This guide is intended to support New School students and alumni who are motivated to take their ideas for social innovation and entrepreneurship to the next level.
The resources listed here include information about competitions, fellowships, and accelerators, as well as educational resources and funding for impact entrepreneurs in New York City and beyond. Please visit the websites of the various organizations to learn more about these opportunities and their application requirements.
To learn more about the Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative (IEI) at The New School, please visit this website.
LEARN | Business, Design & Prototyping
New Challenge Startup Resource Guide
This list includes a range of online tools and resources focused on key aspects of startup development: business planning/structure, marketing and communication, legal issues, and funding/fundraising.
AIGA Design For Good
AIGA Design for Good highlights opportunities for designers to build their practice, expand their network, and gain hands-on leadership opportunities.
+Acumen Online Course Design Kit | The Course for Human-Centered Design
Free online course developed with IDEO.org focused on human-centered design for social innovation. Participants will learn how to perform and analyze user research, practice creative techniques for rapid prototyping, and effectively test prototypes with users.
+Acumen Online Course Design Kit | Prototyping
Free online course developed with IDEO.org that introduces participants to various prototyping techniques for products, services, interactions, and environments.
Alice | Business Advisor
Technology platform that aims to build a more inclusive entrepreneurial world by connecting every entrepreneur, regardless of gender, ethnicity, geography, or stage of growth, with the programs, people, and opportunities they need to succeed.
Amplifying Creative Communities
Amplifying Creative Communities is a project of the Parsons DESIS Lab at The New School and is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund 2009 to research, promote, and amplify community-based solutions for sustainability.
Business Utility Zone Gateway (BUZGate.org)
The Business Utility Zone Gateway is an educational resource tailored to the interests and needs of freelancers, the self-employed, and small and medium-sized business owners in the U.S. Individuals can search for resources by state for support defining their business objectives, connecting to B2B products, and accessing free programs.
Design-Led Research Toolkit
A toolkit for how to perform design-led research created by the Parsons Transdisciplinary Design program class of 2017.
d.school Reading List
This short list of books developed by Stanford University’s d.school is a great resource for people who want to deepen their understanding of the design thinking process.
d.school Prototyping Dashboard
This tool can be used early in a design project, when creating prototypes to explore an idea.
Design Research Techniques
This constantly evolving repository for Participatory Design Techniques includes techniques that can be used to engage multiple stakeholders, including potential users or audiences, partners. or internal team members.
Design Thinking | Getting Started with Prototyping
This article explains the what, how, and why of prototyping.
Development Impact & You (DIY) Toolkit
This toolkit is intended to help people working in development invent, adopt, or adapt ideas that can deliver better results.
The DSIL Course is a globally-certified professional development course designed for individuals who are ready to expand their leadership skills. The curriculum consists of 10-day field immersions in Southeast Asia and live virtual classroom sessions focused on building greater capacity to think critically and move ideas into action in highly diverse groups.
Entrepreneur Xchange is a peer-to-peer video series and resource library that showcases strategies, stories, and lessons to help entrepreneurs build successful businesses.
FastTrac is a series of entrepreneurship courses offered by the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to aspiring and established entrepreneurs. FastTrac provides NYC-based participants with the knowledge and skills needed to launch and grow successful businesses, while connecting with a network of experienced facilitators and business experts across NYC. They offer two programs: NewVenture for new businesses and GrowthVenture for established businesses.
Google for Entrepreneurs
Google for Entrepreneurs partners with startup communities to build Campuses where entrepreneurs can learn, connect, and create companies that will change the world. Since 2011, they have formed partnerships that support entrepreneurs across 125 countries.
Google Ventures (GV) | The Design Sprint
A sprint is a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. Developed at GV, it’s a “greatest hits” of business strategy, innovation, behavior science, design thinking, and more.
Google Ventures (GV) | The Research Sprint
While design sprints are useful for prototyping and rapidly testing ideas, they depend on research. GV has developed a research process that provides maximum learning as quickly as possible.
Helsinki Design Lab’s Ethnography Field Guide
An essential part of any design activity, ethnography involves understanding the social context in which one is working.
Helsinki Design Lab’s Strategic Design Case Studies
Three strategic design case studies: 1) From Shelter to Equity; 2) Instrumental Design; and 3) Thinking Big But Starting Small.
