**All applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM PST on Friday, October 19, 2018**
Welcome to the UpStart Venture Accelerator application. We look forward to learning about your venture and how you are making an impact on Jewish life.
Please note that while most questions in the application are required, some questions are optional, and most long form answers have word limits. Some questions also request materials to be uploaded; file type restrictions are noted on the application for each file upload field.
If you have a technical problem when submitting your application, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants will receive quick and attentive service M-F 9am to 6pm Central. Weekend support is also available but may not be as quick.
Questions about application content should be emailed to email@example.com. FAQs can be found on the UpStart Venture Accelerator webpage.
Please note that you are able to save drafts of your application and return to it later.
Have questions about the Accelerator application process? Wondering if your organization is the right fit? UpStart hosted Informational Webinars to review the criteria, provide insight into the program's requirements, and answer your questions about the application process. Watch a recording of the September 27 webinar here if you were not able to attend a live session.
Each year we select the top organizations from a highly competitive pool of applicants. Please review the following Selection Criteria as a guide to ensure the highest likelihood of receiving an invitation into the selection process.
- Meets a Need: Your organization is fielding increasing demand for its programs and services. Not only are you serving a growing participant base, but their interaction with your programs is having an impact. Show us that there’s a bigger market for your work and that this growing appeal is being matched by a well-executed set of offerings.
- Makes a Unique Contribution to Jewish Life: Your organization’s mission contributes to the growth and vitality of Jewish life in a bold and potentially game-changing way. Show us how your work is solving a vexing problem or offering a creative approach, and why it is different than others in the field.
- Vision for Growth: You have a preliminary strategy for scaling your organization’s impact and a growing cadre of committed stakeholders to make it happen. We want to learn about your organization’s vision for the future and how you intend to inspire others to commit the financial and human resources needed to succeed.
- Dedicated and Effective Leadership: Your organization’s leadership is committed to seeing it through the next stage of its growth, adopting new approaches as needed along the way. The leadership has a sophisticated understanding of the landscape your organization operates in, and has a track record of effectively managing people and processes in order to achieve organizational goals.
Organizations with at least three of the following criteria align best with the Accelerator experience. Although it is not required to align with these criteria in order to apply, it is highly recommended.
- Legal Status: 501c3, Fiscally Sponsored, or B Corp
- Board Governance: Has an Advisory Board and/or Board of Directors made up of highly engaged stakeholders
- Budget Size: Yearly projected budget is at least $150K and no more than $650K
- Staff: There is at least one full-time employee
- Attendance and active engagement in all Accelerator cohort gatherings, coaching sessions, and events.
- One time $2,500 Accelerator membership fee.
- Participation in the UpStart evaluation processes, including providing key impact metrics, required by UpStart and its funders.
- Enthusiasm for learning, openness to risk-taking, and investment in your peers.
- Commitment to making your organization/project your top priority at least through June 2020.
2018-2019 Program Dates and Commitments*
- January 2019: Site Visit with UpStart Coach - The organization's Coach will travel to the organization to see the program/product in action, and support the participant in setting benchmark goals for the first 6-months of the program.
- February 2019: CORE Coaching begins - Participants will meet with their Coach for 90-mins a month, every month, through the end of the program.
- March 26-28, 2019: Cohort Gathering in Denver, CO - Participants will convene for cohort building activities and intensive clinics on non-profit management.
- May 20-22, 2019: The Collaboratory in Brooklyn, NY - Participants will attend the Collaboratory, the largest annual gathering of Jewish community visionaries, activists, and catalyzers of change in North America.
- July 2019: Accelerator Grant - Participants will receive a $25K grant upon acceptance into the program, and then can apply for up to $75K additional unrestricted funding.
- September 2019: Cohort Gathering in TBD
- March 2020: Cohort Gathering in TBD
- May 2020: The Collaboratory, 2020 in TBD
- June 2020: Submission of Final Project
*Specific dates and details will be available upon acceptance into the UpStart Venture Accelerator
- Organizations can be based inside or outside the U.S. but require the ability to receive funding in the U.S. and primarily serve North American Jewry.
- Participants must be 18+ years-old.