Selection Criteria & Process

Selection Criteria

Impact. Successful applicants demonstrate a significant impact as a core part of their venture. We look for impact both in terms of how impactful the core product or service is, and how scalable is the model to spread this impact.

Problem/Solution. Does your venture identify a real and pressing problem and propose a viable solution? Strong applications effectively and narrowly define a pain point and outline a solution that addresses the pain point.

Sustainability. We’re looking for innovative social ventures that sell a core product or service to achieve impact.

Execution. The application is our first introduction; get off on the right foot. Successful applicants have a big vision but also pay careful attention to detail.

Innovation. How is your solution to a problem different from current solutions? What sets you apart? We value audacious ideas that disrupt the status quo and move the needle on 21st century challenges. Think big!

Talent.  Do you have what it takes to lead your venture to success? Strong applicants exhibit characteristics of extraordinary leadership: vision, intelligence, resilience, and follow-through.

Selection Process

Each application received by Halcyon is reviewed by a group of Halcyon team members, Fellows, and stakeholders who make up the Halcyon Selection Committee.

Initial Review. After the application closes, Halcyon Incubator team and Fellows conduct two initial rounds of application review. These reviews narrow the applicant pool down to approximately 10% of applications designated as semifinalists. The semifinalist applications are forwarded to the semifinalist review committee for further consideration.

Semifinalist Review and Finalist Selection. While the semifinalist review committee deliberates to narrow the semifinalist applications and select the finalists, a Halcyon team member contacts the semifinalists to notify them that their application is still under review and to ask them to confirm their continued interest in and eligibility for a Halcyon Fellowship. If semifinalists reached any additional venture milestones since submitting their application, they are welcome to share this information with the Halcyon team member.

The Semifinalist Review Committee narrows the semifinalist applications by half, designating the Halcyon Finalists who are invited to the Virtual Pitch Day. Halcyon Finalists represent approximately 5% of the original applicant pool.

Virtual Pitch Day. Finalists are notified by a Halcyon team member and invited to participate in a virtual pitch day. Finalists are given five minutes to deliver a virtual pitch (without slides) and five minutes to answer questions from members of the selection committee via a Zoom video conference. Pitch day gives the Halcyon team members and the selection committee the opportunity to interact with finalists and learn more about each venture.

Final Selection. After pitch day, members of the selection committee select the new Halcyon Fellows. Halcyon Fellows typically represent 2% of the initial applicants. A Halcyon team member notifies the selected Fellows.

Questions about selection criteria or the selection process?

Contact Kaitlin Capobianco at