design residency: Ventures.

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

Design Residency: Ventures

Our Design Residency in the Ventures pathway is for early-stage entrepreneurs working to scale and launch a non-school educational venture focused on solving pressing problems in DC’s PK-12 education ecosystem. 

During this ten-month program, you will develop a robust business model canvas for your venture; build a network map of potential advisers, funders, and partners; and pitch your solution to a panel of experts.

To learn more about Ventures programming, contact us.

CityBridge prioritizes promising solutions that address unmet needs within DC’s education ecosystem. We will support the creation of 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.


During Design Residency, you will learn how to incorporate equitable design methods, build a theory of change, and pilot your program. Within the Ventures-specific workshops, we deepen the content knowledge and exposure to venture-specific material such as business model development, revenue models, and instructional design.


Residents receive strengths-based and identify-affirming support from CityBridge experts weekly during the ten-month program. Our coaches tailor coaching sessions to each team to meet their individual needs and the requirements of Design Residency, providing a safe space to take risks to grapple with new and rigorous concepts.


CityBridge shows Design Residents how to build a guiding coalition or network. The Ventures pathway offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to build skills to interact with investors, incubators, and accelerators, while learning about the entrepreneurial ecosystem. After Residency, participants officially become CityBridge alumni and gain access to the CityBridge alumni newsletter and network.


Residents are eligible for up to $20,000 to offset start-up costs. The grant may be used to support the personal financial burden of being a “sidepreneur” (i.e., part-time entrepreneur) and cover miscellaneous expenses of the start-up venture.

CityBridge programming provides a space where educators and education entrepreneurs can boldly design groundbreaking solutions to entrenched challenges, to better serve DC students. Each cohort joins a supportive community where members are dedicated to creating a public school system worthy of all of our children.


No. CityBridge is a nonprofit incubator and does not take an equity stake.

See our investment criteria here.

No, all CityBridge programming is provided free of charge to all participants.

Design Residency: Ventures is a ten-month program. Participants are not expected to work full-time on this project. Each program begins with asynchronous work and light coaching in the spring. The cohort experience for Design Residency: Ventures begins in September.

Design Residency is highly selective. The application consists of a written submission, including supporting documents, and a virtual, one-way recorded interview that should take no more than one hour to prepare for and complete.

Once the application closes, our team completes early diligence by examining your business model canvas and researching your market analysis. All applicants who have met the criteria of this process will be invited to a final interview. In each of these interviews, we will assess the candidate’s leadership and the viability and demand for the solution.

Our Design Residency: Ventures programming is currently paused. To learn about application openings, subscribe to our emails below or follow us on LinkedIn.

No. Design Studio and Design Fellowship are not prerequisites for Design Residency. CityBridge’s programs are not linear; they are designed to meet educators and entrepreneurs at different points in their design journey. At the end of each program, participants outline next steps and CityBridge staff are available to discuss additional programming opportunities.

We’re available to discuss any questions you may have about our programming. Please contact us.

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