Denver Hutt Legacy Foundation to support entrepreneurism

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Friends and family members close to the late Denver Hutt have established a foundation in her honor, and its goal is to support two things the lively 28-year-old supported before her passing: young professionals and entrepreneurship.

The Denver Hutt Legacy Foundation has been several months in the making, but it finalized its strategic goals earlier this month, Chairman Tom Hanley told IBJ this week. Those goals involve partnering with local organizations to fund scholarships and internships in Indianapolis.

Hutt, the former executive director of the Speak Easy, died in January after a battle with ovarian cancer. She was widely described as a charming, action-oriented visionary who helped establish the Speak Easy—a co-working spot—into a premier entrepreneurial destination.

"It feels great to have a roadmap," said Hanley, who had been Hutt's boyfriend.

"I'm really excited to start seeing this moving forward. I know Denver's family is thrilled that Indianapolis wants to find ways to continue to carry on her name and recognize the hard work she did in this great city."

The foundation is starting off with three programs. One involves underwriting a scholarship that would cover the tuition for a young professional entering the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Series. Hutt was an alumna of the year-long program, which is run by Leadership Indianapolis.

The second initiative is funding an internship with the Indy Chamber starting next year. This effort—which would place the top applicant in the chamber's entrepreneur services division—is for a rising or graduating local college senior "who stands out from the crowd and wants to be involved in both business and civic leadership in Indianapolis," Hanley said.

The final program is a college scholarship in Hutt's name that will help a local high school student further his or her college education. Hanley said this particular scholarship is being funded by an anonymous donor. It would provide $2,500 a year for four years, and that amount could increase in the future.

Hanley said the foundation is starting off with about $25,000, which came from a GoFundMe account that raised money for Hutt when she was hospitalized.

He said the organization has a seven-member board, including himself, and that it will start planning an annual fundraiser.

Hanley said the event "will bring family and friends and the community together to honor her and to be able to raise funds carry on her name for many, many years to come."

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