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.

Applications for the spring cohort of the Residency are currently closed, but we are always recruiting! Be the first to know when the next round of applications open by filling out this form and we will be in touch to learn more about you and your business.

The Residency is a two-phase program:

Phase 1 – Building Your Idea into a Business

  • Entrepreneurship certificate program, including workshops on establishing and building your business
  • Final pitch day
  • Access to group mentoring

Phase 2 – Growing Your Business (by invitation) 

  • 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.

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.