KIPP Alumni Accelerator Programs

Accelerator programs support KIPP alums’ growth through professional development, mentorship, and network-building so they can pursue the paths they choose. Applications are open through January 4, 2023.

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2022-23 Accelerator Programs

Across sectors and industries, we envision equitable and meaningful representation of people of color in the highest levels of leadership and influence, who will have an outsized impact on our society, making the world a better place.

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  • Alumni Leadership Accelerator description
  • Alumni Business Accelerator description
  • Alumni Leadership Certification description

Click on each program and category below to learn more about details, eligibility, timeline, and cost.

  • Leadership Accelerator
    • Programming

      Programming

      KIPP Accelerator Fellows build leadership skills, learn how to leverage new tools and frameworks, and network with industry leaders and peers to make the connections necessary for reaching high-level positions of leadership and influence. The fellowship is a selective, 9-month, cohort-based experience which is personalized based on each fellow’s aspirations.

      Up to 23 alumni will be selected to be in the Leadership Accelerator program. The fellowship equips and empowers alums through:

      • Individualized executive coaching
      • Access to a network of influencers and mentors
      • Participation in a peer cohort
      • Virtual and in-person advanced professional development workshops
    • Eligibility

      Eligibility

      We look for leaders across all career sectors! The best time to apply for the Accelerator is when you already have a sense of your career, leadership, and professional interests. Most applicants will have, on average, 5-7 years of work experience. A Bachelor’s degree is not required.

      Over the last three years, applicants have come from over 13 KIPP regions and over 20 career fields. Past fellows have ranged in age from 22 to 34.

      Candidates must be/have:

      • Alumna/us of a KIPP middle or high school
      • Extraordinary track record of leadership and professional achievement
      • Ambitious goals and a vision to have an outsized impact on others
      • Demonstrated persistence in pursuit of career aspirations
      • Strong communication skills
      • At least 3 years of work experience, preferred
      • Commitment to attend all coaching and networking sessions, travel for in-person summits, and participate fully in the other components of the program
    • Timeline

      Timeline

      • January 4th 2023 – Applications are due
      • End of January 2023– Fellows are accepted into the Accelerator
      • February- March 2023– Program kickoff and virtual programming
      • Week of March 27th, 2023– 4-day Leadership Summit in Chicago, IL

      Fellows are expected to spend up to 10 hours a month dedicated to the individual leadership components of the fellowship. You will also be expected to attend an in-person summit for 4-5 days. We ask that you’re available and able to be fully present and engaged during this time. 

    • Cost

      Cost

      There is no cost to Fellows. Tuition, travel, lodging, food, and all materials will be paid for by the KIPP Foundation. This year, we’re asking that Accelerator Fellows give back to the Alumni community in the form of time and talent. We’ll share more details about this with selected Fellows based on the program they’ve been selected for.

  • Business Accelerator
    • Programming

      Programming

      For the first time ever we will have a dedicated program for Alumni business owners! The Business Accelerator is a pilot program. Our Alumni business owners and entrepreneurs have shared some of the challenges they face when starting, running, and growing their businesses.

      We want to support our Alumni business owners with thoughtful and carefully curated programming to equip and empower them to achieve their business goals through:

      • Individualized small business coaching across areas like marketing, sourcing & procuring business, finance & planning, HR, and more!
      • Access to a network of experienced business owners and mentors
      • Participation in a peer cohort
      • Virtual and in-person personal, professional, and small business development workshops with Interise 
      • Industry-specific business development support to strengthen your business operations and profitability

      Up to 20 alumni will be selected to participate in the Business Accelerator program; (10 in Spring Cohort; 10 in Summer Cohort.)

    • Eligibility 

      Eligibility 

      We look for business owners across all sectors! The best time to apply for the Business Accelerator is when you already have a vision and plan for your business. A Bachelor’s degree is not required.

