Early Stage Learning

UpStart's entrepreneur programs offer targeted support at every level.

Taking your initiative from a bold idea to a powerful force in Jewish life can seem daunting, especially if you don’t know the basics of venture development or aren’t quite ready for an intensive cohort program. Over the last few years, UpStart has supported dozens of early-stage ventures as they test out their ideas and see what sticks. And this year, we’ve launched something entirely new – free, open access early stage learning for anyone with a bold idea who meets our early stage criteria and has. the chutzpah (gall) to give it a try.

We built these self-directed webinars, activities, and resources around the needs of the early-stage entrepreneur–it’s flexible, accessible, and provides additional resources as your venture changes and grows. And it focuses on the most critical topics for early-stage ventures from developing proof of concept (a way of demonstrating that your initiative works) to financial readiness. You can move through the learning at your own pace and at any time.

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What can you expect from participating in early stage learning? Participants will be able to:

  • Articulate your value – identify your organization’s unique value and target audiences
  • Develop customer journeys – challenge your assumptions about what your audience needs
  • Refine your value proposition – know the difference between your mission and your vision, and refine your venture’s offerings
  • Create win-win partnerships – learn to develop authentic and strategic partnerships and amplify your impact
  • Build solid budgeting skills – create a budget with corresponding cash flow projections
  • Design your financial model –  feel comfortable presenting and explaining your financial model and story
  • Pitch your venture – speak confidently and compellingly about your mission and gain support

Plus, upon submission of your completed work from the learning, venture leaders also have the opportunity to unlock the following additional resources:

  • Feedback – A thirty minute call with an UpStart team member to receive feedback and discuss your completed work
  • Funding – The opportunity to apply for a $4,000 unrestricted grant. Grants open on January 2 and will be awarded on a first come first serve rolling basis through March 3. Must meet eligibility requirements for grant funding
  • Peer & Alumni Support – The opportunity to become a member of the Venture Network, gaining access to peer support, events, grants, and more


  • At least one venture leader (CEO, Executive Director, Founder, etc.) must have completed the first and final assignment and all six modules of Early-Stage Learning (only those eligible for grant funding are eligible to be in the Venture Network)
  • A thirty-minute feedback call to review your completed work before applying
  • Commitment to submitting a grant report on how funds were spent by December 31, 2023. Funds must be spent no more than six months after disbursement.
  • Organization is working toward a thriving Jewish community/Jewish future
  • Must be an Early Stage organization defined by the eligibility criteria found here

For more information, you can watch the recording and view the slides from our grant info session held on January 5, 2023. If you have questions, please reach out to Davita Louie at davital@upstartlab.org.


Anyone who meets the eligibility requirements has a bold Jewish idea, and access to a computer can participate in this self-directed learning. To find out whether this program is right for you, view the criteria and eligibility guidelines.

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UpStart partners with the Jewish community’s boldest leaders to expand the picture of how Jews find meaning and how we come together.

Whether someone is starting a new Jewish venture or reimagining what an existing one has to offer, UpStart gives them the entrepreneurial tools and network they need to build the Jewish community of the future.

Want to learn more? Read up on our programs, check out our latest insights, and sign up for our mailing list.

Have additional questions? Reach out to us any time at ventures@upstartlab.org.

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