The New School’s Social Innovation Initiative fosters opportunities for students and faculty to engage cross-divisionally in interdisciplinary learning, research and practice that contributes to real-world problem solving.

This guide is designed for New School undergraduate and graduate students who are motivated to take their ideas for social change to the next level.

It includes information about competitions, fellowships, funding and grant opportunities, and special events focused on social innovation and social entrepreneurship at The New School and outside the university. Please visit the websites of the hosting organizations to learn more about these opportunities and their application requirements.

If you are interested in applying for any of these opportunities and would like guidance on your application, we encourage you to connect with The New School’s Social Innovation Initiative at

To learn about more opportunities and events related to social innovation and to get involved in this work at The New School visit

We are also seeking mentors to help students translate their ideas into reality while building skill-sets needed to thrive in the 21st century.

Learn more and apply on our Mentorship Page.

Use the links below to quick navigate to the resource you need.

Competitions & Funding


The Future Cities Accelerator exists to solve the challenges faced by poor or vulnerable populations living in U.S. cities.

In order to do this, Unreasonable Institute is partnering with the Rockefeller Foundation to offer 10 grants of $100,000 to people most capable of solving these challenges and provide them what they need to get the job done at scale. They’re hoping to draw an eclectic mix of innovators, entrepreneurs, and activists and give them what they need to get the job done at scale.

Unreasonable is looking for projects with a clear plan for change, growth, and the potential to reach at least 1 million people.

Deadline: September


The EILEEN FISHER Women-Owned Business Grant supports innovative, women-owned companies that are beyond the start-up phase and ready to expand their business and their potential for positive social and environmental impact. Presently, they award $120,000 in grants for up to 10 grant recipients (minimum grant $12,000) on an annual basis. In addition, grant recipients are invited to New York City in the spring following their award for two days of learning and celebration with the EILEEN FISHER community.

Deadline: Spring


The Roddenberry Foundation’s (TRF) Catalyst Fund was created because they believe hat philanthropists, and foundations in particular, need to take more risks. As a field we need to do more to encourage experimentation, creativity, and innovation from each other and from those organizations and individuals we support. The Catalyst Fund is one of several new TRF initiatives designed to make riskier bets in early-stage ideas that have great potential. In doing so, we hope to hold ourselves more accountable while leveling the playing field in terms of who, how, and where the next game- changing ideas comes from.

The Catalyst Fund makes grants between $2,500- $15,000. They don’t limit themselves to any one issue, rather they search across issues to identify opportunities where innovation is needed to address an urgent challenge.

The Fund accepts applications on a continuous basis with no deadlines.

There is no limit to the number of projects they will support in any given year. From time to time they will post a request for proposals for a specific problem they find particularly compelling or underfunded.

They are looking for individuals or teams who are unbound by convention; whose projects challenge our thinking; who compel us to see a problem in a new light; and whose creativity and imagination redefine notions of what can be done and how.

You can be a seasoned social entrepreneur or a first- time changemaker. There are no disqualifiers. No prerequisites.
Learn more and apply at:

Deadline: Rolling


Changemakers is a global online community supporting social entrepreneurs by connecting them with others for inspiration, mentoring, and collaboration at all levels. Changemakers hosts interactive online competitions to identify and connect social innovators and implementers. Participants compete to offer the most promising solutions to identified problems and then to collaborate to refine, develop and implement proposals.

Deadline: Ongoing


Each year, CGIU hosts a meeting at which students, national youth organizations, experts, and celebrities discuss solutions to pressing global issues. To attend CGI U, you must develop a Commitment to Action; a plan of action that addresses a pressing need on your campus in your community or in another part of the world.

Deadline: Deadlines are in the fall


This new funding competition aims to source, support, and feature the most effective, high-impact college student entrepreneurs and innovators worldwide by providing critical early-stage seed funding. Selected scholars will receive funding to advance projects that fit CGI’s Commitments to Action model and an invitation to attend the CGI U conference.

The Innovation Fund is open to anyone 18 years of age or older currently enrolled in an institute of higher education.

Deadline: June



VERB U/The Dell Social Innovation Challenge  supports promising young social innovators who dedicate themselves to solving the world’s most pressing problems with their transformative ideas. They provide university students with world-class teaching and training, as well as with start-up capital and access to a network of mentors and advisors.

Deadline: Deadlines usually fall in January, check website for details.


Microsoft’s Imagine Cup is a worldwide student technology competition. While competing with peers from around the world, students gain real-life experiences, make new friends, and turn their ideas into reality. Bright young minds join together and, using technology, take on the world’s toughest problems.

