The Speakeasy Legacy

Scholarship & Grant Program

 

After Mike Apgar left Speakeasy and founded Ookla in 2006, he worked to build the fledgling app into an essential piece of software that was ultimately used by organizations all around the world.

A key element of Ookla's mission was Net Neutrality and transparency, and they worked with organizations such as  Free Press to ensure an open internet.

Once they sold Ookla to Ziff Davis at the end of 2014, the Apgars decided to focus on philanthropic endeavors that help foster and develop technical discovery, entrepreneurial innovation, and Net Neutrality.

In addition to their ongoing support of Free Press, they've established a grant fund for former Speakeasy crew members.

Read on to learn more about this fund, who's eligible, and how you can apply.

How Much Is Available?

The Apgar Foundation has set aside up to $1mm in funding for this special grants program.

Each eligible crew member or their family is eligible to receive one $5k grant.

Who Qualifies?

To be eligible to receive a grant from the Apgar Foundation, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Hired on or before May 2003
  • Worked there for at least a year
  • Must have left the organization on good terms

How Does It Work?

Qualified former crew members can apply for the grant by filling out the form below.

Once we receive your grant request, we'll review it and be in contact with you within 1 week with next steps.

 

What Can It Be Used For?

Grants for the Apgar Foundation can be used in one of the following manners:

  • Education
    • Scholarships for STEM education for your immediate family members (including nieces + nephews)
      • Requirements: Recipient should be currently enrolled in a program with a primary major focused on science, technology, engineering, or math
    • Contribution to a 529 education program in the name of a child
      • Requirements: The 529 program should already be setup; the contribution can be split amongst more than one child if desired, we just need to know the plan information for each child and your preferred breakdown
  • Entrepreneurship
    • Angel funding for any any type of business, regardless of industry
      • Requirements: Your business should have a name, tax ID, and a short business plan - an executive summary is fine
  • Non-Profit
    • A contribution to Free Press -- we'll match your gift, effectively donating $10k to this excellent organization!
    • Funding for an existing non-profit that is focused on an open internet and technology
    • Funding for an existing non-profit with a different focus who has specific technical needs and goals that would benefit from this grant
      • Requirements: The non-profit must be a 501(3)c; it can be a non-profit that you work with, or one to whom you'd like a donation made on your behalf

 

Request a Grant

Request a Grant
Please provide your first and last name, as it was when you worked at Speakeasy.
Please tell us your hire date, duration of work, and position(s) you held at Speakeasy.
We'll follow-up with you primarily via email.
We'll call you if we have additional questions.
In the event that we issue your grant via check, please provide us with your current mailing address.
If your business or non-profit has a website, please share the URL.
Please tell us about how you'd like to use your grant.
Please share more about your specific request; for example, provide us details on your 529 plan or your business' tax ID and executive summary.

Speakeasy Foundation Grantees

We're happy to share that we've provided the following grants to these former Speakeasy crew members:

  • Anonymous: Scholarship grant for the children of a former Speakeasy employee
  • Anonymous: Scholarship grant for the spouse of a former Speakeasy employee
  • Shannon Rounds Applegate: Scholarship grant for Tim (Blase) Rounds' two grandsons
  • Patrick McDonald: Entrepreneurship grant for his real estate business, ACQ Estates
  • Brian Nelson (The Elder): Education grant contribution to his son's 529 plan
  • John Reagan: Entrepreneurship grant for his business Boredbrains
  • Chris Seale: Education grant contribution to his stepdaughter's 529 plan
  • Steven Seighman: Entrepreneurship grant for his food blogging and photography business, The Nut-Free Vegan
  • Daniel Simonton: Entrepreneurship grant for his wife's business, Patricia Jollimore Photography
  • Willetta (Michelle Blackburn) Song: Scholarship grant for her training to become an electrical engineer
  • Eric Stata: Scholarship grant for his wife's training to become a science teacher
  • Sandra Thomas: Education grant contribution to her son's 529 plan
  • Jessamyn West: Entrepreneurship grant in support of her foundation, the Vermont Mutual Aid Society
  • Michelle (Morano) Wittenborn: Partial entrepreneurship grant