LearnServe Incubator Application

Enrollment in the 2017-18 LearnServe Incubator Program is now open! Applications should be submitted by June 15, 2017.

There are three phases to the LearnServe Incubator Application:

1.  Complete Online Application Form.  Along with your contact information, you will be invited to reflect briefly on three questions related to your social venture:

  • Description.  In no more than three sentences, describe your venture — including the problem you are solving and the solution you propose.
  • Skills.  What is one aspect of your venture you would like to focus on further?  Are there any skills you hope to learn through the Incubator?
  • Prototype.  Describe your “prototype” or “pilot” — the most basic version of your venture.  What is the activity / product / or service you have in mind?  Who are your beneficiaries or end users?  If you are still in the planning phase — what is your next step?  If you’ve already completed your pilot, share what you did and what you would do differently next time.

2.  Design and submit a set of 5 PowerPoint (or Google) slides that include the following.  (Slides should be sent to fellows@learn-serve.org, with “Incubator” in the subject line.)

  • Cover / Title / name
  • Description of the problem you are solving
  • Description of your proposed solution
  • Description of your “Customers” or beneficiaries*
  • 5 open-ended questions you would ask your customers / beneficiaries in an interview, and what you hope to learn from these conversations*

3.  Complete Phone Interview.  After you have submitted your application and slides, LearnServe will schedule a phone interview to talk through your slides, progress, and ideas for implementing your venture.

 

Tips for crafting your Customer Discovery Questions

Customer Discovery is an opportunity to learn as much as you can about your users, constituents, or beneficiaries.

When describing your customers, we encourage you to be as detailed as possible.  (For example, “2nd grade students enrolled in after-school programs at Northern Elementary School” rather than “elementary school students in the U.S.”)

Customer Discovery allows you to test your assumptions.  You should prepare open-ended questions, and be open to responses that affirm what you already assume, as well as responses that challenge your assumptions.

Notes:

  • If you have multiple people on your venture team who would like to be part of the Incubator, each should submit a separate online application, but you may submit 1 set of slides.
  • If you would like to be a part of the LearnServe Incubator, but do not have a venture of your own that you are currently leading, please contact Scott at fellows@learn-serve.org.