Deadline: Applications open in the Fall


The AT&T and Baruch College Fast Pitch Competition is a business competition in which teams have the chance to competitively pitch their business ideas in one of three tracks: wealth, education and health, and enjoyment.

Deadline: Spring


Challenge:Future is a global youth think tank creating a community of talent and ideas for the world that works for all. The annual Challenge: Future Competition is a global web-based innovation contest built on ideas of radical inclusiveness, open collaboration, and embedded sustainability.


seToolbelt is an open-content resource hub that helps social entrepreneurs plan, launch, manage, and grow successful new social enterprises. seToolbelt hosts an annual competition for original tools and resources for social enterprise. They look for innovative, practical, real-life responses to the challenges that arise in social enterprises so that they can help make these original tools available to the wider community of social entrepreneurs.

Deadline: February


Arizona State University’s School of Public Affairs has been working with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to design a national policy proposal competition among students and others to develop ideas proposed through the Startup America Policy Challenge on how federal agencies might break down barriers to entrepreneurship and best enable the use of new technologies in healthcare, education, and clean energy & the environment.

Deadline: January


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 to create and grow successful enterprises. The skills and knowledge this network of people share is something they call mentor capital.

MCN provides several benefits to winners:

In order to apply for this fellowship, you must be starting or growing a for-profit company, must still be seeking feedback on your business model (you can be pre- or post-revenue), you must have a social, environmental,and/or cultural goal that affects how your company makes money. The MCN seeks companies where social values make your company stronger financially, you must be interested in working mentors who can provide meaningful, actionable feedback on a written business plan.

There is no fee to apply, but if you are accepted, there is a processing fee of $500, which is due when you submit the first version of your business plan. There are a variety of discounts and scholarships that will be made available.

Deadline: November

Learn more and apply here.


D-Prize is dedicated toward expanding access to poverty-alleviation solutions in the developing world. Many solutions to poverty already exist; the challenge is distributing these solutions to the people who need it most. D-Fund tackles this by challenging social entrepreneurs to develop better ways to distribute proven life-enhancing technologies, and funding early-stage startups that deliver the best results.

The D-Prize competition is a call to the world’s boldest entrepreneurs.  Can you design a new social enterprise and solve one of the distribution challenges below?

If selected, D-Prize will award you up to $20,000 to launch a pilot in Africa, India, or another other developing region. D-Prize will award 5-15 social entrepreneurs funding. If your pilot is successful, they will help you find future funding and grow to impact millions.

D-Prize is for all aspiring entrepreneurs. You may come from anywhere in the world, be any age, and have any background. You must be committed, highly skilled, and ready to work hard to scale-up your impact as a long term career.

D-Fund will fund some existing organizations, especially if your organization wants to pilot a new distribution-focused initiative. If you are over 12 months old, have already raised more than $100,000, and are not piloting a new distribution-focused initiative, D-Prize is unlikely to offer funding.

Application Deadline: December

Learn more and apply on the D-Prize website


NYC BigApps is the premier civic tech initiative of the City of New York. Over five months, BigApps challenges developers, designers, and entrepreneurs to create functioning, marketable tech tools that help solve pressing civic challenges. Whether you’re a novice or pro, a coder or a content specialist, building an app, a device, or another product altogether, they provide resources that make it easy to make a difference.

In the pastNYC BigApps asked teams to build products around four Challenge tracks: Affordable Housing, Zero Waste, Connected Cities, and Civic Engagement. There is also a Wildcard category for projects outside of those themes.

NYC BigApp’s partners with over a dozen City agencies, policy advocates, and tech experts to offer mentorship and help create impactful products around these Challenges.

NYC BigApps is led by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and supported by a broad array of program partners and sponsors.

Applications are due in the Fall.

Learn more and check the website for updates for upcoming competitions.


Each year, The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) invites people from all over the world—including scientists, designers, architects, activists, artists, planners, entrepreneurs, and students—to submit their 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, but the Fuller Challenge offers more than a single financial award. In addition to the $100,000 grand prize, BFI seeks to leverage further resources for Finalists, Semi-finalists, and select entrants through its network and Catalyst Program. For more informatio about the Catalyst program, visit: about/catalyst-program.

Winning the Fuller Challenge requires more than a stand-alone idea or innovation. BFI looks for whole-system solutions that both demonstrate a clear grasp of the ‘big-picture’ and focus on a well-defined need of critical importance. If, for example, your proposal emphasizes a new design, material, process, service, tool or technology, it is essential that it be part of an integrated strategy that simultaneously addresses key social, environmental, and economic factors.

Initiatives representing a range of development stages will be reviewed – from early stage proposals with completed proof of concept to fully operating models ready to expand. Entries can tackle urgent needs at a range of geographic scales: from strategies designed for global scale implementation to initiatives tailored to local or regional conditions. Non-profit, for-profit, and hybrid initiatives are all eligible.

