Essentials Fellowship


What is the Essentials Fellowship?

The Essentials Fellowship takes aspiring founders (like you!) from an idea on paper or in your head to running a small-scale pop-up experience with the families, educators, and students you want to work with. You’ll get coaching from the 4.0 team and experienced founders on how to plan and run a short discrete test of your idea, a $300 grant, and a community of peers cheering you on. By the end of the Essentials Fellowship, you’ll have critical feedback from the people you want to work with and the skills you need to continue refining your idea. Essentials is free to attend and we provide travel stipends to help get you to our Camp weekend in New Orleans. Click here to check out our 2019 Program Dates & Timeline.


How it Works



Talk to the People who Matter

After you’re accepted to the Essentials Fellowship, you’ll get to work with your coach to get oriented on 4.0 and our process: you’ll learn about pop-ups, experiences from alumni, and how to conduct empathy interviews. You’ll build a relationship with your coach and compile information from the empathy interviews you conduct with the community. Pre-camp will be a chance for you to begin identifying your user, the problem, and assumptions being done in your work.



Essentials Camp in New Orleans

With a better understanding of your community, you’ll come to New Orleans for Essentials Camp, a weekend experience your cohort of peer teams from across the country. You’ll get coached by founders and be pushed to clarify your idea. We’ll help you design your first pop-up (a 2 hours to one day version of you idea), and you’ll leave Camp ready to put your idea in front of the people you want to work with.



Run Your Pop Up at Home

With your plan and a little bit of cash from 4.0 Schools, you’ll go home and run your pop up. You’ll work with your community to see if what you’re building meets their wants and needs. You’ll stay connected to 4.0 through virtual meet-ups with your peer cohort and virtual coaching. After you run your pop up, you’ll graduate from the Essentials Fellowship and receive an additional cash stipend to help you continue to grow your idea. You’ll also be eligible to apply to the Tiny Fellowship, which offers $10,000 (7k to run your pilot, 3k to continue after you graduate) to help you create a proof point for your idea.

Program Dates & Timeline

  • Coaching Begins (Virtual) - November 11, 2019

  • Essentials Camps in New Orleans- Fellows Choose ONE

    • January 30 - February 1, 2020

    • March 5 - 7, 2020

    • March 12 - 14, 2020

    • March 26 - 28, 2020

  • Fellows will Complete Pop-Ups and receive follow up group coaching between February and June 2020. Pop ups will take place in home community and coaching will be virtual

  • Essentials Graduation (Virtual) - May-June, 2020

"Eat Your Words has moved from a crazy idea to being a tool that is creating equity and support in early childhood.”

— Carla Briggs, Founder, Eat Your Words Learning Tools

Meet Past Participants

See what Brad did - School

See what Brad did - School

See What Nic Did - Program

See What Nic Did - Program

See what Ashley & Alina Did - EdTech

See what Ashley & Alina Did - EdTech