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Frequently Asked Questions

+ What do you invest in?

Anyone with an idea to make education better in the United States. By education, we mean that your idea is in service of learning - defined broadly - and is geared at children (from birth to young adult), families, or educators. It can be a school (any kind - private, public, charter, homeschool), program, service, tech tool, physical product, or something else. We also know that ideas change a lot in their earliest stages. You don’t need to be 100% committed to what your idea will look like or have already decided if you want to incorporate as a nonprofit or for-profit. Those decisions come later.

We invest in people like you to be able to work with your community to test your idea in a thoughtful, ethical way- through what we call either a ‘pop up’ (Essentials Fellowship) or a ‘pilot’ (Tiny Fellowship).

If you have questions or still aren’t sure, check out the eligibility quiz that we’ve created at 4pt0.org/apply. You can also see previous ventures we’ve invested in at bit.ly/4pt0venturedirectory

+ Do I have to be an educator? Who are you looking for?

No, we love working with people from all kinds of backgrounds. You can be a parent, student, or just someone with an idea. We are looking for people who are obsessed with a problem felt in their community, but flexible about the best way to address it. Another key thing we look for is people who love to receive feedback on their ideas from the people they want to work with.

+ At what stage of developing my idea should I apply for Essentials/Tiny?

Essentials is our earliest stage program and is a good fit for you if:

  • You have identified a problem felt in your community you are passionate about addressing.
  • You’re getting specific about the community you want to work with and ready to find out - do people want your idea?

Tiny is our later stage program and is a good fit for you if:

  • The people experiencing the problem you’ve identified have tried a draft of the solution you’ve built and given you feedback
  • You feel ready to run a longer term pilot of your idea over several months and find out - does your idea work they way that you think it will?

We work with really early-stage founders, so if you’ve brought in significant revenue or funding, we may not be best positioned to support you.

Please note that you will only be considered for the fellowship to which you apply, so we encourage you to leverage the coaching that’s available as well as the eligibility quiz at 4pt0.org/apply to help you identify which fellowship is a good fit for you. You can also see previous ventures we’ve invested in at bit.ly/4pt0venturedirectory

+ Do I need to quit my job to participate?

No! Our programming is specifically designed for people who haven’t quit their jobs. Depending on the program you apply to, you will attend one or two in person camp experiences in New Orleans (we help to cover travel costs). These camps run Thursday through Saturday. The rest of the fellowship is virtual.

+ I have a team or a cofounder, should we apply separately? Are they in the program, too? Can I bring them to the Camps?

You should submit one application for your team. There’ll be a space on the application for you to list the name of your team or cofounder. We do want to know about the different people on your team since it helps us understand the skills and talents you all bring to the table. In terms of attending camps, the answer is...sometimes! We have limited space and limited travel funds, but we’ll communicate with your team about this as soon as you’re accepted.Your cofounders are welcome to participate in coaching and programming before and after camp.

+ Where can I get support for my application? Can you give me feedback before I submit?

We’re committed to helping everyone put their best foot forward in the application process. Before you submit your application, we have a wide variety of supports available, including:

  • Click the chat button on the 4.0 website to ask questions. Someone will be available between 10am and 12pm and 6pm and 8pm on weekdays and 12pm and 4pm on weekends (all times Central Standard time). If you ask a question and someone isn’t online, we’ll get back to you as soon as the next live coach is scheduled.
  • We’ve recorded four short (less than 10 minutes) webinars on common topics that people have questions about: an
    • Fellowships 101: An overview of Tiny and Essentials,
    • How to write a strong application,
    • Which program should I apply for, and
    • Am I a good fit for 4.0?
  • Attending a live Q & A on September 15 or September 26
  • Sign up for office hours coaching from our coaches. 4.0 Application Coaches will be on deck to answer questions and talk 1:1 by phone in 15 minute blocks.
  • If you have additional questions, feel free to email us a apply@4pt0.org

We encourage you to take advantage of the coaching available prior to submission. You can access all of the coaching supports at 4pt0.org/apply

+ I’ve applied previously, but didn’t get in. Can I apply again?

Yes, you can! Many of our fellows have applied in previous cycles- we think a willingness to take critical feedback and keep moving forward is a great attribute for founders.

+ What happens if my pop-up or pilot doesn’t go well or like I expected?

That’s great! The goal of 4.0’s programming is to help you learn and grow as a person. We want you to understand the needs of the people you want to work with and build something that helps address the problems being felt in your community. But we don’t expect that will happen overnight for most people. It might take years and multiple ideas before you find one that works. Our goal is to build your skills and mindsets. 4.0's founder, Matt Candler, used to say, “We’re investing in the 20 year version of you as a person”, which means that we take the long view and expect that your idea will change and evolve as you learn and grow.

+ How much funding is available to Fellows? Are there any restrictions to using it?

Essentials Fellows receive $300 to run their first pop-up and then another $300 once they’ve completed it so that they can run more pop-ups. Tiny Fellows receive $7,000 to run their pilot and then another $3,000 after they’ve completed it to continue with their idea. In both fellowships, fellows who do not require their total amount of funding can donate the funding back into the 4.0 community to support another founder(s).

+ Does 4.0 support organizations outside of the U.S.?

Unfortunately, we only support organizations based in the U.S. We recommend looking at opportunities at places like Echoing Green, Global Good Fund, and StartingBloc.