Frequently Asked Questions
You've got some questions. We've got some answers.
I’ve taken some funding or already generating revenue? Am I still eligible?

We work with really early-stage founders, so if you’ve brought in significant revenue or funding, we may not be best positioned to support you. That said, if you value our support and can make a case for why we’re you’re right next step, we won’t rule you out.

What does it mean to run a test?

Don’t bet the house, literally. As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to stretch limited resources. We believe the best way to do that is to run disciplined tests: test your school as an after-school program first; mock up your edtech tool on paper; pilot your program as part of an existing classroom.

What does it mean to pilot a school? How do you get paying customers for a school that hasn’t opened?

Our CEO, Matt Candler (affectionately known to fellows as Catt Mandler), wrote this post about school design and ended up presenting about it at the White House. Give it a read and let us know what you think!

The application process is closed, but I need help right now. What do I do?

Sign up for our newsletter and tell us if you’re working on an idea when you sign up. You’ll be the first to know if we have any extra spots that open up in our process.

Which ventures are eligible?

Ultimately, if you’re committed to building something that better serves families and students from 0-5yrs, K-12 or making the transition out of high school in the U.S. go ahead and apply. That said, here’s a glimpse at our hunch about the future of school – this hunch is informing our priorities as we invest.

Is there a cost?

Nope. Our Fellowships are free if you’re accepted and we offer travel stipends for accepted teams who need it. 

Are you going to host Essentials in other cities?

Nope. Our goal is to provide the highest quality experience possible, so we’re only hosting Essentials camp in New Orleans and helping teams come to New Orleans with travel scholarships. Plus, there are worse things in life than a weekend in New Orleans.

I have a team or a cofounder, should we apply separately?

Nope. There’ll be a space on the application for you to list the name of your team or cofounder. To ensure we have the right people in the room, we do limit the number of people on a team to two individuals.

Tiny Fellowship
Why are you calling it Tiny?

To put it simply, we believe big ideas start small, with tiny tests. “I actually haven’t been calling it the Tiny Fellowship,” Nate, founder of STEMhero and one of our first wave of Tiny Fellows, lamented to to us during Camp, the Fellowship’s opening weekend. “I’ve just been calling it the 4.0 Fellowship. I mean, it’s not like the opportunity is tiny.”

This was flattering and disappointing at the same time. Tiny has always been about this dissonance; at the right time, a small investment can be fundamental in shaping a nascent idea. This is especially true in education, where capital and support structures are focused on ’scaling what works.’ The ideas, and the brave folks who bring them to light, were always meant to have a big impact.

Do I have to move to New Orleans?

Nope! That would be silly. We have the internet!

How long is the Tiny Fellowship?

It’s flexible but structured to last about 6 months.  We start with a month of virtual sessions followed with a 3 day in person camp in New Orleans and then 5 months of one on one coaching with your paired Founder Advisor. You apply to graduate when you’re ready to share data from your Pilot but we generally see folks submit graduation apps at the end of the 6 months. 

I haven’t incorporated. Am I still eligible?


Have more questions?

If it’s a quick question, click the blue circle in the bottom right hand corner and start a chat. If you would like to talk with an alum of the Essentials or Tiny Fellowship, click the button below, complete the form and they’ll reach out to you.