Winning Strategies Must Successfully Integrate the Fuller Challenge Criteria:

Applications are due in March.

Moving forward, BFI will recognize outstanding student proposals to the Challenge. 2016 is the first year that student entries will undergo a separate review and selection process.

Learn more and apply at


The American Entrepreneurship Award (AEA) offers the Bronx and Miami-Dade County-based entrepreneurs the chance to receive a share of up to $125,000 in prize funding to support their new business venture. In addition, free consulting and business support services, as well as mentoring are available from experienced executives who really want you to succeed.

The American Entrepreneurship Award was born out of the Libra Group’s commitment to the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA) and initially focuses on two communities which they believe face disproportionate lack of opportunity compared with other parts of the USA,   Miami-Dade County, Florida, and the Bronx, New York City. They want to encourage participation and to inspire hope, both among both first-time entrepreneurs and small business owners who are seeking support for a new commercial venture or new business idea.

Be the first to make an impact on your community through entrepreneurship supported by the AEA!

They Are Looking For

The competition runs annually from January to June.

Applications are due in late April.

Learn more and apply at 


ioby mobilizes neighbors who have good ideas to become powerful citizen leaders who plan, fund and make positive change in their own neighborhoods. Their crowd-resourcing platform connects leaders with funding and support to make neighborhoods safer, greener, more livable and more fun.

ioby uses the concept of crowd-resourcing (a term they coined) to drive projects to success:

       crowdfunding + resource organizing = crowd-resourcing


As a combination of these two, ioby’s platform gives everyone the ability to organize all kinds of capital—cash, social networks, in-kind donations, volunteer time, advocacy—from within the neighborhood to make the neighborhood a better place to live.


So, take a look around their site! Start a project in your neighborhood. Or pick a project close to your home (or your heart) and help it grow.

Start a Project

Pick an Already Existing Project

Learn more about ioby at:



Fellowships, Incubators, Accelerators & Events


The Centre for Social Innovation is launching a new program called the Women’s Lab to support female social entrepreneurs. They are looking for a select group of women to be part of the “Founding 40” who would take up residence in their coworking space at 26th Street and 11th Ave.
The first application window is from June – July. Apply now to become one of 40 Founding Member Organizations in The Women’s Lab @ Centre for Social Innovation, a collaborative and supportive workspace and community for social mission organizations benefitting young girls and women.

Deadline: July


Echoing Green offers a two-year fellowship program that supports outstanding emerging social entrepreneurs whose organizations hold promise of delivering bold, high-impact solutions to society’s most difficult problems.

Deadline: January

IDEO.ORG FELLOWSHIP was launched to spread human-centered design through the social sec- tor and improve the lives of people in low-income communities across the globe. looks for a class of residents to build empathy, generate ideas, prototype concepts, and deliver solutions.


The Social Innovators Collective was originally designed as a membership organization for dynamic, emerging founders, leaders and individuals who work in the social enterprise and nonprofit sectors both nationally and internationally. They are currently transforming into an online educational platform with offline classes and workshops. They mission is to nurture, shape, and train the next wave of changemakers so that they can not only demonstrate measurable social impact, but also achieve financially sustainability.


The StartingBloc fellowship provides young leaders with access to resources to address the most pressing global challenges of our time. Fellows gain access to a tight-knit community of social innovators based across the country and the world as well as participation in the Institute for Social Innovation which includes a survey of social innovation, an innovative case-study competition and sessions with industry leaders.

Deadline: Spring


The Black Male Achievement (BMA) Fellowship is a new fellowship program by Open Society Foundations and Echoing Green dedicated to improve the life out- comes of black men and boys in the U.S. It targets social entrepreneurs who are starting up new and innovative organizations in the field of black male achievement. The BMA Fellowship includes start-up capital and technical assistance over 18 months to help new leaders launch and build their organizations; access to technical support and pro bono partnerships; and a community of like-minded social entrepreneurs and public service leaders.

Deadline: December


The WWB Fellowship Program enables future global leaders in microfinance and women’s economic empowerment to experience the challenges and rewards of contributing that works diligently to create financial opportunities to an organization ties for low income women. Over a 2-year period, Fellows will deliver solutions for organization and network member institutions concerning an array of microfinance initiatives.


The Unreasonable Institute is an annual event that brings the most daring young entrepreneurs in the world together in one place to obtain legal advice and design consulting, form relationships with up to 30 impact-investment funds, and prepare to launch financially self-sustaining, globally scalable ventures designed to serve the needs of at least one million people. The goal is to put the right pieces in place to ensure that the selected participants’ ventures will take flight. 

