BUILD Incubator Program

FALL/WINTER program:

October 4, 2019- March 7, 2020


April 3, 2020 - August 27, 2020

Why take this course?

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During this 5-month intensive program, you’ll learn the skills, tools and mindset to design and launch your own social venture. You’ll be surrounded by experienced, committed facilitators and generous mentors who are entrepreneurs, business leaders and changemakers who work with you each step of the way. 

And the best part? You’ll be supported by a diverse cohort of peers who are choosing cooperation over competition and helping you stay supported and accountable throughout the program. 

This program will give you a real-world foundation for launching a business in the new economy. That means knowing who your customer is, what value you’re creating for them, and how to build a business model around it. BUILD will help you in:

  • Validating where your idea intersects with a need in the market.

  • Designing the most important elements of your go-to-market strategy.  

  • Launching your project or venture within a supportive peer community. 

  • Developing your personal resilience through practice, feedback and mentoring.  

Over 100 social ventures have been launched to date through Groundswell’s alternative business school programs. Participants often say that BUILD is filled with “the stuff you can’t learn from a book” because of our hands-on teaching style and the real-world experience of our educators and mentors. 

“I have no business background, zero, and yet I am absorbing information, knowledge and expertise like a sponge and it has made me wonder what about this experience is so engaging and rewarding. I’ve realized that it’s the process of experiential learning in action!”
— Jess, BUILD Student

Who is this course for?

At Groundswell we support you to choose your own (ad)venture in social entrepreneurship. When you join our program YOU get to decide what shape your venture, idea or project takes - and we’ll help you to design it, build it, and make it happen. 

  • If you want to change the status quo and you’re not sure how to do it, this program is for you. 

  • If you’re creating a purpose-driven product or service that benefits society, this program is for you.

  • If you want to take the leap of entrepreneurship and don’t want to do it alone, this program is for you.

  • If your (ad)venture in creating positive impact includes any of the following, then this program is for you:

    • Launching a small business or start-up.

    • Creating a not-for-profit organization or community project.

    • Turning your expertise into self-employment.

    • Adding a side gig to what you already do!

We create a generous space for people to experiment, collaborate and learn by doing. If you are ready to trust the process and go from idea to impact, then BUILD is for you. 

Tuition Fees & Course Dates

The BUILD Incubator Program costs $3500, payable in installments.

(includes the EXPLORE Foundational Course ($950) at no extra cost)

FALL/WINTER Dates: October 4, 2019 - March 7, 2020

SPRING/SUMMER Dates: April 3 - August 27, 2020

Our program is part-time and classes are held two evenings per week and occasional Saturdays.

And if you need ongoing support, mentorship and accountability after you launch your venture to the world? Groundswell alumni will be invited to join our ongoing membership program after graduating from BUILD. 

BUILD Incubator Program Highlights

In this hands-on and experiential business design program you will:

  • Work on your venture in real time, within a robust structure of classes, workshops, peer support groups and mentoring. 

  • Learn how to use the Social Lean Canvas as a dynamic tool to turn your idea into a purpose-driven business. 

  • De-risk your ideas with the simple but deep methodology of validation and learn directly from your potential customers. 

  • Clarify your unique value proposition and zoom in on what differentiates your business (and you!) from competitors. 

  • Reframe your relationship with money and get the real scoop on pricing and business financials.

  • Design your initial brand and pre-launch marketing using practical DIY tools. 

  • Understand how different organizational structures and business models can help you create the positive impact you want to make in the world. 

  • Hone your entrepreneurial mindset by putting what you learn into practice each week and getting accountability and support from peer-to-peer mentoring.

  • Get personalized 1-on-1 mentoring and feedback through Groundswell’s expert network of mentors and advisors who help you move past stumbling blocks. 

  • Access startup capital and local business services exclusive to members of Groundswell programs. 

  • Amplify your profile through Groundswell’s unique showcase event and grow your support network. 

You have what it takes. We’ll help you make it happen. Join Groundswell’s supportive and inclusive community to build your social venture and put your values to work. Sign up for a free Discover Groundswell session to get started.