WHAT HAPPENS AT PRAXIS ACCELERATORS?
Our time together is built upon deepening imagination and accelerating the practice of redemptive entrepreneurship in the dimensions of strategy (what you build), operations (how you build), and leadership (why you build). No truly redemptive venture can ignore any of these, as they all must work together for redemptive purposes.
Program Overview: We design the Fellow experience to meet the specific needs and opportunities of the cohort, while also striving to provide as many meaningful intersections as possible with peers, Mentors, and program team members within the limited time together. The in-person gatherings in New York and San Francisco are fast-paced and fully scheduled. Our Fellows leave the in-person gatherings with fresh ideas, practical templates/tools, new relationships, and critical feedback. There is also time at the end of each gathering to synthesize and create action items upon their return home.
ON ZOOM // SEPTEMBER 2022
In this one-hour virtual kickoff event to meet the 2023 Nonprofit Accelerator class, Fellows will:
- Meet their cohort and program team members
- Be introduced to Praxis and the Accelerator program taking place over the next year
NEW YORK // SEPTEMBER 12-16, 2022
Our first core Accelerator event that gathers Fellows, mentors & Praxis program team together at a private lodge to examine organizational growth and personal leadership & sustainability. Fellows will:
- Share with and get to know their cohort and program team members
- Present their venture in front of Mentors (x2)
- Meet with Mentors in small format sessions, and also one-on-one
- Meet one-on-one with program team members
- Participate in informal meals, hikes, & shared spiritual practices together
SAN FRANCISCO // February 6-9, 2023
Fellows and a new group of Mentors will again convene to share progress and gain insights into the process of building high-impact organizations. Fellows reconvene to build on key learnings from the field and take the conversation to the next level of depth. Fellows will:
- Present their venture (again)
- Meet with a new group of Mentors in small format sessions, and also one-on-one
- Meet one-on-one with program team members
- Participate in informal meals, hikes, & shared spiritual practices together
NAPA, CA // MAY 22-24, 2023
Our final program gathering, centered on participation in your first Praxis Redemptive Imagination Summit. Fellows will:
- Present their venture (again) to the Praxis community at the Nonprofit Accelerator Showcase portion of the Summit
- Reflect and close the program with their cohort and program team, and be formally welcomed into the larger Praxis community
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.
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.
WILL YOU SELECT MULTIPLE VENTURES IN THE SAME SECTOR OR ISSUE?
Praxis Accelerators are not sector-specific and represent a diverse collection of industries. We don’t intentionally pass on duplicate ventures representing the same industry; on occasion, we invite more than one organization working in a particular sector to participate in a cohort. We’re always mindful of crafting cohorts of ventures with complementary offerings, rather than competitive.
WHEN DO YOU SELECT YOUR ACCELERATOR VENTURES?
After applications close on June 4, we begin our due diligence process and invite select ventures into an interview round. All applicants will be notified by the end of July about whether or not they have been selected into this year’s cohort.
WHAT ARE THE DATES AND 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 12-16; a second Mentoring Event in San Francisco on February 6-9, 2023; and a Showcase pitch event and commissioning in Napa, CA, at the 2023 Praxis Redemptive Imagination Summit on May 22-24, 2023. 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 IN-PERSON ACCELERATOR MEETINGS?We closely monitor travel restrictions and other ongoing developments with COVID-19, and we will ensure that any in-person meeting follows health and safety protocols.
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 at the time of acceptance into the program. This also applies to the second Fellow who may be admitted as part of a team.
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 that if you are not a US citizen, 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.
DID PRAXIS REMOVE THE SCALE FELLOWSHIP THAT WAS A PART OF THE NONPROFIT PROGRAM IN PRIOR YEARS?
Yes; while we love supporting ventures at all stages, we are focusing our Accelerator program on early-stage ventures and narrowing our cohort criteria to those in the first five years of development, and which are still actively being led by their founders.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE THE CAPITAL GRANTED THROUGH THE ACCELERATOR PROGRAM?
Praxis Fellows will receive access to the capital after the program officially concludes at the Summit in May 2023. Failure to participate in the program in its entirety may result in the loss of funds from Praxis Capital Partners.
WILL PRAXIS FORMALLY ADVISE ON HOW INVESTMENT/DONOR CAPITAL IS USED?
