What’s Required?

Steve Yannone and Jill Fuss , Activate Fellows 2018 - 2020

Steve Yannone and Jill Fuss, Activate Fellows 2018 - 2020

Define Project

Activate Fellows spend two years working to advance a new technology, product, or business that is broadly aligned with one or more of our Activate Areas.

Determine Applicant(s)
Applicants can be either an individual or up to two technical leaders of an existing team or company. If a project has two leaders that meet the eligibility criteria, both individuals should apply in a single application.

Confirm Eligibility
To be eligible for the Activate Fellowship, applicants

  • Must have a bachelor’s degree and 4+ years post-baccalaureate scientific research, engineering, or technology development experience.

  • Must be proposing a project based on an innovation in the physical or biological sciences, or related engineering disciplines.

  • Must not have raised more than $2,000,000 in debt or equity funding from non-governmental sources for the proposed project.

Initial and continued support is subject to performance, availability of funds, and access to a partner laboratory. Please read the FAQ for more information about potential access limitations.



What Do We Look For?

Nishita Deka , Activate Fellow 2018 - 2020

Nishita Deka, Activate Fellow 2018 - 2020

Entrepreneurial Potential
Does the applicant have the ability to mobilize the physical, financial, and intellectual resources needed to advance the proposed project; the ability to identify and prioritize project milestones to create value and reduce risk; and the ability to operate in situations with a high degree of ambiguity and incomplete information?

Does the applicant have the ability to lead toward productive outcomes, manage conflict, and engage with diverse technical and non-technical stakeholders; the ability to persuade and inspire others through written and spoken communication; the motivation to identify professional strengths and weaknesses, an openness to constructive criticism, and a willingness to grow professionally; conduct themselves with integrity and a willingness to take responsibility for their actions?

Technical Excellence
Does the applicant have comprehensive knowledge in the field of the proposed project; the ability to quickly learn new concepts, develop new skills, and adapt to new technical information; and the ability to independently and safely lead the technical work involved in the proposed project?

Does the applicant have a history of being a positive contributor to teams, supporting others, and participating in professional communities? How willing is the applicant to relocate to, or spend substantial time at, the host laboratory?

Is the proposed project rooted in sound scientific principles and feasible within the proposed time frame. Does it have a clear and organized plan with well-reasoned technical milestones and a risk mitigation plan? Does it present a credible path to scale, including viable entry markets or the potential to pivot?

Tarun Narayan (left) of Antora Energy along with Antora co-founders  David Bierman, Andrew Ponec, and Justin Briggs , Activate Fellows 2018 - 2020

Tarun Narayan (left) of Antora Energy along with Antora co-founders David Bierman, Andrew Ponec, and Justin Briggs, Activate Fellows 2018 - 2020

Impact Potential and Sponsor Alignment
Does the proposed project have potential for impact in one or more Activate Areas? Is it reasonably differentiated from existing solutions and commercial efforts? Is the project aligned with the mission of one of Activate’s fellowship sponsors?

Highest and Best Use of Fellowship
Will the fellowship and access to host laboratories meaningfully alter the trajectory of the project? Will participation improve the timeline or probability of success?


Interested in the Activate Fellowship?

Even more?

Read the FAQ