IDEO Circular Design Guide
This guide to circular design helps innovators create more elegant, effective, and creative solutions for the circular economy that give businesses a competitive advantage and are regenerative for our world.
IDEO Design Kit
Design Kit is IDEO.org’s platform to learn human-centered design, a creative approach to solving the world’s most difficult problems. This resource includes books, guides, and free downloads.
NESTA and thinkpublic Prototyping Framework
A framework and outline for a process developed through the Prototype Barnet project.
Next Economy MBA
The Next Economy MBA is a nine-month course for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to learn key business fundamentals (e.g., vision, culture, strategy, and operations) from a regenerative perspective. Participants learn about business design for the next economy, explore tools and strategies to apply to an existing business, build skills in thought leadership, and become more confident about creating a purposeful career.
A web-based platform and collaboration space that provides student entrepreneurs wih step-by-step modules intended to help launch their ventures and generate interest from others.
Service Design Tools
A collection of communication tools used in design processes that deal with complex systems.
seToolbelt is an open content resource hub that helps social entrepreneurs plan, launch, manage, and grow successful social enterprises.
Social Good Guides
Authored by industry experts, the Social Good Guides are a collection of subject-specific small-business guides created for startup changemakers. Topics covered range from legal and branding to funding and operations.
Soshent is an online platform that connects social entrepreneurs and innovators in the Ontario area to programs, opportunities, and funding they need to amplify their impact. Entrepreneurs can create a profile to discover the programs and opportunities for which they are eligible.
Steps to Developing your Prototype
A tool for helping develop prototypes to address key research and design questions.
Talking to Humans
This short book describes the experience of two entrepreneurs doing customer discovery for the first time and provides concrete tactics, tools, and examples to answer key questions such as:
- Who do you need to learn from?
- What do you need to learn from the market?
- How do you find the right people to interview?
- How can you ensure an effective session?
- How do you turn observations into decisions and actions?
- How can you avoid the most common mistakes people make?
Verb is a talent development platform that combines skill development with social impact opportunities through self-directed development options customized for each employee’s learning style and impact area.
LAUNCH | Funding, Incubators & Accelerators
130 Ways to Fund Your Social Venture
A curated list of funding for ambitious changemakers launching social ventures.
1776 is building a global community of startups by providing intellectual, social, and financial capital.
4.0 Schools | Essentials Fellowship
4.0 Schools offers a platform for teachers, technologists, and entrepreneurs to create bold solutions that address unmet needs in K-12 education. Essentials is a three-day experience designed to help individuals further develop their ideas through one-on-one and group coaching, user testing, and continual iteration.
4.0 Schools | Tiny Fellowship
The Tiny Fellowship supports aspiring founders with early traction in further developing their proof of concept. Participants learn how to plan, run, and evaluate a recurring pilot and have access to a peer community, coaching from experts, and $10K in funding.
Ashoka Changemakers Competitions
This global online community supports social entrepreneurs by providing opportunities for inspiration, mentoring, and collaboration. Changemakers hosts online competitions to identify and connect individuals who work together to develop and refine solutions to social challenges.
Astia provides exceptional startups with access to capital and a global community of 5,000 entrepreneurs, investors, and industry leaders. Companies that complete their Astia Expert Sift™ are invited to present at Astia Venture Showcases and will be considered for direct investment by the members of Astia Angels.
Beespace supports nonprofit founders in taking creative risks and field-testing their ideas by providing a unique incubation experience of two years that includes time, seed money, and a supportive learning community.
Black and Latino Tech Initiative (BLT)
This 3-month “pre-accelerator” supports founders of color in developing critical skills, relationships, and business ideas to attract capital investment. Hosted by the Rutgers Business School’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, BLT assists Black and Latino founders with admission into accelerators and develops a pipeline of Black and Latino technology entrepreneurs for established venture capital partners.
Blue Ridge Labs @ Robinhood Fellowship
A 12-week fellowship designed to help top talent attack big problems in new ways by launching products for low-income communities that are traditionally overlooked by technology. The fellowship includes a summer program that provides over $40,000 in resources, a peer group of mid-career developers, designers, and entrepreneurs, access to a pool of community collaborators for research and testing, an extensive mentor network, and more.
Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator (BF+DA)
Pratt’s BF+DA program is seeking fashion designers, product designers, and technologists with companies that embrace innovation, are relevant, ready to grow, want to optimize environmental and social impact, and are committed to making change. Their Venture Fellowship includes mentorship, dedicated studio space in Brooklyn, access to leading experts, discounts on fabrication and production tools, classes, events, and more.
Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic (BLIP)
BLIP trains a new generation of lawyers in the skills needed to represent emerging technology, internet, communications, and media companies. They helps clients with incorporation, intellectual property protection, structuring licensing agreements, and web documentation, in addition to providing general advice and hosting events about law and emerging technology.
Business Mentor NY
Business Mentor NY is an initiative from New York State that connects entrepreneurs with volunteer business mentors with the goal of building a community to help solve problems and build businesses together.
Buckminster Fuller Challenge (BFI)
Each year, BFI invites people from all over the world to submit innovative solutions to humanity’s most pressing problems. A $100,000 grand prize is awarded to support the development and implementation of one outstanding strategy, however, BFI also seeks to leverage further resources for Finalists and Semi-finalists through its network and Catalyst Program.
Code 2040 is a community of black and Latinx technologists and their allies who seek to diversify tech in an effort to create a more equitable, inclusive, and prosperous economy. Through high-impact service programs, in-person and online engagement, dynamic storytelling, and knowledge sharing, Code2040 mobilizes diversity champions across the industry.
Camelback Ventures Social Venture Fellowship
Camelback Ventures is committed to leveraging the genius of all people, regardless of ethnicity, gender, or class. In an effort to diversity social innovation, they provide coaching, capital, and connections to underrepresented entrepreneurs through a 6-month Fellowship that supports the development of both founder and venture.
The Catalyst Fund
The Catalyst Fund awards small grants for innovative, early-stage ideas that address urgent challenges in various sectors where innovation is needed. Anyone can apply for a Catalyst grant, from seasoned social entrepreneurs to first-time changemakers.
Center for Social Innovation
The Centre for Social Innovation hosts numerous workshops year-round and provides its members with the space, relationships and knowledge needed to translate ideas into impact. Part coworking space, part community center, and part incubator for people attempting to change the world, they also offer a Women’s Lab to support female social entrepreneurs.
CFDA Fashion Incubator
This business development program is designed to support the next generation of fashion designers in NYC by providing a creative professional environment that helps top talent grow and sustain their businesses. They offer several scholarships for both students and graduates, as well as low-cost studio space, mentorship, seminars, and networking opportunities.
CivicX is the first national accelerator and investment fund in the U.S. focused on civic ventures, early-stage for-profit and nonprofit ventures that include people as part of the solution to critical social problems. They offer a 10-week startup accelerator that supports teams in seeking investments and scaling social innovation, as well as Rapid Innovation Summits that teach social innovators how to apply design thinking to more effectively address social challenges.
CivicXcel is Civic Hall Lab’s 6-month, part-time program designed for professionals looking to further civic ideas and gain hands-on training in design thinking, prototyping, startup methods, and the development of digital technology. As an ideas accelerator, its focus is on closing the gap between having a civic idea and advancing it into a well-researched, user-tested, viable prototype. They provide a curated launch curriculum, access to mentors, facilitated feedback sessions, and access to the 1776 Global Innovation Network.
Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U)
Building on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, President Bill Clinton launched CGI U in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world in taking action on global issues. Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting where students, university representatives, subject matter experts, and celebrities come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges.
Creative Startups | Entrepreneur Accelerator
Creative Startups supports creative entrepreneurs around the world with accelerators and strategic initiatives aimed at developing a stronger, more connected entrepreneurial ecosystem via pre-accelerator programs, workshops, training, and seminars. Their intensive 8-week accelerator course includes both an online component and mentorship, as well as on-site Deep Dive Week with Demo Day and investor pitching.
The D-Prize is dedicated to expanding access to poverty-alleviation solutions in the developing world, including girl’s education, agriculture, energy, global health, education, and governance and infrastructure. Winners receive up to $20,000 to launch a pilot in Africa, India, or another region in the developing world.
digitalundivided uses innovation to foster the economic growth and empowerment of Black and Latina women entrepreneurs. Their programs empower middle- and base-level earners to realize improved work opportunities by providing mentorship, training, and access to funding that enables them to launch and scale their own companies.
