Founders Lab

A one-month accelerator designed to teach you what you need to know to be successful in any career: how to think like a founder.

Receive the guidance you need to get your plans moving.

Founders Lab is designed to help you maximize your potential with insider knowledge from experienced leaders, no matter how early you are in your career. Whether you’re planning to start your own organization, gain the skills to work for an innovative company, or bring breakthrough ideas to your current workplace, Founders Lab is for you.

Hear from Students

Details + How to Apply:

1. Send in your application ASAP.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the cohort begins. 

August 31: Application window one closes
September 18: Application window two closes
October 5th: Applications closes

2. Once you’re in, we’ll send you all the details.

The cost of the program is $950. All learning will take place virtually, and you’ll receive a seminar schedule when you’re accepted into the program. Participants should expect to spend 8-12 hours per week on the course. 

3. Founders Lab begins on October 13th.

The next cohort will run from October 13th to November 13th. You’ll receive full access to seminars and workshops as well as entry into our alumni network upon course completion. Scholarships and payment plans are available. 


Students from our first cohort told us, “I graduated from college in May and learned more about working in a professional environment in one session with you than in four years of college classes.” Even if you’re years out of college, “Founders Lab is an amazing experience and opportunity to be surrounded by people with great ideas and who want to make a difference in the world.”

Meet your Teachers & Mentors:

Scott & Vik Harrison

Co-founders, charity: water

In 2006, Scott and Vik created charity: water. The organization set out on a big mission, to bring clean water to every person living without it. Thirteen years later, with the help of more than 1 million supporters worldwide, charity: water has raised $450 million and funded over 51,000 water projects in 28 countries. As Scott continues to build charity: water, Vik now runs her own company, the Branded Startup, where she shares her years of experience building a world-renowned brand with young entrepreneurs looking to grow their vision.

Jeremy Courtney

Founder, Preemptive Love

Jeremy Courtney is founder and president of Preemptive Love Coalition, an international relief organization engaging on the frontlines of the world’s most polarizing conflicts in Iraq and Syria. A decade ago, at the height of the Iraq War, Jeremy and his wife, Jessica Courtney, chose to move to Iraq. Over the next several years, Preemptive Love provided lifesaving medical care for thousands of children and hands-on training for local medical staff — empowering them to be the long-term solution to Iraq’s child health crisis. Jeremy travels the world offering expert, on-the-ground commentary on conflict in the Middle East.

Jessica Jackley

Co-founder, Kiva

Jessica is an entrepreneur, investor, and speaker. She is best known as a co-founder of Kiva, the world’s first crowdfunding site for microenterprises. Since its founding in October 2005 Kiva has facilitated over $1.4B in loans worldwide. Currently, Jessica serves as Chief Impact Officer at Aspiration, helping customers align their spending with their social values. She is a General Partner with SparkLabs Global Ventures, as well as an investor, advisor, and former Venture Partner with the Collaborative Fund. Additionally, Jessica teaches Social Entrepreneurship at the Marshall School of Business at USC, and was previously a Visiting Practitioner at Stanford’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society.

Gina Sanders

Founder, Gina’s Collective
Advisor to Y Combinator Nonprofits

Gina Sanders is Founder and CEO of Gina’s Collective, an Advisory providing coaching, connections and creativity to tech-enabled nonprofit startups. She also serves as a Venture Partner at Advance Venture Partners and as an Advisor to Y Combinator’s nonprofit startups. From 2010-2014, Ms. Sanders was President and CEO of Fairchild Fashion Media, a diversified trade and consumer media company. A 29-year veteran of Condé Nast, Ms. Sanders previously served as Vice President and Publisher of numerous high profile publications. She received numerous accolades during her tenure in these posts, including Condé Nast’s coveted ‘Publisher of the Year’ award.

