The Center for Civic Innovation has launched the 2017 Civic Innovation Fellowship, the second round of our leadership and business development program for social entrepreneurs in Atlanta. The Civic Innovation Fellowship is a 6-18 month leadership and business training program for community leaders with ideas, programs, and services that improve the lives of Atlanta residents. 

Civic Innovation Fellowship alumni include people like community leader Abbey Henderson and her Gangstas to Growers agribusiness training program that provides an opportunity for recently incarcerated youth to prevent their return to jail or former teacher Jeffrey Martín who runs honorCode, an initiative that trains teachers on how to use computer programming and socio-emotional learning to enhance their STEAM curriculum offerings and increase engagement among their students. We believe these types of entrepreneurs can inform and shape local public policy and programs in our city, and the result is both social and economic impact.

The program includes six months of trainings, classes (from October 2017 to March 2018), coaching, and intensive business development. Applications are open to all residents in the metro Atlanta area. A minimum of six fellowship slots are reserved for people who live and/or work in the 30314 and 30318 zip codes. 

Applications are due September 1, 2017 11:59pm EST

Our Goals:

  • To identify amazing people in the city of Atlanta working on initiatives that improve the quality of life of people

  • To create strong, sustainable business models around social impact work and determine what “scale” means for the entrepreneur

  • To make social enterprises a part of the local startup ecosystem, shifting the way we invest traditional and philanthropic capital in startup organizations creating local impact

  • To measure the impact of entrepreneurial efforts of social problem solving against the status quo of already existing programs

  • To connect already existing organizations to work better together to achieve collective goals

  • To inform and shape public programs and policies that improve the lives of residents

Program Details:

  • The ideal candidate for the Civic Innovation Fellowship is a resident in the metro Atlanta area with an idea, program, or service that is already or has the potential to create social impact for people who live in Atlanta. This person has already or is looking to scale this work into an incorporated organization, either as a for profit, nonprofit, or hybrid. If this is a existing organization, preference is given to organizations with less than $250,000 in annual revenue.

  • The selection process includes three rounds: (1) application round, which is available both in print and online (2) interview round, a 30 minute in-person interview with staff and alumni Fellows and (3) a community forum, where a select number of finalists pitch their idea for 3-5 minutes and get feedback from local residents. Final decisions are made by the Center for Civic Innovation staff and alumni of the program.

  • The Civic Innovation Fellowship application is open to residents of metro Atlanta. A minimum of six fellowships are reserved for people who live and/or work in 30314 and 30318 zip codes. In addition, the program will be open for a select number of grantees of Food Well Alliance.

  • The Civic Innovation Fellowship runs from September 2017 to March 2018. Fellows participate in regular trainings for the first three months and biweekly trainings for the final three months. During these classes, Fellows go through exercises around design thinking, customer discovery, storytelling, and prototyping. By March 2018, they will know if their idea has the potential to scale or grow as an organization. Fellows receive a modest stipend during this phase of the program.

  • Fellows will be paired into classes based on (1) stage of growth (2) geographic focus and (3) industry.

  • All Fellows participate in a showcase in March 2018, which is made up of community partners, investors, and potential customers.

  • Fellows have an opportunity to apply for an additional Residency program with the Center for Civic Innovation, where they receive an additional 12 months of support to grow their organizations. Fellows receive a modest stipend during their participation in the Residency program to support their leadership growth.

  • Fellows must commit to at least two full-day classes per month. Intensive technical assistance will be provided through one on one support with the Center for Civic Innovation.

Note: The Center for Civic Innovation does not discriminate based on age, color, sexuality, gender expression, religion (creed), national origin, disability, veteran status or former incarceration status.

Additionally, at least 50% of our fellowships are reserved for women led or co-founded ideas. Six seats are reserved for residents living on the Westside of Atlanta in zip codes 30314/30318.

Do you have more questions? Join us for a community information sessions on August 10 and August 12, and make sure you are signed up for our newsletter to hear updates about the 2017 Civic Innovation Fellowship and any future opportunities! 


A very big, heartfelt thank you to our sponsors: 

The Arthur M. Blank Foundation

United Way of Greater Atlanta


The Chick Fil A Foundation