What makes StartingBloc different from other organizations in the sector?
What is the best part of joining the Fellowship?
What’s a typical day like at the Institute?
When are applications due?
How can I apply to become a Fellow?
Is there a fee to apply?
Are there age limits for applicants?
Do I have to be an entrepreneur?
I applied last time and did not get selected, can I reapply?
What are the selection criteria to become a StartingBloc Fellow?
What is the cost for attending the Institute?
Do you offer financial aid?
If I need to cancel my attendance, will my tuition be refunded?
What if I am interested in attending a different Institute?
What role do graduate school partners play in the Fellowship?
Can I attend the Institute as an international participant?
When does the Institute start and finish?
Is participation in all Institute sessions required?
I have more questions, who can I ask?


What makes StartingBloc different from other organizations in the sector?

Other organizations focus on incubating ideas or projects at StartingBloc we focus on incubating the individual as part of a larger community. No matter what your goal is, be it changing careers or launching a start-up; we’ll help you get there. When you decide you want to quit the start-up and escape to an NGO in Brazil, weʼll help you get there. StartingBloc Fellows are Fellows for life, regardless of what they’re working on.

What is the best part of joining the Fellowship?

Hands down, that would be the other Fellows. We ask our Fellows every year, and they always give the same answer.

We hear stories of new best friends, roommates, mentors, and even romances. As a Fellow you have access to a network of 1,800 Fellows across the world and this community will host you when you travel to a new city, offer valuable career advice, and celebrate your greatest successes with you.

What’s a typical day like at the Institute?

Each day of the Institute has a different theme: Goal Setting, Intrapreneurship, Entrepreneurship, Bridge-Building, and Sustainability (Creating Lasting Change).

Each day has a mix of speakers, interactive sessions, and time to collaborate with other fellows. Check out last year’s LA13 Agenda to get an idea of what each day is like. At the end of each day we’ll host a reception at a nearby bar or restaurant where you’ll be able to relax with new friends.

When are applications due?

Each institute has a distinct application cycle. Please check the dates & locations page for more information.

How can I apply to become a Fellow?

The application consists of a a few questions about you, asks you to submit a link to your Linkedin profile (or a resume if you don’t have a Linkedin profile) and 2 short answer questions (150 words).

Is there a fee to apply?

Yes, there is a fee of $35 to apply for the 2014 Institutes. This fee covers the costs associated with StartingBloc’s selection process.  The fee must be submitted in order for your application to be considered complete.

Are there age limits for applicants?

No, we do not have an age minimum or limit.

Do I have to be an entrepreneur?

Absolutely not! Most candidates enter the Fellowship without ever having started a venture (and many never intend to). While we have many entrepreneurs come to StartingBloc, we intentionally encourage intrapreneurs to apply. We consider intrapreneurs to be people who are leading positive shifts within an existing system or company. For example, one of our Fellows founded a pro-bono branch at the consulting firm that she works for.

In addition to entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, we welcome lawyers, ballet dancers, and anyone else who wants to make a positive difference in any social sector. StartingBloc activates people, it is not a business incubator. Because of that, our focus is on the leadership potential of the individuals entering the Fellowship. We follow these leaders throughout their careers – whether they’re working at companies or organizations, or starting their own.

I applied last time and did not get selected – can I reapply?

Absolutely. The fact that a person has applied more than once certainly won’t hurt his/her chances of being accepted to the Fellowship. In fact, the Admissions Committee often looks favorably on the dedication of someone who applies again.

What are the selection criteria to become a StartingBloc Fellow?

StartingBloc is looking for budding social innovators to join. These leaders are in the early stages of their careers and are planning to utilize the knowledge, skills, and connections gained at the Institute to multiply their personal impact. For a more detailed explanation, check out our admissions criteria.

What is the cost for attending the Institute?

The tuition for the 2014 Institutes is $1,000. Please see our costs page for a more detailed breakdown.

To cover our costs and ensure you end up staying with StartingBloc Fellows you can opt in to pay an additional $300 for housing, for four nights of shared accommodation and transportation to and from the airport.  Feel free to book these on your own if you would like housing but not transportation or visa versa or if your travel plans having your staying a day longer or coming a day sooner!

Do you offer financial aid?

We’ve created a Fundraising Toolkit so that accepted Fellows can raise their tuition. For a step-by-step guide to getting it done, check out our Fundraising Toolkit.

If I need to cancel my attendance, will my tuition be refunded?

Currently, our cancellation policy for the Institutes is as follows:

We will refund you in full up to 60 days before the Institute.
We will refund you 50% up to 45 days before the Institute.
With less than 45 days before the Institute, we are not able to offer a refund, except due to extreme medical reasons, family loss, or visa denials.

For the LA’14 Institute applications are due no later than Feburary 6th, 2014.

Full refunds, ask by January 5, 2014.
50% refunds, ask by January 20, 2014.

What if I am interested in attending a different Institute?

StartingBloc does not allow Fellows to defer their Fellowship opportunity except due to extreme medical reasons, family loss or visa denials. Each situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

What role do graduate school partners play in the Fellowship?

StartingBloc partners are top MBA, policy, law, and other graduate programs interested in fostering social innovation. Our partners often:

• Host sessions or receptions during the Institutes
• Designate special sessions to coach Fellows on their application processes
• Give scholarships or preferred admission to StartingBloc Fellows
• Waive Fellows’ application fees to their programs

Not all partners offer the entire suite of services. Instead, each partner works with StartingBloc to offer one or more of the above to our Fellows.

Can I attend the Institute as an international participant?

Yes. Please visit the USCIS website for information on visas. Applicants requiring a visa are encouraged to apply as early as possible for a visa (and for the their Institute of choice) to allow time for visa preparations. Please note that visa processing times vary in different countries and you may be required to visit the U.S. consulate in your country. It’s the fellows responsibility to arrange for a visa interview directly with the U.S. consulate in their home country, as well as check all visa application requirements. StartingBloc does not provide legal immigration advice but can provide a visa support letter. If you are accepted to an Institute and require a visa to enter the US, please submit a scanned copy of the bio page of your valid passport via email to Cesar@startingbloc.org

When does the Institute start and finish?

Each Institute will begin Thursday at approximately 10:00am and will end Monday evening at 5:00pm.

Is participation in all Institute sessions required?

Yes. In order to become a StartingBloc Fellow, accepted Fellows must participate in all sessions of the Institute.

I have more questions, who can I ask?

Please feel free to email answers@startingbloc.org