Our Impact


Testimonials from Accelerator and Partner Organizations

“Our work wouldn’t be possible without the support of UpStart. This program has been a game changer for us; it has taken my ability to lead Urban Adamah from “good to great”. The mentorship I have received has accelerated our growth and success. I have a lot of experience running organizations, but the first thing I want to do when I get stuck is call UpStart. UpStart provides what they call 411/911 (information/emergency) support. I am so grateful for these resources, and I know that the Bay Area Jewish community’s reputation as a hub of creative and inspired Jewish life is, in no small part, due to the existence of UpStart.”

Adam Berman, Founder & Executive Director of Urban Adamah / UpStart Alumni


“After working with UpStart, the process of building a sustainable business has become demystified. I went into this as a Rabbi, and now I truly understand what it means to be an Executive Director. I’ve learned how to build and run a business with an Advisory Board, how to ask my board the right questions, and how to design program offerings around my customer base to ensure that I am meeting their needs and desires. Mishkan Chicago is now primed for success.”

Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann, Founder, Mishkan Chicago


“In order to keep Jews excited about Judaism, we have to ensure we’re staying in touch with their needs. UpStart has its finger on the pulse of innovation in the Jewish community, and transmits this knowledge and these resources to start-ups and established organizations alike. I am proud to be a part of this transformational organization.”

Wendy Verba, Current Member, UpStart Board of Directors


“I can already see the energy in our community changing at a time when inspiration and new ideas are needed. I am grateful for the work that UpStart is doing for everyone.”

Jan Reicher, Past President, Jewish Community Federation Women’s Philanthropy


“I was drawn to UpStart for its forward-thinking view of Judaism, especially its commitment to keeping Jewish practice vital and meaningful for generations to come.”

Ralph Guggenheim, Current Member, UpStart Board of Directors


“UpStart guided us in growing our program from local to international. Their expertise, mentoring, and encouragement gave us what we needed to pursue a bigger vision of the possibilities. And they connected us with the resources to make it all possible.”

Gesher Calmenson, Founding Director, Remember Us and Former Member, UpStart Board of Directors


“UpStart is a breath of fresh air! It’s amazing to experience a hub of Jewish creativity right in the heart of San Francisco’s financial district. There’s so much energy here for everyone!”

Adina Danzig Edelman, former Executive Director, Hillel at Stanford


“Upstart helped the Peninsula Jewish Community Center launch our first ever board and staff brain trust projects last year. UpStart contributed to the success of implementing several new revenue producing ideas in these hard economic times. The learning process with their staff added immeasurably to our program which we plan to continue for years to come. It helped promote creativity, empowerment, team building, commitment and leadership while producing innovative programs. A new entrepreneurial spirit has been unleashed at the PJCC!”

Deborah Pinsky, Former Executive Director, Peninsula Jewish Community Center


“I applaud UpStart for its connection and inspiration to Jewish social entrepreneurs working in the fields of arts and culture, spirituality, Jewish education and social action. These entrepreneurs demonstrate the breadth and depth of our 21st century Jewish world.”

Suzanne Dryan-Felson, Current Member, UpStart Advisory Board


“I give my time, energies and funds to Upstart because innovation is an imperative for our Jewish community. Creative, passionate individuals in our community have come up with incredible new ways to express Judaism. We need to help these new ideas flourish, if we want Jewish life to remain vibrant and relevant. Here we are in the heart of Silicon Valley – it’s time to seriously invest in Jewish innovation.”

Tara Mohr, Past Chair, UpStart Board of Directors

“Repair the World hired UpStart to review months of planning conversations and to develop our ideas into a compelling business plan. The work helped us move forward in our thinking and we anticipate finding other ways to utilize UpStart’s capabilities in the future.”

Jon Rosenberg, Former CEO, Repair the World