HOW DOES PRAXIS DEFINE GROWTH-STAGE (OR EARLY-STAGE) VENTURE?
At the earliest, Fellows enter the Accelerator when their organization has a minimum viable product or service in the market, has already raised its initial capital (usually the first $100 - $250K) and there are at least 1-2 full time members on the team, including at least one of the founders. At the same time, we look for organizations that still have a significant change and scale agenda in front of them. Most Fellow ventures are several years post-revenue, and are well on their way down a path to profitability and scale.
WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT FOR THE ACCELERATOR PROGRAM?
Each Fellow organization is required to attend the in-person, multi-day gatherings in their entirety—as well as participate in regular coaching calls. The required in-person gatherings include a Mentoring Event in New York on September 27-October 1, 2021; a second Mentoring Event on January 25-28, 2022 (location TBD); and a Showcase pitch event and commissioning at the 2022 Praxis Redemptive Imagination Summit on May 11-13, 2022 in Napa, CA. We typically encourage Fellows to set aside 3-6 additional hours around each in-person gathering (reading up on mentors, breakout session topics, practicing pitches, post-event reflection, etc.). The total time commitment averages 2 days/month for the 9 months of the program.
HOW WILL COVID-19 AFFECT YOUR PLAN FOR IN-PERSON MEETINGS?
We are closely monitoring travel restrictions and other ongoing developments with COVID-19, and we will ensure that any in-person meeting follows health and safety protocols. We’re planning location options that we believe will give us a high chance of meeting safely in person. We will have the ability to substitute virtual meetings if necessary, but our priority is to meet together in person.
DOES MY STARTUP HAVE TO BE A "SOCIAL BUSINESS" TO APPLY?
No, and yes. A core premise of redemptive entrepreneurship is an ambitious intent to make a positive, gospel-informed impact on our customers, and on the norms and narratives of our sector and the wider culture. In this sense of intended impact, every Praxis venture could be considered a social business. Yet we do not restrict ourselves to a narrower definition of offerings, sectors, or business models that are typically associated with social enterprise. In fact, every Accelerator cohort will represent a balanced mix of "social businesses" and "conventional businesses" across a wide variety of sectors and missions.
I WOULD LIKE TO APPLY ALONGSIDE ANOTHER TEAM MEMBER FROM MY ORGANIZATION. CAN WE BOTH APPLY?
Each selected organization may bring up to two Fellows (the second seat is an additional $3000). We strongly encourage candidates to apply with a co-founder. If the second applicant is not formally a co-founder, he or she should be your closest thought partner in running the organization (i.e. someone you would trust in an interim or crisis leadership role). This program is designed for individuals for whom their role in the venture is their full-time occupation. Should your application make it to the video interview round, both applicants will be expected to be in the interview. Please note that due to program space constraints, Praxis may choose to accept the primary applicant only and not the secondary.
DO I HAVE TO BE A CHRIST-FOLLOWER TO BECOME A FELLOW?
Yes. While we have no denominational affiliation and our community represents a wide diversity of Christian faith traditions and expressions, we require applicants (and Mentors) to affirm the Apostles' Creed, an ancient and commonly-used formulation of essentials of the Christian faith. This ensures that the Accelerator program is an environment where Mentors and Fellows operate from a shared baseline of beliefs, encouraging rich, high-trust, values-aligned conversation and accountability around the expression of their faith in their work.
IS PRAXIS ONLY FOR RELIGIOUSLY AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS?
No. Organizations that come through our Accelerator are not required to have a religious affiliation or public expression. The program provides space for committed Christian leaders to explore how the gospel fully informs and gives life to their work, whether or not their venture serves through an explicitly religious mission.
CAN I GO TO ONE EVENT AND HAVE ANOTHER CO-FOUNDER ATTEND ANOTHER? WHAT IF I HAVE TO MISS ONE OF THE DAYS BECAUSE OF ANOTHER MEETING?
One of the main benefits of the Praxis Accelerator is the peer community, so we require that all Fellows commit to attending all events in their entirety. This also applies to the second Fellow who may be admitted as part of a team.
CAN I APPLY IF I JUST HAVE AN IDEA?
We accept applications from anyone, but the most competitive applicants will be actively working in the market and serving customers with a robust MVP at a minimum. We consider exceptions from proven serial entrepreneurs, senior leaders with deep domain experience, or people working full-time on their idea that will be in market once the program begins.
WHAT IF I’M LOCATED OUTSIDE OF THE US?
Great! We’d love for you to apply to the program. We seek to accommodate Fellows from all time zones to the extent possible (e.g. scheduling of virtual events, early arrival to in-person events). Please note, if you are not a US citizen, that you will need to begin visa processing well in advance of the first event.
