Does our whole team participate in the accelerator?
The accelerator is designed with both individuals and teams in mind. If you apply as a team, we ask that you submit a lead participant as the main point of contact. The lead participant will be invited to attend all the sessions to enable cross participant collaboration. There will also be sessions and events that teams will be welcome to attend.
Do we already have to be an incorporated company or non-profit to apply?
No. We are open to early stage ideas that do not yet have a formal organization attached, as well as ideas held by innovators within institutions that might not yet have buy-in from their organizations.
We are not based in New Jersey. Can we still apply?
If you are not currently operating in New Jersey, we would ask that you share plans for operating or scaling in New Jersey.
My organization is not based in the US and does not have a 501c3, can we still apply?
No; you will need to be based in the US to be eligible.
Is there a program participation fee?
No, there is no fee to apply. However, we expect participants to be able to commit to 5 hours a month with 3-4 half day events and a final event in April/May 2022. We also offer needs based stipends in cases where this support would enable participation in the Accelerator.
How many participants will be accepted into the Accelerator?
We will be offering 15 to 20 places in the accelerator.
My idea isn’t based on technology. Can I apply?
We welcome initiatives from all fields of innovation. Please apply if, for example, you are pioneering training programs that teach workers at risk of automation how to code or if you are a local policy-maker working to get political traction around universal basic income or direct cash payments for COVID-19 recovery. We recognize the most powerful work isn’t always a tech innovation, and that it can often be grassroots work in the community.
At what stage does my idea need to be at in order to apply?
You will need to show how your initiative is unique and suited to the New Jersey landscape. We ask that, at minimum, you have identified a critical problem facing workers, researched whether solutions exist, and have an understanding of the New Jersey innovation landscape. Aside from that, your idea can be early stage or poised for scale-up. We will aim to select initiatives with different stages of maturity for the Accelerator.
Can I submit more than one application?
You are welcome to submit more than one application, but we would encourage you to put your time and effort into a quality application rather than several competing applications. However, if you have more than one initiative you would like to highlight, feel free to submit both.
What are the dates for the accelerator?
The accelerator will begin with a kick-off and orientation in October 2021 and will run for 9 months to May 2022.
What is the time commitment for participation?
We expect participants to be able to commit to 5-7 hours a month with 3-4 half day events and a final event in May 2022. These times are flexible, as some sessions will be optional.
Who delivers the program?
A core delivery team from the RSA US will host you during the accelerator. Participants will also be assigned an innovation coach who will support you around challenges you identify. We will be pulling on a network of national experts who will serve as guest facilitators and workshop leaders. Finally, some training will happen through peer learning sessions and “case clinics” that will allow participants to workshop challenges with peers and experts.
Will you sign an NDA? How do I know you won't steal my idea?
Our agenda is to support your idea and strengthen it. Your application will not be shared with any potential competitors. That said, protection of intellectual property rights (ex. patents, trademarks, copyright, trade secrets, etc.) of your initiative is your responsibility. If you have an idea or product that you might want to patent, we strongly recommend speaking to a lawyer before submitting information about this idea. Information you include in your application will be shared with the set of expert judges that review your application. Please note that these judges do NOT sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). Therefore, you should not include any information in your application that you feel could be harmful to your company or venture should that information be disclosed.
Will the discussion and contents of the sessions be public or private?
The materials for the sessions will be shared publicly including any recordings from keynote speakers. We want to balance the ability to share learnings from the cohort with the need to create a safe space for participants to discuss challenges openly. In order to accomplish this, anyone who comes to a collaborative session is free to use information from the discussion, but must protect the privacy of fellow participants by not revealing the identity of individuals or organizations making the comments.
If I submit a winning application do I personally have to participate or can I nominate someone from my team?
If you have been named as the lead participant, we would ask that you participate, as we make every effort to ensure the cohort is as diverse and inclusive as possible. But we understand that circumstances change, and you have an opportunity during the shortlisting process to request a change in lead participant.
Are all of the sessions mandatory?
The accelerator will be designed with a mixture of mandatory and optional sessions—the process for identifying these will be highlighted during orientation. As much as possible, we want participants to “choose their own adventure” and find experiences and learning opportunities that meet their needs.
Can I withdraw my application?
If you wish to withdraw your submission for whatever reason, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the lead participant and the name of your organization or initiative.
What are the submission deadlines?
The application portal will close at 6 pm (EST) 14th June 2021.
Will the accelerator be virtual?
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the accelerator will be hosted virtually. We hope to host some in-person events when possible but will be mindful of individuals’ circumstances.
When do I find out if my application has been successful?
We will let all applicants know if they have been selected by the beginning of September 2021.
What does the shortlisting process look like? Do successful applications receive funding?
While we do NOT currently offer additional prizes, we will be working throughout the program to connect participants to local and national funders and strengthen connections to the funding ecosystem. Through this effort, we hope that additional implementation funds will become available to participants.
We will provide stipends for teams and individuals in cases where this support would enable participation in the Accelerator. Stipends are allocated on a discretionary need basis. Once organizations and/or individuals are selected for the Accelerator they can flag a request for stipend support that will be reviewed by the core project team. If you are selected for the Accelerator and your participation is contingent on stipend support we will do our best to accommodate those requests.
What should I do if the site is not loading properly?
The Future of Work Accelerator website is designed to work with modern, actively supported web browsers. if you are experiencing issues, we recommend using a modern browser such as mozilla firefox, google chrome, safari, or microsoft edge. Please reach out to email@example.com if you run into any issues.
Can I use a state computer or mobile device to submit an idea or implementation plan?