      Candidates must be/have:

      • Alumna/us of a KIPP middle or high school
      • Demonstrated persistence in pursuit of a successful business
      • A legally & state-registered business by the application deadline
      • Earned less than $200,000 in Gross Business Revenue
      • Extraordinary track record of leadership and professional achievement
      • Ambitious goals and a vision to have an outsized impact on others
      • Strong communication abilities
      • Commitment to attend all coaching and networking sessions, travel for in-person summits, and participate fully in the other components of the program
    • Timeline

      Timeline

      Spring Cohort

      • January 4th 2023 – Applications are due
      • End of January 2023– Fellows are accepted into the Business Accelerator
      • February- March 2023– Program kickoff and virtual programming
      • Week of March 27th, 2023– 4-day Leadership Summit in Chicago, IL
      • April thru July 2023– Continued virtual programming and business coaching

      Summer Cohort

      • January 4th 2023 – Applications are due
      • Late February 2023– Fellows are accepted into the Business Accelerator
      • August 2023– Program kickoff and virtual Programming
      • August 2023– 4-day Leadership Summit in Chicago, IL
      • September thru January– Continued virtual programming and business coaching
    • Cost

      Cost

      There is no cost to Fellows. Tuition, travel, lodging, food, and all materials will be paid for by the KIPP Foundation. This year, we’re asking that Accelerator Fellows give back to the Alumni community in the form of time and talent. We’ll share more details about this with selected Fellows based on the program they’ve been selected for.  

  • Leadership Certification
    • Programming

      Programming

      Take advantage of this unique opportunity! The Alumni Leadership Certification Program is for alums with about 8 years of work experience and demonstrated ability to lead groups or teams. Alumni selected for this program must also have demonstrated leadership, achievement, vision, and drive in their workplaces and communities.

      The program will equip alumni with:

      • Individualized coaching
      • Participation in a peer cohort
      • Virtual and in-person professional development workshops
      • Leadership Certification from the Center for Creative Leadership 

      Up to 5 alumni will be selected to be in the Leadership Certification program.

    • Eligibility 

      Eligibility 

      We look for leaders across all career sectors! The best time to apply for the Leadership Certification program is when you already have established career, leadership, and professional interests. Most applicants will have on average 10 years of work experience. A Bachelor’s degree is not required.

      Candidates must be/have:

      • Alumna/us of a KIPP middle or high school
      • Extraordinary track record of leadership and professional achievement
      • Ambitious goals and a vision to have an outsized impact on others
      • Demonstrated persistence in pursuit of career aspirations
      • Excellent communication, conversational, and active listening skills
      • About 8 years of work experience, minimum
      • Able to commit to a 3–5-year contract to facilitate and manage leadership development workshops for KIPP Foundation
      • Commitment to attend all coaching and networking sessions, travel for in-person summits, and participate fully in the other components of the program
    • Timeline

      Timeline

      • January 4th 2023 – Applications are due
      • End of January 2023– Fellows are accepted into the Leadership Accelerator
      • February- March 2023– Program kickoff and virtual programming
      • Week of March 27th, 2023– 4-day Leadership Summit in Chicago, IL
      • April through August 2023– Continued virtual programming and leadership coaching
    • Cost

      Cost

      There is no cost to Fellows. Tuition, travel, lodging, food, and all materials will be paid for by the KIPP Foundation. This year, we’re asking that Accelerator Fellows give back to the Alumni community in the form of time and talent. We’ll share more details about this with selected Fellows based on the program they’ve been selected for.  

Apply to Accelerator Programs

Applications are open November 28, 2023 through January 4, 2023.

Meet the 2022 KIPP Accelerator Fellows!

FAQs - All Programs

  • Yes. We require two references for all Accelerator Programs. As you’re completing your application, you’ll be required to enter the name and email address of the people you’d like to request references from. Your references will receive a unique link via email where they’ll be able to submit the references. You may not submit the references on their behalf.

  • We recommend that you wait to apply if you are still in college. The programs will be more beneficial to you when you are you a few years into your career. Candidates in graduate school are welcome to apply.

  • Yes, you may still apply. A Bachelors Degree is not required for the programs. We look for leaders across all sectors.

  • We have had several fellows who currently work for KIPP, however:

    1. The Alumni Leadership Accelerator program and the Alumni Leadership Certification program do not provide industry-specific programming.
    2. The Alumni Business Accelerator program is for alumni who plan to scale and make their businesses profitable enough for it to be able to become their primary income source.

    If you are currently teaching or are an assistant principal at a KIPP school and you’re interested in school leadership, we suggest that you instead look into KIPP School Leadership Programs.