DreamIt is a Health Tech and Urban Tech incubator that provides startups with access to investors and a pre-built network of potential customers. Accepted startups participate in a 14-week program focused on partnering, piloting, and selling to large enterprise customers that can propel their startups to the next level.
Echoing Green Fellowship
Through its Fellowships and other innovative leadership initiatives, Echoing Green identifies emerging leaders and invests deeply in their success to accelerate their impact. Fellows receive seed-funding, leadership development, hands-on support, and networking opportunities.
Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellowship
The Black Male Achievement (BMA) Fellowship is a new program developed by Open Society Foundations and Echoing Green that helps social entrepreneurs who are launching innovative, new organizations in the field of black male achievement. The BMA Fellowship includes start-up capital and technical assistance to help these leaders build their organizations, as well as a community of like-minded social entrepreneurs and public service leaders.
Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant
The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant supports innovative, women-owned companies that are beyond the startup phase and are ready to expand their business and their potential for positive social and environmental impact.
Entrepreneur Space provides small and start-up businesses affordable commercial kitchen and/or office space, paired with free or low cost business counseling.
Fast Company World Changing Ideas Awards
Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas awards reward ideas, projects, and products that have the potential to alter the lives of people and the direction of the planet for the better. They seek ideas at different stages of development and base their decisions based on feasibility and potential for impact.
The Founder Institute
The Founder Institute is the world’s premier idea-stage accelerator and startup launch program. Through a challenging curriculum and strong post-program support, they provide aspiring entrepreneurs with structure, mentorship, and a network to start an enduring company.
Free Range Studios
Free Range Studios is a purpose-driven innovation and storytelling consultancy that helps people committed to causes or socially innovative ideas invent powerful brands through various modes of communications–web, film, movies, print, and strategies.
Futureworks NYC is part of NYC’s Industrial Action Plan to help emerging and existing manufacturers adopt advanced technologies and increase local production. They offer an incubator to accelerate hardware startups and advanced manufacturing entrepreneurs, and access to fabrication and prototyping workspaces through partner hubs around the city.
Global Good Fund
The Global Good Fund is a leadership development enterprise build by and for social entrepreneurs. Their 12-month Global Good Fellowship invests in high potential leaders committed to tackling some of today’s greatest social challenges by connecting them with mentors, providing leadership assessment resources, peer networking, sector expertise, and targeted financial capital.
Global Innovation Exchange
Global Innovation Exchange is a tech platform that aims to accelerate innovation in developing countries, using our ever-growing database of innovations and funding to reveal curated content and industry insights for social entrepreneurs, funders who fund them, and other development professionals.
Good Work Institute
The Good Work Institute is dedicated to educating and connecting a network of local community members and actively supporting their collaborative efforts to regenerate their places. They offer a 6-month Good Work Fellowship that brings together a cohort of engaged, local community members in the Hudson Valley and supports their collaborative efforts to build a thriving future for people and places in the area.
Grand Central Tech (GCT)
Grand Central Tech (GCT) is a community of startups and strategic partners that breaks from the traditional accelerator model by providing accepted companies with free office space for a year with zero equity fee to participate. GCT surrounds participating companies with the best possible resources in a program tailor-made to each.
Green Worker Coop Academy
The Green Worker Coop Academy is an intensive 5-month program that helps teams of aspiring entrepreneurs develop worker-owned green businesses through a combination of classroom training, business coaching, and technical services.
Halycon Arts Lab Fellowship
This 9-month Fellowship in Wash DC that provides emerging artists with time and space to explore new ideas and ambitious projects that promote meaningful social impact. Accepted Fellows receive a dedicated studio, free residential accomodation, $18K financial scholarship for project expenses and living costs, entrepreneurial curriculum, mentorship, and a range of workshops, lectures, and networking opportunities.
The Halycon Incubator provides early-stage entrepreneurs with the support needed to transform audacious ideas into scalable and sustainable ventures that can change the world. Individuals selected for their 18-month Fellowship receive free residency and workspace, mentorship and leadership coaching, support from business consultants, and a living stipend.
Harlem Garage is a coworking space for Harlem-based businesses and a community space for the Harlem area. In addition to providing office and collaborative space, they partner with local schools to host networking events and classes.
A collaboration platform for people, communities, and companies with ideas and those who are interested in new ideas who are looking for collaborators.
