Ready. Get set.
START

Learn about START, our 10-week
Spiritual Entrepreneurship Incubator taught by Columbia Business School faculty.

Deliver your vision into the world while building a sustainable business model to shepherd its growth -- and yours.​

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Our Call Is To Help You Answer Yours.

In the ever-shifting American religious landscape, the vast majority of philanthropic and venture dollars are directed towards sustaining legacy institutions, while entrepreneur-led startups are frequently an afterthought. START seeks to provide an ecosystem of support – the highest-level resources – to the faith-rooted spiritual entrepreneurs who are building the next iterations of faith in action, and reweaving the social, cultural, and spiritual fabric of America.

START is an MBA-level certificate program that develops your skills as a Spiritual Entrepreneur and prepares you to imagine, design and launch a spiritual enterprise.  START is taught by seasoned faculty from Columbia Business School and Glean, with additional instruction from a diverse group of field experts. Our “hands-on” course addresses critical issues at each stage of the venture development process and prepares you to embark on your spiritual entrepreneurship journey.

Applications Accepted Until September 10, 2021

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This course is for...

Faith-rooted leaders of all backgrounds seeking to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, a robust skill set focused on best serving their constituents, and the frameworks and tools to build an innovative venture that bring their faith into action.

Visionary spiritual entrepreneurs who are prepared to design, build, launch, and grow a venture that helps supports meaning-making, belonging, and the pursuit of equitable justice.

What does START offer you?

  • A three-part MBA-level entrepreneurship certificate program taught through our partnership with Columbia Business School: opening online retreat, weekly 2-hour online classroom meetings, feedback on assignments and coaching from course faculty and peers in your cohort, and a two-day online closing retreat.
     

  • Step-by-step guidance in identifying a problem, conducting a customer discovery campaign, designing a value proposition, creating a business model, and taking steps toward launching your venture
     

  • A multi-faith cohort of like-minded innovators who share wisdom from diverse perspectives
     

  • Ongoing venture development coaching by Glean faculty from Columbia Business School and our network of subject-matter experts
     

  • Access to experts in new product innovation, marketing and advertising, design thinking, organizational culture, and more

 

Program Details

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START is comprised of one prerequisite and three major modules that build upon each other throughout the duration of the course: SOURCE, INSIGHT, DESIGN, and LAUNCH.

Hover over each module below to read an overview, and continue scrolling to read more about what you can have expected to accomplish during each module.

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SOURCE

3-week course for participants who haven't yet formulated their venture concept, this prerequisite is designed to help you hit the ground running.
 

SOURCE

INSIGHT

4-week course in customer discovery and design thinking explores a problem from the perspective of the people who experience it and identify specific benefits that might be delivered through a new and unique solution
 

INSIGHT

The Wall of Ideas

DESIGN

4-week course in business model development and testing hones your idea and prepares you to launch a prototype to test key assumptions and venture viability

DESIGN

LAUNCH

2-week course guides participants through a structured test of the venture with real customers and final preparation to launch their venture

LAUNCH

PREREQUISITE:
SOURCE, 3-week Course

For participants who haven't yet formulated their venture concept, this prerequisite is designed to help you hone in on the SOURCE of your work: the people you're called to serve. 

 

SOURCE is designed for START applicants who do not yet have a solidified venture idea to bring into the core 10-week program. We'll meet with you for 3 sessions before the 10-Week start date to make progress on the following outcomes:
 

  • SESSION 1: Identifying a working problem statement

  • SESSION 2: Establishing a research framework and discovering foundational customer insights to support your idea

  • SESSION 3: Articulating the core solution/business idea for your spiritual enterprise 

Prerequisite cost: $275

Format: Small Cohort, 2-hour Weekly Meetings 1x for 3-weeks

Dates: October 20, 27, November 3, 2021

How to Enroll: Indicate your enrollment when you apply for START

Session 1 - WORKSHOP YOUR PROBLEM STATEMENT

Discover your people and the problems they are currently facing. How do they currently feel? What are they trying? What else already exists? What hasn't been done before?

session 2 - Identify and describe your people

Learn about your people through effective methods of research, interviewing, surveying, and more. What else characterizestheir experience? How can we get more detailed and specific information?

session 3 - BRAINSTORM YOUR SOLUTION

Be in the company of fellow Spiritual Entrepreneurs as we brainstorm ways to serve your people through innovation. This will be the working solution you bring into the core 10-week program.

INSIGHT

 

Module 01 - Insight

This course will help you understand a problem from the perspective of the people experiencing it and conceptualize a solution that can make a real difference in their lives.  At the highest level, you will come away with clear answers to the following questions:

 

  • What metrics are critical to measure and validate psychological, social and spiritual impact assumptions?​

  • How do I identify and articulate individual, communal and spiritual problems in an accurate way, reflecting how people truly experience these problems and their associated challenges?

