Humans in the Wild
Humans in the Wild

A unique, 100-day incubation program for founders who are in the early stages of developing their next big idea in the Future of Work.

  • Applications Due

    September 14

  • Founders Notified

    Mid September

  • Program Dates

    October 5 — January 15

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  • Humans in the Wild is a 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 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 actionable businesses, with the potential for pre-Seed investment from Human Ventures at the end of the program.

    The first Humans in the Wild program launched in April 2020 with a focus on health and wellness. Our next Humans in the Wild program will run in the Fall of 2020, supporting entrepreneurs focused on the Future of Work.

  • The cost? Free. Equity split? None. We just ask for dedicated commitment to our program, support for your peer entrepreneurs, and engagement with our Venture team to assess potential fit for follow-on investment.

  • 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. As COVID turned boardrooms dark and homes into offices, nascent trends were forced into prominence, creating a labor force eager for innovative solutions to the Human needs of this new normal.

    Human Ventures is eager to partner with entrepreneurs building companies to serve humans needs in the Future of Work, in areas such as:

    • New work environments (tools to facilitate flexibility and collaboration)
    • Lifelong learning (personal and professional development as an ongoing “way of life”)
    • Redefining the resume (new forms of career and talent assessment, and opportunity matching)
    • Wellbeing at work (focus on the personal wellbeing of workers)
  • 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.

Our Spring Cohort

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.

Read about the success of our first health and wellness cohort.

  • Michelle Park

    Michelle Park

  • Martin Strutz

    Martin Strutz

  • Janine Silvera

    Janine Silvera

  • Osman Khan

    Osman Khan

  • Rania Nasis

    Rania Nasis

  • Alex Gould

    Alex Gould

  • Dan Miller

    Dan Miller

  • Hilary Lin

    Hilary Lin

  • Michael Blank

    Michael Blank

  • Taylor Majewski

    Taylor Majewski

  • Chening Duker

    Chening Duker

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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 will build a dynamic cohort for Humans in the Wild, thoughtfully composed of a rich diversity of professional experiences, personal backgrounds, and skill sets. We include 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 and inclusion, which 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, in the cohort focus area.

    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 re-designed from scratch.

  • Human Ventures offers an exciting 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 momentum around a single startup idea.

    Humans in the Wild will help you get there through 3 key program elements:

    • Learning: Workshops, strategic mentoring, peer review critiques, and 1-1 professional coaching sessions led by a mix of Human Ventures team members, guest industry experts, investor advisors, and peers. Curriculum will cover ideation, business design, customer discovery, product strategy, self-discovery, and deep dives into the industry dynamics of your cohort focus area. 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.
    • Community: Rich peer community of fellow entrepreneurs as thought- and accountability-partners.
    • Industry Access: Access to Human Ventures’ deep industry network, to help with concept development, mentoring, recruiting and fundraising.

    Given this wide set of programming, and the value we anticipate entrepreneurs to offer their peer group, we expect you to bring a full-time commitment to building your concept during the program (eg at least 30 hours per week).

  • At the end of the program, we plan to offer a handful of participants pre-Seed investment of at least $250k to support the next stage of their journey. These entrepreneurs will also be invited to continue working with the Human Ventures team 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 New York City-based venture fund and startup studio backing and building companies. We invest in humans first, partnering with the best founders and placing them in an unparalleled ecosystem of company builders and resources for growth.

    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 Current, Tiny Organics, Paloma, Village, Lupii, Weldon, Tia, Electra Health, Hazel and Milo.

    Human Ventures has been partnering and supporting early stage entrepreneurs since 2015, and is proud of our rich portfolio of businesses creating value in the world. Please learn more about us here.

Any other questions? Please reach out to wild@humanventures.co