    If you are working for a regional team or the KIPP Foundation, you may still apply, and we encourage you to be specific about how this program can help your career and leadership aspirations in ways beyond your professional relationship with KIPP.

  • Although we recognize that alums may fit multiple buckets and benefit for many different programs, we recommend you apply to the program that will most benefit your personal, professional, and/or business goals and growth.

  • Nominations are always welcome! Please submit your nominations here. Once you’ve submitted your nomination, the nominee will receive a customized email inviting them to apply.  

    Nominations do not guarantee acceptance to the programs. Alumni are still required to submit a completed application.  

Leadership Accelerator FAQs

  • The best time to apply for the Accelerator is when you already have a sense of your career, leadership, and professional interests. This program will help you to the next step.

    Fellows who’ve chosen non-degree centered careers typically have an average of 5-7 yrs of work experience, while fellows who’ve chosen degree-centered careers have an average of 3 years of work experience in addition to a completed degree.

  • Many applicants are not selected the first time they apply – so it is VERY common to reapply. If you have applied before and are still interested in the program, we highly encourage you to consider reapplying. The Accelerator selection team looks holistically at where you are in your career, and a lot can change in a year! By reapplying, you also demonstrate your commitment to your leadership goals.

Business Accelerator FAQs

  • The best time to apply for the Business Accelerator is when you already have an established business or at least a sense of direction for where you want your business to go. You should have a fully registered business that’s owned and operated by you.

    This program will help you to the next step! You’ll develop or strengthen your business plan, learn how to pitch your business to investors, increase your client base, and/or pursue local and federal contracts, and more.

  • Yes, you may still apply, and if your business partner is a KIPP alum, we encourage them to apply to be part of the cohort as well!

    If your business partner is not a KIPP alum, please make sure to tell them your plans for applying to the program. Please make sure to follow the requirements and/or agreements you’ve negotiated with your business partner(s).

  • No, you may not participate in more than one Business Accelerator cohort.

  • Yes, you should apply. Please review the established criteria for the Business Accelerator. 

  • Since 2004, Interise has connected knowledge, know-how, and networks across established small businesses. They do this through their purposeful research; bold programs for established small businesses; and national partnerships that create impact at local, regional, and state-wide levels.

    Learn more here.

  • Maybe! Any time we pilot a new program, we’re required to assess its strengths and benefits. We’d love to offer this opportunity in future years, which is why we encourage all who are interested and eligible to apply this year.

Leadership Certification FAQs

  • The best time to apply for the Leadership Certification program is when you already have an established career, leadership, and professional interests.

    Fellows with undergraduate degrees should have about 8 years of work experience. Fellows without undergraduate degrees should have 10 or more years of work experience.

    You must have a desire to facilitate and coach aspiring leaders and professionals.

  • Yes, if the previously mentioned requirements and characteristics are met. 

  • Yes, if you meet the previously mentioned requirements and characteristics. 

  • Due to the rigor and training requirements, if you have less than 8 years of work experience, we encourage you to apply to the Leadership Accelerator program instead.

    If you’re a former Leadership Accelerator Fellow with less than 8 years of experience, you’re welcome to apply. 

  • The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) is a top-ranked, global, nonprofit provider of leadership development. Over the past 50 years, they’ve worked with organizations of all sizes from around the world, including more than 2/3 of the Fortune 1000. Their cutting-edge solutions are steeped in extensive research and their work with hundreds of thousands of leaders at all levels.

    Learn more here.

  • We’re investing in our alumni so that they are empowered and equipped to lead the varying components of our Alumni Leadership Programs. Alumni who are selected and accept their invitation to the Leadership Certification program will be expected to support Alumni Network leadership and professional development workshops for the next 3-5 years. By agreeing to a 3-5-year contract, we can guarantee sustainable and large-scale impact across the Alumni Network.

    Alumni who are selected will have an opportunity to review the full contract before accepting their invitation into the cohort.

  • Maybe! Any time we pilot a new program, we’re required to assess its strengths and benefits. We’d love to offer this opportunity in future years, which is why we encourage all who are interested and eligible to apply this year.

Contact Us

Have questions about Accelerator Programs? Get in touch with us.

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