CityBridge provides critical early stage support to allow education entrepreneurs and founding teams to make a full-time commitment to the work of designing innovative schools. Incubation with CityBridge includes:
"Bespoke" School Creation Support
As portfolio schools progress through defined milestones and funding gates, they receive bespoke, high-touch support to help them advance to a successful launch. We actively support our portfolio schools through: writing a business plan, drafting a charter application, recruiting key founding staff and board members, and identifying a facility.
CityBridge Design Institute
Portfolio teams participate in CityBridge Design Institute, a suite of programming through which we introduce school founders to the D.C. education landscape and to the design principle of “intentional equity.” The Institute draws from equityXdesign, CityBridge’s signature curriculum that merges racial equity work with the methodology of design thinking, guiding entrepreneurs through the process of designing a school alongside the students and families they hope to serve
Across the incubation period, portfolio schools are eligible for between $250,000–$500,000 in total funding and salary support from CityBridge.
Our team works with entrepreneurs to understand key players and relationships in D.C.–from city council members and ANC commissioners to local business and nonprofit leaders. The entrepreneurs, in turn, use these maps to develop and navigate critical relationships.
School founders are invited to use CityBridge’s offices, providing them with work space for developing their models, important meetings, and convenient access to CityBridge staff.
A new school is “added to the market” at the moment of approval from the Public Charter School Board, but CityBridge continues to provide resources and services through opening and, when needed, through the first year of operation. Ongoing support is offered in areas including leadership development, fundraising guidance, equityXdesign support, and board member cultivation. CityBridge also provides emergency intervention for any unexpected, critical challenges schools may encounter during their inaugural year.