Civic Venture Accelerator

We must reinvent the way we develop young people as effective citizens by marrying the nimble, fail-fast, and effective scaling approach of venture capital with the long-term, systems-change lens of philanthropy.

The Citizens & Scholars Civic Venture Accelerator builds on our tradition of discovering and supporting up-and-coming talent across ideologies. We now expand that approach by providing start-up capital and advisory services to develop promising ideas for ventures that foster youth civic development at scale.

As venture builders, we tap our network for breakthrough ideas for new ventures, such as fellowships or initiatives. We assign teams, funding, and necessary resources to test and sustain these ideas for the long term.

Each venture must produce measurable results against Citizens & Scholars’ mission to develop youth who are civically well-informed, productively engaged for the common good, and hopeful about democracy.

How the Civic Venture Accelerator Works

Develop Breakthrough Ideas

Our methodology ensures that we source and develop ideas that will be viable across the political spectrum, achieve measurable social outcomes, attract sustainable funding, prioritize channels outside of the crowded K–12 school setting, and thrive when scaled.

Build Teams and Pilot Promising Ideas

We build out the most promising ideas by assembling nimble teams that draw from our staff, funders, and ideologically diverse experts in our network. These teams provide strategic programmatic guidance and access to capital, tools, and networks in order to test the efficacy of the idea against the desired outcomes. The ideas that achieve impact are poised to become a venture. The others wind down.

Manage the Ventures

Every venture benefits from shared services, including legal, fundraising, technology, marketing, and strategy support. Most ventures, such as our historic Fellowships, remain under our management and governance indefinitely. Others spin off as independent organizations under our guidance. Our portfolio acts as a working ecosystem that enables us to share knowledge across ventures at all stages of development.

Ways to Engage

Submit Your Idea

Join our email list to be the first to hear of opportunities to submit ideas for the Civic Venture Accelerator.

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Invest in the Civic Venture Accelerator

Learn how you can invest in the research and development of promising early-stage ventures.

Support New Ventures

Ventures Currently in Development

The Civic Network

The Civic Network is a new digital portal with self-directed learning experiences from leading civic learning content providers to develop American middle and high school-age learners into engaged, responsible citizens.

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Leadership for Civic Preparedness in Higher Education

Convening a range of leaders in higher education, diverse in institutional type and ideology, who believe that civic preparedness for the next generation is crucial to their work.

Learn More