WILL I BE ASSIGNED A MENTOR?
A small group of senior team members will coach you throughout the program; and you will also encounter dozens of Mentors through our events as well as supplemental introductions by our team. We curate 1:1 sessions between Mentors and Fellows based heavily on their input, so that these discussions are organic and based on mutual affinity.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PROGRAM IS OVER?
From the Praxis perspective, your completion of the Accelerator program is more of a beginning than an ending. We welcome Fellows in good standing into full participation in the Praxis community of practice, which includes an annual invitation to our Redemptive Imagination Summit. The 2022 Accelerator cohort will have a reunion at the 2023 Summit on May 22-24, 2023, in Napa, CA.
In addition to participation at the annual Praxis Summit, Fellows will also receive occasional invitations to mentor upcoming entrepreneurs through Praxis Academy and other programs; access to our jobs board, talent network, capital network, and private community platforms; and ongoing opportunities to stay in touch with peers, mentors, and the Praxis team.
WHAT TYPES OF APPLICATIONS DON’T YOU ACCEPT?
While we accept many types of applications, we do not look for academic projects, research initiatives, or side projects. We also don't favor departments, subsidiaries, or special projects of larger organizations. Should you have a specific question about whether your organization is a good fit, please contact us.
IF I’M NOT A FOUNDER, CEO, OR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CAN I APPLY?
Each organization can send up to two Fellows through the application process. The primary applicant must be the chief executive of the organization and is almost always the founder (see FAQ below about Scale Fellowship). The second applicant must also be part of the senior leadership team.
SHOULD I APPLY TO THE ACCELERATOR, PRAXIS ACADEMY, OR BOTH?
Some people might consider applying to Praxis Academy—our summer session for creatives, builders, and entrepreneurs pursuing redemptive action—instead of, or in addition to, the Business Accelerator.
Though they are centered on similar content (for example, the Praxis Academy Business Course and the Business Accelerator both use the Redemptive Business Playbook as their core text), and both are cohort-based experiences that help you learn and build in community, the programs are quite different.
Praxis Academy is a professional-education experience featuring about 25 hours of programming over 9 weeks, all live and virtual, with a total enrolled group of several hundred people, with large-format Kickoff and Capstone events showcasing over a dozen entrepreneurial leaders from the Praxis community. Most of the time is spent in smaller formats, including moderated “action groups” of 6-12 people for discussion, sharing, and accountability.
The Business and Nonprofit Accelerators are deeper and more extended programs, featuring over 120 hours of interaction over 9 months, including two extended in-person mentoring events, in cohorts of founders from just 12 ventures per year. We take a longer-term “portfolio approach” to the ventures in the Accelerator and their leaders—helping with capital introductions, investing as a Praxis core team with deeper individual coaching and mentoring, connecting them in small groups with dozens of mentors from our community, and investing in them beyond their year in the Accelerators.
Given the different timetables of Academy and Accelerator, the application periods overlap, but we will not select our Accelerator cohorts until August, when Academy is nearly complete. So if you’re considering how to apply, here’s our counsel:
> If you’re well into the process of building a high-impact, scalable venture, we recommend that you apply to the Business Accelerator.
> If that doesn’t describe you (yet), we recommend that you apply to the Academy and choose the Business Course (as well as perhaps the Redemptive Vocation Course, which many applicants are choosing to add on). These will be strong experiences that will expose you to the ideas and practices of redemptive entrepreneurship. And to get a taste of mentoring from the Praxis community, apply for an add-on mentoring Track within the Academy.
> We welcome you to apply to both if you like! The Academy experience will be valuable on its own, whether or not you’re accepted to the Accelerator. The Academy is not a prerequisite for Accelerator, nor will it “count for or against you" in the selection process for the Accelerator in this or any future year.
If you have further questions, please let us know.
WHAT IS THE SCALE FELLOWSHIP?
Each year we consider a small number of ventures that have been in the market longer and/or have already achieved significant product/market fit and scale, on the order of $10M+ in annual revenue. These "Scale Fellows" will participate in the full Accelerator program alongside all other Fellows, and will be selected in part based on a mutual assessment that they can benefit from and contribute to the cohort and the program.
I'M NOT SURE IF MY ORGANIZATION FITS THE CRITERIA. MAY I SCHEDULE A CALL WITH SOMEONE ON YOUR TEAM TO REVIEW MY ORGANIZATION BEFORE I DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO APPLY?
It's most mutually helpful if you begin by completing the Interest Form. That will be the best assessment tool for our small team; and based on your input there, we can give better guidance and answer your questions about eligibility through that process.