The Venture Accelerator

UpStart’s venture programs elevate the Jewish community’s boldest entrepreneurs and their groundbreaking ventures to their next stage of growth.

 

Today’s trailblazing rabbis, artists, educators, and leaders are fueling a renaissance in Jewish life, creating new ventures that span from alternative spiritual communities to art studios to social justice advocacy platforms. But turning those initiatives into long-term, sustainable organizations requires putting the right creative, technical, and business support behind them.

UpStart’s Venture Accelerator elevates the Jewish community’s boldest entrepreneurs and their groundbreaking ventures to their next stage of growth. The Venture Accelerator provides a select cohort of the Jewish community’s most promising ventures with the training, connections, and funding needed to take their ideas from bold initiatives to sustainable organizations.

Applications open December 1, 2021.

ABOUT THE VENTURE ACCELERATOR

This 12-month intensive program provides a cohort of entrepreneurs with the training, connections, and funding to activate a plan for sustained growth and impact. The 12-month Accelerator includes:

  • Training – Virtual convenings and coaching focused on your organization’s progress towards benchmark goals
  • Connections – Facilitated connections to our network of consultants, advisors, funders, and alumni, as well as to a cohort of inspiring and ambitious peers
  • Funding – Access to up to $100,000 per venture in unrestricted funding. Participants are encouraged to use funds for experimentation and scaling
  • Network – Venture Accelerator participants join the UpStart Venture Alumni Network, a robust community of over 100 entrepreneurs and ventures who are solving some of our communities’ biggest challenges.

Training will include a focus on these five core areas of venture design:

  • Product-Market Fit
  • Team & Talent
  • Financial Readiness
  • Board Governance
  • Branding & Marketing

 

 

ELIGIBILITY

To find out whether this program is right for you, view the criteria and eligibility guidelines.

INFORMATIONAL WEBINARS

Learn more about application criteria and the program design at one of our two free webinars:

  • Thursday, December 16, 2021, 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET
  • Wednesday, January 11, 2022, 12:00 PM PT / 3:00 PM ET

RSVP

 

NOT READY TO APPLY THIS CYCLE?

If you are ineligible to apply for the Venture Accelerator this year, don’t worry! Earlier stage entrepreneurs can gain access to a free, robust digital library packed with trainings, tools, and invaluable resources. Click to learn more about early stage resources.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is there a fee to participate?

There is a $2,500 participation fee for the Venture Accelerator. There is no fee to access resources for early stage ventures.

What is the time commitment for these programs?

Participants are required to attend all virtual (and in-person depending on pandemic safety) cohort gatherings, The 2022 Collaboratory, and monthly coaching calls (90 minutes each).

I am a full-time student or employee of another organization. Can my organization still apply?

Participating organizations should have at least one full-time employee dedicated to the long-term success of the venture and available for active, consistent participation in the Venture Accelerator.

If I applied for an UpStart program in the past, may I reapply? 

Past-applicants are welcome to reapply, yet we strongly urge you to first review the criteria and eligibility requirements and attend an Informational Webinar. If you believe your venture aligns with both the eligibility requirements and criteria, come to our webinar to have your questions answered.

I’m an interfaith organization with a specific focus on the Jewish community. Am I eligible?

Check out our selection criteria regarding “Makes a Unique Contribution to Jewish Life.” We welcome you to apply, as long as your mission aligns!

Do I have to live in an UpStart hub city to participate in these programs?
Living in an UpStart hub city (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Bay Area, Denver) is not required to participate in the Venture Accelerator.

I’ve read all of the information in the application and I’m still not sure if my venture meets the criteria. How can I get more information?

UpStart will host informational webinars to review the program criteria and eligibility requirements, provide insight into the program’s arc of learning, and answer your questions about the application process.

What do I do if I’m having technical difficulties with the application?

There is a small “i” icon in the top right corner of the Survey Monkey Apply page. Clicking that will show a drop-down menu of options for troubleshooting and getting connected with tech support.

 

WHAT WE DO AT UPSTART

UpStart partners with the Jewish community’s boldest leaders to expand the picture of how Jews find meaning and how we come together.

Whether someone is starting a new Jewish venture or reimagining what an existing one has to offer, UpStart gives them the entrepreneurial tools and network they need to build the Jewish community of the future.

Want to learn more? Read up on our programs, check out our latest insights, and sign up for our mailing list.

Have additional questions? Reach out to us any time at ventures@upstartlab.org.

Interested in supporting our work? Donate today.

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