The StartingBloc Fellows Coaching Program

Get expertly matched with a world-class coach on a pro-bono basis.
Grow your impact. Love your work. Only for Fellows.


Why a Coaching Program?

StartingBloc is committed to supporting and growing leaders over a lifetime. While our 5-day Institutes are a powerful shared experience, the coaching program provides ongoing, individualized support for our Fellows at key points in their careers. The Coaching Program is one of our largest commitments of internal resources on behalf of the Fellowship, and we truly believe that access to free and/or affordable, world-class professional coaching is a critical lever for leadership maturity.


“Coaching is powerful. It is one of the most consistent and trustworthy levers I know of to help people achieve their goals and their mission. That’s why we built this program with Renee Freedman, who also built the coaching programs for the TED Fellows and the Unreasonable Institute. The feedback from those programs is astonishing.

I myself have worked with a coach for almost 4 years, and I can honestly say that I am more effective, more centered, I have more access to perspective, and I am a better teammate and leader for it. Also, working with my coach has helped me through some of my darkest professional challenges.”

— Cesar Gonzalez, LA’12 StartingBloc Fellow


Coaching expands your awareness in order to provide a broader foundation from which to build sustainable outcomes. Coaching accelerates your growth as a leader, professional, and entrepreneur. Coaching is also a valuable tool for accountability and clarity building as you navigate the challenges of building a world that works for everyone.


Coaches are professionally trained question-askers that can help you clarify your priorities and achieve your goals and vision. They are thinking partners with extensive experience in facing and re-framing personal and entrepreneurial challenges, co-creating a structure for action, strategizing outside of the box, and shining a light on blind spots and unacknowledged successes. Coaches help you to develop your capabilities and reach beyond your potential.

Types of Coaching

Life Coaching12 sessions

  • Primarily for Fellows who are looking for a career transition or are challenged by leadership issues such as work-life balance and showing up authentically at work. In order for your application to be accepted, you cannot be currently interviewing for a new position or have started a new position within the last 90 days.

Professional Coaching12 sessions

  • Primarily for Fellows who are members of a team, an individual performer, or in first or middle level management positions.

Leadership Coaching12 sessions

  • Primarily for Fellows who are team or organizational leaders and entrepreneurs.

How it Works

Each quarter, StartingBloc will award PRO-BONO (free) coaching for up to four of our Fellows. The awards include 12 one-hour sessions with an executive coach. Each pro-bono coaching award is valued upwards of $5,000 [1]Applications are open on a rolling basis.

If a Fellow is not selected for pro-bono coaching, they can opt to pay for coaching at a reduced rate exclusive to StartingBloc in sets of twelve, eight or four sessions. If you are interested in exploring the StartingBloc Coaching Program, please start with the Fellows FAQ and then proceed to completing the application.

Application & Matching Process



Share your vision, your challenges, and what you hope to get out of coaching.



Four Fellows a quarter are awarded pro-bono coaching, based on merit.



A short convo with Renee’s team to clarify your needs & match you better.



You get your potential coach’s bio, they get your application.


“Fit” Convo

The two of you have an introductory fit conversation.


Kick off

If it’s a go, you both sign the Coaching Agreement and get started!

Continue to the Fellows' FAQ →

Information for Coaches

For coaches, if you have an expertise in one of the three areas of coaching annotated above, we would love to have you on our coaching team. StartingBloc Fellows are selected annually from amongst thousands of applicants. They are thoroughly vetted for values-alignment, leadership potential, and for a commitment to building a world that works for everyone.

If you are interested in becoming a StartingBloc Coach, read the Coach FAQ and then complete the application. Our coaches must meet eligibility requirements and complete an interview/vetting process. Please check out our eligibility requirements and complete an application to get started.

Continue to the Coaches' FAQ →