CityBridge supports the creation of startups focused on solving pressing problems in DC’s PK-12 education ecosystem.

Ventures Pathway

As early-stage investors, our programming aims to provide founders with the curriculum, coaching, connections, and capital to launch an education venture in DC.

Design Studio

Design Studio is for educators and education entrepreneurs who have an idea for a venture and want to explore the problem and solution more. During this two-part virtual workshop, you’ll learn the fundamentals of equitable design, build equity-centered solutions, and connect with like-minded peers.

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Design Fellowship

Design Fellowship is for very early-stage entrepreneurs ready to test their idea and gather data on need and demand. During this four-month immersive fellowship, you’ll learn how to design, implement, and evaluate pilots of your equity-centered solution.

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Design Residency: Ventures

Our Design Residency in the Ventures pathway is for early-stage entrepreneurs working to codify a business model canvas and minimum viable product, enlist advisors and supporters, and plan for revenue modeling. During this ten-month, part-time residency, you’ll receive customized coaching, tools, and financial support to accelerate the design and implementation of your education venture.

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Launch Fund

Our Launch Fund is for early-stage entrepreneurs ready to take on the complex process of navigating the ventures’ go-to-market journey. During the 15-month duration of this venture philanthropy investment fund, you’ll receive the coaching, capital, and connections to launch into the DC education market.

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Which program is right for you?

The EntrepreneUrThe CBE program
IDEA PHASEHas an idea for a venture and wants to explore the problem and solution more.Design Studio, our two-part, virtual introductory workshop.
PILOT PHASEWants to test their idea and gather data on need and demand.Design Fellowship, a four-month immersive program.
MVP PHASEWorking on codifying a business model canvas and MVP, enlisting advisors and supporters, and planning for revenue modeling.Design Residency: Ventures, a ten-month, part-time program.
LAUNCH PHASEEmploying go-to-market strategy and working to build traction in the DC ecosystem.Launch Fund, a 15-month venture philanthropy investment fund.

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 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 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 Portfolio

Past Ventures entrepreneurs have launched education technology products and applications, nonprofits, and other educational enterprises.

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