The Santa Fe Innovates curriculum is based on building scalable and socially responsible ventures.

Accelerator Program Curriculum

The Santa Fe Innovates curriculum is based on building scalable and socially responsible ventures. The curriculum combines standard GAN accelerator principles like customer discovery, business model generation, and iterative design with topics and skills-building opportunities specifically relevant to social enterprises. The curriculum uses information contained in the book Building a Successful Social Venture, research and insights from the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management, and experience from startup and entrepreneurship experts.

Program Features

The accelerator program includes a weekly intensive (held each Saturday for eight weeks) where the cohort is fully immersed in learning about business and entrepreneurship and applying those teachings to building their own companies. The program also includes a dual mentorship feature where each cohort member is paired with two mentors for three months, access to coworking and meeting room spaces, cohort networking events, and culminates in a company demo day.

Eight Core Modules.

The accelerator program curriculum consists of eight core modules that correspond to the eight-week program.
Module topics include:

Module 1

Participant and mentor onboarding; company vision; strategic thinking; introduction to customer discovery and models of social entrepreneurship

Module 2

Target markets; business models and the business model canvas; customer discovery and outreach

Module 3

The external environment; operations and value chains; organization and human resources

Module 4

Financing; go-to-market strategies; sales strategies

Module 5

Operations and budget; key metrics; exploring the triple bottom line

Module 6

Investor relations and readiness

Module 7

Pitch elements and preparation for demo day

Module 8

Debrief and next steps

Included in this mix will be topics of conscious and ethical leadership, building scalable, respectful, and engaged organizational culture, business planning, and financial modeling. During the eight weeks, we will have several informal evening sessions to explore certain topics in-depth and with practitioners.

Dual Mentorship

Mentors are individuals with deep industry, investment, or entrepreneurship experience. They work with startups without expectation of reward or compensation, share their knowledge and guidance freely, and will open their networks when appropriate.

Two mentors with appropriate backgrounds will be assigned to work with each startup. Mentoring is a balancing act between providing specific subject matter expertise and challenging startups to see their work from different perspectives. And the professional backgrounds and experiences of the entrepreneurs also impact what type of mentoring will be most effective for them.

Dual mentors provide different perspectives for the participating startup to consider. The mentors will meet weekly with the startups for three months to provide guidance, coaching, and accountability checks.

"We are what we imagine. Our very existence consists in our imagination of ourselves. Our best destiny is to imagine, at least, completely, who and what, and that we are. The greatest tragedy that can befall us is to go unimagined."~ N. Scott Momaday


A completed accelerator program application is required for all applicants. Our process will include phone conversations with applicants that meet our qualifications. A dinner will follow with selected prospective applicants before final decisions are made on program acceptance.

When the application process is open, the questions must be completed fully, including the 2-3-minute video about your business.

You must be able to commit to a program schedule of eight consecutive Saturdays. The expectation is each participating entrepreneur will be engaged in the process and diligent in doing the work to prepare their business to be ready for the next phase of growth.