Supporting Impact Entrepreneurs

FINNOVATION Lab Fellowship

The FINNOVATION Lab is proud to announce the launch of the FINNOVATION Fellowship Program for impact entrepreneurs. The FINNOVATION Fellowship is a nine-month incubator and fellowship program to support impact entrepreneurs who:

  • Are hungry to understand the context and causes behind some of the world’s most pressing problems
  • Are passionate about leveraging an entrepreneurial idea to make a big social or environmental impact
  • Are eager to develop innovative business models to solve problems in new ways
  • Are committed to growing into their potential as a leader
  • Need a runway of support to get their enterprise launched

With the launch of this program, the FINNOVATION Lab is building one of the most powerful engines of change in the Midwest – a cohort of individuals with bold ideas and the passion to execute innovative solutions to intractable issues.

Applications for our 2019-20 cohort will open in spring 2019.

What does the fellowship offer?


A dedicated desk at the state-of-the art space at FINNOVATION Lab and Impact Hub MSP collaboration workspace, located on the top floor of the FINNEGANS House in downtown Minneapolis. Fellows have access to this desk for up to 12 months, but are required to work out of this space full-time for at least the entire 9 months of the program. Fellows are expected to launch their enterprise at or before the end of the program.


Every fellow will receive a full time living stipend of $50,000, plus a $3,000 healthcare stipend, to offset living expenses and set-up costs for the nine month Fellowship. Think of this as a salary to support a Fellow while they start and and build an enterprise. In addition, each Fellow will receive significant in-kind support, including curricula, mentorship and partnership. Fellows are expected to work full-time on their project. At the end of the program, Fellows will have opportunity to the pitch and connect with impact investors.


Each Fellow will have access to a network of mentors –  a combination of experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts drawn from FINNOVATION Lab’s skills-based volunteering initiatives with local corporations and university partnerships. Mentors will serve in one-on-one capacities with Fellows, supporting them through their entire Fellowship. In addition, Fellows may have additional advisors for specific project-based tasks.


Fellows will participate in one or two curated curriculum days each week and have a range of tools and resources at their fingertips to guide their learning journey and business model development. Our Fellowship facilitator, along with mentors, will support Fellows in leveraging these tools to advance their ideas and build their ventures. We hope to support Fellows in learning just-in-time skills that will propel their enterprise further, faster.

WHO are Fellowship Applicants?

We’re looking for leaders who are have bold ideas and the skills to execute. You are:

  • Audacious enough to think you can solve an intractable problem, but humble enough to listen to feedback and test your idea
  • Willing to fail in order to learn, but resilient enough to try again

Applicants to the FINNOVATION Fellowship are individuals who have identified a particular social problem that they feel passionate about addressing and have developed (at the very least) a hypothesis (or “idea”) for a potential enterprise. This enterprise must have a long term plan for financial sustainability and social impact. And Fellows must be prepared to be ready to launch their enterprise at or before graduation from the program.

Enterprise ideas can be for-profit companies, or they can be non-profit organizations that have an earned revenue component. Social impact may be in education, health, environment, hunger, poverty-alleviation, or elsewhere, as long as you can make a case for that is it a “force for good.”

The application is open to social entrepreneurs, community leaders, recent graduates, current professionals or changemakers working on any social issue, who have an innovative idea for solving a social problem. If you’re still reading this, it’s probably you. Or someone you know. If you’re still not sure, ask us.

Want to learn more? Read our FAQs.

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