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Accelerator Program


UCLA Social Enterprise Academy



Since the inception of UCLA Social Enterprise Academy (SEA), over 100 not-for-profit (NFP) companies have worked alongside students to develop new revenue generating ideas within the frameworks of our current 20-week program.  Regardless of the size or complexity of the new venture, SEA staff understand the difficulties of implementing new projects when resources are tight.  Therefore, in the fall of 2020, we began hosting a Phase 2 "Accelerator" for selected graduates of our basic Academy.


The product of an innovative partnership between UCLA, the Academies for Social Entrepreneurship (ASE), and Startup UCLA, the SEA Accelerator Program provides those selected to participate with custom coaching to secure the financial and operational resources need to implement their social venture. The program provides mentoring in venture implementation from selected UCLA alumni and members of the broader entrepreneurial communities, direct access to investors, human capital in the form of student consultants, and a multitude of resources from Startup UCLA within a 10-week program beginning in early October and completing in mid-December.   


The components of the SEA Accelerator Program are:


  • A Business Plan Assessment to detail areas of need or unclarity that must be resolved to move forward. This review will informs the plan for action during the program and the selection of mentors.

  • At least three evening session cohort gatherings (“CoLabs) to provide information on topics of shared interest and the opportunity to cross-pollinate. 

  • A mentor, who will be experienced either within your specific industry or a “process” specialist (think human resource, logistics, market research financing etc) to guide the implementation process.

  • 4-6 UCLA students assigned to your NFP, based upon company specific needs.  These consultants will be investing 10 hours per week at no cost to you.  


Social Enterprise Academy Accelerator Eligibility:


Due to the limited number of NFP’s in the cohort, we will be placing a heavy emphasis on the following qualities:

  • Traction:  The new venture is expected to have established traction, as measured by market research, NFP passion for the project and feasible sources of seed capital.

  • Coachability:  What we’ve seen in all start-up support programs is that participant’s willingness to be coachable and accountable is a crucial baseline.

  • Engagement: We seek NFP’s that will fully engage with SEA staff, mentor professionals, Startup UCLA, and student consultants by attending co-labs, communicating frequently, and being open to improvements on their current business processes with the ultimate goal of completing an action plan with the highest chance of success.    

  • Social impact: How will your venture affect those your NFP aims to help?  Can you demonstrate both qualitative and quantitative analysis?

  • Existence of Key Performance Indicators (KPI):  What are your KPI’s and how will you allocate resources to maximize them? 


Program Expectations of Not-For-Profit Participants:


The SEA Accelerator Program, was developed by reviewing a combination of social entrepreneur expertise, academic research, and successful incubator programs to ensure that your venture has the greatest chance of success.  If you are accepted, we ask that you commit to participating in:


  • Cohort Co-Labs, designed to guide and track NFPs throughout the venture implementation process.  Attendance by at least 3 staff to each meeting is mandatory.

  • Investor Discussions:  Throughout the 10-week program, we will host several discussions with potential investors to refine your ability to secure funding. It is required that at least 1 staff member with direct relations to fundraising attend these events.

  • Student Consultant Management: Student consultants will be provided to each NFP.  The students will assist with research or modeling with weekly deliverables to facilitate venture implementation. 

  • Financial Disclosure:  The design and expectations of this course require transparency in regards to your income, expenses and financial position for the previous three years as well as your expectations/budget for next three years. This will facilitate our ability to identify and secure seed and operational capital. 


Application Process:


To apply for the SEA Accelerator program, please complete the simple intake form (attached) and submit it on this page.  We will review it and, if appropriate, schedule a follow up interview.


Meanwhile, we welcome questions regarding the outline, requirements, or expectations of the program.  Please contact through email at or by phone 949-500-2381.

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