More often than not, incubator and accelerator programs are fluff. They offer little in return to the creators who participate; mainly, monetary support, which is notoriously sparse, especially for creators of color. They also tend to accept just a small amount of people, which does little to motivate applicants. The LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program is none of these things.
According to an announcement written by Andrei Santalo, LinkedIn’s Global Head of Community (who also spent a few years at Instagram), there are three things creators value most: building an audience, creating community, and being financially rewarded. That’s why they’ve invested $25 million into this program. Here’s what you should know about the new program, especially if you’d like to apply.
What is it?
The Creator Accelerator Program is an “incubator-style” 10-week program where creators from a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise will take an idea from the concept to execute stage, while also building an audience for their venture and engaging with the LinkedIn community to promote it.
Who can apply?
You and you and you! No, seriously, there aren’t too many guidelines. You just need to be at least 18-years-old, a U.S. resident, and LinkedIn member. Other exemptions are related to the company itself; those in the LinkedIn Influencer Program, LinkedIn and Microsoft (parent company) employees aren’t eligible.
“Anyone who has a story to tell and is driving professional conversations can be a creator on LinkedIn. We are looking for people who regularly contribute and have the creativity, passion, and commitment to build community,” says LinkedIn. “Whether you’re a business leader sharing strategies to drive diversity and inclusion, an entrepreneur who has a unique perspective on starting a business during a global pandemic, a career coach who is passionate about connecting job seekers to opportunity, or a working parent who is sparking conversation around mental health and wellness while juggling work and family, we want to hear from you.”
As for the type of content they’re looking for, they’re less interested in a certain topic and more into “how well the creator can build a robust community, sharing advice and unique perspectives to ultimately connect people to opportunity and allow them to be more successful in their careers.” You can find some examples here.
What do participants get?
Let’s get to the good stuff.
First, creators will be matched with a creator manager who will offer in-depth training and personal coaching throughout the 10-week period. There will also be ample opportunities to be featured across the LinkedIn site, as well as its social and editorial channels. Finally, participants will be plugged into an exclusive creator network and receive $15,000 (!) to help bring their vision to life.
How many creators are being accepted into the program?
A whopping 100 people will be accepted. That’s a lot compared to other programs but perhaps small in the context of the LinkedIn community. Rest assured, they plan to expand the cohort in 2022 and that includes accepting applications from outside the U.S.
When can you apply?
Right now! Applications are being accepted until Tuesday, October 12 at 11:59PM EST.
We’re sure you want to learn more, like how many times you can apply, how applications are being reviewed, and whether you can apply while participating in another incubator. LinkedIn has answers to all of those questions here.
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