MORTAR at Bounce

MORTAR at Bounce is a 15-week business accelerator that helps  existing and emerging entrepreneurs learn the nuances of business ownership and build a comprehensive business canvas.  

The program is open to everyone with a non-technology business or idea, but focuses on minority and women entrepreneurs.  We want to make sure these historically marginalized groups get the opportunity to use their talents to not just make a dollar, but to positively participate in the rise of Northeast Ohio. 

Cohort 1 Pitch Night and Graduation
Pitch Night winner Tanya Green with the MORTAR at Bounce team

Winter 2021 Schedule 

Applications for Winter 2021 Cohort 3 are now closed.

Classes start January 19, 2021 and occur every Tuesday, 6-8 p.m., for 15 weeks. 

  The cost is $295 for the entire 15 weeks with an 18-month alumni program to follow.

The program will be facilitated by the Bounce staff, led by Ace Epps, director of inclusive entrepreneurship.

At this time, MORTAR at Bounce is only accepting FOR-PROFIT entrepreneurs and businesses. If you are a nonprofit seeking assistance, please contact Asha McDuffie at to learn more about our other GROW programs

Fall 2020 Cohort 

Anne Adelman, Disco Mocktail Lounge*

John-Cameron Blake, Cameron Blakey Art

Monique Clark, Kurvology

Loretta and Terrance Clayton, Clayton’s Laundry Services*

Dominic Falcione, GloLyte Lamps

Liksha Hoskins, 2 Daughters Tea Company

Jasmine Hun, Hunts Family Cleaning, Inc.

Julie Katz, The Extra Daughter

Anjua Maximo, A-to-Z Group LLC

Daniel Olszewski, Hype Space LLC

Carlotta Pace, I Was Here

Aaron Sparks, MXOLOGY 21 Cocktail Co.

Robert Thomas, Piece of the Pi

Denny Wilson, Wilson Empowerment Ltd.

Kara Wilson, Phoenix Financial Services

Matthew Zeiner, Kenmore Brew Works*


This course includes:

  • Culturally competent curriculum and materials
  • Cohort model for driven entrepreneurs to support each other
  • Access to legal support
  • One-on-one mentorship to provide guidance throughout the course
  • Opportunity to pitch your idea in front of potential investors, community leaders and customers
  • Ongoing support system provided by MORTAR and partner organizations
  • Business support and brand development strategies that continue even after graduation


Although no two classes are the same, here is a typical  week-by-week outline.

  • Meet weekly for three hours 
  • “Putting in Work” outside of class 
  • Guest speakers 
  • Weekly meetings with mentors 
  • Activities 
  • Videos 
  • Reflection 
  • Celebrating success & learning from failure 

Week by week: 

  • Orientation 
  • Weeks 1-5: Foundations
  • Weeks 6-10: The Core 
  • Weeks 11-15: Really Real