A dear friend of mine came to visit me in Boulder today and within 20 minutes he changed my life and the trajectory of The Bold Academy.
His name is Ryan Allis. We became close friends last year when I helped him co-found a new division of his company. Most recently, as a 27-year old entrepreneur, his company iContact was acquired for $169M. I’m deeply grateful to say that Ryan has played a pivotal role in many of my business endeavors. Today, he agreed to be the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for The Bold Academy this July.
So back to those 20 minutes. It went something like this…
Me: “Ryan! We have SO MANY INCREDIBLE PEOPLE who’ve applied to Bold. We have EVEN MORE INCREDIBLE PEOPLE who deeply WANT and NEED this but cannot afford it, and they’re questioning whether they should apply. How can we ensure the most passionate, eager, caring and driven 24 change-makers are here this July? Oh, and there’s one caveat: we have to pay for a lot of expenses like operational costs and housing in the next two weeks.”
Ryan: “Oh, that’s easy. We shorten the application, create a fundraising platform for those who cannot currently afford it, pick the 50 most awesome finalists, and then bring the first 24 who submit tuition to Boulder this July.”
And just like that… we had a solution.
So here’s the deal… if you were thinking about applying but didn’t because of the cost, I would encourage you to apply today and we’ll work with you on a crowdsourcing campaign on the fundraising platform we select, enabling both you and us to reach out to sponsors and donors in our networks. The application deadline remains tonight, April 5, at Midnight PST.
We’ll select and notify the 50 finalists on Monday, providing clear instructions for how to set-up the fundraising platform along with best practices for raising the cash. For those who have the $7,500 right now, we’ll have instructions for how to pay through Google checkout.
And then, the first 24 to submit tuition will join us in Boulder this summer.
Think you’re crazy enough to change the world? Apply here.
So, to wrap it up, here are our three big announcements:
Ryan Allis has agreed to be our Entrepeneur-in-Residence in Boulder this July
We’re creating a fundraising platform to help people pay for the experience
50 Finalists will be selected and notified on Monday
Know you need to be part of this first class? Applications close today, April 5, at Midnight PST. Apply now. And please tweet and share this opportunity with your networks too.
The Bold Academy: Are you ready to realize your full potential?
This summer, 24 people will come together in Boulder, committed to transforming their world and themselves. In an experience unlike any other, these 24 will cultivate years of critical life skills over four weeks in July. And you can be one of them.
This is The Bold Academy: a life-changing experience designed to help you find your deepest clarity, build confidence, and unlock your ability to lead the life you’ve always wanted to live.
Does this sound familiar?
Deep inside, you’ve felt the power of your potential—but you haven’t been able to reach it yet.
You’re tired of doing what you should be doing and you’re ready to do what you’re meant to be doing—but you aren’t sure where to begin.
You believe in your ability to do big things, to never settle, and to make the world a better place—but you aren’t sure how to get there.
You yearn for a community that will push you to reach your full potential, no matter the obstacles that are holding you back.
Most of all, you’re ready for an experience that will unleash you.
Because we all possess more potential than we realize—potential that once unleashed, can make any vision a reality.
Because the greatest opportunity we have in life is discovering what we’re meant to do—and then doing it.
Because when we’re awake, alive, and impassioned—together, we change the world.
Four weeks of powerful, guided introspection and learning coupled with hands-on skill building, remarkable speakers, and a holistic lifestyle including fitness and adventures.
Our aim is to provide you with a profound experience that unearths clarity and builds confidence, enabling you to shape your own path and make powerful contributions to changing society for the better.
The program curriculum will include a series of expert-led workshops, skill-building sessions, and learn-by-doing experiences that fall into the following categories:
Self-awareness. Knowing yourself, your purpose, what to be true to, and when you’re at your best.
Integrity. Behaving in a way that is consistent with your true self.
Confidence. Overcoming societal expectations and being powerful and compassionate in who you really are.
Risk-taking. Fluency in failure, experimentation, and iteration as the path to success.
Resourcefulness. The ability to generate passion, money, resources, and manpower around an idea, cause, or project.
Strategy. Knowing how to draw clarity from chaos and make plans that work.
All of the workshops will adhere to a hands-on approach. Our aim is create participatory experiences that will be framed, undertaken, and then debriefed as a group.
You will learn how to:
Overcome fear, take action, and plan a meaningful life course.
Tell your personal story in a way that is compelling and sticky.
Spend your time in ways that energize you.
Network your way into opportunities that are aligned with your strengths and personal interests.
