Frequently Asked Questions
DO I NEED TO HAVE A STARTUP OR IDEA TO APPLY?
No. Although the application will ask about this, we're simply gathering information to design the best program experience possible for each individual, if accepted.
In addition to supporting those who have ventures, our aim is to support those who are entrepreneurial in heart, are considering being an entrepreneur, or working at a startup. In our time, startups are rapidly changing the landscape of our culture. There is a unique opportunity to create and shape culture in new ways through startups of all kinds, and we want to equip believers to think about this in a gospel-centered, redemptive way.
Roughly 40% of Academy classes had some form of entrepreneurial experience; this included a handful of students who were already working on ventures full-time. From what they tell us, they got just as much out of the Academy experience as those who were still wrestling with the 'what should I do with my life' question. We think life is iterative and our passions, pursuits, and ideas change over time. That's why we designed the Academy to help you answer those questions now, but also, to think about how to answer them for years to come.
I HAVE AN INTERNSHIP LINED UP FOR THIS SUMMER - CAN I STILL ATTEND?
Yes. After doing some research, we decided on these dates because many internship programs will be completed, or have the option to be completed by that point, and for most schools, it's still a few weeks before fall semester begins.
Oh, and congratulations. You've worked hard and are ready to get out there and learn what this whole 'real world experience' thing is all about, and internships can be a great learning experience. Be sure to read up on the Emerging Founders Program, and perhaps next summer you'll be working on your own venture with our Praxis mentors.
I'M NOT SURE IF THIS WHOLE STARTUP THING IS FOR ME, SO IT SEEMS LIKE THE PRAXIS ACADEMY ISN'T FOR ME - TRUE?
We're picking up what you're putting down. College is a confusing time. Academy is actually designed to help determine if entrepreneurship is a path for you. We realize not everyone who attends will end up starting a venture, but even if you don't, we believe that you will still gain valuable insight into how to creatively integrate the gospel into your work.
WHO WILL THE MENTORS AND SPEAKERS BE?
A list of the 2017 Faculty can be found here. 2018 Faculty will be announced as we get closer to Academy; to get a general idea, take a look at our Fellows, Mentors and Expert Network of inspiring people who have participated in Praxis in the past. A more official announcement of speakers and mentors is forthcoming this spring.
WILL I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE FUNDING PITCHES TO POTENTIAL INVESTORS?
While there will be no formal pitch event or demo day at the Academy, we will have sessions dedicated to learning about raising capital to fund your venture, and have experts on hand who have successfully raised millions of dollars for various types of ventures. We encourage relationships to be built organically, like how you pick your friends.
We do have an informal pitch night amongst the Academy students where our hope is that you find others who are similarly passionate about issues or different problems in the world -- and perhaps meet your next co-founder with a complimentary skill set to someday start a venture together.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE ACADEMY?
Our hope is you build long-lasting relationships that continue far beyond this week as you pursue what God has purposed your life for. We think an effective way to do this is for local groups of students to continue to gather throughout the school year and encourage one another.
For those interested in seriously pursuing entrepreneurship, we encourage you to apply for our Emerging Founders Program. Our Fellows also frequently have job opportunities that we post, and of course -- the big dream is that Academy students would start ventures that one day are accepted into one of the Praxis Accelerator programs.
ARE THERE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE?
The short answer is: yes.
The longer answer is that we will first encourage students to work to fundraise -- either through connecting with leaders at their school to find scholarship money, or personal fundraising. Each year, students fund their way to Academy by raising support from online campaigns, proposals to their schools, pitches to their friends and family, and some have even started small businesses to pay for their tuition. Many of these students are very thankful for this experience and remember it as a time where they had to experience something that every entrepreneur must go through. Raising money, whether for-profit or non-profit, is a tough and awkward process.
All that said, there will be a limited number of need-based scholarships available to cover a portion of the program fees for those who need this most. Early application submissions are encouraged for scholarship consideration.
As always, if you have a question that isn't answered here, send us an email.