A unique, 100-day incubation program for founders who are in the early stages of developing their next big idea in Health & Wellness.
February 19th, 2021
March 19th, 2021
April 5 — July 1, 2021
Humans in the Wild is Human Ventures’ program for experienced entrepreneurs looking to build their next big thing. The name “In the Wild” stems from a pivotal point in a founder’s career when they are about to embark upon their next entrepreneurial journey — and we’ve created an environment and community to speed them along.
Our 100-day, no-equity program provides participants with expert strategic advice, a rich peer community, and access to the Human Ventures’ founder and investor network. During the 100 days, you will leverage the program’s resources and the support of your cohort to transform ideas and concepts into fundable startups, ready for a pre-seed institutional investment round — including the potential for investment from Human Ventures at the end of the program. We intentionally keep our cohorts small - around 12-15 founders - to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and collaboration.
In 2020, we launched two Humans in the Wild cohorts, the first focused on Health & Wellness and the second focused on Future of Work. For Spring 2021, we are excited to return to supporting entrepreneurs building important companies in the areas of Health & Wellness.
Previous founder participants report tremendous satisfaction with the program, especially highlighting the value of 1-1 strategic advice from Human Ventures team members and the peer-to-peer learning and support they received. Our NPS score is 100, with every graduate of the program strongly recommending it to others. A couple illustrative comments from founder graduates capture this sentiment:
“The Humans in the Wild program is truly effective. The framework enabled me to validate my high-value consumer, my digital health product and build my MVP. To sum it up, the Human Ventures incubator is 100 days of intense collaboration, inspiration, growth and camaraderie all wrapped in an amazing culture.” — Janine Silvera
“The HITW program was exceptional primarily because of the cohort and co-pilots — the team did a great job in selecting formidable entrepreneurs and fostering a culture of collaboration and connection. Almost immediately people were reaching out to connect me with influential founders in my field — or sharing valuable knowledge. Being all-virtual levelled the playing field so I didn’t feel like an outsider not being based in NYC. Over the course of 100 days, I built my business surrounded by experts in every arena; I became markedly more effective in many areas — marketing, behaviour & self-analysis, press-relations, customer discovery. The list goes on.” — Chening Duker
The cost? Free. Equity split? None. We just ask for focused commitment to our program, support for your peer entrepreneurs, and engagement with our Venture team to assess potential fit for follow-on investment. Although we understand entrepreneurs are often juggling many projects in their lives, we expect you to bring a full-time commitment to building your startup during the program (e.g. at least 30 hours per week), and be able to attend the 3-5 hours of Humans in the Wild programming we offer each week.
Human Ventures is a business creation platform. We go beyond the business model and seek opportunities to build Model Businesses with ambitious founders who are innovating around Human Needs. By unlocking access to a powerful network of founders, investors and corporate partners, we are creating a blueprint for the future of business to be built on purpose.
Human Ventures offers a valuable curriculum and set of experiences to make your 100-day journey enriching and productive, with the aim of empowering you to exit the program with your startup in a fundable state, ready for a pre-seed institutional investment round.
Humans in the Wild will help you get there through 4 key program elements:
Strategic Advice: Humans in the Wild provides 1-on-1 professional coaching sessions, strategic mentoring from industry-leading VCs, and peer review workshops. At a minimum, each week you’ll meet with your peer group for joint problem solving, consult with a Human Ventures advisor for work planning and strategic guidance, and attend a learning workshop led by Human Ventures staff or outside experts.
For the Spring of 2021 cohort, we have invited a group of external VC Advisors to offer value-add support and feedback throughout the program, including:
Content: The program offers regular guest speaker sessions, led by a mix of Human Ventures team members, industry experts, investors, and peers. Curriculum covers customer discovery, product strategy, early go-to-market, fundraising, leadership, and other aspects related to early-stage builds. Speakers in 2020 included Carolyn Witte, Co-Founder & CEO, Tia Health; Charles Hudson, Founder and Managing Partner, Precursor Ventures; Katie Stanton, Founder and GP, Moxxie Ventures; and Isaac Oates, Founder and CEO, Justworks, to name a few.
Community: Founders will have access to a rich peer community of fellow entrepreneurs who serve as thought and accountability partners, including the founder’s cohort, previous Humans in the Wild cohorts, and the wider circle of Human Ventures portfolio company founders.
Network: Founders gain access to Human Ventures’ deep industry network to help with concept development, mentoring, recruiting, and fundraising.
We are looking for extraordinary individuals with demonstrated entrepreneurial and leadership experience. In some cases, this will mean second-time founders. In others, this will mean emerging leaders who have managed product development or business functions at high-growth startups, propelled dynamic functions at larger companies as an ‘intrapreneur,’ or built non-profit or other types of organizations from scratch.
We build a dynamic class of 12-15 founders for each Humans in the Wild program, thoughtfully composed of a rich diversity of professional experiences, personal backgrounds, and skill sets. We welcome both technical and business-oriented founders in our program. We expect most program participants to be solo founders. If you are a team of two co-founders, please submit one application and include both of your names in the application. In most cases, we will only have one co-founder participate in the program.
Human Ventures is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. These are values we apply not only to our application screening but also within our team, portfolio and entrepreneur communities.
Humans in the Wild is designed for early-stage entrepreneurs who have an MVP or a strong hypothesis on what they want to build.
Applicants should be able to articulate a core business product or service idea that addresses ‘problem spaces’ within the cohort focus area that they are eager to solve, assess unmet consumer demand, or identify legacy services that need to be blown up and redesigned from scratch.
At the end of the program, we hope to offer a few participants pre-seed investment funding of at least $250K to support the next stage of their journey. These entrepreneurs will also be invited to continue working with Human Ventures by engaging in deeper collaboration with our in-house business design, product design, talent and finance/administrative team resources. Accepting Human Ventures funding at the end of the program is not required.
Human Ventures is a business creation platform comprised of a venture fund and startup studio. We go beyond the business model and seek opportunities to build Model Businesses with ambitious founders who are innovating around human needs. By unlocking access to a powerful network of founders, investors and corporate partners, we are creating a blueprint for the future of business to be built on purpose.
Human Ventures has been a long-standing supporter of entrepreneurs innovating in the Human Needs Economy. Examples of startups we’ve helped build and fund include Spora Health, Current, Tiny Organics, Paloma Health, Village, Lupii, Weldon, Tia, Electra Health, Hazel and Milo. We are proud of our rich portfolio of businesses creating value in the world.
We expect most program participants to be solo founders. If you are a team of two co-founders, please submit one application and include both of your names in the application. In most cases, we will only have one co-founder participate in the program.
We can help founders the most if they are targeting US-based customers. If you are based outside the US, your company must be targeting US-based customers to be considered for the program.
Any other questions? Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Building the Future of Work
The new labor economy is here and with it are fundamental shifts that impact the nature and life-cycle of the traditional professional journey. Though the past decade has brought significant technology advancements that help humans work more efficiently and share and organize information with ease, it has created a society weary of automation and one searching for purpose and wellbeing in an increasingly dynamic labor economy. The Fall 2020 Future of Work cohort is a group of founders passionate about bringing innovation and vision to New Work Environments, Lifelong Learning, Redefining the Resume, & Wellbeing at Work.
Building the future of Health & Wellness
Transformational changes in technology, consumer attitudes, and cultural values are driving profound shifts in behaviors around healthy lifestyles, fitness, nutrition, food & beverage, and mental health. The Spring 2020 cohort of Humans in the Wild are passionate about bringing innovation and vision to these broad areas and are building solutions in a wide range of categories including physical health, mental health, women’s health, skin care, nutrition, and sleep.