Design your own career path, whether traditional or unconventional.
Marshal resources to get an idea off the ground, start a project, or launch a business.
Develop and cultivate an online personal brand, to help gain career momentum.
Speak and carry yourself in a way that is powerful and authentic.
Identify and create work opportunities that are exciting, challenging, and strategic.
Tap into the power of risk-taking, experimentation, and failure to advance your career and personal growth.
Use a healthy lifestyle to maintain energy, focus, and do your best work.
Build a deeply supportive community of peers that will help you reach your full potential in the years to come.
Speakers and Mentors
You will get to know:
Entrepreneurs who have succeeded, and those who have failed, including a 27-yr-old who recently sold his company for $169M.
Networking specialists who can teach the art of relationship building.
Designers who understand the power of living systems and the role that relationships play in making real change.
Thought-leaders on nonconformity and the art of building non-traditional lives (and personal income streams).
Experienced investors who know what it takes to make a project or venture happen.
World-class communicators who will teach the art of storytelling and personal narrative.
Yoga teachers that specialize in real-world applications of the practice, including centeredness, confidence, clarity, productivity, and focus.
Adventures, Fitness, and Career Coaches
We believe a holistic approach to life and learning is the best route to success and fulfillment. That’s why the four weeks in Boulder will include extra-curricular adventures such as cooking classes, dance lessons, yoga, camping, and wilderness hikes, among other things.
We’ll have a personal trainer on-staff, helping you feel like your best physical self. We’ll also have a career coach on-staff, helping you understand your unique gifts and set goals for your future.
HOW IT WORKS
Who, when and where?
24 individuals who are ready to conquer the world will convene in Boulder this July to unleash their full potential.
The cost of tuition is $7,500. Tuition covers all programming/workshops/speakers, housing (we’ll be living together in small groups), healthy food, all transportation in Boulder, access to a personal trainer/nutritionist, access to a career coach, as well as numerous activities and adventures like cooking classes, dance lessons, yoga sessions, camping, and other secret surprises.
Now: Applications open April 5: Applications close April 9: 50 finalists are selected and notified.
The first 24 to submit tuition will join us in Boulder this summer.
In our inaugural year, we have 24 spots available. Because our aim is to bring together the right mix of people who are eager for this experience and can handle being pushed way outside their comfort zone, we’ve designed an application process.
The Bold Academy team brings a range of experiences from Apple, TED, NBC, United Nations Foundation, Seth Godin, iContact, StartingBloc, Fast Company, and a number of entrepreneurial ventures. We’re committed to giving our students an unprecedented experience.
Amber Rae & Nathaniel Koloc | Creators
Amber is a motivational force of nature, hell-bent on cultivating a world where human potential is not governed by what we’re told we can and cannot do, but rather by our highest intentions and inner gifts. She’s obsessed with helping people live the lives they are meant to live, and designs her projects accordingly. In the last two years, Amber launched the Domino Project with Seth Godin, turned insomnia into a global movement via Night Owls, and helped hundreds of people give their dreams direction, many of which were through The Passion Experiment. She’s been seen in The New York Times, Fast Company, Inc., Forbes, The Huffington Post, BBC, and ABC World News.
Amber is building The Bold Academy to give people the perspective and skills needed to claim the lives they know they’re meant to live.
Nathaniel has spent the last five years trying to understand why it is so difficult for talented young people to find fulfilling work. The journey took him through East Africa, South America, and Europe, as well as the worlds of social impact and sustainability consulting. Armed with those experiences, Nathaniel co-founded ReWork, a talent agency for sharp young professionals and college grads that refuse to settle for work that doesn’t inspire them. Nathaniel is an Unreasonable fellow, a StartingBloc fellow, and holds a Masters in Strategic Leadership toward Sustainability.
Nathaniel is building the The Bold Academy because the world is ready for it.
Dana Pearlman | Academy Director
Dana has a deep expertise in creating powerful conversations and eliciting people’s best intentions. Her work with facilitation and authentic leadership led to her co-founding The Lotus, a leadership consultancy focused on cultivating a just, resilient, and thriving world. Dana holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology and a Masters in Strategic Leadership toward Sustainability.
Dana is coordinating the development of The Bold Academy’s immersion curriculum and will be the primary host.
Ryan is serving as our Entrepreneur-in-Residence because he lives for inspiring others to reach their full potential so that together, we create positive change in the world.
