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Innovative group launches national effort in South Bend

Accelerator for America wants to fund and support innovative ideas. // WSBT 22 Photo

A new nationwide effort is putting a spotlight on South Bend.

It's a group led by city mayors, including South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigeig. The group is on the search for good ideas.

Accelerator for America wants to fund and support innovative ideas.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti heads the group and he specifically chose South Bend to launch because he says this is an innovative city.

Organizers say mayors and non-profit leaders who represent about 12 million Americans are already in town planning for Wednesday's launch.

The group wants to fund local public works projects. They're looking for ideas that create jobs.

The conference is set to take place at the former Studebaker factory and organizers say Studebaker is a good example of renewal.

"South Bend has a great research university, South Bend is coming back from a time when it was thought of as the Rust Belt and now it's thought of as, I really think, the Renaissance Belt," said Rick Jacobs, of Accelerator for America. “With the Studebaker factory, innovation happening, you've got small businesses popping up.”

Buttigieg is on the group's advisory council.

The group has about $1 million in private donations which will help fund the winning idea.

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