IdeaStarter Frequently Asked Questions

All sessions and meetings will be entirely online. We will meet more frequently (biweekly vs. monthly) with shorter sessions (1 hour vs. 3 hours), and learning modules will be recorded when possible for increased viewing access between meetings. As always, we’ll strive to meet the needs of participants and projects and remain flexible when necessary, and mentors will be available to support as time permits. There will also be more options to participate, as noted below.

Not necessarily. This year, given our remote access and growing opportunities to innovate, we’re expanding ways to participate. Beyond submitting an idea you want to develop, you have other options: Submit a challenge you’re interest in solving. You may not yet know how to solve it, but you’re interested in doing the work to find out. (Note that this option may require more out of class time) Support an idea submitted by another staff member. Audit the sessions. .

Time commitment will depend on level of participation. If you participate with an Ideastarter project owner, it will require at least 4-5 hours a month (~1 hour per week) through the end of June, with final pitches in July. Previous IdeaStarters will have spent more/less than that at different times, depending on what their project needed to move forward at any given time. If you'd prefer to support another project, time commitment would be more flexible. If you prefer to audit, there is no time requirement, though you will not receive the same access to mentorship or cohort work session time.

Not necessarily. Ideastarter will help you frame and research the challenge that you’re solving for, test your assumptions with stakeholders, and ultimately build a case for implementation, but the program cannot guarantee that it will be implemented, nor will Ideastarter own the project at the close of the cohort. We do our best to give Ideastarter Fellows the tools and support they need to grow their ideas, and put them in front of others who can make them thrive.

No. While Ideastarter projects are eligible to receive funds to develop and test, this money is limited and must be appropriately distributed between cohort members. Ideas best suited for Ideastarter are ones that benefit from testing with and learning from stakeholders, and those willing to pivot an approach based on feedback and data.

Shortly after submissions close mid February, applicants will receive notification on next steps via email. Sessions will be scheduled at that point, starting in early March, 2021.