IDEO CoLab Fellowship
IDEO’s CoLab brings together like-minded organizations to understand and shape how emerging technologies will affect the world (ie blockchain, artificial intelligence, internet of things, augmented, and virtual reality). Each year, they bring together students, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and industry experts to participate in sprints of exploration and building.
Illicit Mind creates and develops initiatives that enable the growth of Black and diverse entrepreneurs and techies. Programs include hackathons, and digital connections, among other forms of knowledge sharing.
International Innovators Initiative
The International Innovators Initiative (IN2NYC) facilitates collaborative partnerships between international entrepreneurs and City University of New York (CUNY) schools, enabling entrepreneurs to qualify for cap-exempt H-1B visas, while helping CUNY schools attract innovators that can develop entrepreneurship and technical programs for their students. IN2NYC is designed for international entrepreneurs who have started a business overseas and would like to relocate or expand their business, and international students graduating from U.S. universities who have started their own businesses.
ioby mobilizes neighbors with good ideas to become powerful citizen leaders who plan, fund, and make positive change in their own neighborhoods. Their crowdsourcing platform connects leaders with funding and support to make neighborhoods safer, greener, and more livable.
Made in NY Media Center by IFP
The Made in NY Media Center is a collaborative workspace and community designed to support and connect the next generation of media and tech entrepreneurs, innovators, and artists with industry resources, events, mentorship, and educational opportunities.
MaRS Centre/MaRS Discover District
Located in Toronto, MaRS is the world’s largest urban innovation hub, a launchpad for startups, as well as a platform for researchers and home for innovators.
Matter is a start-up accelerator that seeks early-stage media ventures that are changing media for good and have the potential to make society more informed, connected, and empowered. Selected participants receive access to a community of mentors, investors, and organizational partners, as well as $50K in cash to prototype solutions and build audience traction.
MECATE is the international program of the Laboratory for Entrepreneurship and Transformation, a community focused on actively impacting the public sphere through the promotion and development of a trans-disciplinary collaboration model that enables diverse resources to reach and transform lives. MECATE brings together entrepreneurs from all over the world for a week of collaboration to develop solutions for problems within the social sector.
Mentor Capital Network
The Mentor Capital Network connects entrepreneurs who are passionate about their ideas and inventions with a team of mentors who have the experience and perspective to support these entrepreneurs in creating and growing successful enterprises.
Microsoft Imagine Cup
Imagine Cup is a global competition that empowers the next generation of computer science students to team up and use their creativity, passion and knowledge to create applications that shape how we live, work and play.
The Nantucket Project (TNP) Scholars Program
The Scholars Program supports socially conscious leaders with purpose-driven ideas to reach their full potential. Each year, 15 curious, humble, and passionate innovators who are making a positive impact on society are selected to participate in the program, which includes a network of expert advisors, mentors, and champions, as well as workshops and instruction.
Net Impact mobilizes a global community of students and professionals to use their skills and careers to drive transformational social and environmental change.
Founded by the New Museum in 2014, NEW INC is the first museum-led cultural incubator dedicated to supporting innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship across art, design, and technology. Each year, they select an interdisciplinary community of 100 members who are investigating new ideas and developing sustainable practices to work out of their space.
New Voices Fund
New Voices Fund is a $100 Million Fund created to empower women entrepreneurs of color to reach their full potential. This groundbreaking initiative, designed to level the playing field, provides unprecedented access, capital, and expertise to excel.
Nexus is a global movement that aims to catalyze new leadership and accelerate solutions to global problems by bridging communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship. They connect, inspire, and activate exceptional social innovators and the next generation of influential families around the world through various programs, including local engagement salons, working groups, annual summits, research, and labs that support projects in philanthropy.
NY Designs is an incubator dedicated to the success of design and hardware tech startups in NYC. In addition to receiving three years of private studio space, participating companies have access to a network of mentors and advisors, as well as a Fab Lab. NY Designs also produce events and programs for creators and innovators.
NYC Big Apps
NYC BigApps is a civic innovation competition that engages designers, developers, academics, entrepreneurs, and New York residents in applying their knowledge to improve NYC. Winning teams receive $30,000 in cash and prizes, including product development resources and admission into Civic Hall Lab’s Civic Accelerator program.
Parsons ELab adopts a distributed network model that includes a 12-month experience for second-year graduate students and recent alumni. ELab Fellows have access to discounted co-working spaces, mentorship, professional business advice, and networking opportunities.
