Coaching, Community, and 10k in Capital. The Tiny Fellowship app is now open.
In March of this year, we told you that we were pressing pause on Launch and running an experiment — The Tiny Fellowship.
Tiny = Huge
Over the past 5 years, our Launch program and the Tiny Schools project have helped over 50 education ventures and…
We had been running our Launch program for almost 4 years and it was only after talking to our users (early-stage education entrepreneurs) that we realized that they needed a program that was more responsive to their collective needs. We built the Tiny Fellowship around what we were hearing from entrepreneurs. Instead of requiring people to move to New Orleans or New York for a three-month program, we designed a program that was primarily virtual, but still focused on creating tight bonds between the participants. Instead of requiring people to quit their job, we specifically targeted the people who wanted to grow their organizations, but weren’t ready to quit their jobs yet. We encouraged more people to build schools with 4.0. And instead of forcing teams to compete for money, we gave everyone virtual wallet of $10,000 and empowered them to spend it on things they felt would be most impactful to launching their idea.
And then we waited. We waited to see 1) Would anyone actually be interested in this new thing called the Tiny Fellowship and 2) Whether the participants were actually benefitting from the program as we had hoped.
The answer to the first question was swift and clear. We filled up the first cohort with 24 fellows representing 18 amazing teams, 2/3 of which were women and half of which were people of color. On top of that, over 500 people signed up to hear updates about the Tiny Fellowship, 80% of which told us they had ideas they were working on.
For the second question, the verdict is still out. Of the 18 teams that were part of Cohort 1, 17 are still working on their ideas and in the past 3 months, they’ve collectively run __ tests on their ideas and have received 100 hours of coaching from the 4.0 team and our expert coaches. But we’re the first to say that we’re playing the long game (we like to say we’re investing in the 20 year version of each of these people) and it’s far too early to declare winners or success stories.
But what we do have is lots of data from the teams that have participated telling us how valuable the program has been to them. And several of the teams are close to meeting our graduation requirement of having 10 paying customers.
“I applied to be a Fellow to benefit from 4.0’s incredible coaching and to further connect with other innovative education ventures. So far, the encouragement to reflect on my school’s progress and get feedback from coaches and other fellows has been great. These conversations have pushed my thinking and motivated me to consider new strategies and resources. Being an entrepreneur is lonely so the opportunity to join an active community of entrepreneurs committed to hard work and benefiting the lives of students, families, and teachers around the world is one that no one should pass up.”
Mikala Streeter, The LIFE School
It’s with that knowledge that we’re excited to announce that applications for the Tiny Fellowship are officially open. Applications are due on September 12 by 11:59pm. To help people learn more about the program, we’re hosting two webinars where people can hear from the 4.0 Team about the program as well as ask questions.
If you’ve got an idea for the #futureofschool and want to be part of an awesome community of people who are similarly motivated, we’d suggest taking a look at the Tiny Fellowship. The fellowship, like the ventures it serves, will continue to be a work in progress. But we’re excited to ship it to you and welcome Cohort 2.
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