how it works

Start as a fellow.
Leave as a founder.

This full-time fellowship will give you the opportunity to work alongside a talented and diverse cohort to find your co-founding team and build a startup from scratch.

Two people, a man and a woman, building a rocket ship together. The man is standing on a ladder about to press a button and the woman is holding a wire above her head.

Our Fellowship at a Glance


Cohort 1: September 13 - December 17, 2021 (Applications now closed)

Next cohort dates to be announced.

Prepare for the fellowship
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Prior to the first day of the fellowship, you will receive a personalized set of reading materials and the opportunity to meet individually with the Visible Hands General Partners to discuss your goals for the fellowship. We will also aid in making helpful connections to the Visible Partners in our Ecosystem based on your interests and passions.

You will get the chance to meet everyone in your cohort through a virtual kick-off event. After our kick-off, you will gain access to a cohort directory. We encourage our fellows to get to know one another prior to the start date through independently organized get-togethers or Zoom coffee chats.

Receive $25k investment upfront
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Each fellow will receive an initial $25,000 pre-seed investment structured as a SAFE. You do not need to have an incorporated company going into the fellowship — our team will assist you in setting up the required legal structures to receive this investment.

This investment aims to provide you with financial stability throughout the 14 weeks. You can use it to help launch your company and pay your living expenses.

Immerse yourself in various innovation ecosystems
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Pending travel and public health guidelines, the fellowship will include short built-in trips to various cities throughout the United States (covered by Visible Hands). These jam-packed trips will allow for the cohort to meet key players and game changers in each city's innovation ecosystem. They're also great bonding experiences as cohort members will get to eat, work, and explore together.

Find your co-founder
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Our cohorts are carefully composed to contain the right mix of talented people and skillsets. Each fellow will be just as driven and committed to starting a company as you. You will get the opportunity to work on projects and test out ideas with many different fellows.

We help to facilitate the co-founder matching process through a guided sprint structure, frequent check-ins, and values-based assessments. This is to ensure that your co-founding team has a complementary set of skills, values, and working styles and a strong competitive advantage.

Validate your idea
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We will lead the cohort through a series of sprints to rapidly and repeatedly develop ideas, validate solutions, grow an early customer base, and build prototypes.

We are focused on helping you to build technology-driven companies with high growth potential and we generally don’t work in areas that require long research or production cycles, such as BioTech or Life Sciences. We will provide you with the necessary tools and frameworks for idea validation, but won't tell you exactly what to work on — that part is up to you!

Throughout the process, fellows will have consistent check-ins with their dedicated coaches and gain access to our Ecosystem of Visible Partners who serve as potential advisors, mentors, early hires, and customers.

Pitch your company for an additional investment of up to $175k
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At the end of the fellowship, each team will have the opportunity to pitch to Visible Hands' Investment Advisory Committee for an additional investment of up to $175k.

Teams that receive this investment will also receive continued business support from the Visible Hands team. We will support teams in securing seed investments and acquiring customers through 1:1 coaching, investor and mentor introductions, and pitch development and feedback.

Build lifelong connections
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You will walk away from this fellowship having built deep connections with your cohort — an exceptionally talented group of fellows who will be there for you as you continue forward in your entrepreneurial journey.

The Visible Hands team will always be here for you to provide advice and guidance even after the fellowship is over. You will also continue to benefit from our ever-growing network of Visible Partners.

what you get

The Visible Hands Experience

When you join Visible Hands, you can expect all of this and more.

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Virtual First Programming

You can participate in this fellowship from anywhere you'd like - no relocation required.

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Knowledge Sharing

You will gain access to expert speakers, tactical workshops, office hours, and a curated content library.

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1:1 Coaching

You will be assigned a dedicated coach who will share advice, keep up with your progress, and make helpful connections.

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Company Building Services

We will provide you with the support you need most to build your company (legal, strategy, design... you name it!)

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Access to Customers

Through our Ecosystem, we will connect you with potential customers who can help provide insights & feedback.

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Up to $200k in Total Investment

At the end of the fellowship, each team will get the opportunity to pitch for additional investment and continued business support.

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Meet Our Visionaries

Through our full-time Fellowship, we bring together 44 of the most brilliant entrepreneurial minds. Then we help them build impactful companies by providing them with the connections, resources, and investment they need to grow their startups.

See Our 2021 Cohort

Leverage Our Ecosystem

Get sector insights, fundraising advice, and strategic introductions from our national network of 500+ industry experts, founders, and investors. Our Ecosystem will become your most valuable professional network, even after the fellowship is over.

“Being a founder is a lonely journey. The Visible Hands team and community are dedicated to supporting you 100% of the way.”
Jeff Bussgang
General Partner and Co-Founder, Flybridge Capital Partners
Senior Lecturer, HBS
“Visible Hands is serving a critical need in the startup world: the space, experience, and support for entrepreneurs to reach their fullest potential.”
Sarah Millar
Principal, City Light Capital
“As a Black woman, entrepreneurship can sometimes be confusing and lonesome. But Visible Hands has empowered me in my founder journey.”
Victoria Bell
Founder and Lead, Black Women at Facebook
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Build the next big thing with us.

Our upcoming cohort dates will be announced soon.

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