Project Entrepreneur ignites bold ideas by providing women access to the tools, training, and networks needed to build scalable, economically impactful companies. Project Entrepreneur’s annual competition is for women who intend to build a high-growth company using an existing prototype or beta technology. Winners receive a $10,000 grant to be used in building their business and are accepted into a 5-week accelerator program in NYC.
Propeller is a New Orleans-based nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs in tackling social and environmental disparities. They offer a range of space and programming designed to support small businesses and nonprofits at every stage of growth.
Public Policy Lab
Public Policy Lab is a nonprofit that works at the intersection of human-centered design and public policy. They partner with governments to design great public services with low-income and at-risk communities.
The Resolution Project
The Resolution Project awards fellowships to young leaders with compelling personal leadership characteristics and promising social venture proposals. Through their Resolution Social Venture Challenge (SVG) they identify and support fellows with dynamic hands-on mentorship, seed funding, and access to a world-class global pool of advisory resources from their dedicated team of guides and volunteers. Potential applicants must contact a local partner organization to begin the application process for the SVC.
RippleWorks pairs top business and technology experts with innovative, rapidly growing social ventures around the world. By applying their skills and experiences, experts help play a critical role in empowering ventures to scale their business and impact. To apply as a venture, email email@example.com. To volunteer as a mentor or expert, visit the RippleWorks website.
Seed Spot is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting social entrepreneurs creating a product, service, or technology that improves lives or makes the world a better place. They support entrepreneurs by surrounding them with access to mentors, community partners, business fundamentals, sources of capital, and other resources. Their programs are designed to support impact-driven entrepreneurs in Phoenix, Wash DC, Arcosanti, Boise, Santa Barbara, and Tampa. They also have an extensive online list of resources for startups.
SheEO is a radical new model to finance, support, and celebrate female entrepreneurs. This program brings together 500 women activators in each cohort whose money is pooled together and loaned out low-interest to five women-led ventures they have selected. All ventures must be revenue generating with export potential and be dedicated to creating a better world through their business model or product/service.
SheWorx hosts dynamic weekly roundtable discussions led by accomplished founders, entrepreneurs, and investors centered around challenging topics and actionable strategies for building and scaling successful companies.
The Slavin Fellowship
The Slavin Family Foundation provides support to dedicated students with a desire to contribute to humanity and the ability and discipline to bring entrepreneurial ideas to life. The Slavin Fellowship leverages the expertise and connections of Foundation trustee Nick Slavin, as well as the Foundation’s board, to provide advice, support, and connections to awardees. Fellows receive a $2,500 scholarship and must be nominated by a sponsoring professor with whom the Slavin Foundation coordinates throughout the year.
Social Enterprise Greenhouse
Social Enterprise Greenhouse creates positive social and economic impacts by supporting entrepreneurs and enterprises with the tools and networks they need to thrive. Their menu of programming creates a supportive ecosystem that enables social entrepreneurs to grow their networks, incubate their ideas, find more customers, and access additional capital.
Social Impact Ventures
Social Impact Ventures provides hands-on interim executive management and advisory services to social enterprises, corporations, investors, and funders. They apply their operational knowledge and skills to incubate business and revenue models they think have potential and seed these ventures with a mix of their own capital and crowdfunding. They are also launching Propeller to accelerate black founders, entrepreneurs, and business owners by connecting them with investors, entrepreneurs, and technologists who will provide the tools, assistance, and support they need to accelerate and grow their business.
StartingBloc convenes, supports, and grows leaders using an experiential model for leadership development in cities across the U.S. Their signature 5-day Institutes introduce participants to analytical frameworks, skill sets, and models for mindset transformation.
Springboard is a community of innovators, influencers, and investors committed to helping entrepreneurs build technology-focused companies led by women. They host accelerator programs annually for two cohorts in Life Sciences and Digital Media/Technology.
Startup52 is an early-stage accelerator in NYC that identifies and grooms outstanding entrepreneurs from untapped and under-tapped communities. Their goal is to increase diversity in startup and tech spaces, and they run two cohorts per year with up to 15 ventures per class.
StartUp Institute helps individuals leverage their passions and build technical skills, emotional intelligence, and professional networks within the areas of web development and design, digital marketing, and sales and business development. Discounted tuition and scholarships are available for women, people of color, seasoned professionals (40+), and veterans.
