Whew, this will be a long one. I’ll write another one later this year, but a quick “morning after” summary for my Tribe 12 Fellowship experience – with my Always More To Philly venture – for the benefit of those considering being a Fellow (or Coach, Subject Matter Expert, sponsor, etc.) next year.
Short version: Do it!
Long version: It wasn’t quite like the Y-Combinator experience that every wantepreneur like me read and dreamed about, the one where they take you from close to zero to Series A investment and beyond by locking you into a room for 3 months, pushing you hard, and taking equity in your company.
Instead, the Tribe 12 Fellowship is an absolutely transformative experience that combines an entrepreneurial bootcamp with an exploration of the different ways to be involved in Philly’s Jewish community (without pushing you into any specific religious affiliation, which I especially appreciate).
Above all, the Fellowship is a leadership development program. The process itself was sometimes super fun, sometimes exhausting, and sometimes confusing because every Fellow is in a different place with their idea and it’s hard to find a one-size-fits-all approach. PS. We always got fed, and that alone was worth the nominal fee. Also half of our dues went to a former fellow, Jonathan Wetstein‘s awesome nonprofit, Parkside Roots. Using Amplifier’s Giving Circle curriculum, our cohort got to bond over choosing the recipient, which was a huge bonding experience.
Expect to be pushed and supported, expect to pivot your business and change everything five times over, expect to wake up in cold sweat about deadlines and forget about milestones for weeks. Above all, be open to feedback and possibilities.
The People are the Best Part
Now to the best part: people. Just wow. I want to thank the 9 people who were part of the best cohort the Tribe 12 Fellowship ever had and will be friends for life: Lauren Dranoff, Cody Greenes, Talia Naomi Eidelman (you 3…), Olga Girshevich (we practically worked together for the past few weeks), Alison Ederer (who volunteered to proofread my Always More to Philly emails and thus made it onto the Executive Summary), Zach Matz (my AC roommate with whom we strategized on the walk to the train after classes), Samantha Hyman (yes – fellow artist!), Em Lev (my networking buddy), and Erica Sokol (who shared so much insight from doing this for years, and whose letter I keep for the tough days). All y’all deserve accolades way more than La La Land. Happy to have you as friends!
Ok, I know it’s a lot of sappy stuff… we’ll keep it going anyway.
Then there are the “counselors.” Our year was a bit experimental, and could’ve easily fallen apart, as could each of us. And we would have without Tribe 12 staff members Steven Share, Shira Scott, Ross Berkowitz, Danielle Selber, Rachel Waxman, and Rabbi Bonnie Goldberg, who was behind the scenes but still very helpful. I can’t even begin to describe their support, and don’t even know half of behind-the-scenes miracles they had to pull. Rock on!
Personally, huge thanks to my coach, Stu Maleef, and peer, Adam Wodka. Stu kicked my ass just like I asked him to; and Adam was always there to bounce ideas off of. I can’t even count the number of “duh” moments I had when meeting with Stu and Adam. And I’m sure that will continue.
Speaking of…. special thanks to Michael Adler, David Hunt, and Marc Levy of The 215 Guys for not only providing brilliant feedback but also following up on it. I know each of you is super busy, so this above and beyond support is amazing. There are quite a few others to thank, but let’s try getting back on track about why you should apply for the Tribe 12 Fellowship.
And Here’s Why You Should Really Apply
All of these people provide a network you couldn’t even dream of. The community you’ll become a part of is like nothing else: open, welcoming, tight, and super fun. The resources are legit. Make no mistake: whatever stage you’re at with your for- or non-profit, the Fellowship will light a fire under your butt.
And that leads me to the other important point: this program is what you put into it. Nothing is given to you on a silver platter. You’re not guaranteed that someone will write you a check at the end of the program or provide every expensive service you need. But I firmly believe, based on my experience, that if you bring passion, dedication, and care into the Fellowship, you’ll get all that times a million back.
The one thing I can guarantee is that the Tribe 12 Fellowship will show you that there is Always. More. To. You. (Come on, I had to end this with an Always More to Philly plug.)
Applications are now open for the 2018 cohort of the Tribe 12 Fellowship! Learn more and apply today at tribe12.org/apply-today/. Wondering if the Fellowship is for you? Grab coffee with Fellowship Coordinator Adam Wodka or come to our free recruitment event on November 8th.