Elisheva Thompson
Digital marketing director; Jewish spirituality enthusiast

UpStart Opens Venture Accelerator Applications

Tzedek America's Avram Mandell participates in a Venture Accelerator lab. ©2019 Brooke Anderson Photography
Tzedek America's Avram Mandell participates in a Venture Accelerator lab. ©2019 Brooke Anderson Photography

UpStart—which partners with the Jewish community’s boldest leaders to expand the picture of Jewish life—is launching applications for its prestigious Venture Accelerator. UpStart’s venture programs elevate the organizations and leaders who are fueling a renaissance in Jewish life, providing the creative, technical, and business support to take bold ideas to the next level of growth.

The Venture Accelerator, UpStart’s flagship program for growth-stage ventures, is a 12-month opportunity for organizations to articulate and act on a sustainable plan for success. Over the course of the program, accepted organizations will receive an investment of up to $100,000, intensive training, coaching, and network-building to help quickly and sustainably scale their ventures.

This year, for the first time, UpStart will also make asynchronous training available to earlier stage entrepreneurs–those who may not yet be eligible for the Venture Accelerator–in the form of a robust digital library of webinars, tools, and resources, built around their needs. The offerings are free, flexible, and accessible, and provide additional resources as ventures change and grow.

Venture Accelerator cohort participants engage in intensive training. ©2019 Brooke Anderson Photography

Participating leaders and organizations in the Venture Accelerator join the growing UpStart Venture Network. Since 2006, the UpStart network of programs has served as a launch pad for more than 100 Jewish organizations, such as Hadar, At The Well, and JQ International. Applications are competitive and close on January 20, 2022 at 5:00pm PT.

“The Venture Accelerator taught us so much, supported us in tons of ways, and really helped us move from an early stage organization to a serious growth stage,” said Yosef Gillers, Executive Director of GrowTorah, Cohort 12 of the Venture Accelerator. “We gained incredible relationships with the other amazing entrepreneurs and leaders in our cohort. Our coaches and the UpStart staff have been there every single step of the way.”

Of the Venture Accelerator, participant Zev Moses of Museum of Jewish Montreal said, “If you are a Jewish startup, I can’t think of any better program to be part of that can focus your energies and efforts in the right direction. I wish I had done this earlier, although in many ways I am benefiting from it the most at this stage in my career.”

Applications are open now through January 20, 2022. Information about the Venture Accelerator and early-stage offerings, including eligibility criteria, can be found at Applications are accepted from across the U.S. and beyond.


About UpStart:

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.

Since its inception, the UpStart family of programs has fueled the impact of over 2,500 ventures and institutions and fueled more than 5,000 of the Jewish community’s most inspiring entrepreneurs and institutional change-agents.

About the Author
Elisheva Thompson is UpStart's Director of Brand & Marketing, spearheading its marketing, communications, and experience design efforts. She has an extensive background in digital marketing, specializing in brand strategy and graphic design. A Los Angeles native and a Jewish spirituality enthusiast, she is passionate about giving Jewish communities a voice and an online presence.