Our Approach

We invest in people.

And the investments are far from just financial.  

The three main components of the Fellowship include:

1) Education

We believe in building on our fellows’ passions and amplifying their impact through a curriculum that is skill-based, dialogue-rich, and community-guided.  

Through the Fellowship, students learn the concepts and build the concrete skills necessary to launch a new venture. Educational opportunities take place during structured workshops and one-on-one coaching sessions with Social Innovation Initiative staff.

In the first semester of the fellowship, a certain emphasis is placed on the following deliverables:

  • "Deep-dive" learning familiarizes fellows with several key components of a business model: logic models, understanding customers/empathy mapping, value propositions, and experimental design.
  • Pitches are a powerful tool for engaging others in one's work, and fellows learn to use them as a means harness the power of stories in their different genres: the story of self, the story of the problem, and the story of the venture.
  • Fellows learn to develop a work plan and track a budget: skills that will culminate in concrete plans for their 10-week summer project.

After the summer, fall workshops emphasize capacity building and management skills that will further develop the potential of fellows' ventures.

2) Network Building

Fellows develop strong relationships with one another and support each other through their fellowship experience. They also have the opportunity to connect with Brown and Starr alumni as well as social entrepreneurs in the greater community.

 This process is facilitated by the format of our curriculum, which is focused on small group meetings and community-building activities.

3) Funding

Fellows receive $4,000 to support their 10-week summer project.  Groups of fellows working together on a venture receive $6,000.

Click here to see the timeline of the fellowship.