Rose Afriyie

Co-founder, mRelief
Y Combinator alum

Rose Afriyie is co-founder and Executive Director of mRelief. The YC-backed nonprofit has built an easy-to-use tool on web and SMS for low-income Americans to find out if they qualify and enroll end-to-end in the SNAP program. mRelief has connected more than 260,000 families to social services. Before mRelief, she worked as a Marketing Associate for Google where she co-produced Oprah Winfrey’s first Google+ Hangout and President Obama’s annual State of the Union Hangout. She interned in the Domestic Policy Council of the White House during the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Rose is a lifetime learner of Ruby code, BYP100 Chicago Board Chair, and a changemaker who lives in Chicago.

Jewel Burks Solomon

Co-founder of Partpic, acquired by Amazon
Partner, Collab Capital

Jewel Burks Solomon is an advocate for representation and access in the technology industry. As co-founder of Partpic, a startup designed to streamline the purchase of maintenance and repair parts using computer vision, Jewel and her team built groundbreaking technology poised to change the way people everywhere locate products. Jewel is a proud board member at Goodie Nation and the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project, and spends much of her free time mentoring startup founders and angel investing.

Dmitri Julius

Vice President of Operations at ICON

Dmitri Julius is an entrepreneur, USMC veteran, and is on the executive team at ICON, the construction technologies company using 3D printing robotics, software and materials to advance humanity. ICON has been named one of the “Most Innovative Companies in the World” by Fast Company and is delivering dignified, resilient homes more sustainably and with more design freedom around the world.

Mike Arrieta

Founder + CEO, Garden City
Co-founder, New Story

Mike is the Founder & CEO of Garden City, a purpose-driven holding company that acquires, grows and holds service companies in the southeast. Prior, he was an early employee at DocuSign where he joined as Chief of Staff to the CEO and then continued to serve as a Global Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Sales until February 2020 when DocuSign achieved a $15B valuation. He co-founded New Story Charity and is an active angel investor/advisor to Impossible Foods, TechStars, SalesLoft, Blue Bottle Coffee, Extend, Haystack TV, Evolv, AdQuick, and Primer. In 2016, he was recognized on the Forbes “30 under 30” list.

Bethaney Bree Wilkinson

Event Host + Leader
Plywood Presents

Bethaney Bree Wilkinson has spent more than a decade exploring the intersections of community, racial justice, and social change–as a writer, leader and social entrepreneur. On the Plywood People team, Bethaney designs and leads creative events, builds organizational partnerships and spearheads DEI (diversity, equity, & inclusion) initiatives. She also leads a project called The Diversity Gap, an initiative exploring equity-centered institutional change.

Robert Hohman

Co-founder, Glassdoor

Robert Hohman co-founded Glassdoor in 2007 and currently serves as chairman. Hohman launched Glassdoor online in 2008 and served as CEO until 2020. As CEO of Glassdoor, Hohman pioneered the concept of workplace transparency and led Glassdoor’s growth to become one of the largest and fastest-growing job and recruiting sites in the world. Before founding Glassdoor, Robert was president of Hotwire, a leading discount travel site and division of Expedia, Inc. As one of the original team members of Expedia, he was part of the executive team that took it public in 1999. Robert started his career at Microsoft and worked as a software developer in a variety of roles. Robert holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Stanford University.

Sneha Sheth

Co-founder, Dost Education
Y Combinator alum

Sneha Sheth co-founded Dost Education in 2016 while completing her MBA at UC Berkeley. Dost is a tech non-profit that makes it easy for parents of any literacy level to improve their child’s early development. Sneha is passionate about using her entrepreneurship skills to solve educational inequality in the world. She has experience designing programs for women’s empowerment, financial inclusion and education across the world, including Mumbai, Cairo and Nairobi. In previous roles at Dalberg and Oliver Wyman, she advised clients like Goldman Sachs, the Gates Foundation, Teach For India, and UN Women. She was a 2017 Mulago Rainer Arnhold Fellow and 2018 Gratitude Network Fellow.

