UpStart Invites Jewish Social Entrepreneurs to Apply for 4th UpStarter Cohort

by Melissa Cowen

The application process for the 2013 UpStarter cohort is now open to entrepreneurs seeking to bring relevant, creative innovations to Jewish life.

The UpStarter Program helps selected Jewish social innovators develop their vision and mission, build their capacities, work toward fiscal sustainability, scale their impact, and adapt to shifting needs. UpStarters will gain access to networks and resources needed to achieve maximum organizational effectiveness.

Our current UpStarters are currently impacting 100,000 Jews annually; our UpStarters have been nationally recognized by Joshua Venture Group and Slingshot, among others. We foster collaboration between our UpStarters, providing partnerships that might not have otherwise been possible, and forge connections between our UpStarters and established institutions.

Here is what some of our current and past UpStarters have to say about the program:

“This program has been a game changer for us; it has taken my ability to lead Urban Adamah from “good to great”. The mentorship I have received has accelerated our growth and success. I have a lot of experience running organizations, but the first thing I want to do when I get stuck is call UpStart” – Adam Berman, Founder & Executive Director of Urban Adamah (Current UpStarter)

“After working with UpStart, the process of building a sustainable business has become demystified. I went into this as a Rabbi, and now I truly understand what it means to be an Executive Director. I’ve learned how to build and run a business with an Advisory Board, how to ask my board the right questions, and how to design program offerings around my customer base to ensure that I am meeting their needs and desires.” – Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann, Founder and Executive Director, Mishkan Chicago (Past National UpStarter)

“UpStart guided us in growing our program from local to international. Their expertise, mentoring, and encouragement gave us what we needed to pursue a bigger vision of the possibilities. And they connected us with the resources to make it all possible.” – Gesher Calmenson, Founding Director, Remember Us (Past UpStarter)

While our local UpStarter program is open to applicants from the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, we have a nascent National UpStarter Program that is available to people anywhere in the country. This program is fee-based and utilizes a combination of in-person and online meetings with customized coaching and consultations to deliver the same benefits as the local Bay Area- based program. National UpStarters are included in the full UpStarter network including participation in the annual 2-day UpStarter retreat in the Bay Area and in-person or Skype-based participation in other Bay Area based meetings whenever possible.

To apply, contact UpStart to set up your pre-application conversation with an UpStart innovation consultant: or 415-536-5918 or learn more about the application process.

The application deadline is March 8, 2013.

Melissa Cowen is the Development Officer at UpStart, a nonprofit social venture and innovation and consulting firm.