CITY's startup and non-profit accelerator program are intensive, iterative, hands-on, cohort-based programs that delivers access to workshops, mentors, coaching, peer collaborators, and, not least, funding.
Who should apply
CITY accelerators are open to all students - undergrad and grad. If you have an idea for a for-profit business, a social enterprise, a civic or arts start-up, a faith based organization, an app or tech-startup, or a civic movement we will help you design, refine, iterate and launch it. It doesn't matter how early-stage your idea is, we want to hear from you.
Starting something can be lonely and hard - so whilst we will happily accept applications from sole founders, we encourage you to find some teammates to join you on your journey.
what you get
The CITY Accelerator offers:
- A six week cohort based training program based on a combination of lean start-up, design thinking, and introspective leadership development. Don't know what any of those words mean? Don't worry - in short we will help you figure out what the problem is you are trying to solve, how to find and design the best solution, and how to test whether that solution works. We will also cover how to access funding depending on your structure to take your idea to the next level. Fall dates as below:
- Orientation and retreat: October 6 (12-6pm)
Session 1: October 13 (12-2pm)
Session 2: October 27 (12-2pm)
Session 3: November 3 (12-2pm)
Session 4: November 10 (12-2pm)
Pitchoff: Dec 1
All accelerator participants will receive mentorship and advice from a variety of sources. Our highly skilled CITY team, including Mentors-in-Residence and Innovation Advisors, will work closely with you throughout the program. Each team will be assigned an Innovation Advisor who will meet with you weekly to set goals and be your personal coach. In addition, CITY mentors, fellows and advisors will be on hand to work with you. You will even have the chance to identify your "dream mentor" and we will do our very best to get them for you.
Each team in the CITY accelerator program will receive access to funding. All teams will receive $1,000, and depending on progress, access to further capital.
what is the difference between the non-profit and startup accelerator?
We recognize that often the form you want your idea to take can present different challenges - especially as you figure out how to build relationships, identify your customers or beneficiaries and financially sustain and grow your idea. We are running two tracks of the CITY accelerator: start-up and non-profit. We will spend some time together (Orientation, Session 2, and Session 4) on topics that apply to any idea, and some time apart (Session 1 and 3) to work on issues specific to being a for-profit or a non-profit.
What if I don't know what i want to be?
That is fine! Many people don't know whether they want to be a for-profit or non-profit (or b-corp, or s-corp, or movement or integrate into an existing organization). If you don't know, we will explain all the options to you, and help you figure out what parts of the program are most relevant for you. We'll even let you mix and match.
what will i leave the accelerator with?
Aside from a check for $1,000 you will leave the accelerator with confidence, a pitch deck, a business plan and possibly a prototype or pilot set up. You will also leave as a member of the CITY family, which means you don't really leave. You keep coming back, taking advantage of our resources, and continuing to iterate, work on your idea or try out another idea you've had along the way.