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Become an entrepreneur with us.

CityBridge seeks out and supports top-tier prospective school leaders to design and establish the next generation of public schools in Washington, D.C.

CityBridge has funded and incubated a number of schools in the District already, including D.C. International School, Statesmen College Preparatory Academy for Boys, and Washington Leadership Academy. Our early stage funding and expert staff provide entrepreneurs with the time, space, and connections they need to create schools that serve the learning needs of every child.

Two pathways to build the future of education in D.C.:

The School Design Fellowship

CityBridge is looking for people – either individuals or groups, from the D.C. region and across the country – who want to design innovative and intentionally equitable schools in D.C.

The year-long Fellowship will help them re-imagine learning in Washington, D.C. by providing the following:

  • Personalized coaching
  • Training in student- and equity-centered design
  • In-depth introduction to learning science
  • Four multi-day workshops throughout the year
  • Visits to innovative schools in D.C. and across the country
  • Stipend for prototyping

Candidates applying as individuals should have school leadership experience at the Assistant Principal level or above. Duos need only have one applicant with school leadership experience.

Fellows will remain in their current jobs and locations and participate in Fellowship programming virtually and through scheduled in-person cohort meetings.

Fellows Will Build:

  • A series of prototypes and a pilot to test key assumptions of their model
  • A blueprint of the learning experiences students will have in the school, as well as a theory of change explaining how those experiences will translate into a wide array of important outcomes
  • An implementation plan laying out what the founding group will do over the next several years to realize the design of their school

The Cohort Will Include:

  • People who want to found new charter schools in D.C.
  • Leaders of D.C. charter management organizations who want to launch schools in their network based on a fundamentally different design

Key Dates:

  • Application Opens >> February 2019
  • Webinar >> March 2019
  • Application Deadline >> March 29th, 2019
  • Decisions by >> May 2019
  • Program Start >> July 2019
  • Program End >> June 2020

Apply Now

Not sure if you’re a good fit? Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out.


The Incubator

The Incubator consists of up to 5 individuals or duos who will work closely through our program to design their D.C. school and apply for a charter. The Incubator will provide a full salary so entrepreneurs can leave their jobs and work on their endeavors full-time. They will also be provided with in-depth coaching, programming, a workspace, and resources to assemble their founding team and fine-tune their school design and application. Out-of-town entrepreneurs will be expected to (re)locate to the D.C. area.

What does CityBridge provide?

Founding a school is hard. Past entrepreneurs we’ve worked with have told us what supports are most valuable:

  • Seed capital to work full-time on school creation
  • CityBridge Design Studio to design innovative schools with the lens of equity.
  • Bespoke support from our experienced school launch and incubation team to work through the toughest challenges.
  • Political mapping to build up your network of civic leaders at all levels of the city
  • Workspace for productivity and collaboration

Who is eligible to apply? What do you look for?

Founding a school demands a wide spectrum of skills so we consider entrepreneurs from a wide array of backgrounds.

The only requirements are that selected entrepreneurs be located in the D.C. area during the incubation period, and that the schools be located in D.C. and serve the District’s students.

In our experience incubating schools, the following characteristics have been crucial in our most successful entrepreneurs:

  • A track record of taking on big projects and leading teams to success.
  • Restlessness with the status quo and a passion for dreaming up new ideas.
  • Fierce dedication to ensuring that every student has an environment where they can thrive academically and emotionally.
  • A habit of inclusiveness so that every team member contributes to achieving team goals.

The 2019 Incubator Application is now closed. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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