Antonio Neves | Performance Specialist
Antonio comes from the world of media and communications, with 10 years of experience in broadcast journalism including roles with NBC, E!, BET Networks, and Mediabistro, among others. He founded THINQACTION, which specializes in working with our society’s most underappreciated asset: the young professional who is hungry and ready to reach their full potential. Antonio holds a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University, and sits on the advisory board of StudentMentor.org.
Antonio is helping create The Bold Academy’s curriculum, and will be on-site to support attendees this summer in Boulder.
Cloe Shasha | Community Designer
Cloe has passion and talent for bringing people together. She has experience in logo and web design, journalism, event planning, and cognitive psychology research. Cloe loves interviewing people and recently launched the College Course Quality Project to document the best qualities of learning experiences. She founded and organized TEDxMiddlebury in 2010, and now works for TED on a variety of TEDx initiatives.
Cloe is helping with The Bold Academy’s program design and communications, and will facilitate and document experiences on-site.
Jamie Seiffer | Logistics Manager
Jamie loves making lists, rhyming, and events that run smoothly. He has a passion for the real world and knows that we had faces before we had Facebook. He has empowered college students to become social entrepreneurs with FeelGood, helped neighbors connect and build community at Front Porch Forum, and he is an active member of the CouchSurfing community. In his free time he likes to shred the gnar in the backcountry and ride his bicycle.
Jamie is coordinating logistics because no one wants to hear “actually, that event happened 3 hours ago.”
Rob Norback | Curriculum Specialist
Rob started the Cornell FreeRice Initiative in college. He loved the idea of being able to help people in poverty while playing a game online. After college, he sought to help end the cycle of poverty by joining Teach for America. While teaching, he found that his students learned physics best through meaningful work and picked up a Masters in Education. His next big endeavor is to start his own business that helps fight poverty in the developing world. And because he understands that entrepreneurship can get lonely, he invented MBA with Friends to get his business education with the best people imaginable - his friends.
Hoping to help others find meaningful work, Rob is currently working to create the most kick-ass curriculum possible for the Bold Academy.
Three weeks ago, I announced a vision for an unconventional school that I hoped to make a reality this summer in Boulder. Since then, I’ve been thinking big and making plans. And I’m happy to say that Nathaniel Koloc, my partner-in-crime and the co-founder of ReWork, will be joining me to make this dream come true. It’s called The Bold Academy, and we couldn’t be more excited.
Why are we doing this? Because higher education isn’t good enough right now. People go through four years of school and still have no idea what they want to do, let alone how to make that work in a world of financial (and societal) pressure.
That’s why, this summer, we’re bringing 24 change makers age 20 to 35 to Boulder for a transformative life experience designed to give them the perspective and skills they need to build the lives they want, from authentic relationships to meaningful work. Each student will gain years of real-world experience in 4 weeks, while realizing how their natural talents and true passions align with what the world needs. Those who attend should expect to walk away on fire, with a clear vision for their near-term future as well as a plan to make it real. For those looking for inspiring work, they’ll be equipped with the strategy to land their dream job.
There will be moments of fear, deep connections, triumphs, and breakthroughs. We see lifelong bonds being formed in days, and strengthened over weeks. We envision this experience being the catalyst for the rest of their lives.
This program will be designed for changemakers aged 20-35 who:
Want to “change the world” and contribute to something bigger than themselves, but aren’t sure how to get started
Feel unsure about “what’s next” and know deep down that a traditional career path is not for them
Want to live a meaningful life, feel like the best version of themselves, and be surrounded by those who help advance their true passions and strengths
Refuse to settle for anything less than realizing their full potential
Here’s what we know already:
This is happening. 24 young change makers will be coming to Boulder this summer for the experience of a lifetime.
The curriculum will revolve around action and deep reflection on six themes: self-awareness, integrity, confidence, risk-taking, resourcefulness, and strategy. For each theme, we’ll move from introduction and theory to learning-by-doing and practice to the point of mastery.
We’ll be using a tuition model which will include the 4-weeks of core programming, living accommodations, (healthy) food, playful adventures, and access to an in-house fitness trainer and nutritionist. Price is $7,500.
This pilot is an experiment. We want to scale big but we’re going to start small.
Here’s what we’re still figuring out:
Living logistics. Participants will be living together. It may be one big house or 4-6 apartments, we aren’t sure.
The exact dates. July is looking good. Real good.
We’re hiring 3 people, including an Academy Director, Logistics Coordinator, and Communications Coordinator. Intrigued? Check out the roles and apply now.