In Spring, Unreasonable Lab NYC runs an Investment Preparedness Lab, a 5-day accelerator designed to help social ventures understand the fundraising process and become ready to take on investment. Their ultimate goal is to get more funding flowing to highly impactful ventures.

Learn more here.


Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs Program identifies and supports inspiring young entrepreneurs whose work helps alleviate domestic poverty. This competitive program is open to entrepreneurs who are operating viable businesses in the US with the dual purpose of making a difference and making a living. In addition to a $40,000 grant, they provide awardees the ingredients they need to succeed, including leadership development, business mentoring, technical assistance and access to a network of peers and advisers.

Deadline: March


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. By taking a customer-centric approach and pushing teams to iterate quickly and cheaply, this fellowship aims to inspire fellows to build products that really make a difference.

The fellowship includes a summer program that provides everything a team of early-stage social entrepreneurs might need: over $40,000 in resources, an amazing peer group of mid-career designers, developers, and entrepreneurs, unparalleled access to a pool of community collaborators for research and testing, a great mentor network, and much more.

Fellows can apply as individuals or as teams. In either case, Blue Ridge Labs is looking for each participant to fill one of three roles: product, resourceful entrepreneurs who tackle big problems quickly, design, imaginative UX/UI experts who can visualize and delight, engineering, thoughtful full-stack builders who code and test with care. All  great candidates will bring not only a great track record in their area of expertise, but also courage, empathy, and a love of fast-paced, collaborative environments.

In past years, fellows had two options for applications: propose a topic you’re passionate about, or tackle one of two existing areas with high potential opportunities for technology to make a real difference: the informal economy, out-of-school learning, and immigrant services.

Applications due: April

Find out more and read through application options on the Blue Ridge Labs fellowship website.


Camelback Venture’s mission is to create a more dynamic social innovation ecosystem that leverages the genius of all participants. To do this, they identify local leaders with promising ideas, and empower them to enact change within their communities.

Camelback Venture’s Fellows Program offers seed-funding and support to new leaders with promising ideas, and empowers them to enact change within their communities.

During the seven-month program, Fellows receive a $5,000 matching grant and the opportunity for up to $40,000 in additional investment (capital). Fellows receive 1:1 strategy coaching and participate in leadership development sessions developed in partnership with City Year (coaching). Fellows also engage in a summit series and other network opportunities to deepen their relationships with tech talent, investors and other partners (connections).

Camelback Ventures believes  that social ventures founded by local entrepreneurs based in their community are more likely to create lasting impact within their community. Therefore, they prioritize local entrepreneurs, or individuals who are focused on creating educational and economic opportunities within their own cities, neighborhoods, schools and communities. Because their target communities are primarily communities of color, many ventures are founded by entrepreneurs of color.

Deadline: Fall

Learn more and apply on the CamelBack Ventures Website


The BF+DA believes that design entrepreneurs are key to the future. They build responsible businesses that redefine models for success and are growing a vibrant, supportive community around shared values.

The BF + DA is looking for fashion designers, product designers, and technologists with companies that embrace innovative thinking, are relevant, ready to grow, concerned with optimizing environmental and social impact, and committed to the overarching vision of the BF+DA to make change, share knowledge, and transform the industry.

Their Venture Fellow program includes:

Venture Fellows are full-time residents and active participants in the BF + DA community.

Applications for Venture Fellows are accepted on a rolling basis.

Learn more and check the website for upcoming application review deadlines.


The Slavin Family Foundation provides support to dedicated students that have a desire to contribute to humanity and the ability and discipline to bring entrepreneurial ideas to life. Their primary activity is the Slavin Fellowship, which offers support and mentorship to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students pursuing potentially world-changing entrepreneurial projects.

The Fellowship program leverages the expertise and connections of Foundation trustee Nick Slavin, the Foundation’s board and advisory board, and their networks, to provide advice, support, and connections to Fellowship awardees. Fellows also receive a $2,500 scholarship.

The scholarship component of the Fellowship reflects the Slavin Foundation’s support of higher education. They believe that just because a student is committed to finishing college or graduate school doesn’t mean he or she has to wait to begin an impactful entrepreneurial project.

Students can apply by being nominated by a sponsoring professor with whom the Slavin Foundation can coordinate with throughout the year and who can help review the student’s work.

Each application is to come in the form of a nomination of a student by a “sponsoring professor,” a university faculty member (who need not hold the title of “professor”) with whom they can coordinate throughout the year and who can offer another perspective on the student’s work and needs.

Application deadlines generally begin in February and run through October .

Check out the inaugural Slavin Fellows (2015) here and their website at for more information.


