Application Open November 22nd to January 16th
Our 16-week virtual program is designed to support early-stage innovators to create strong business plans and value propositions for sustainable growth and meaningful impact.
The impact of our work
Through the Accelerator, we have supported products from 36 entrepreneurs, reaching more than 10 million users and raising more than $20 million to advance culturally competent solutions addressing youth's mental well-being
As a founder, you are consistently juggling between the impact you're trying to have and the capitalist game you have to play. Headstream helped remind me that both are achievable without losing sight of our purpose
Headstream’s community is amazing! I appreciated how much the other founders came to share authentically. I also really liked the coaching session on founder wellness
The Headstream Accelerator is a phenomenal entrepreneurial community that truly centers youth mental health and digital well-being
Apply Today and JOIN THE HEADSTREAM ACCELERATOR IN 2024!
What you NEed to Know
Ideal Innovation Profile
These innovations cater to the diverse needs of students nationwide. They may extend support to teachers, school counselors, youth-serving organizations, parents, after-school programs, and students themselves.
These innovations integrate into existing healthcare systems or directly engage with young people through apps or platforms promoting resilience or addressing challenges like loneliness, depression, and anxiety.
Get the tools, resources, and support to thrive
- $30,000 non-dilutive stipend: Funding to support your participation in the program. 0% equity stake
- Youth Co-Creator Collaboration: Engage in youth co-creation with Headstream’s Youth Co-Creation Programming for feedback on cultural competence, age-appropriateness, and user fit
- Investor Readiness: Link with potential investors and capital providers
- Mentorship Community: Connect with a community of experienced mentors and fellow entrepreneurs to refine your value proposition, identify your market fit, and measure your impact
- Customized Curriculum: 16-week virtual first programming with a variety of opportunities to develop tailored materials designed to attract investment and scale impact
- Founder Well-Being: Access coaching from wellness advisors focused on entrepreneurs
- Market Insights: Gain insights from product development and market experts to understand health and education market barriers, helping you focus on business models and strategic growth
Who should apply?
Entrepreneurs, startup founders, and innovators building meaningful digital products for young people. Applicable innovations include edtech, digital health, and social tech innovations and must be past the ideation stage and, at a minimum, have a functional prototype. Headstream is committed to supporting founders, companies, and products that are dedicated to and reflective of the populations they serve with a focus on systemically excluded communities such as BIPOC, Latino, and LGBTQIA+ youth.
A panel of experts including teens, technologists, investors, educators, and well-being specialists will evaluate the applicants using the following criteria:
- Transformative: whether the solution will make a significant contribution to supporting the mental well-being of young people with a primary emphasis on reaching the education and healthcare markets
- Inclusive: whether the innovation is accessible and relevant for a diverse set of users; particular attention to inclusivity for BIPOC, Latino, and LGBTQIA+ youth Inclusivity and cultural competence will be evaluated by Headstream, as well as youth and network advisors
- Scalable: whether the product is able to adapt to changing environments and needs of the community. Will this solution resonate with young people and/or the caring adults in their lives? Is there a path towards scaling your innovation?
- Market-Based: whether the solution is adaptable to rapidly changing technological advancements, and has a sustainable and ethical business model with the ability to attract investment and realize market fit. Business models will be evaluated by Headstream and our network of market experts and advisors
- Leadership: whether the innovation team has the potential and skill sets needed to develop a transformative solution. This may include both professional and lived experiences including their creativity, understanding of teens, well-being, technology, and business as it pertains to their innovation
- Youth Focus: Headstream is particularly interested in innovations targeting teenagers (13-19), but solutions for slightly younger (pre-teen) or older (college-aged youth) markets are eligible to apply
- Tech-based: The Headstream Accelerator is open to all applicants with tech-based solutions focused on supporting young people and their support systems with a focus on education and healthcare in the U.S.
- Sustainable Funding Model: For-profit startups will benefit the most from the Accelerator, but other entities are eligible to apply as long as they have a sustainable funding model
- Innovation Stages: Whether you have a functional prototype, a market-ready product, or are already offering your solution to clients, we encourage you to apply. Submissions that are solely theoretical designs or limited to ideas on paper will not be considered. Applicants ready to be supported by industry partners or ready to scale will receive the most benefit from the Headstream Accelerator
- Cohort Dedication: You can commit to the entirety of the 16-week virtual first program as well as attend the in-person kick-off event in April
- Market: The U.S. is the primary market of focus. International applicants with a presence in the U.S. are still eligible to apply
How to Get Involved
Apply now to be a part of the Headstream Accelerator. Together we can shape a just and inclusive economy built around enriching digital spaces and experiences for all youth.Apply Here
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When will the cohort be announced?
We will announce the cohort of the innovators for the Accelerator by the week of March 18th, 2024
How many applicants will be selected to participate?
Typically, 20-30 finalists will be invited to participate in video interviews, and a final cohort of 15 founders will be accepted into the Headstream Accelerator.
What is the expected time commitment?
3-5 hours per week
What age group should solutions be focused on?
Headstream is particularly interested in innovations targeting teenagers (13-19), but solutions for slightly younger (pre-teen) or older (college-aged youth) groups are eligible to apply.
I am not based in the U.S., can I still apply?
Headstream is focused on supporting youth in the U.S. but is open to supporting international innovators who are already operating in the U.S. or can demonstrate plans to enter and/or target the U.S. market.
Are there program info sessions that I can attend?
Yes! Join our Headstream Accelerator Virtual Office Hours to learn more about the Headstream Accelerator and chat with our team. Join a Headsteam Accelerator Info Session.