Y Combinator and Mozilla want to know, “What does your ideal world look like?”
I’m not Mozilla or YC, but if you ask me what my ideal world looks like, I would say, “You are what my ideal world looks like.”
Yes, you 🙂
The intention of this post is to (1) provide you with access to very real funding opportunities from organizations that change founder’s lives, and (2) walk you through my thought process around taking a leap like this – your idea is not a pipe dream – jump in and make splash.
I have watched you navigate the discomfort of ambiguity, explore the caverns of complexity, find the knowing in the unknown, gain a deeper understanding of what the people in your community need, and now, I am witnessing your imagination unfold with your heart-centered teams as you invent new and meaningful ways to serve the people of your communities.
Such a beautiful person you are.
I wonder what the next few steps look like.
During my most recent 1-1 chats with you, I noticed many of you are looking for work, part-time/full-time/contracts, projects to give you more experience, etc.
When I asked you, “Yes, I hear you about your short-term needs, but I’m curious…if you look into the future – what does your ideal world look like?”
I understand it’s not an easy question to answer. I don’t know the answer. There isn’t an answer. I do know, however, something magical happens during the process of trying to answer the question. The more I entertain those questions, the more I build the muscle of ‘future-building’ or ‘world-building’. I become more able to live from the world I am creating. It aligns my activities with the future vs living in fear, doubt, second guessing, and overwhelmed by decisions which leads to inaction.
It helps me see the forest from the trees.
This program isn’t about the 8 weeks. It’s about what we’d like the world to look like when we’re done here.
What if you didn’t “need more experience”? What if you didn’t need “to take this exam to get into grad school to be more qualified for the thing that will make me enough money”?
What if you were already enough? Just the way you are right now.
What if you didn’t have the thoughts telling you needed to be something else?
What if there is no more to be, there is no more to do, there is no more to become?
What if by thinking you aren’t enough is what makes it so?
What if becoming is a process that naturally unfolds as you move through life?
What if all of this isn’t about you? What if it’s about serving you AND us? What if it’s about something more? Something beyond our understanding?
What if the only way to bring yourself into the unknown is to bring yourself into the unknown?
What if you released the idea that you need to be anything other than who you already are? What if you released it? What if you let go of it?
Let it go.
Even if it’s just for this moment.
You are here now – here in this moment – surrounded by inspiring people who want to see you grow.
How might you carve out a place for yourself by building what the future needs?
What if the projects your teams invested yourselves in the last two months became the next phase of your professional career journey? What would that look like?
What if these projects you and your teams are inventing out of thin air become organizations that eventually employ you? What if you earned more money in the next 12 months than you have throughout all the years of your life, combined? What if achieving that security started by launching the project you’re currently working on?
What would that be like for you?
What if your projects became organizations that provide for your families, your neighborhoods, your communities?
What if you are one step away?
Know this: however many steps this way, or that way, I’ll be standing by with the question,
“How may I support you.”
Building the future.
To shape the emerging future means to release the old paradigm, and embrace a new way of life. A way of life which is already waiting for you.
To create the new world means deciding to no longer accept a life, a culture, a planet as it was handed down to you. It means being conscious of this decision throughout each day, and continuing to decide the new path you are carving out for yourself.
The courageous human who takes her development into her own hands creates her own opportunity. The independent thinker who takes a stand by her point-of-view leads us. The lifelong learner who indulges in her curiosity to satisfy her knowledge cravings has the advantage.
On the path of manifestation – on the path to realizing this future – will you acquiesce back to the gravitational pull? Or, as you earn access to these defining moments will you breakthrough into another dimension?
The world is about to turn its head to hear what you have to say.
Are you ready?
Jump in. Make a splash.
Reach. Stretch. Apply.
The process of trying is what life is all about.
Show up. Try. Tell us about it.
Here are five very real opportunities for funding from organizations that change the lives of the founders they invest in and the industries those founders disrupt.
It’s your turn.
Moz runs a three-part sequence of incubator programs: Exploratory, MVP, and Startup Studio. If you are a founder in the current Emergent Leadership cohort, you are moving from exploratory towards minimum viable product (MVP). Check out the specific projects they like and details on the programs.
FYI: Cooperative Impact plans to submit an app for the Mozilla Builder Startup Studio. Mozilla is looking to invest in people, projects, and technologies that shape the internet and have a positive impact without having to only worry about the bottom line. For instance, we love initiatives that shift the balance of power from centralized forces back towards individuals, citizens and communities.
Deadline Passed: they’re accepting late applications – cohort kicks off end of October – apply ASAP. Learn about the ideas they want to fund. “Seed funding is the earliest stage of venture funding. It pays your expenses while you’re getting started. YC provides seed funding for startups. Some companies may need no more than seed funding. Others will go through several rounds. There is no right answer; how much funding you need depends on the kind of company you start. YC wants to get you through the first phase.”
Blue Ridge Labs
Deadline: October 12th at 11:59pm EST. Blue Ridge Labs is looking for (1) high-impact products for low-income Americans, and (2) people who
- Have built the skills and now want to use them to make a difference
- Are ruthlessly user-focused
- Thrive in fast-paced, collaborative environments
- Seek out opportunities to challenge their assumptions, and
- Have a track record of action on issues they’re passionate about
“What do we mean by a track record of action? We want to see that you’ve dug in on understanding problems and figuring out possible solutions.”
I know! Sounds like all of you! Good luck. Fellowship details →
Halcyon Art and Innovation Incubators
Deadlines: October 12th 5pm EST. Halcyon seeks and celebrates creativity in all forms and galvanizes creative individuals aspiring to promote social good. We bring together diverse groups of changemakers in art and social enterprise and provide a safe haven for their bold ideas to take flight.
Watson Institute Careers
Watson Institute is a nonprofit where next-generation entrepreneurial leaders can find their community, discover their calling, and accelerate their careers — are hiring a Director of Finance and Operations Coordinator in Boulder, CO.
We need you to lead us.
Make a splash.
We started at the top left, and made our way down to the bottom – the sweet spot for most of these funding opportunities.
You got this. I’m here if you need anything.