4.0 Schools offers a platform for teachers, technologists and entrepreneurs to create bold solutions for the real problems in America’s schools. These new ventures serve as the core of the future of education – schools, products and services that reimagine the way we teach and learn.

Their rigorous process gives aspiring entrepreneurs a pathway from their initial hunch to the launch of their new product or school. For four years they have been building a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs willing to challenge the status quo in schooling.

Essentials is a three-day experience designed to help individuals move their ideas forward. Through one on one and group coaching, user testing, and continually iterating on their idea, participants will leave Essentials with a better understanding of their users and the problem they are trying to solve for them. Essentials is designed for individuals and teams actively working on an idea for a product, company, school model, or service and are looking to prototype and refine their idea.

Application submissions specifying an upcoming Essentials workshop are reviewed on a regular basis. 4.0 Schools will fill each cohort of 15-20 participants on a first-come, first-serve basis and then open a wait list for each session. Since they offer Essentials multiple times a year, they are happy to hold your application for a future Essentials if you’re accepted and placed on the waitlist.

Learn more and see when the next Essentials program is running at:


4.0 Schools offers a platform for teachers, technologists and entrepreneurs to create bold solutions for the real problems in America’s schools. These new ventures serve as the core of the future of education – schools, products and services that reimagine the way we teach and learn.

Their rigorous process gives aspiring entrepreneurs a pathway from their initial hunch to the launch of their new product or school. For four years they have been building a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs willing to challenge the status quo in schooling.

Launch supports entrepreneurs to bring new ventures—products, services, or school models—to life in under 90 days. If you’re a bold, gritty individual hungry to solve a tough problem, the Launch program will push you to test and iterate your envisioned solution until it is really meeting the needs of your end users.

4.0 provides an extensive test-bed in New York and New Orleans, where companies and nonprofits can iterate based on real user feedback and secure their first customers.

Launch offers entrepreneurs with ambitious ideas:

  • Up to $10,000 in equity-free capital
  • Individual coaching from a team with deep education sector experience, expertise and connections, and
  • A cohort experience with other entrepreneurs who similarly want to successfully bring their ideas to market and shape the future of school.

Learn more and see when the next Launch will be running:


MECATE is the international program of the Laboratory for Entrepreneurship and Transformation. They bring together entrepreneurs from all over the world so that, during the course of a week, they raise solutions fo problems within various social fields.

THE LABORATORY FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND TRANSFORMATION is a community focused on impacting actively the public sphere, through the promotion and development of public entrepreneurship initiatives. It works through a system based on a trans-disciplinary collaboration model, that enables all kinds of resources aimed to reach and transform more lives.

Deadline: March


SheWorx hosts dynamic weekly roundtable discussions led by mentors who are accomplished founders, entrepreneurs, investors, centered around challenging topics and actionable strategies for building and scaling successful companies.

SheWorx events are currently happening in New York, London, Singapore and Tel Aviv. Some past mentors and topics include:

SheWorx is creating strong local ecosystems where more women are launching new ideas, obtaining funding, and growing sustainable companies. They seek to be the go-to resource for ambitious women throughout their entrepreneurial journey – whether they are at the beginning stages of creating their company or if they have already raised multiple rounds funding. They are building a community of ambitious female entrepreneurs and their supporters to accelerate the knowledge, network, and capabilities of entrepreneurs and changemakers who will define the next wave of leadership.

Learn more and register for an upcoming event at


Social Impact Ventures is launching Propeller to prepare the next generation of black founders, entrepreneurs and business owners. They apply real world experience, and operating and capital market expertise to businesses and revenue models they think have potential to scale and catalyze change.

Propeller leverage’s Oakland’s rich pool of startup resources by connecting Propeller participants with investors, entrepreneurs and technologists that will provide tools, assistance and support to help them accelerate and grow their business.

They work with “committed capital” from select private investors on a transaction by transaction basis with the goal of maximizing invested capital and social impact.

Learn more and apply at


The TNP Scholars Program supports socially conscious leaders with purpose-driven ideas to reach their full potential. Each year, we choose 15 curious, humble and passionate innovators who are making a positive impact on society to be a part of the program.

Over the course of 12 months, Scholars are inspired with new ways of thinking, connected to a network of expert advisors and champions, and supported in developing and implementing their ideas through a curriculum of mentorship, instruction, workshops and friendship. Our goal is to accelerate Scholars’ efforts and deepen their impact. Upon completion of the program, Scholars will have developed meaningful connections, great storytelling skills, and received expert training in partnership building, fundraising, marketing, impact measurement, and more.

