WHAT WE PROVIDE:
The UpStart Accelerator program helps social entrepreneurs accelerate their development and implementation of their vision, build their infrastructure, attainfiscal sustainability, adapt to shifting needs and environments, and gain access to networks and resources needed to achieve maximum impact.
More specifically, we deliver:
- Personalized one-on-one consulting
- Business and organizational development skills
- Access to UpStart’s growing corps of business specialists
- Opportunities to increase organizational visibility and to connect with potential funders
- Access to the resource networks of the lay and professional leadership of UpStart
- A network of peers, volunteers and professional supporters
- Individual and group learning experiences in management (both nonprofit and for profit)
- Effective program design, implementation and evaluation
- Peer teaching and learning with other leaders of early stage Jewish companies.
- Additional consulting services at a highly discounted rate for support needed beyond capacity building and coaching provided in the core program
- Personalized assistance for your own Jewish learning interests
- A place to work (free wi-fi, photocopying, fax, coffee/tea, snacks, informal consultation with team members, and collegial support from other entrepreneurs in the office).
Our goal is to help you develop and implement your vision, business focus, and capacity to innovate, so that you can make a lasting and profound impact on Jewish life.
WHAT WE EXPECT OF OUR “UPSTARTERS”
- An infectious enthusiasm, a range of skills and easy embrace of new opportunities to learn
- A compelling mission and an articulate, clear vision with a proven track record of leadership and entrepreneurial spirit
- Demonstrated commitment and responsibility to make this project their top priority for the next 3 years
- Eagerness to contribute to and benefit from the network of the UpStarter community
- Attendance at all UpStart Accelerator workshops (3-4 per year including a 2 day retreat with all current and alumni participants)
- Commitment to appointments made with UpStart team members or individuals within the UpStart network
- Participation in evaluation processes required by UpStart and/or its funders
- Provision of regular email updates on progress for UpStart to use in UpStarter marketing and resource development efforts.
- Participation in at least one donor cultivation event on behalf of UpStart each year
PROJECTS & ORGANIZATIONS WE SUPPORT
- Have demonstrated resonance and traction within their desired market
- Are innovative and aligned with UpStart’s mission and values of promoting the continued growth and vitality of Jewish life
- Have a defined business opportunity / meet a community need (Jewish or secular yet through a Jewish lens)
- Have broad and deep Jewish community impact potential (enlarges the market for participation in Jewish life either as a model for adaptation or through direct work of the organization)
- Have a high likelihood of inspiring others to commit financial resources to participate in and/or support this idea
- Engage Jews of any age and background. However, we are especially interested in supporting projects/organizations that reach younger generations.
Please note that we DO NOT support: Political lobbying and campaigns, capital projects, or individual artists (writers, performers, filmmakers, etc.) striving to further their work.
Anyone whose work brings innovations in Jewish learning and/or expressions into being is eligible for our help through our consulting services.
WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE
UpStart defines a project or organization or business as successful if it is sustainably delivering innovative, high quality Jewish experiences to significant numbers of people and the work is being adapted broadly within the North American Jewish community (and beyond if relevant) through modeling, training or direct service delivery.
Our evaluation process:
UpStarters are currently eligible for participation of up to 3 years. At the beginning of each year, the UpStart team conducts an organizational assessment with each UpStarter and identifies goals and benchmarks for the year. After 6 months and then annually, each UpStarter conducts a self-assessment regarding goals and progress and participates in a review with the UpStart Accelerator Director. At each of these milestones, the nature and quality of the fit between the UpStarter and the UpStart program is reviewed.
UpStart cannot guarantee viability or sustainability of any project or organization. We are committed to increasing the capacity of leadership to maximize the potential of each project/organization.
In most cases, at the end of the 3 years as a core member of the UpStart Accelerator program, you have demonstrated the ability to:
- Effectively conceive, design, and deliver programs/services/products
- Do what is needed to assure high quality in the Jewish content of your work
- Lead and manage programs/services/product development and operations effectively (including, establishment of an effective governance structure)
- Articulate a business model that has a demonstrated likelihood of success
- Deliver programs and services that have demonstrated impact within the Jewish community locally and have the potential to impact Jewish life elsewhere
- Effectively engage a broadening base of stakeholders in leading and supporting the work
- Attract financial resources sufficient to significantly advance the work
We recognize that not all projects/organizations will meet these measures as independent organizations or businesses within 3 years, if ever, nor do we believe that every innovative project must be an independent organization. We encourage UpStarters to determine the appropriate organizational structure needed to achieve the intended impact which may include fiscal sponsorship by an aligned organization, working as an independent consultant, incorporation into an already established organization etc.
Not all ideas are sustainable. UpStart’s coaching and consulting approach is designed to make it more likely that the entrepreneurs behind the UpStarter idea will be even more likely to succeed as a professional or lay leader in a subsequent entrepreneurial endeavor of their own or of someone else’s in the event that the current model is no longer viable.
If you are interested in applying to become a Bay Area UpStarter, please click here.
NATIONAL UPSTARTER PROGRAM AND PROCESS
This program is a fee based program that utilizes a combination of in-person and online meetings with customized coaching and consultations to deliver the same benefits as the local Bay Area-based program. National UpStarters are included in the full UpStarter network including participation in the annual 2-day UpStarter retreat in the Bay Area and in-person or skype based participation in other Bay Area based meetings whenever possible.