Do you believe tech has more to offer the world than another selfie app? We agree. Our Fellowship gives talented people the time, access, and support they need to discover and launch high-impact startups.

Fellows spend two months doing intensive, community-centric research to scope and define potential solutions. They then have another two months to build, test, and launch their ideas. Past Fellows have built venture-backed companies, tech-enabled nonprofits, open source projects, and more. Read more here.

What we provide:

  • Funding. A full-time stipend, health insurance reimbursement, and research budget
  • Co-founders. A cohort of talented peers with complementary skills
  • Access. The chance to connect with hundreds of users and experts through our Design Insight Group and community partners
  • Community. Office space and an ecosystem of high-impact startups and mentors


We think the group benefits from a wide range of backgrounds, and all Fellows apply to fill one of four Roles. Past Fellows have included everything from former employees of top tech companies, folks from design and software agencies, and exited founders to journalists, social workers, and lawyers. Regardless of Role, we’re looking for people who:

  • Have built the skills and now want to use them to make a difference
  • Are ruthlessly user-focused
  • Thrive in fast-paced, collaborative environments
  • Seek out opportunities to challenge their assumptions, and
  • Have a track record of action on issues they’re passionate about

What do we mean by a track record of action? We want to see that you’ve dug in on understanding problems and figuring out possible solutions. It could be an open source side project, a tool you hacked together for the place you volunteer, a change you helped enact in your community, or research you’ve led to explore a new issue.


Each year, we pick a challenge to help us frame the first two months of Fellowship research. The challenge provides an entry point to help us dig into pain points and opportunities, and every Fellow chooses to interpret it in their own way.

In 2018, we’re exploring the barriers working parents face around employment. Increasingly, working New Yorkers are unable to make ends meet.

  • 45% report being underemployed – wanting to work more hours if they could.
  • More than half of this group are already working full-time, suggesting their wages are not sufficient to match the city’s rising cost of living.

These workers face a range of challenge – family care responsibilities, health issues, and material hardships, and many lack English proficiency, a high school diploma, or both, which prevents them from moving into higher paying careers.

We know technology is reshaping the future of work – we want to see how it can drive positive outcomes.