Strata is an acceleration program in New York for technology startups with Eastern European roots. They offer customized programs for Eastern European founders trying to adapt to cultural and business environments in the U.S. and help them define product/market fit, gain traction, and become part of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem in NYC.
Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program
The Tory Burch Foundation Fellows program is designed to provide women entrepreneurs a community of support to connect, learn, and grow their business. They offer a 1-year Fellowship in which participants receive three days of workshops and networking with innovative founders and business experts, a $10K grant to advance their business education, and the opportunity to pitch their business to Tory Birch and a panel of industry leaders for an additional investment.
Uncharted (previously the Unreasonable Institute) unites and resources the people most likely to put a dent in our biggest problems. Drawing from their vast network, they build coordinated movements of people – ventures, companies, foundations, government agencies, policy makers, funders, and more – who are all positioned to make a dent in the problem. They run several accelerators focused around specific challenges in different locations.
Inspired by conversations at the 2013 MassTLC unConference, Unpitch is designed to facilitate connections between entrepreneurs and investors. Held in Boston, Unpitch is a chance to have lunch with an Angel investor or VC in a casual environment, discuss your business, receive meaningful feedback, and make connections that will help you get to the next stage.
Uptima Business Bootcamp
Uptima Business Bootcamp is a network of member-owned business accelerators in the SF Bay Area dedicated to providing entrepreneurs with greater access to the education, resources, and community needed to create thriving businesses. Their business accelerators offer training in entrepreneurship for the “next economy” – balancing the need for financial sustainability with personal goals and the desire to create positive social, environmental and economic impact.
Urban Future Lab (UFL)
The Urban Future Lab (UFL) is NYC’s hub for smart cities, smart-grid, and clean energy. Their space hosts several programs focused on educational, policy, and market solutions concerning issues of sustainability. In partnership with NYCEDC, they host exhibitions and events centered on sustainability policy, innovation, and education.
Each URBAN-X cohort participates in 20 immersive weeks of product development, user testing, and network-building in Munich, San Francisco, and other cities. URBAN-X companies work shoulder-to-shoulder with world-class electrical and mechanical engineers, industrial design talent from MINI and BMW, and user experience and interface designers.
VC-List was created to educate founders about how best to seek startup funding. They publish educational articles covering all aspects of how to raise capital for startups, whether venture capital funding or equity crowdfunding.
VentureWell supports faculty and teams of student innovators in creating socially beneficial businesses through training and funding. The VentureWell website include links to free tools and toolkits for social entrepreneurs, from business and strategy to sustainable design.
Village Capital selects, trains, and funds entrepreneurs working on issues in two major problem areas: access to opportunity for underserved communities (through health, education, and financial inclusion ventures) and resource sustainability of the planet (through energy and agriculture ventures). Selected entrepreneurs undergo a curriculum designed to help them scale their business and become investment-ready. Upon finishing, a handful are selected to receive seed capital using a unique peer-selected investment model process.
Verb U | Dell Social Innovation Challenge
The Dell Social Innovation Challenge identifies and supports promising young social innovators who are dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing problems. All university students at different stages of the entrepreneurial journey are eligible to enter.
WeNYC is an initiative of the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) that is dedicated to helping women start and grow their own businesses. They offer several free services, including networking events, business courses, financial and credit counselling, funding options, and mentorship sessions.
Women’s Housing & Development Corp. Kitchen Incubator (WHEDco)
WHEDco’s Urban Horizons Kitchen offers emerging food companies affordable space in a fully licensed state-of-the-art 4,000 square foot commercial kitchen. It is available on a per diem or monthly basis, however, fees are competitive for longer-term rentals.
Women’s World Banking (WWB) Fellowship
The WWB Fellowship Program enables future global leaders in microfinance and women’s economic empowerment to experience the challenges and rewards of creating financial opportunities for low-income women. Fellows will immerse themselves in the work of WWB and learn critical business and organizational skills to help WWB achieve its mission.
YourProjectX is a career exploration and entrepreneurship program that helps individuals across the world build careers they love. The New York Hive offers a 10 week part-time program, as well as a 4-week program for those entering a new field. They also offer Social Innovation X, a multi-country fellowship for emerging leaders (5 sessions in NYC and 1 week in Guatemala).