Ryan Nece

Co-founder + Managing Partner
Next Play Capital

As a former professional athlete, successful entrepreneur, and disciplined investor, Ryan’s remarkable background put him in a unique position to be able to found Next Play Capital. Beginning with a distinguished 7 year NFL career that included a Super Bowl win, Ryan went on to learn the investment side first in real estate as a Principal at Arenda Capital, before moving on to debt and tech with Provident Investment Advisors. His entrepreneurial interests led him to the start-up world, co-founding StraightCast Media, a mobile app designed to empower athletes to create their own HD content which sold to FOX Sports in 2014, freeing him to pursue the idea of starting Next Play Capital.

Brit Moore Gilmore

Former President of The Giving Keys

Brit, a native of Detroit, is the former President of The Giving Keys, a company that employs people transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles. She also served as the Homeless Workforce Program Advisor for United Way helping lead a 100 Jobs in 100 Days Challenge in partnership with LA County. Brit consults social entrepreneurs and impact-focused initiatives and she made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2017.

Alexandria Lafci

Co-founder + COO, New Story

Alexandria has more than a decade of work, academic, and volunteer experience in domestic and international development. She has taught in inner city D.C., led financial capacity building efforts in rural Central America, and briefed African heads of state on poverty alleviation through land reform. Alexandria is a Y-Combinator alum and in 2016 she was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

Brett Hagler

Co-founder + CEO, New Story

Brett is a cancer survivor, author, speaker, and 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 Entrepreneur. In 2017, 2019, and 2020, New Story was named by Fast Company as one of the “Most Innovative Companies In The World.” Brett is a Y-Combinator alum and in 2018 was named one of the Top 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs.

Matthew Marshall

Co-founder + Head of Product, New Story

Matthew is driven to use human-centered design and software to create a remarkable donor experience, maximize impact, and increase team efficiency. He leads the tech side of our innovation initiative by supporting our in-house team of developers. Matthew is a Y-Combinator alum, World Economic Forum Global Shaper, University of Georgia alum, and Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur.

Now is your time to grow.

 Join a cohort of ambitious, innovative people eager to make a difference in the world. Founders Lab is limited to 150 students per cohort to ensure you have every opportunity to learn, grow, and be inspired.


You’ll gain access to:


50+ hours of custom content designed to help you unlock your career potential.


Enter our selective talent pool that we also share with other organizations.


Learn directly from groundbreaking leaders in interactive settings.


Small group sessions led by social impact leaders where you apply learnings in real-time.

A Framework
for Success

Learn what you need to pursue the social impact career of your dreams.


Participate in intimate small group sessions where you dive deep and ask them anything.


Access the content and ask questions after you complete the course.


Join an alumni network group to help with internships, fellowships, startup ideas, jobs, and more.

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Dream big, start small.

We started as three 20-somethings with no funding and no connections — just the crazy belief that we could help solve one of the world’s biggest problems. Dream big, start small: that’s a mantra we repeat a lot around here. Not because it sounds inspiring, but because it’s our story. I was 24 with just $2,000 when I decided to found New Story with my co-founders Alexandria, Matthew, and Mike. Fast forward five years and we’ve built a team of top talent, raised more than $50M, been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies (2017, 2019, 2020), and most important, created real change for those who need it most. The “how” and “why” of our success aren’t magic tricks, they’re simple mindsets that any young person can use to enact real impact in the world.

Brett Hagler  |  Co-founder + CEO, New Story

Still not sure?

We know you may have lots of questions about how the program works. We’ve got you covered! Check out this video from our Chief Growth Officer, Sarah Lee, and apply today.

“We support the teaching of New Story’s Founders Lab to bring innovation to those who need it most.”

Kat Manalac, Partner at Y Combinator

What is the schedule?

Accepted students should expect to spend 8-12 hours per week on the course.

Two hours per day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday will be live training with an additional one hour recommended small group discussion. Two hours on Fridays are reserved for recommended group, advisor, and peer guided learnings.

All live sessions will be recorded & sent to all students.

Weeks 1 – 4:

Learn to live out a founder’s mentality.