  • How do I create effective interview protocols and surveys to help validate my assumptions on customer problems (pain points), solutions, and benefits (expected gain)?

  • How do I assess current solutions in the ecosystem in order to build best practices as well identify gaps?

  • How do I translate the problems people are experiencing into benefits and opportunities for impact of a potential solution?​​

 

DESIGN

Module 02 - Design

During this module, you will develop a business model for your venture and develop a plan to test customer acceptance and other key assumptions. At the highest level, you will come away with clear answers to the following questions:

 

  • How do I develop a business model to test my assumptions about product offerings and market demand?

  • How is building a spiritual venture distinct from other commercial ventures? In what ways are they aligned?

  • How do I create effective interview protocols and surveys to help validate my assumptions on customer problems (pain points), solutions, and benefits (expected gain)?

  • How do I develop a minimal viable product in order to gain additional feedback on critical product performance features?​

 

LAUNCH

Module 03 - Launch

This course will help you develop answers to the following questions and prepare you to launch your venture:

 

  • What is the most agile way to develop new product and services that will gain market traction quickly?

 

  • How do I integrate spiritual practices into customer engagement, ethical decision-making, sustainable product design, brand messaging, financial planning, and team leadership?

 

  • What are current approaches for cost effective customer acquisition and retention?

  • How do I communicate our values and principles through conscious branding?

  • How do I build credible financials based on reasonable, benchmarked assumptions?

  • What metrics are critical to measure and monitor new venture success and scalability?

  • How do I approach early funding sources to support early venture launch and growth?​​

 

Course Calendar

Wednesdays, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM EST, November 2021 through February 2022, ALL online, via ZOOM:
 

*For Participants enrolled in SOURCE: Please note that prerequisite classes will occur on Wednesdays, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM EST, October 20, 27, November 3rd.

  • Wednesday, November 10 (Opening Retreat)

  • Wednesday, November 17

  • Wednesday, December 1 

  • Wednesday, December 8

  • Wednesday, December 15 

  • Wednesday, January 5 

  • Wednesday, January 12 

  • Wednesday, January 19 

  • Wednesday, February 2 

  • Wednesday, February 9-10 (Closing Retreat)

 
 

Course Requirements

This course requires an intensive commitment by each participant throughout the entire 10-week program.  

  • Participants must be able to attend classes via ZOOM with access to a desktop computer or mobile device that permits interaction via slide sharing, breakout groups, occasional chat, poll, and collaborative document creation functionality (e.g. Google Docs, Google Slides)

  • Participants must have a working idea for their spiritual enterprise

  • If you do NOT have a working idea, participants must demonstrate completion of SOURCE, our 3-week prerequisite course, before entering the 10-Week Core START program

  • Attendance and full participation at the Opening Online Retreat (November 11th @ 12 - 4 PM EST) and Closing Retreat (February 10th & 11th @ 12 - 4 EST) - this requirement is mandatory

  • Timely completion of weekly homework (approx 2-3 hours per week)

  • Participation in the weekly live lecture and discussion (2 hours per week)

  • Presentation of final deliverable at the end of each module - Insight, Design, Launch (4 hours each)

  • Engagement with your coach including an assignment to share three takeaways from the discussion (5 meetings, 1.5 hours each including the assignment)

  • Reflection essay due one week after closing retreat, including self-assessment of individual learning goals (3 hours)

 

You must fulfill at least 85% of these requirements to be eligible to receive the Certificate in Spiritual Entrepreneurship at the end of the program

 

Financial Information

We are committed to making this course accessible and inclusive, and we value your participation.
 

Tuition is $799 with options for assistance for those truly experiencing financial hardship.


Supporting greater participation for the BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+ communities

Glean Network holds the intention and commitment towards a more equitable and just world by supporting greater participation of Black, Indigenous, People of color (BIPOC) and people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Two Spirit (LGBTQIA2S+) in our programs. To support this commitment, we prioritize a portion of all program spaces with first come, first serve community rates.

Financial assistance through first come, first serve scholarships

Glean Network does not want cost to be an obstacle for participation in our programs. If you cannot apply to a program due to cost, we strongly encourage you to apply for financial assistance. 

Scholarship funds are budgeted on a per Cohort basis; this means that funding is limited per Cohort. If funds are not available for one cohort, it does not mean funds are not available for another cohort. We recommend candidates apply as early as possible to improve your chances of receiving a scholarship.

Each financial assistance request is assessed in terms of financial need and funds availability. A request for scholarship funding does not influence your acceptance into a program.

Flexible Payment Plans

Upon acceptance and commitment to the cohort, participants are given the option of paying their tuition fee at 100% or in installments. Payment schedules will be determined at time of commitment according to the needs and feasibilities of the participant. 

 

Applications Accepted Until September 10, 2021