we incubate and invest in the best ideas.

CityBridge programming provides a space where educators and education entrepreneurs can boldly design groundbreaking solutions to entrenched challenges, to better serve DC students.

Our Approach

CityBridge takes several innovative approaches to provide the curriculum, coaching, connections, and capital DC leaders need to create a public school system worthy of all of our children. 


CityBridge’s signature curriculum merges racial equity work with the methodology of design thinking. We guide our entrepreneurs through the process of designing a solution that fosters belonging, produces more equitable outcomes, and transforms mindsets. 


At CityBridge, coaching is not only a method for development but an invaluable condition for learning and innovation. Our experts provide customized, identity-affirming, and strengths-based coaching, supporting our entrepreneurs as they take risks, grapple with new concepts, and expand their skills.


Innovation thrives in community. We have a long history as a trusted partner in DC education and have forged a strong coalition of informed, engaged leaders who share common values. Our educators and entrepreneurs join a robust alumni community, maintaining long-term, supportive relationships with one another and CityBridge.


We use the power of our networks to ensure our projects and our entrepreneurs have access to the financial, social, and political capital that they need to be successful. Our programs provide funding because we know that leaders of color have historically received less support and access to capital than their white peers.

Our Investment Criteria

CityBridge incubates education projects of all types and at multiple levels—the classroom, the school, the community, and the entire school system. Some are created within existing structures, and other projects are completely new. But they all provide positive, tangible, local impact and advance the national conversation about what’s possible for students. 

To change the profile of those who typically succeed and lead in the city, CityBridge prioritizes investing in people of color, particularly Black and Latino/a leaders with relevant experience.

people and teams

We believe the strength of a school or venture is dependent on the leader. We seek out education leaders with a demonstrated track record of transformational leadership, a fierce commitment to racial equity, a nuanced understanding of their own strengths and identity, and the vision and drive to make DC’s schools more equitable.

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, and sound research that supports its effectiveness. Most importantly, these solutions must be designed and developed with rather than for the DC communities 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 demand for their idea or solution.

Our Programming Pathways

We Incubate Education Entrepreneurs

CityBridge’s signature programming prepares participants to design transformative new school models, create new programs and products within existing schools and organizations, and launch new education startups. We empower and invest in educators and education entrepreneurs—especially leaders of color—who are redesigning our education system with the needs of our most marginalized students at the center.

We Catalyze Bold Systemic Change

CityBridge recognizes that some problem areas require a coordinated citywide approach, with many more stakeholders involved in the design and implementation of the solution and multiple years of support and investment. To address such challenges, we build and lead coalitions that boldly transform systems and produce excellence and equity at scale. 

Meet Our Entrepreneurs

CityBridge alumni share a fierce commitment to racial equity and the vision and drive to create a more equitable and excellent future of learning.

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