Accelerate Your Impact with JFFLabs | Application

Apply now to be part of JFFLabs’ first Acceleration Cohort for Work-Based Learning.


JFFLabs, thanks to the support of Walmart, has launched a new program to elevate promising work-based learning startups. We believe work-based learning solutions that leverage technology will drive meaningful change for American jobseekers and leading employers at scale. We are excited to bring JFF’s 35 years of subject matter expertise and connections through networks of networks to support tech-enabled startups that can positively impact the lives of millions of Americans.

One of the things that I love about JFF is that they’re not just a leading national nonprofit organization. They’re also working with some of the most innovative startups in the country to create real change.

Rahim Fazal, Co-Founder & CEO, SVAcademy

We are selecting members to join our Fall 2018 Work-Based Learning Cohort. This cohort will be composed of no more than six tech-enabled startups looking to create and scale career advancement opportunities for retail and adjacent sector workers through work-based learning strategies.



If you’re selected, this is what your organization can expect:

  • Strategic advice and introductions to a wide network of field leaders through JFF’s Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning. With JFF’s 35 years of subject matter expertise, our staff has considerable experience on programs, financing models, influencers, policy, and trends. A team of JFF advisors with deep work-based learning knowledge will offer guidance throughout the program.

  • JFFLabs will connect selected organizations to a group of top “visionary customer” retail employers that have an expressed interest in testing solutions that can scale.

  • JFFLabs will support cohort members on business development, product marketing, and fundraising. You will be able to tap our experience in working with future of work funders, retail employers, and adult learners to tell your story effectively.

  • JFFLabs will facilitate the connection and sharing of best practices between cohort members. You will gain the advantage of working alongside other emerging startups and leaders in the work-based learning space, hand-picked for this program.

  • We will also work alongside you to explore new and innovative financing models to support your growth with major strategic and financial players in the field.

When I started Year Up back in 2000, one of the very first partners I had was JFF. They have been partners now for 17 years, and in fact, a lot of Year Up's success came down to the early learning and strategic advice we got from JFF.

Gerald Chertavian, CEO and Founder of Year Up

Apply now to be part of JFFLabs work-based learning startup accelerator program!

Who We’re Looking For

First and foremost, we're looking for great entrepreneurs who are mission aligned and have a solution that can have a big impact. There are a lot of great entrepreneurs out there, and we're excited to meet and get to know their vision.

JFFLabs is particularly interested in early- and growth-stage tech-enabled startups with a proof of concept or product in market. We will work to help test, refine, and scale the product to maximize sustainability and impact.

For this cohort, we are looking for solutions that aim to equitably build out work-based learning opportunities that provide "relevant work experience" that is hard to gain outside of the workplace. We also want to ensure employers gain access to a qualified workforce in a dynamic economy. Applicants that serve retail and service workers are preferred. Applicants working in different sectors are welcome to apply but should have a plan for how their solution can be applied to retail or adjacent sectors (such as hospitality).

JFFLabs will focus on the following areas of exploration that improve the lives of frontline retail workers including:

  • Work-Based Learning to Enter Retail and/or Adjacent Sectors

  • Scheduling Solutions to Make Working and Learning More Accessible

  • Upskilling Existing Employees

  • Continuing Education Programs

  • Outskilling | Programs where employers pay employees to learn skills that transfer them out of the current employer ranks

JFFLabs will evaluate emerging solutions on a variety of factors, including the quality of the applicant’s product, business plan, market viability, team capacity, and measurability of impact.


  • July 31, 2018 | Application Deadline

  • September 2018 | Finalists Selected & Interviews

  • October 2018 | Cohort Announced


E.g. Horizons 2018, Press Release, Website, Word of mouth, Social Media, Email, JFF Staff.

For inquiries about the cohort, please fill out the form on the left, or contact: