What's New For Day One Cohort 2
When we launched Day One over the summer, our goal was simple: support the builders.
We know that most founders are out there hustling, exploring and building, and at best they get ad-hoc support from friends, colleagues, and friendly investors (if you’re in the position to know investors). But building is hard, especially for the uninitiated. And it’s a specific kind of hard at the beginning. You're building something new and aren't sure it's going to work, facing the inevitable ups, downs, fires and failures. It's a long road, lonely, with new challenges every day. It's no surprise the vast majority of startups fail.
We wanted to combine the human side of supporting founders (the networks, the community, the mentorship and emotional support) with the structured side of supporting founders (the methodologies, best practices, insider knowledge and vetted resources). We know this recipe works - as the Chief Innovation Officer for Human Ventures I saw first hand what it looks like to guide and support founders using both sides of my brain - but these resources have never been available or accessible to most founders.
We built Day One to be the ecosystem most founders have been missing. We don't believe support and guidance should be on the other side of an investment - we know this is important because of how skewed venture investment is and how overlooked founders don't get a fair shake. We believe that talented, ambitious founders are building and launching new businesses by the thousands. These businesses are the ones that will change the world - solving overlooked, wicked problems, with new perspectives and ingenuity. We want to be the place that supports each and every one of these founders.
We launched the inaugural Day One cohort this fall, our first attempt at supporting a new wave of entrepreneurs, and what happened was incredible. Just before Thanksgiving, we wrapped up our first 8-week program. 61 founders started as strangers and left as a tight-knit community, and discovered what it's like when the startup ecosystem is actively in your corner. This group of 61 had no fewer than 25 new startups between them. We also had 100+ experienced founders, operators and investors lean in as mentors, give talks and run workshops. We were blown away by how much these fellows accomplished and the relationships that were formed.
On the back of this success, we’re excited to be doing running it back and doing it all again!
Cohort 2 begins at the end of January. Applications are open now and admission decisions are rolling - read on to learn more, or if you're interested, apply now!
What’s new for cohort 2?
Day One's mission hasn't changed. Day One is designed to help early-stage founders navigate the formative stages of building a new business. Now we're better suited to helping fellows meet potential co-founders, find product-market fit and build momentum beyond the program.
We’re taking the best of Cohort 1 - talented founders from across the globe, world class mentors sharing their hard-won knowledge, and a structured 8-week program - and adding in more of what we heard our fellows were asking for. We always knew that getting great founders together with experienced mentors was a recipe for long-lasting value. And we heard from fellows that they want even more structure around their journey. And so we're doubling down on recruiting the most talented mentors, designing events to foster a tight-knit community, and adding a company-building playbook to the curriculum.
Virtual Studio Program
During the first cohort, we heard one consistent request from founders who were deep in the formative phase of designing and validating their business, and that was for more structure to navigate what is the windiest, most ambiguous part of the startup journey. Founders often "know" what to do, but still find it hard to know what step to take next.
So we improved our curriculum and developed a program that we’re calling a “virtual studio”. We’ve developed a series of 8 projects that will guide you as a founder from idea to prototype to pitch deck, following the methodologies of world class venture studios. Each week, you’ll work on a core aspect of designing, validating and building your business. When finished, you’ll have put your ideas through a rigorous business-building process, gained heightened clarity and direction, and learned how to leverage the venture studio methodology to keep your momentum going.
When we looked at how many investors, founders and experienced operators were contributing to Day One, we felt we weren’t taking full advantage of the network that we were gathering. Enter the Fellow Showcase. One part demo day, one part end-of-fellowship celebration, the Showcase allows fellows to share their work with the broader Day One ecosystem, whether that’s to pitch for investment or just to rally momentum and support as they build in public and take their next steps.
We’re hosting our first showcase in January to celebrate and show off the work from Cohort 1, and will make this a cornerstone of our programs going ahead.
Day One +
As we approached the end of our first 8-week program, a common question was “what happens next”. The answer to that was always that Day One alumni would be an important part of our community, and that not only would they have continued access to the community, resources, and perks from the 8 week program, but that we would pay special attention to how we invested in this ever growing community. Enter Day One +. Each new group of fellows will be given lifetime access to Day One +, and alongside all the evergreen content and resources we're creating within the 8-week program, we’ll be hosting networking events, talks, and continuing to activate the network for our Day One alumni.
A little more about Cohort 2
Who's a fit for Cohort 2?
Cohort 2 (like Cohort 1) is best suited for founders who find themselves in the "formative" stages of building a business. To us, that extends from people who are exploring and actively searching for the idea to build, to founders who are building and still have key variables when it comes to product, customer, GTM, revenue models, fundraising.
Day One fellows come from across the globe and all industries. Here's a sneak peek at a few of the founders who are joining in Cohort 2.
What does it cost?
The 8-week Day One program costs $999, which covers all aspects of the 8-week program and includes a lifetime membership to Day One +.
We aren't an investor, and we don't charge equity (which is often a much more expensive way to pay for services). We strongly believe that by charging for the valuable services and community, we're democratizing support that until now, was doled out by VCs to a tiny fraction of founders. We want to work with the thousands of talented founders who aren't getting supported by the system today. We also feel it's important for fellows to have "skin in the game", and feel fully invested into the cohort so that you can get the most out of it. When a whole dynamic group of founders are committed, you get the special magic that is what happens inside Day One.
But we're committed to making Day One accessible to the most talented founders, and so offer limited financial assistance on a case by case basis.
What are people saying about Cohort 1?
I'm glad you asked!