Accelerator Application

Application Timeline*

  • Priority Deadline
    • January 14, 2024 — Application deadline
    • January 22-26 — Discovery calls
    • January 26 — Acceptance notification
    • February 2 — Teams confirm participation
  • Final Deadline
    • February 4, 2024 — Application deadline
    • February 12-23 — Discovery calls
    • February 23 — Acceptance notification
    • March 1 — Teams confirm participation

*All dates are in US Time.

Application Questions

To see if this program is a good fit for you, your project, and your team, we want to get to know you better: your vision, motivation, and interests that brought you to the accelerator and what you hope to gain from this experience. The first section, Team Information, should be completed for the whole team. In the second section, the person completing the application should be prepared to provide details for each team member. 

Section 1: Team Information

Discuss these questions with your teammates, and then designate one member to start the application.

  1. Primary Team Contact – Name and email address
  2. Organization or Team Name
  3. Short Essay Questions
    • Community Challenges – Describe the main challenge that your team hopes to address in your community. How does this problem impact you and others in your community?
    • Community Vision – Describe how you hope your community will be after this challenge has been addressed. For example, “In five years, young women will be empowered to…”
    • Team Goals – As a team, what is your experience working together so far? How do you hope to strengthen your teamwork and relationships with each other through participating in this program?
  4. Team Member Availability – This program is a 4-month time commitment and at least one team member should be present at each all-cohort call. If your team misses more than one all-cohort call without prior notice, it may impact your ability to receive a certificate of completion. Please share any other personal/academic/professional commitments each team member might have during the program, and how you would plan to balance these commitments while participating in the program.
  5. Team Program Fee – VIA is committed to supporting aspiring social impact leaders regardless of their financial circumstances. We are offering financial need-based discounts and ask that you self-identify your current financial capacity. Assuming your team members and/or organization will share the cost of the program fee, what amount would be feasible given your personal and team / organizational financial situation?
    • $0 (program fee waived) – Financially struggling. Your team has little savings, and spending some of your income on this program fee would significantly impact your personal budgets. 
    • $1000 ($4000 discount) – Financially stretched. Your team could spend some of your income or savings, but it would mean giving up other things for a limited time.
    • $3000 ($2000 discount) – Financially comfortable. Your organization can partially fund your participation fee and/or your team members have some additional income or savings to spend for a limited time.
    • $5000 (full program fee) – Financially thriving. Your organization can fund your participation fee and/or your team members have enough additional income or savings to spend without impacting your daily lives.
  6. [Financial Assistance Applications Only] Teams requesting financial assistance will be required to submit two additional components in addition to the main team application:
    • Paying it Forward – We hope that the financial need-based discount is an opportunity to jumpstart community impact projects for teams that have a limited financial capacity. How would you use this support to “pay it forward” in the future when your organization or team is more financially secure?
    • Recommendation Letter – A recommendation letter must be submitted on your behalf from a VIA alum, or from your academic, community, or professional contexts. Family members MAY NOT provide a recommendation letter. Recommendation letters must be emailed directly from the letter writer to yuki|at|viaprograms.org by the application deadline. See further instructions below.
  7. Number of Team Members – Indicate the number of members on your team. The following section will repeat for the number of team members indicated.
Section 2: Team Member Information

Please gather this information from each of your team members and complete the following questions for each person.

  1. Full Name
  2. Preferred Name
  3. Gender
  4. Date of Birth
  5. Nationality
  6. Email Address
  7. Messaging App (optional)
  8. Primary Residence (to determine timezone)
  9. Current Status – full-time student, part-time student, working full-time, working part-time, family caregiver, not working or studying
  10. Academic Level – high school, undergraduate, graduate, doctorate
  11. Graduation Month / Year
  12. Current Field of Study or Job Title
  13. University or Company Name – the company or organization where the team member works, or the school or university they attend
  14. VIA Affiliation – program(s) and year(s) the team member participated in a VIA program (e.g., ESI 2018), if applicable. Please write “NA” if the team member has not participated in a VIA program before.
  15. Relevant Experience – Please describe the team member’s relevant experience (volunteering, nonprofit work, community organizing/outreach, project management, education/training, etc), including experience working with a team.
Recommendation Letter Instructions
  • Who to Ask
    • The recommendation letter is an opportunity for someone with knowledge of your qualifications, motivation, and character to explain why you are a good fit to receive financial assistance to join the VIA Social Impact Leadership Accelerator program.
    • A recommendation letter can be written by a VIA alum, or from your academic, community, or professional contexts. Family members MAY NOT provide a recommendation letter.
    • Recommendation letters should come from individuals who have interacted with you closely and recently (typically in the last two or three years).
  • Letter Contents – Your recommender should explain:
    • In what context and how long they have known the team or an individual on the team.
    • The name of the team (not just the individual) for which the letter is being written.
    • Their understanding of your character and leadership traits.
    • Their level of confidence in your ability to complete the 4-month course of study.
    • Specific examples of ways that they have observed you/your team making progress towards a shared goal.
  • Deadline & Submission
    • Recommendation letters must be emailed directly from your reference to yuki|at|viaprograms.org by the application deadline.
    • Recommendation letters are only required as part of the application for financial assistance, not as part of your main application for admittance into the Social Impact Leadership Accelerator program.
    • Your main application will be considered without an accompanying recommendation letter. If you are planning to request financial assistance, please make sure that your recommender submits their letter to Yuki Ueda (yuki|at|viaprograms.org) by the appropriate deadline.
Discovery Calls

Selected teams will be invited to a discovery call with VIA staff. The goal of the discovery call is to get to know you and your project better, and also give you an opportunity to get a better sense of what to expect during the accelerator. 

Click the blue APPLY button below to get started!