Eighteen months ago, nine entrepreneurial ventures and their bold leaders entered UpStart’s Venture Accelerator, in order to go from seed to success by creating and activating a plan for sustained growth and impact. The world looked very different then, with in-person gatherings – the underpinning of so much of Jewish community – the norm.
Now, several months into the health crisis of COVID-19 and the unfolding financial crisis, these ventures are graduating from the program into a very different reality. For so many people seeking alternatives to more traditional offerings, these ventures are their only connection to Jewish life. Entrepreneurial ventures have been a driving force in adapting Jewish communal life for the last twenty years, and their ability to adapt and create new experiences to meet our community’s evolving needs is critical right now.
We’re so proud of Cohort 11. They are at the forefront of:
Advancing justice and inclusion:
Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom
Tivnu: Building Justice
Creating spiritual and cultural experiences that transform:
Judaism Your Way
Museum of Jewish Montreal
Empowering youth and young adults through identity exploration:
BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy
The vitality of these ventures
These ventures have a demonstrated track record of bringing agility, creativity, and vision to tackling our community’s most pressing problems, and they will play a critical role in shaping Jewish communal life after the COVID-19 crisis.
They are completing the program with the skills, resources, and training to adapt to the current moment and moments to come. They’re also well-equipped to partner with major communal institutions as they reconfigure their services and reimagine their offerings.
What’s next for Cohort 11
Now, Cohort 11 will join a robust network of 100+ groundbreaking organizations, the UpStart Venture Network, accessing expert mentors through our Ask UpStart platform, specific resiliency support, and additional resources. UpStart is building out network affinity groups for peer support and coaching, guidance around scenario planning, strategic partnerships, financial management and HR management, as well as mergers and acquisitions.
These are the very leaders and ventures who will help us build a just, vibrant, and inclusive Jewish future, adding to the incredible progress we’ve made over the past twenty years of progress.
“We’re incredibly proud of the growth that Cohort 11 has shown through the Venture Accelerator,” says Aaron Katler, UpStart’s CEO. “While they’re graduating into an uncertain time, we are confident that the value they bring to Jewish life is particularly critical now…and we know they have the tools and network they need to adapt and enhance the landscape of Jewish life.”