Praxis Academy
Praxis Academy
A community of next-generation leaders pursuing redemptive innovation & impact

DO I NEED TO HAVE A STARTUP OR IDEA TO APPLY?

No. Although the application will ask about this, we're simply gathering information to design the best program experience possible for each individual, if accepted. 

In addition to supporting those who have ventures, our aim is to support those who are entrepreneurial in heart, are considering being an entrepreneur, or working at a startup. In our time, startups are rapidly changing the landscape of our culture. There is a unique opportunity to create and shape culture in new ways through startups of all kinds, and we want to equip believers to think about this in a gospel-centered, redemptive way. 

Roughly 40% of Academy classes had some form of entrepreneurial experience; this included a handful of students who were already working on ventures full-time. From what they tell us, they got just as much out of the Academy experience as those who were still wrestling with the 'what should I do with my life' question. We think life is iterative and our passions, pursuits, and ideas change over time. That's why we designed the Academy to help you answer those questions now, but also, to think about how to answer them for years to come.


What’s the difference between Emerging Founders and the Annual Academy?

Great question!

The Annual Academy is our week-long intensive for current founders, as well as people who have an idea but haven’t started yet, and those who are interested in cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset to do redemptive work in the world. We estimate that we’ll accept around 200 next-generation leaders for the Academy 2018.

Emerging Founders is our summer-long immersion for current founders working on their venture full time. We like to see applicants who are beyond just the “idea” stage, as the mentorship and coaching that comes with the program are predicated on being immersed in the building phase of a venture. We expect to accept 8-12 Emerging Founders for 2018.

We do consider all Emerging Founder applicants for the Academy class as well. If you’re interested in a single application for both programs, please email us

Still can’t decide which program is right for you? Visit the Emerging Founders and Academy 2018 details pages to read more.

Note: If you apply to the Emerging Founders and are not accepted, your application automatically rolls over to the Academy. 


I HAVE AN INTERNSHIP LINED UP FOR THIS SUMMER - CAN I STILL ATTEND?

Yes. After doing some research, we decided on these dates because many internship programs will be completed, or have the option to be completed by that point, and for most schools, it's still a few weeks before fall semester begins. 

Oh, and congratulations. You've worked hard and are ready to get out there and learn what this whole 'real world experience' thing is all about, and internships can be a great learning experience. Be sure to read up on the Emerging Founders Program, and perhaps next summer you'll be working on your own venture with our Praxis mentors.


I'M NOT SURE IF THE STARTUP THING IS FOR ME, SHould I still Apply? 

We're picking up what you're putting down. College is a confusing time. Academy is actually designed to help determine if entrepreneurship is a path for you. We realize not everyone who attends will end up starting a venture, but even if you don't, we believe that you will still gain valuable insight into how to creatively integrate the gospel into your work. 


WILL I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE FUNDING PITCHES TO POTENTIAL INVESTORS?

While there will be no formal pitch event or demo day at the Academy, we will have sessions dedicated to learning about raising capital to fund your venture, and have experts on hand who have successfully raised millions of dollars for various types of ventures. We encourage relationships to be built organically, like how you pick your friends.  

We do have an informal pitch night amongst the Academy students where our hope is that you find others who are similarly passionate about issues or different problems in the world -- and perhaps meet your next co-founder with a complimentary skill set to someday start a venture together. 

Scholarships and Fundraising

ARE THERE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE?

The short answer is: yes.

The longer answer is that we will first encourage students to work to fundraise -- either through connecting with leaders at their school to find scholarship money, or personal fundraising. Each year, students fund their way to Academy by raising support from online campaigns, proposals to their schools, pitches to their friends and family, and some have even started small businesses to pay for their tuition. Many of these students are very thankful for this experience and remember it as a time where they had to experience something that every entrepreneur must go through. Raising money, whether for-profit or non-profit, is a tough and awkward process.

Visit Julia's Praxis Academy Go Fund Me page to get an idea of how you can approach it. She surpassed her goal by $100!

All that said, there will be a limited number of need-based scholarships available to cover a portion of the program fees for those who need this most. 


DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR FUNDRAISING?

We sure do! Lucky for you, lots of Academy alumni have successfully fundraised in the past. Here are some of the things we suggest: 

1/ Make It Fun

Try using a platform like Adopt-A-Box (co-founded by Praxis Academy alum, Matt Herringshaw) to engage potential donors in an interesting way. Find creative ways to get people to donate based on your skills and interests. Are you a pro-playlist maker?  If someone donates $25, make them their own personal mixtape on Spotify. Really great at planning date nights? Offer a curated agenda for a night in your town when someone contributes $50.

2/ KNOW WHO TO ASK

Are there professionals in your church community who would connect with the idea of redemptive entrepreneurship? Explain to them what this opportunity means to you and ask them to support you as you live out redemptive entrepreneurship. Connect with the individuals who want to see restoration in the marketplace, and offer them the chance to be part of it through you!

3/ Start a Business 

We're serious. Lots of Academy Alumni decided to raise the money for their tuition by starting a business. It's the perfect way to get hands-on experience with entrepreneurship and it means that you might end up with a little extra cash too. Who knows? The venture you start for the summer could become something that sticks. 

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THOSE SCHOLARSHIPS...

Through the generous support of donors and our Partner & Affiliate Schools, we are excited to provide thousands of dollars in scholarship to help students attend the Academy each summer. There are two main scholarship options:  

  • NEED BASED: After being accepted, students can apply for a need-based scholarship.

  • PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM: Praxis Academy partners with a select group of schools each year, and reserves full-scholarship seats in the Academy class for their students. Both Partner and Affiliate schools have scholarships available, check below to see if your school offers scholarships. 

Partner Schools

Abilene Christian University

Biola University

Grove City College

Taylor University

The King's College

Wheaton College

AffiliateS

Gordon College

Azusa Pacific University

Messiah

Seattle Pacific University

CreateEd University

John Brown University

Samford University

If you still have more questions, drop us a line at academy@praxislabs.org.