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Edina Church Offering Substantial Grant For Startup Company

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EDINA, Minn. (WCCO) — A quarter of a million dollars, coaching and even office space for a start-up company: it could be the business opportunity of a lifetime, and it’s coming from a place some might not expect.

If it takes a village to raise a family, then the people at Colonial Church in Edina believe it takes a congregation to break new ground.

While you can find their parishioners doing the more typical meal drive on a Friday night, it’s their newest charity concept that has people talking.

“It’s tough to get that leg up, especially in this economy, especially in these times, and we just want to target those folks and make it possible for them,” said Pastor Daniel Harrell.

In what they are calling Innové, which in French means to have broken new ground, the Colonial Church is donating a quarter of a million dollars to worthy entrepreneurs deserving of a head-start. The church got the money from selling a piece of land nearby.

“We didn’t just want to give away money. We wanted to leverage that in a way that would have high impact, both in our community, perhaps in the world, but also in our congregation,” said Harrell.

Harrell says they are looking for idea makers 35 years old and younger with start-ups that focus on helping others.

“Ideas that are designed primarily not to make money, but to make lives better,” said Harrell.

The winner or winners will also receive advice from the very people who sit in these pews, be it legal, financial or marketing advice. It’s also the people sitting in the church that will ultimately vote to rank the winners.

The church is even offering office space on church grounds — confident the gift will come full circle.

“No single church can do all that itself to try to leverage that in the lives of others is very exciting to us,” said Harrell.

Depending on the needs of the applicants, anywhere from one to a dozen winners could be chosen.

If you are 35 and under, a Twin Cities resident and want to apply, click here for more information. The deadline for the application is Jan. 11, 2013.

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