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Catalyst Program

Grants and In-Kind Support to New York City Nonprofits and
Businesses to Develop Early-Stage Social Technology

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Blue Ridge Labs @Robin Hood

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

08/28/19 11:59 PM EST


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Grants of $50,000 and in-kind support to New York City nonprofit organizations and startup businesses to turn early-stage social technology ventures into scalable technology platforms. Funding is intended to create products that improve the quality of life for low-income New Yorkers.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 160747

Estimated Size of Grant:

Funding: $50,000, plus health insurance reimbursements and a dedicated research budget.

Term of Contract:

The grant will take place over the course of six months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

While there are no hard rules, the best fit teams for Catalyst are typically less than 2-3 years old and have raised less than $400,000 in total funding to date.

In addition to the above, Blue Ridge Labs is looking for ventures that:
- Currently deliver a product or service to low-income New Yorkers or plan to do so by April 2020
- Are strongly committed to improving the lives of New Yorkers
- Use technology as a key part of their solution
- Have between one and five full-time team members
- Are incorporated or plan to incorporate in the next 6-12 months as either a nonprofit or for-profit social venture, and
- Preferably, have at least one full-time team member who can work from NYC for the duration of the program but at a minimum can commit to the remote attendance policy.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Join Blue Ridge Labs for one of their events! The webinars are a great way to learn more about the programs and ask any questions you might have. Open Houses give you a chance to see the co-working space at 150 Court, meet the BRL team and Alumni!

Open House for Catalyst 2019
08/13/19: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Blue Ridge Labs @ Robin Hood, Brooklyn NY

Catalyst Information Webinar:
- 08/07/19: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
- 08/14/19: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
- 08/19/19: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
- 08/21/19: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

More more information about events, and for links to registration, see

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates for 2019:
- Applications open July 29 at 9:00am EST
- Applications close: August 28 at 11:59pm EST
- Final Applicants Selected: Mid-October (TBD)
- Program Starts: November 4th, 2019
- Program Ends: end of April 2020

Blue Ridge Labs expects that if you are New York-based your full-time staff will work out of Rlue Ridge Labs offices at 150 Court St in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. If you’re based elsewhere, you must commit to sending at least one full-time team member to all of the required program sessions. Group program sessions occur roughly bi-weekly over the duration of the six months – typically on Thursdays and Fridays. For more information on the program calendar for this year, please feel free to reach out.

Catalyst funding is provided as a recoverable grant. For non-profits, it operates like any other grant. For for-profits, it converts to no-interest debt if and only if the organization hits a pre-set revenue or fundraising milestone. In addition to this debt repayment, for-profits also pledge 1% of their equity to Robin Hood.

If the team has incorporated, the funds will be distributed to the organization. If not, it will be split equally between the team members who are full-time participants in the program.


Watch a Webinar from last year:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Direct questions to:

Blue Ridge Labs
@Robin Hood
150 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York