Aug 20, 2014

Blackstone Innovation Grant Recipient Tumml Takes on Urban Problems by Empowering Entrepreneurs

After meeting at the MIT Sloan School of Management, in 2012 Clara Brenner and Julie Lein founded Tumml, a urban ventures accelerator focused on empowering entrepreneurs to solve the most complex urban challenges. Through their hands-on approach, Tumml provides promising early-stage companies with seed funding, mentorship and professional support services, giving entrepreneurs the resources they need to get their ideas off the ground.


Supported by more than $140,000 from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Tumml brings together and mentors cohorts of city-minded entrepreneurs – a model that has already proven successful. Just one year after receiving their first Blackstone Innovation Grant, Tumml receives twenty times the number of applicants that it can accept, and its portfolio of cohort companies are valued at almost $3 million.


Photo credit: Paolo Vescia

“I can’t stress enough how critical Blackstone was to our initial success,” Lein says. “We really needed a partner who understood our vision – and not only did our vision resonate with Blackstone, but they were so uniquely positioned to help us because they are focused on helping new entrepreneurship-focused organizations achieve the next level of growth.”


Photo credit: Kara Brodgesell

“The goal of the Blackstone Innovations Grant program is to identify organizations and programs that directly support entrepreneurs and offer them the opportunity to test and measure their programs and ideas,” said Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “Tumml has done exactly that and with great success. This partnership exemplifies the goals of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation and we look forward to supporting Tumml as they continue to improve quality of life in cities everywhere through entrepreneurship.”

Click here to learn more about Tumml.

Click here to learn more about the Blackstone Charitable Foundation and the 2014 Innovation Grants Request-for-Proposals.