The TNP Scholars Program kicks off in September during TNP’s annual gathering on Nantucket. There, Scholars are introduced to each other, TNP leadership and speakers, and spend four days thinking, learning, collaborating, and bonding. The weekend on Nantucket is the catalyst for a year-long program. TNP Scholars develop their ideas by creating a clear and definitive work plan through five modules of exploration.

Learn more and apply:

Deadline: April 28, 2017


Each URBAN-X cohort enters into 20 immersive weeks of product development and network-building. Working trips to Munich, San Francisco and other cities are designed to help you meet customers, investors, and partners. URBAN-X companies work shoulder-to-shoulder with world-class electrical and mechanical engineers, industrial design talent from MINI and BMW, user-experience and interface designers – as well as insights from leaders in growth hacking, sales and communications/marketing.

Learn more and apply here:


Grand Central Tech (GCT) is a community of startups and strategic partners that breaks from the traditional accelerator model by providing an unparalleled value proposition.

Accepted companies receive FREE office space for a YEAR with ZERO equity fee to participate. GCT surrounds these companies with the best possible resources in a program tailor-made to each.

GCT has carefully assembled an exciting group of Strategic Advisors that are instrumental in selecting participating startups, providing guidance, and generally shaping our program. Their advisors come from a wide array of professional backgrounds, but all have a wealth of experience and deep connections throughout the technology landscape.

Learn more and apply at

Other Resources


In 2016, Fast Company’s Co.Exist division has launched World Changing Awards to reward ideas, projects, and products from the last year that have the potential to alter the lives of people and the direction of the planet for the better.

They are looking for any ideas that have launched since the start of 2015, running the gamut from finished product to brave concept.

Feasibility and the potential for impact are two key criteria—so having something in users’ hands is a big advantage. But they also want to award ingenuity and help foster innovation, which is why well-thought-out ideas that are not yet in the field will also be considered.

For full competition details, see the rules and FAQs.

The entry period will run from September to December.

Learn more and apply here.


Inspired by conversations at the 2013 MassTLC unConference, Unpitch is designed to facilitate connections between entrepreneurs and investors.

It’s NOT about delivering an elevator pitch onstage, a “demo day” presentation, or trying to grab a few seconds with a venture capitalist in a conference hallway. Instead, Unpitch is a chance to have lunch with an Angel investor or VC in a casual, no-pressure environment, discuss your business , get meaningful feedback on your ideas, and make connections that will help you get to the next stage.

Unpitch is totally free. The investors are buying lunch for the entrepreneurs… because each of them acknowledges that without great founders, there are no successful investors.

 Unpitch takes place in Boston, MA but you don’t have to live in Boston to apply. You do have to arrange your own travel to and from the event however, so plan acoordingly.

Learn more and apply at


The Hitachi Foundation has created Entrepreneur Xchange, a video series and resource library showcasing strategies, stories, and advice to help entrepreneurs build great businesses. Entrepreneur Xchange is designed to fit into the lives of busy entrepreneurs and provides quick, valuable insights from more established entrepreneurs — with supporting resources in each of the topic areas for those who wish to dive deeper.

This series presents information on five topics identified by entrepreneurs as being the “most important” areas that early-stage ventures need advice on: Investing/Raising CapitalScalingCustomer AcquisitionSocial Impact & Human Capital/Workforce


The Centre for Social Innovation provides its members with the spaces, relationships and knowledge they need to translate ideas to impact. They are part coworking space, part community center and part incubator for people and organizations that are changing the world.They hold workshops year round to support social innovators of every field.


Free Range Studios helps people committed to causes or socially innovative ideas help invent powerful brands through various modes of communications–web, film, movies, print, and strategies. Additionally they provide workshops to help innovators shape their own messages powerfully.


A list of information, resources, and government agencies that support the start, operation, and expansion of small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures. Topics include business structure, financing, legal, marketing and more.  Download the guide at the link below.

Start-Up Resource Guide


NEW INC was founded by the New Museum in 2014 and is the first museum-led cultural incubator dedicated to supporting innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship across art, design, and technology. It occupies eight thousand square feet of dedicated office, workshop, social, and presentation space, and each year selects an outstanding interdisciplinary community of one hundred members who are investigating new ideas and developing sustainable practices.

Learn more about NEW INC


Founded in 2013, Beespace is an incubator that identifies and launches the next generation of nonprofits.

They help nonprofit founders field-test their ideas during their two-year stay at Beespace before making the jump to organization-building. In that time, a supportive learning community develops, pushing “incubees” to identify truly transformative solutions to social problems.

Beespace offers a unique incubation experience of two full years, providing the security of time, seed money, and other supports that encourage creative risk-taking and lead to lasting innovation.

