[EXPIRED] Mission Driven Startups @ Catalyst Program

Robin Hood has opened its applications for the newest Blue Ridge Labs’ Catalyst program and is seeking mission-driven startups whose ideas could improve low-income New Yorkers. Learn more about the opportunity and how to apply below.

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About Blue Ridge Labs:

Blue Ridge Labs@Robin Hood is a program of Robin Hood – New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization. The Labs program was launched from inside the Blue Ridge Foundation New York to build upon its 15 year legacy of transforming ideas into organizations. In 2015, we became a part of Robin Hood to expand our reach and impact.

The Blue Ridge Labs team specializes in creating and supporting early-stage social tech ventures (both for-profit and nonprofit). Alums of our Catalyst program have been named Echoing Green Fellows, raised rounds from prominent venture capitalists, received funding from major philanthropic institutions, been featured in NYTimes, Forbes, and more. Most importantly, the alumni of our programs help hundreds of thousands of people every day.

The Opportunity:

Are you building a mission-driven startup that could improve the lives of low-income New Yorkers? The Catalyst program at Blue Ridge Labs is designed to help founders turn a proven concept into a scalable technology platform.

Over the course of six months, as part of a small cohort of other founders, we’ll help you build version 2.0 of your product and get it into the hands of real people for feedback and validation. In parallel, we’ll work with you to identify the other resources you’ll need to be successful over the long-term – things like funding, team members, and partners – and we’ll help you put the systems in place to do this well.

The Blue Ridge Labs team specializes in creating and supporting early-stage social tech ventures (both for-profit and nonprofit). Alums of our Catalyst program have raised rounds from prominent venture capitalists, received funding from major philanthropic institutions, participated in YC, and been featured Forbes.

Robinhood provides participates with:

  • Funding: $50,000, plus health insurance reimbursements and a dedicated research budget.

  • Product Support: Hands-on coaching to help you build, test, and launch a scalable tech platform.

  • Human Capital: Executive coaching to strengthen your core team. Plus, connections to external talent, advisors, and potential partners.

  • Community: Free space in our co-working community in Brooklyn and access to a wider ecosystem of social impact organizations

Seeking:

The strongest candidates for Catalyst are teams that have developed and launched a small-scale version of their product into the world and are ready to apply what they’ve learned through that process towards building a scalable platform.

These early versions can be extremely low-tech or cobbled together from existing tools (think Google Docs and Typeform). They may only have been used successfully by a few dozen people. The critical element is that they have been used by real people in the real world. And that this has happened as many times as it takes for the founders to validate the need for the product, refine the process by which it delivers value, and identify the barriers to scale that need to be addressed by new platforms and systems.

While there are no hard rules, we find that the best fit teams for Catalyst are typically less than 2-3 years old and have raised less than $400,000 in total funding to date.

In addition to the above, we’re looking for ventures that:

  • Currently deliver a product or service to low-income New Yorkers or plan to do so by April 2020

  • Are strongly committed to improving the lives of New Yorkers

  • Use technology as a key part of their solution

  • Have between one and five full-time team members

  • Are incorporated or plan to incorporate in the next 6-12 months as either a nonprofit or for-profit social venture, and

  • Preferably, have at least one full-time team member who can work from NYC for the duration of the program but at a minimum can commit to our remote attendance policy.

Deadline to Apply: 8/28/19

Location: Brooklyn

Interested?

APPLY HERE and tell them Next Gen sent you!

Alex Gordon