Innovation Fellowship


*Applications for the first cohort are now closed.*

Are you passionate about Jewish communal work and fired up with new ideas to bring to your workplace? Do you struggle to determine which ideas to implement and how to evaluate whether they are successful? Do you find yourself longing for a community of peers to support your work and leadership?

We are pleased to launch the UpStart Innovation Fellowship, a new program to support intrapreneurs* in the Chicago area looking to bring innovation and design thinking tools to their 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.

Fellowship applications are currently open and will be accepted through September 19. Funding for this program is generously provided by our funding partners, and there is no charge to participating organizations.


graphic about programThrough group labs and coaching sessions focused on addressing real world opportunities and challenges, Fellows will 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 will:

  • 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.