The Residency is an innovative program designed to empower 18-30 year-olds to start their own businesses. This early-stage accelerator program provides participants with access to workshops, mentorship, and a national network that allows them to explore opportunities to launch and grow their ventures.

The Residency is a two-phase program:

Phase 1 – Building Your Idea into a Business (February – May 2019)

  • Entrepreneurship certificate program, including workshops on establishing and building your business
  • Final pitch day
  • Access to group mentoring
  • Residents from the in-person program who successfully complete Residency Phase 1 will receive a $250 stipend at program graduation (one stipend max per business)

Phase 2 – Growing Your Business (by invitation, May – August 2019) 

  • Entrepreneur summit
  • Individual mentor pairing
  • Monthly mastermind sessions with cohort
  • Monthly coaching with Future Founders staff
  • Phase 2 Residents from the in-person program will have the opportunity to apply for additional funding to support their business

There is no fee to apply or be a part of the Residency and no equity taken by Future Founders in participating companies.

Who Can Apply?

  • Founders aged 18-30
  • Individuals with an idea for a business or who are early in the process of establishing their company.
  • Ideal candidates will need to have completed the following by the start of the Residency:
  1. Formulated a business idea
  2. Worked on a minimum viable product
  3. Talked to other people about their idea
  4. Thought through a business model canvas
  • Companies from any industry may apply
  • Companies with co-founders may apply under one application
  • Participants do not need to be actively enrolled in school. School enrollment is not considered in evaluation of applicants.
    • Applicants from communities of color, women, veterans, and immigrants will receive priority access.


Application Deadline:

Applications for the next cohort are now open and will be approved on a rolling basis, with a deadline of January 15, 2019. It’s in your best interest to apply early — we’ll provide feedback on applications submitted through December 15, 2018.

Why You Should Apply for the Residency:

As a member of the Residency, you’ll be a part of an exclusive community of up-and-coming innovators and change-makers representing diverse backgrounds and industries. The Residency provides you with a foundation of entrepreneurial knowledge and gives you the focus and tools to build your business.

Residents will Benefit from:

  • Entrepreneurship curriculum and certificate
  • Coaching and support from entrepreneurs, Future Founders program alumni, and Future Founders staff
  • Twice-a-month cohort workshops
  • Opportunity to access startup stipend
  • Access to Future Founder network events
  • Participation in an entrepreneurial peer community

Questions about the Residency? Contact Tina Hrabak

Program Co-Founders

The Residency is made possible through a generous grant from the Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge, which is sponsored by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, World Business Chicago, and ChicagoNEXT.