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The CityBridge Launch Fund provides seed funding for early-stage education entrepreneurs ready to take on the complex process of navigating their venture’s go-to-market journey. During this 15-month venture philanthropy investment fund, selected entrepreneurs receive the coaching, capital, and connections to launch into the DC education market.

Coaching

During the 15-month investment period, Launch Fund entrepreneurs receive personalized leadership coaching and a curriculum customized to their venture.

Capital

Launch Fund entrepreneurs receive a $40,000 unrestricted grant. CityBridge does not take an equity stake in our incubated projects.

Connections

As a trusted partner in the DC education ecosystem, CityBridge will bring together investors/philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders, removing barriers for overlooked entrepreneurs in their startup journey.

FAQ: How to Apply to Launch Fund

The CityBridge Launch Fund is an invitation-only program. Are you an entrepreneur with an educational venture that will solve a pressing problem for DC’s students? Contact Millissa Hare, Associate Director of Recruitment and Cultivation, at mhare@citybridge.org to learn which CityBridge Ventures program is right for you.

FAQ: Ventures at CityBridge

CityBridge drives innovation by funding and supporting local leaders—prioritizing leaders of color—who are transforming the student experience. We support the creation of education startups focused on solving some of the most pressing problems in DC’s K-12 education ecosystem. As early stage investors, our programming aims to provide startup founders with the capital, connections, and curriculum to launch an equitable venture in DC. 

We incubate ventures designed to rely on different types of revenue (e.g., fees, fundraising) and the business model that is most promising for an entrepreneur’s chosen goals. Past Ventures entrepreneurs have launched edtech products and applications, nonprofits, and other social enterprises. Learn more about CityBridge’s Ventures pathway.

FAQ: Our Investment Criteria

CityBridge incubates education projects of all types and at multiple levels—the classroom, the school, the community, and system-wide. Some are created within existing structures and other projects are altogether new. What ties them together is they all provide positive, tangible, local impact and advance the conversation nationally about what is possible for students. 

To achieve its vision of changing the profile of who succeeds and who leads in the city, CityBridge prioritizes investing in people of color, particularly Black and Latinx leaders.

PEOPLE AND TEAMS
We believe the strength of a school or venture is dependent on the leader. We seek out education leaders with a fierce commitment to racial equity, a demonstrated track record of leadership, a nuanced understanding of their own strengths and identity, and the vision and drive to bring forth a more equitable future of learning.

IDEAS AND SOLUTIONS
We invest in bold and innovative solutions that can move the needle for DC’s most marginalized students. We look for strategic alignment between the stated problem and solution, as well as the research-base for its efficacy. Most importantly, these solutions must be designed and developed withrather than for the communities in DC they are intended to serve.

NEED AND DEMAND
We invest in people and teams that are addressing known problems in DC’s education ecosystem. Through our selection process, we require teams to demonstrate that there is demand for their idea or solution.