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Venable Foundation Fellowship

Equipping Baltimore-based entrepreneurs, small business owners, and nonprofit founders with the skills and network to scale their impact.

Applications for the program are now closed.

The Venable Foundation Fellowship, powered by the Watson Institute, is a fully-funded venture and leadership development program designed for early-stage entrepreneurs, business owners, and nonprofit founders in Baltimore who are leveraging technology to solve a significant challenge facing the world. Fellows receive practical entrepreneurial training, enhance their business acumen, and gain financial literacy knowledge, all tailored to amplify their impact within the communities they serve.

This is a fully-funded program thanks to the support of the Venable Foundation.

Dates & Details

  • Dates: February 17th to June 6th, 2024 (16 weeks of programming).
  • Format: Weekly virtual workshops with localized gatherings and events when possible. Sessions are held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 am to 10:30 am ET and on Thursdays from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm ET.
  • Virtual Immersive: The fellowship will begin with a virtual immersive in the weeks leading up to the start of the program.
  • Training: Fellows will engage in weekly expert-led modules covering subjects including Financial Literacy Skills, Foundations, Data & Metrics, Go-To-Market, Funding, Team Management, and Pitch.
  • Impact Series: Renowned leaders, entrepreneurs, and practitioners join the fellowships we power to share their entrepreneurial journey and experience, as well as mentor the Fellows. See previous Impact Series Speakers here.
  • Basecamp: A 1 to 3-day workshop designed and led by Fellows for their own stakeholders and communities. Fellows will receive a $1,000 stipend to support the implementation of the Basecamp events.
  • Pitch Video: All Fellows will receive a edited, professional version of their 4-minute pitch that they will develop over the course of the program.
  • Venture Development Stipend: Fellows can earn up to $1,000 in a venture development stipend based on the completion of Basecamp and their progress and impact throughout the Fellowship.


  • Who You Are:
    • You are an entrepreneur, small business owner, or nonprofit leader who is deeply committed to solving a significant challenge facing your community in Baltimore.
    • You are at the helm of a social impact venture or community endeavor with 1-5 years of traction, demonstrating a history of making a difference. Ideally, your venture is leveraging technology to solve a significant challenge facing communities in Baltimore, MD.
    • You possess an entrepreneurial spirit, a growth mindset, and a drive to become an effective leader within your community. The ideal venture stage for this fellowship is one that is in the Problem-Solution Fit or Product-Market Fit phases, with engaged customers or beneficiaries, and demonstrated outcomes in both impact and revenue.
  • Where You Create Impact:
    • Applicants located in or creating impact in markets across Baltimore, MD.
    • If your location is not listed above, we encourage you to explore other fellowships powered by Watson Institute. We are currently recruiting for several impactful fellowship opportunities across a diverse range of locations.
  • What You Are Looking For:
    • You are seeking expert-guided entrepreneurial training, a community of entrepreneurs to provide feedback that enhances your venture, and a broad-reaching mentor network to develop your leadership abilities and amplify the impact of your venture.
    • You are eager for an opportunity to challenge yourself by leading a Basecamp event, stepping out of your comfort zone, and spearheading an initiative that benefits your venture while serving your stakeholders and community.

What You Will Accomplish

With the unwavering support of the Watson Institute and Venable Foundation teams, you will receive a comprehensive roadmap to guide the growth and scalability of your work and impact. You will acquire the skills to construct and refine your pitch, and will receive an edited 4-minute professional version of your presentation. Additionally, you will facilitate an impactful workshop and training session (known as a Basecamp) in your community for your stakeholders, supported by a stipend, playbook, and team assistance to bring your vision to life.

Application Process

1. Applications Submitted: Complete the online application. This application should take approximately 45 minutes to fill out. The final deadline for application submissions is January 15th, 2024. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis after the deadline.

2. First Round Review: Our Admissions Committee diligently reviews all applications, seeking entrepreneurs who demonstrate strong leadership qualities and ventures that are both innovative and scalable. Applications received after the deadline will be assessed on a rolling basis as needed.

3. Interview: Qualified applicants will receive invitations for a 20-minute one-on-one Zoom interview. This interview allows us to delve deeper into your motivations for pursuing the fellowship and to gain a better understanding of your venture. Interviews will commence during the week of December 1st, 2023.

4. Admissions Committee Review: The most promising applicant profiles will be shared with our external Admissions Committee for their final review and selection.

5. Acceptances Announced: Notifications of acceptance will be sent out during the week of January 19th, 2024.

6. Fellows Confirm & Enroll: The final step to complete your enrollment is to confirm your commitment to the program. Upon confirmation, you will receive an invitation to participate in a “Meet the Cohort Webinar” event leading up to the program’s commencement. The program begins February 17th, 2024.

Program Elements

The Venable Foundation Fellowship offers award-winning training, dedicated mentorship, and a dynamic peer community. We are here to equip you with the skills and insights necessary to supercharge your venture and make a lasting impact.

Pay the Impact Forward: Empower Your Communities through Basecamps


Grow your leadership skills, build local partnerships, and expand your impact by facilitating a Watson Institute Basecamp in your community.

Every Fellow receives training, a playbook, and a financial stipend to facilitate a Basecamp—a one to three day intensive workshop—in their community, empowering them to drive positive change locally. As a key deliverable of the Venable Foundation Fellowship, all Fellows will facilitate a Basecamp event during their time in the program. Fellows are empowered through their training to tailor the Basecamp structure and outcomes to their desired participant community.

Fellowships are designed to educate, empower, and drive impact, with each element of the program contributing towards the long-term impact of the Venable Foundation Fellows and their communities. Basecamps stand as a pillar of this journey. Fellows who have led successful Basecamps have unlocked opportunities for new partnerships, additional funding avenues, media exposure, and have created a ripple effect of deeper impact within their communities.

Learn More

90% of Watson Institute’s Alumni are continuing their venture, employed at leading Fortune 500 companies, or continuing their education.

Watson Alumni are Making an Impact

Watson Institute’s 447 Alumni from 68 countries have raised over $185 million in capital for their ventures, created over 1,900 part or full-time jobs, and impacted over 10 million people around the world through initiatives they help lead. Watson alumni have been selected to Y Combinator, the Echoing Green Fellowship and Forbes’ 30 under 30 list, and continued their education at Harvard University, New York University, and Princeton University, among others.


Learn More about Watson Institute's Alumni Here

Lewis Wanjohi’ | Tambua Health

2023 Watson Institute Venture Accelerator Fellow

Tambua Health, developed the T-Scope device, which is the 1st FDA and CE-approved software-based ultraportable ultrasound for point-of-care and specialized imaging. Their T-Scope provides high-resolution abdominal, obstetrics, gynecology, cardiac, and lung imaging – all on a single device and smartphone app and machine learning for clients in the US, UK, South Africa, and Kenya.

The Venable Foundation, Inc. was established to promote the health and well-being of the communities where Venable’s clients and employees work and live. The Foundation supports a wide range of civic, cultural, and charitable endeavors, as well as public interest law and legal education. The Venable Foundation is particularly interested in how its grants impact low-income and underrepresented communities, working to eliminate barriers to success.