K12 Fellowship FAQs

Questions? The following are the most frequently asked questions about the K12 Fellowship. As always, if you have further questions, don't hesitate to get in touch


+ What are you looking for in companies?

EXPERIENCE We’re looking for founders that understand the market they’re entering, have lived experience with the problem, extensive leadership experience, and have surrounded themselves with a strong team that fills gaps their in knowledge.

COMMITMENT We're looking for founders who are working full-time on their venture. We also ask that you fully commit to the K12 Fellowship, including the three in-person workshops in Kansas City.

PARTNER SCHOOL ALIGNMENT In 2017 and 2018, we did a "needs assessment" of educators, students, and parents across our partner schools and published the results in a white paper. The priorities outlined in that paper are our north star when we’re looking through fellowship applications.

URGENCY Is your solution a “need to have” or a “nice to have” for schools? Our school partners are the final arbiters of who gets into the K12 Fellowship and they’re looking for solutions that are tackling their most pressing problems.

EMPOWERMENT We think technology should augment the capabilities of teachers not work to replace them. Does the solution you’re creating empower its user, alleviating their time and allowing them to be more efficient, creative or focused?

EQUITY Is your solution geared toward making easy sales to wealthy districts or is it addressing the chronic racial and socioeconomic problems that students are facing every day? Read more about the difference between equity and equality here.

SCALABILITY What does your company look like at scale? Is this a feasible goal right now or would you have to make significant changes to your model? We’re looking for companies with the potential to create a clear pathway to reach the 100K students in our school network.

UNIQUENESS We’re looking for big ideas and novel thinkers. We’re looking for founders that are using their unique perspectives and experiences to create truly innovative solutions to endemic problems.

PRODUCT, TRACTION, & STAGE We work with real students in real schools, which limits the stage of venture we can accept to the program. We have deep relationships with local schools and we take their trust seriously. We’re looking for ventures with some early evidence that their ventures are impactful and improving student outcomes.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE If you don’t think you have any competitors, you haven’t looked hard enough. We want to know that you’ve done your research, know your place in the market, and have a plan to deal with any potential competitors.

+ What are the dates for the K12 Fellowship?

  • May 10 - Application opens
  • June 16 - Application closes
  • August 2 - Match Day
  • September 14-20 - Workshop I
  • November 16-20 - Workshop II
  • January 18-22 - Workshop III
  • January 22 - Scale Day

+ What costs are covered for the visits – travel, hotel etc.?

Select fellows will receive a $10,000 honorarium which can be used to cover your travel and to support your micro study. Lodging accommodations are provided.

+ What are the Pilot School Partners?

Pilot School Partners are a network of schools that work with the entrepreneurs to pilot their innovations. Learn More.

+ Is there any initial investment or equity expected?

No. We do not take any equity from fellows.

+ What makes the K12 Fellowship different?

We're the only program in the US that places entrepreneurs in real classrooms to pilot their innovations. We believe the most transformational education innovations are born when they are developed in true partnership with those most impacted by education--parents, students, administrators, and teachers.

+ Do I need to stay in Kansas City?

Because of our commitment to community, applicants must commit to attending all in-person workshops. Additionally, we suggest that teams book additional time to pursue local partnerships and sales opportunities.