Applications are Open for Summer 2015 - Fast Forward

March 5, 2015 | Accelerator

Applications are Open for Summer 2015

We are now accepting applications for our Summer 2015 Accelerator.

Over 13 weeks, fellows received a $25,000 grant, mentorship from 75+ tech and philanthropic leaders, and 100 hours of pro bono support and training. The program culminates in a Demo Day during which the nonprofits pitch to 200 funders and philanthropists. The program starts July 8 in San Francisco. ONLY NONPROFITS are eligible for this program.

Apply here.​ Applications are due April 15th, 2015.

4 Most Common Applicant Questions:

I do not live in San Francisco. Can I still apply?

Yes. We meet in-person once a week for eight hours. Last year some participants flew in each week to attend the sessions. We require that at least one member of your team is present at every session.

I am not a US Citizen. Can I still apply?

Yes. We accept applicants from anywhere. However, one person from your tech must commit to in-person weekly meetings.

What is your selection criteria for the accelerator?

  • Leadership: Tech nonprofits do everything that is hard in a tech startup AND a nonprofit. To pull it off, the leaders must have steadfast vision and incredible gumption.
  • Tech talent: The tech vision should be the driving force of the organization and not an auxiliary program. To successfully execute that vision, tech talent must be in a leadership role.
  • Potential for Impact: We are interested in both local and global impact.
  • Scalability: Software scales incredibly well. We support organizations with a vision for change that is matched only by the potential for scale.
  • Diversity: People solve problems in front of them. We want to empower people to solve the problems they see. We screen for diversity based on gender, ethnicity, income level, and issue expertise.

Why should we apply to Fast Forward instead of a for-profit tech accelerator?

Fast Forward’s program is designed around the unique needs of tech nonprofits:

  • Capital: Fundraising strategies, including tactics and sources of capital, are different for nonprofits at every stage of the fundraising process than they are for their for-profit peers.
  • Content: Our curriculum is different, as while both include a focus on product, scaling, and growth, nonprofits also want to learn about board development, governance, leveraging volunteers, open source software, and other issues generally more specific to nonprofits. The knowledge base we’re putting together for tech nonprofits differs substantially from what for-profits would find valuable.
  • Customer: Because of their focus on impact over profit, nonprofits often chase the least profitable customer, which impacts go-to-market strategy and customer lifecycle in a way that’s different from for-profits.
  • Cohort: Entrepreneurship is lonely, tech nonprofit entrepreneurship even more so. Tech nonprofit leaders tell us that because of their nonprofit focus they don’t quite fit into the for-profit accelerators, and because of their tech/product focus they don’t quite fit into the nonprofit fellowships. They share a set of challenges unique to the intersection of where they sit, and they’re excited to go through a program with others like them and provide each other ongoing support as their organizations grow.
  • Community: Key to our mission is building closer ties between the nonprofit and for-profit tech community, as the tech world has the opportunity to have a huge impact on these organizations and therefore around the world. This focus on collaborative philanthropy is quite different from for-profit accelerators which due to the nature of venture investing don’t need to invest heavily in community building.