  • How to make an idea a reality whether within an existing organization or on your own.
  • Selling yourself and your ideas.
  • Collecting feedback, buy-in, and research.

Connect with and learn from experts.

  • Top founders and executives will teach you what they wish they had known.
  • Small group advisor sessions and full cohort training.
  • Focus group sessions to get additional advice and feedback specific to your interests.

Break down how to bring an idea to life.

  • Tool training to learn the software and processes you will need to be successful.
  • Expert sessions breaking down the founding stories of top businesses and NGOs.
  • Guided planning meetings to create step-by-step plans.

Week 5:

  • Capstone projects to bring ideas to life. This week will go deep with your group for real-life training and implementation of all you have learned. This intensive week will be concluded with a presentation, feedback from mentors, and the opportunity to practice with hands-on support.
Do I have to be a founder or have an idea to participate?

We believe being a “founder” is a mindset. Sometimes, that mindset is used to bring your own idea to life, and sometimes it is used to advance other ideas.

The only thing required for you to participate in Founders Lab is a desire to learn and grow. If you do have an idea, we’ll teach you how to give it every opportunity for success.

Who is this backed by?

New Story is a Y Combinator-backed organization based in San Francisco and Atlanta focused on pioneering solutions to end global homelessness.

Since our founding in 2015, we’ve raised over $50M in revenue, designed and built over 25 holistic communities around the world, and created and deployed a software platform now used by governments. In 2019, we began construction on the world’s first 3D printed community, which is now being featured as a documentary on Apple TV+. We’ve been named three times as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company and our co-founders are all Forbes 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs.

Additionally, we’re advised and supported by some of the world’s best founders and leaders. Learn more about them here.

Why do this now?

The world needs impact-driven leaders now more than ever before.

One of our core tenets at New Story is around the idea of being open source. Founders Lab emerged out of this idea. Pressing issues abound all around us, and it’s impossible for us to have too many impact-driven leaders looking to make a difference in the world. So, what change are you going to make?

How much work will this be?

We’re looking for people who want to jump-start their careers. This means you’ll need to put time and energy into being successful. You can expect to spend 8-12 hours per week on the course. We’ll work with students directly in scheduling all live portions of the course to ensure courses fit your schedule.


Who is this for?

Whether you’re just starting out or already 10 years into your career, Founders Lab is designed for people with a desire to learn, grow, and make a mark on the world. From 18 to 53, Founders Lab students have been everywhere in between. The majority of participants may be somewhere in the middle of that range, but we’re committed to providing the framework, lessons, and encouragement to anyone who has a desire to help solve the world’s biggest problems.

Is this all online? In person?

This course will be 100% virtual.

But 100% engaging and interactive. The four weeks will be a mix of teaching styles to ensure you’re learning the whole time. Curriculum includes:

  • Live training sessions with founders who have been there. Founders from charity: water, Glassdoor, mRelief, Kiva, and more will share the lessons they wish they’d had earlier.
  • Group work to build community with like-minded participants.
  • Focus breakouts to go deeper in a field or area of interest.
  • Q&A sessions.
  • Projects where you will learn, implement learnings, and gain actionable experience.
Are scholarships available?

Yes, we’re offering a limited number of scholarships.

Reach out to us via the contact form to inquire. Please include name, school or employer, and how a scholarship to Founders Lab would impact your future.

Will Founders Lab help me get a job?

When hiring a new team member, the number one trait we look for is a founder’s mindset.

Whether you are looking to start your own organization or gain experience at an existing company, Founders Lab will give you the practical advice and experience to get hired and excel.

Upon course completion, you will have the opportunity to opt in to an alumni network to potentially connect you to your next big job or internship.

Do I have to be available all four weeks?

We’re asking participants to miss no more than two live sessions.

We understand you may have other obligations and will work with you to create an ideal schedule. We do know that students are most successful when they can commit a minimum of 8 hours per week to live sessions and individual work.

Join a Preview Class!

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