While at Beespace, incubees can expect:

Learn more and apply at: BeeSpace


The Urban Future Lab (UFL) is New York City’s hub for smart cities, smart-grid and clean energy. Their space hosts several programs focused on educational, policy and market solutions to the issues of sustainability.

In partnership with NYCEDC, they also host exhibitions and events centered on sustainability policy, innovation and education. They are located at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle.


NYC ACRE is the City’s premier cleantech incubator housed at the Urban Future Lab. ACRE helps cleantech, smart grid and sustainable smart cities companies grow, advancing the city as a role model for a low-carbon future while also creating jobs. NYC stands to gain significantly by helping innovative startup technology companies that are able to address our most pressing energy and environmental needs. ACRE is funded by NYSERDA, NYU Poly and our generous corporate partners. (link to funders).


PowerBridgeNY is a NYSERDA funded proof-of-concept center that identifies promising early stage clean energy technology from institutional research labs and invests in translational work to advance these technologies towards technical and customer validation and scalability. PowerbridgeNY is an unprecedented collaboration between six downstate institutions convened to foster a more robust ecosystem around the clean energy sector in downstate New York.

The Clean Start Program is a rigorous NYU three-semester program designed to transition students for a career in cleantech. Mid-career professionals from diverse sectors, acquire the information necessary to work in the clean energy economy and learn technical, analytical, and systems thinking skills from entrepreneurs and industry leaders through hands-on experiential learning, mentorships, and capstone projects. Capstones either pair students with companies from the ACRE incubator or allow students to pursue their own ventures.
Learn more about Urban Future Lab.


Through a four-month program, Tumml invites early-stage companies from around the country into its office space to receive extensive support. Companies are furnished with $20,000 in seed stage funding, in exchange for 5% in equity, mentorship from civic and government leaders, successful urban impact entrepreneurs, and policy experts, and in-kind services such as free desk space in downtown San Francisco, government advocacy, and web/hosting.

Learn more and apply at tumml


Kick NYC welcomes entrepreneurs at any stage looking to explore that idea you just can’t shake, take your vision from business idea to business success, seek  guidance launching a new venture, figure out how to improve your enterprise, take a prototype to full-scale, or understand how to raise capital or crowdfund your startup.

In the intensive 5-week course, participants go through the Lean Startup process. So whether you have a draft business plan, a dream that keeps you up a night, a prototype, or even a few customers earning revenue, you will get the chance to start at the beginning and (re)construct your business from scratch.

Here’s how KICK works:

KICK has two types of sessions, KICK NYC and KICK NYC RISING.

Learn more and apply at


Uniquely positioned at the center of tech ecosystems in Boston, New York, and Chicago, Startup Institute has designed a program to open new doors. In addition to expert training in the most in-demand skills, they offer personalized career mentorship and connections to the people and companies that will advance your career.

Their eight-week program will give you the skills, mindset, and network to find a job you love, doing work that matters. It will help you leverage your passions and build the technical skills, culture skills, and network that will launch you into the innovation industry in the areas of web development, web design, technical marketing, or sales and account management.

At Startup Institute, they are training the modern workforce for the innovation economy.  Students are aspiring innovators, world-changers, and passionate people who want to make real, meaningful impacts in their careers. It is undeniably critical that you have the technical skills to be effective, but this is only one part of what happens in the program. Simulating a fast-paced business environment, they teach both the technical skills and the culture skills people need. They use real-world situations, team projects, and interactive learning exercises (not lectures). You’ll also be introduced to a wealth of people in the local community who are working in some of the most innovative companies, thus helping you to significantly expand your professional network. It is an intense and transformative program in which their goal is to help you get a job you love at a company that excites you.

The full-time program gives you the choice of one of four technical tracks: web design, web development, technical marketing, and sales and account management. 70% of your time will be focused on these skills. The rest of the time will be spent developing your network and building the culture skills that executives have told us are inherent in their most successful employees:

Full Time Program: Tuition for the full-time program is $7,100 with a $1,000 deposit required within seven days of acceptance into the program to reserve a spot.

Part Time Classes: Part Time classes in Ruby, Web Design, Technical Marketing, and JavaScript are also held once a week the evenings. Like the full-time program part time classes are led by experienced practitioners who will teach you the best practices, hacks, and resources they use in their own jobs. Tuition is $750 per class.

Learn more and apply at


The DSIL Course is a globally certified professional development short course designed for individuals from all sectors who are ready to expand their leadership skills through emerging innovation practices. The experiential curriculum consists of interactive 10-day field immersions in Southeast Asia and live Virtual Classroom sessions where you will find yourself building greater capacity to create, think critically, and move ideas into action in highly diverse groups. At the same time, you’ll be evolving too- reflecting on your leadership strengths and opportunities to grow. Join our ecosystem of courageous individuals, thriving start-ups, dedicated social enterprises and progressive for-profit companies solving complex problems in effective ways. The DSIL Course takes place over several dynamic months all leading to the Executive Certificate. After the course, you’ll be well positioned to share your learning! Bring all that you have absorbed back to your teams where you work and live to ignite positive impact in your companies and communities.

