THE CAMELBACK FELLOWSHIP
The Camelback Education Fellowship is a six-month program that supports the development of both founder and venture. Since 2015, Camelback has supported 46 entrepreneurs of color and women (many of whom have been recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30, and collectively gone on to raise over $26 million).
Camelback invests time and energy into each Fellow through coaching, capital, and connections. We believe these pillars are critical to the evolution and success of any organization, and notably, there is a systemic lack of access to these for people of color and women. Years of work have told us how critical is to build community leaders of color, and the experience is rooted in creating space for these relationships. The Camelback Education Fellowship focuses heavily on our carefully curated curriculum, an entrepreneurial growth program delivered through a series of Summits.*
To learn more, click on one of the “5 C’s” below or keep scrolling to learn about all aspects of the Fellowship.
This short film follows four 2017 Camelback Fellows during a day of Summit. They discuss their shared challenges and what this experience has come to mean for them.
Y'all see this alliteration? But seriously, these really are the tenets of our approach, and not just because they start with a c.
Camelback literally changed my life. The aha moment for me was at the first summit in New Orleans. I had this moment where I just looked around, and I got very emotional. I told myself, “Vince, man, you cannot cry. You just met these people yesterday.” I constantly had these waves of thoughts, “Am I really going to do this? Am I really trying to lead my own organization?”
READ MORE FROM FELLOWS IN OUR BLOG →
Camelback gives each Fellow their own Startup Coach. This dedicated 1:1 coaching enables regular strategy, accountability, and thought partnership. Coaches can help with anything from listening to your pitch to making introductions to analyzing pricing strategies. Camelback also provides specialized coaching in key areas (such as developing measures of success or pitch deck design), and facilitates peer mentorship sessions within each purposefully chosen cohort.
Camelback offers "friends and family" stage funding and support to new leaders with promising ideas, and empowers them to enact change within their communities. Camelback invests $40,000 in each Fellow’s venture. After doing research and experimenting with different distribution models, we know that $40,000 of unrestricted funds can significantly accelerate early stage ventures. Fellows have used this money for a variety of things, such as running a pilot program, hiring an app developer, going full-time on their venture, traveling to high profile industry conferences, buying new equipment, and funding the development of new community spaces. We facilitate introductions with investors and opportunities to develop connections during and after the Fellowship.
Camelback facilitates the building of important relationships for Fellows in a number of ways, both during and after the Fellowship. There are opportunities to meet with investors and potential partners throughout the program. Each Summit features workshops with field experts and community networking events. The final Summit includes a Showcase, usually in the Bay Area, in which Fellows have the opportunity to pitch to a large audience of potential stakeholders. Camelback also provides opportunities for attendance at notable conferences and gatherings in the space.
The entrepreneurial journey can often be a lonely one, but it doesn’t have to be. For people of color and women, the space to connect and learn from like-minded peers with similar struggles and successes is paramount. Whether it’s asking if someone has a recommendation for a developer studio or applauding your most recent win, the Camelback fam has got you covered. Camelback prioritizes the building of a close community whenever possible, with Summits and virtual small group discussions designed to facilitate connections. We have begun to host Family Reunions and other initiatives to support alumni engagement and continued venture success. We think our Fellows tell it best; read their stories and explore their work.
We prioritize the hustle over the hype. We studied the top reasons why startups fail, and we know entrepreneurs of color and women face additional hurdles. So, we’ve built an entrepreneurial curriculum to help our founders build a solid foundation for success. Our programming features our own content in combination with workshops with content experts. We cover everything from discovering and refining your personal management style (which is a whole other thing from leadership!), to identifying future partners and creating unique outreach plans, to getting your story and pitch strong you land a perfect 10 with any audience.
Our curriculum is largely delivered through our Summits, in-person gatherings held over the course of the Fellowship. We combine this with virtual learning opportunities, access to content experts, peer support, and 1:1 coaching throughout the Fellowship.
* If you want to know how and why we built this program, we invite you to read our Strategic Plan.