No; while we’re committed to supporting you in building your venture through all the elements of our Accelerator program (including the funds from Capital Partners), neither the Praxis team nor the Capital Partners will provide direction on how the funds are used; this capital is unrestricted and can be used at your discretion.
IS THERE A PROGRAM FEE TO PARTICIPATE ALONGSIDE THE CAPITAL INVESTMENT?
No; alongside the capital investment, our donors have made this possible by covering your program costs. However, we do ask Fellows to pay for their own flights to the events. As part of Fellows’ selection into the program, the Praxis team will cover Fellows’ accommodations & food for all in-person gatherings.
ARE THERE OTHER FUNDING OPTIONS BEYOND AN UNRESTRICTED GRANT?
No; the gift is not available to Fellows for alternative funding, such as loans, working capital, or social enterprise investments, unless unanimously approved by Capital Partners and Praxis.
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.
IF MY NONPROFIT HAS A BUSINESS, IS THIS THE RIGHT PROGRAM FOR ME?
Yes! Many of our accepted applicants have some form of earned income, though it’s not a requirement for application.
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. 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 should be comfortable with in an interim leadership role if you were hit by a bus). We don’t recommend that you apply alongside a board member. 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.
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. The second applicant must also be part of the senior leadership team.
WE’VE ALREADY BEEN WORKING ON OUR STARTUP FOR A WHILE. IS PRAXIS ACCELERATOR APPROPRIATE FOR US?
We want to provide the most value to our Fellows so our preference is for early stage ventures; this means in the first 5 years. Older or more established organizations who are working at scale typically don't find as much value in the Praxis program, as we are focused on offering resources for ventures trying to get off the ground.
WE’VE ALREADY RAISED FUNDING. CAN WE STILL APPLY?
Yes! We don’t turn down ventures based on previously raised capital.
WE DON’T REALLY NEED THE MONEY. DOES IT STILL MAKE SENSE TO APPLY?
Yes! Our program is so much more than additional funding or capital. We want to help you through your challenges and that doesn’t always mean cash.
DO WE NEED TO INCORPORATE BEFORE APPLYING?
Yes. We ask that you be incorporated wherever you operate. If you are operating within the United States we ask that you incorporate based on your state’s requirements. If you are operating within any other country, please follow their guidelines.
IF WE PARTICIPATED IN ANOTHER ACCELERATOR, CAN WE DO PRAXIS’S PROGRAM?
Of course! We would love to hear what that accelerator was in your application.
WHAT TYPES OF APPLICATIONS DON’T YOU ACCEPT?
While we accept many types of applications, we do not look for academic projects; research initiatives; chapters, divisions, or departments of larger nonprofits or NGOs; side projects; or any other situation where you do not have tax-exempt status and your "own" board. Should you have a specific question about whether your organization is a good fit, please contact us through the Interest Form.
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.
WE SUBMITTED OUR APPLICATION BUT NEED TO EDIT IT.
Your application enters our review process once you submit it, so we don't allow continuous editing. If something material has changed — like the addition or removal of a co-founder or a major strategic shift organizationally — please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to amend the details of your application.
WAS OUR APPLICATION SUBMITTED? I CAN’T TELL.
If your application was submitted you should have received an email that verified your submission data and acknowledged that it was received on our end. If you did not receive this email, you can reach out to us at email@example.com to see if we received it on our end. If it did not come through, unfortunately you will have to re-submit a new application and double check your email address listed in the form.
WHEN IS THE APPLICATION DEADLINE?
Our applications for the 2023 class close at 6:00pm ET on June 4th.
WHAT DOES PRAXIS AS AN ORGANIZATION DO?
Praxis is a creative engine for redemptive entrepreneurship, supporting founders, funders, and innovators motivated by their faith to love their neighbors and renew culture. Our community of practice operates through high-touch programs, robust content, and a global portfolio of redemptive business & nonprofit ventures. Read more about our mission here.
WHAT IS REDEMPTIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP, ANYWAY?
Broken down into its parts, we define ‘redemptive’ as following the pattern of creative restoration through sacrifice in our life and work. ‘Entrepreneurship’ expresses the directing of our agency and resources toward organizational creation, innovation, and risk. Read more about the redemptive framework here.
IF WE SHOULDN’T APPLY IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY TO GET CONNECTED WITH PRAXIS?
If the Accelerator isn’t the right fit for you but you identify as an early-stage founder, venture team member, and/or leader of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, you might be interested in Praxis Academy. We also have a variety of free resources available on our website here.