Learn more and apply for online or field immersion program:


30 Weeks is a founders program that transforms designers into founders who are equipped with the entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and tech know-how to create products and start impactful companies. Their learn-by-launching structure gives designers a chance to build their products in an environment that’s as close to the real thing as possible.

30 Weeks embraces the principles of technology startups — eliminating wasted effort and maximizing speed — to help transform designers into founders. This learn-by-launching structure gives designers a chance to build their entrepreneurial skills in an environment that’s as close to the real thing as possible. In short: you get startup mentorship, discussions with industry leaders, real tools, group critiques, hands-on-help, a space to work in and the time to focus on your own product. Designers will be exposed to 5 key areas of learning: design, product, tech, business, and collaboration.

30 Weeks starts with a carefully-crafted series of modules which cover product development, business models, legal structures, branding storytelling and marketing as well as ongoing interaction with some of the smartest minds in design, tech, business and venture capital in New York City. Those designers who have successfully completed the first 15 weeks will be given the opportunity to apply for the subsequent 15 weeks which includes co-working space and mentoring.

Applications are typically due in early March.

The program runs from March through June and applications are accepted throughout the Winter.

Learn more and apply at

Project Entrepreneur

Project Entrepreneur ignites bold ideas by providing women access to the tools, training and networks needed to build scalable, economically impactful companies. They are working to reach this goal through a multi-faceted national initiative that includes this robust digital hub, multi-city events, a venture competition, and a 5-week accelerator program.

Rent the Runway co-founders Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss – in partnership with UBS – are on a mission: to break traditional barriers in women’s paths and democratize the knowledge and resources necessary to build impactful ventures.


Project Entrepreneur’s annual competition challenges women who intend to build a high-growth company using an existing prototype or beta technology. Participants apply by submitting information about the business idea and a panel of judges will select semi-finalists who will be awarded an opportunity to attend the Sponsor’s Weekend Intensive. A select group of winners will move forward after the Weekend Intensive and have the opportunity to present their business plan in person before a separate  panel of judges. Grantees will receive a $10,000 grant to be used in building their business and are accepted into a five-week accelerator program in New York.

Applications open each Fall and are due in November.

Learn more and apply here.


Project Entrepreneur has gathered a group of smart and successful women to create guides to help you hone your business idea. Learn More Here.

Learn more at


Check out Project Entreprenurs Project Entrepreneurship Summit, happening annually in New York City and Los Angeles, as well asJoin us! Learn from successful entrepreneurs at a Project Entrepreneur (PE) Summit near you. There is no charge to attend, but space is limited, so reserve your spot now!


digitalundivided uses innovation to foster the economic growth and empowerment of Black and Latina women entrepreneurs.

Since 2013, DID has impacted over 2,000 people and helped raise $15MM in investments.

DID’s programs empower middle- and base-level earners to realize improved work opportunity by giving them the tools they need, including mentorship, training, and access to funding, to create and scale their own companies.

This is key because as our country moves towards a “1099” economy the traditional protections of traditional employment – minimum wage and benefits like workers compensation – are not necessarily going to be available to base- and middle-earners.

CoWorking Space

The BIG Innovation Center (BIG) is a 3,000 sq ft collaborative work + innovation space located in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Its name was chosen explicitly to give permission to Black and Brown communities to think, be, and create “BIG”.
Learn more about membership at BIG


More information about their forthcoming Incubator will soon be available on their website,


VC-List was created to educate startup founders about the funding process. They publish educational articles covering all aspects of how to raise capital for a startup.

Whether a startup founder is working on obtaining venture capital funding or hoping to do equity crowdfunding, in VC-List they can find useful tips and startup checklists from seasoned venture capitalists, crowdfunding experts, lawyers, accountants, and pitch experts, all focused on startup funding.

From startup valuation methods, startup investor presentation advice,the best crowdfunding sites,  equity funding rules and regulations, to venture capital industry trends, VC-List works to  keep the startup community educated and informed.

Learn more at

Social Good Guides

Authored by industry experts, the Social Good Guides are a collection of subject specific small-business guides created for startup changemakers.

The goal of the guides is to centralize general knowledge and equip changemakers with information about the essential small-business skills founders need in order to achieve success during the startup phase of their venture building. The topics range from legal to branding to funding to operations.

The guides are an initiative of the Social Innovators Collective.

Learn more at 


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