the scheduled workshops).

A maximum of 10 applicants will be accepted into the program. Teams are permitted and will be considered as one project application. (Max of two people from a team can pitch together at the UpDayton Summit)


Applicant Criteria

UpDayton is seeking individuals who have an idea to better the Dayton community. Ideal applicants want to discover how to make their idea a reality while learning valuable skills along the way. We want people who are:

  • Motivated

  • Passionate about making Dayton a better place

  • Self-aware, acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses

  • Willing to grow and develop their leadership skills

  • Team players, willing to work with others to solve problems

  • Able to be both self-motivated and rely on others for help

  • Want to lead a core team of 3-4 highly committed volunteers

  • Open to partnering with other organizations/individuals in the community

Project Idea Criteria

Ideal projects for the UpDayton Project Incubator Program are those that better the Dayton community and help Dayton become a better place to live, work, and play.

We want project ideas that:

  • Can demonstrate results/action within a 12-month time frame, from idea to completion. If part of a larger initiative, think about a small baby step you could take to make progress.

  • Build a better Dayton.

  • Fill a need for the community, solve a problem.

  • Have a personal connection to the project leader, or a strong “why” for the project idea

  • Create the opportunity to engage a variety of volunteers, with varying degrees of involvement

  • Inspire volunteers and the community at large.

We accept applications year round with a
February 28 deadline for the given year.