Halcyon Incubator fellowship for social entrepreneurs, DC

The Halcyon Incubator is committed to solving 21st century challenges by helping social entrepreneurs with audacious ideas incubate and accelerate social ventures with the capacity for measurable social change. 

Why Apply

The Halcyon Incubator supports Fellows in numerous ways and enables them to build sustainable ventures with the capacity to change the world.
Fellows accepted into the program will have access to the following resources:
Strategic Venture Resources - The Halcyon Incubator has partnered with some of the leading firms in the community to advise and directly support the Fellows’ ventures. During the course of the program, Fellows receive more than 1,000 hours (in aggregate) of:
  • Strategy and operations consulting provided by Deloitte
  • Legal and business advice through Tandem Legal
  • Communications, public relations, and marketing assistance through Sage Communications
  • Accounting and financial training from KPMG
  • One-on-one executive coaching provided in partnership with The HR Sage
World-Class Network of Mentors and Advisors - The Halcyon Incubator builds a community of support around the Fellows by bringing together a robust network of seasoned entrepreneurs, experienced change-makers, and leaders in the government, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors.
  • Each venture is paired with an experienced, field-specific mentor who provides weekly guidance and support during the Residency Phase.
  • Select dinners and events engage Fellows with a robust network of supporters, advisors, and potential funders.
Residency, Business and Living Expenses - The Halcyon Incubator was founded to ensure that all social entrepreneurs, regardless of their economic background, can succeed. The program reduces the financial barriers to starting a social venture by providing:
  • Five months of free housing at the historic Halcyon House
  • $10,000 stipend for food and living expenses during the Residency Phase
  • One year of free workspace at Halcyon House
  • Eligibility for six months of reduced-rent workspace through one of our partners after the Post-Residency Phase
Critical Audiences - The program works to provide exposure for ventures to help ensure long-term sustainability.
  • Access to entrepreneurs, press, and supporters during a formal debut at Kick-Off, an event at the beginning of the Residency Phase
  • Access to potential funders, investors, and partners during Demo Day, an event at the end of the Residency Phase
  • Access to key community figures and innovators at conferences and other events
    • Watch videos from the Women Leading Disruptive Innovations Conference hosted at Halcyon House in March 2015 here


    To be eligible for the Halcyon Incubator:
    • Applicant(s) must be at least 21 years of age by the start of the program.
    • Applicant(s) must be fluent in English.
    • The venture must be the original idea of the applicant(s).
    • The venture must be in start-up phase or have been in operation for less than two years.
    • The venture must be independent and autonomous. Ventures cannot be considered independent or autonomous if they were started under the direction of an existing organization.
    • The applicant or applicant's team must be the primary decision maker for the venture’s development and management.
    • Applicant(s) must be able to make a full-time commitment to the venture's development during the first twelve months of the fellowship.
    • Applicant(s) who will be enrolled in a college or university during the time of the fellowship are not eligible.
    • Applicant(s) must have legal work status in the United States or be able to obtain a visa for the Residency and Post-Residency phases.
    • Applicant(s) must complete the entire online application and submit it and all required documents before the closing date.
    Ventures may be for-profit, nonprofit, hybrid, or undecided, as long as the core mission is to create measurable social change.
    Partnerships (ventures co-founded and led by two individuals) may apply as long as both founders meet the above eligibility requirements.

    Selection Criteria and Process

    The program for the fourth cohort follows this timeline:
    Application Closes – October 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM EDT
    • Residency Phase – February 2016 to June 2016
    • Post-Residency Phase  July 2016 to January 2017
    • Incentivized Phase  February 2017 to July 2017

    Selection Criteria

    Applications are judged and selected based on the following six criteria:
    Problem/Solution. Does your venture identify a real and pressing problem and propose a viable solution? Strong applications effectively and narrowly define a pain point and outline a solution that addresses the pain point.
    Sustainability. We’re looking for innovative social ventures that sell a core product or service to achieve impact.
    Innovation. How is your solution to a problem different from current solutions? What sets you apart? We value audacious ideas that disrupt the status quo and move the needle on 21st century challenges. Think big!
    Impact. Successful applicants demonstrate significant impact as a core part of their venture. We look for impact both in terms of how impactful the core product or service is, and how scalable is the model to spread this impact.
    Talent.  Do you have what it takes to lead your venture to success? Strong applicants exhibit characteristics of extraordinary leadership: vision, intelligence, resilience, and follow-through.
    Execution. The application is our first introduction; get off on the right foot. Successful applicants have a big vision but also pay careful attention to detail.

    Selection Process

    Halcyon Incubator staff and the Selections Committee are responsible for selecting the Fellows.
    Initial Review. Halcyon Incubator staff will conduct an initial screening of each applicant, ensuring the application is complete, verifying credentials, evaluating the venture, and contacting references. The top applications will move on to the next stage in the Selection Process, Pitch Day.
    Pitch Day.  Pitch Day gives the Halcyon Incubator staff and the Selections Committee a chance to interact with finalists and learn more about each venture. During Pitch Day, finalists will be given 5 minutes to virtually pitch their ideas and 5 minutes to answer questions from members of the Selections Committee.
    Final Selection. After Pitch Day, members of the Selections Committee will select up to eight ventures for inclusion in the Halcyon Incubator program.
 Halcyon Incubator staff will convene to confirm the selections (and, in remarkable cases, accept more than eight ventures into the program). Accepted Fellows will be notified of their selection by e-mail. 
    for more info see http://halcyonincubator.org/
    This material is cross-posted from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community.   This is meant for information sharing purposes only.  
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