Innovation Fellowship

We are pleased to announce the first cohort of our Innovation Fellowship. These 10 remarkable Jewish communal professionals are joining us for a 6 month Fellowship, learning to apply the tools of Design Thinking, Entrepreneurship, and Adaptive Leadership to their work at established institutions in Chicago. Learn more about the fellows here.


The UpStart Innovation Fellowship is a new program to support intrapreneurs* in the Chicago area looking to bring innovation and design thinking tools to their organizations. Funding for this program is generously provided by our funding partners, and there is no charge to participating organizations.

*What is an Intrapreneur? Intrapreneurs make change from within established organizations, helping their organizations innovate faster and better using proven methods adapted from startups. 

graphic about programThrough group labs and coaching sessions focused on addressing real world opportunities and challenges, Fellows learn to apply innovation skillsets. This Fellowship is a great opportunity to learn new frameworks for understanding and advancing your work. We are excited to teach you Design Thinking, Adaptive Leadership, Customer Discovery, Environmental Scanning, Opportunity Framing, Ideation and Co-creation, and Prototyping.
At the culmination of the fellowship, participants will build a prototype of a new program or project, applying their knowledge learned throughout the program. Fellows will showcase their new idea at an event with local lay leaders, professionals, and stakeholders.


UpStart Innovation Fellows:

  • Identify opportunities to create change within their organization
  • Apply Design Thinking and Adaptive Leadership methodology to address a particular opportunity for innovation in their work
  • Prototype a new program or project in their organization
  • Gain a community of practice with other intrapreneurs in the Chicago Jewish community, supporting their efforts to be changemakers from within.

Learn about eligibility, the application process, and key dates here.