HELPING PEOPLE AND IDEAS RISE
What is Dough?
How do I apply?
Click the “Apply” tab on the navigation bar above to fill out the application. It should take you about 45 minutes once you have your thoughts in order. Our hope that even the act of applying will help refine and strengthen your idea.
What are the benefits to an individual whose idea is accepted into this incubator?
Beyond the possibility of $225,000 in prize money, you mean? There are other benefits to Dough – benefits we think are even more compelling than being awarded money:
- Undergo a rigorous process and receive constructive feedback on a project or venture they have eagerly desired to pursue but for which funding and assistance has been unavailable. The actual process of applying for Dough forces an individual to hone their mission and strengthen their plan.
- Receive hands-on coaching from a team of mentors and coaches with a wealth of successful experience in a variety of marketplace and entrepreneurial ventures to improve and develop a venture idea for judging by a panel of experts.
- Gain experience and feedback on how to pitch and communicate a venture, not just for the sake of Dough, but for other future partners as well.
- As a semi-finalist, participate in a one day in-person “Rise Day” workshop on February 24, 2024, with marketplace and city-wide leaders as well as other semi-finalists in order to build relationships, receive encouragement and further refine ideas, and then “pitch” their venture to a panel of judges.
- What can I expect from the coaching? Find out in this video.
- As a Finalist, have an opportunity to present their winning idea to an audience of prospective supporters and investors and the congregation of Wayzata Community Church (WCC) and participate in “incubation” with project mentors to receive further consulting, financial and business planning assistance, and funding awards.
- Advanced mentoring on the most critical organizational development topics.
- An ongoing group of advocates & connectors ready to help you thrive. Hugs matter. And having a big-hearted congregation root you during those times when it feels like everything is against you is invaluable.
Do I need to be an organization or incorporated entity to apply?
No. The challenge is open to individuals or teams – anyone with a new, innovative, “gospel-minded” idea to launch or scale. But if you are an existing organization, you should be early stage with an idea toward scaling your current venture or spinning up an entirely new program.
Who decides on winners and the awarding of funding?
A group of seven judges made up of members from the congregation of Wayzata Community Church. They will review your application, as well as note progress and refinement of your idea, review your budget, and consider your pitch. The process is designed to be as equitable as possible.
What are the criteria for a successful application?
Initial applications through the screening process will be reviewed and evaluated on the following: feasibility of the idea/project, fit with Wayzata Community Church values, and how compelling the idea is.
After making it through the initial screening process, our panel of judges will be looking for pitches that demonstrate a clear problem understanding, a thoughtful theory of change, and an explicit commitment to innovation – solving a problem in a new way.
How much money is available?
We may award any amount of a $225,000 pool to finalists. It is likely that multiple ideas will be awarded some amount of funding.
Is there an age limit for applicants?
No. But we will be seeking to determine entrepreneurial experience between potentially less experienced social entrepreneurs vs seasoned social entrepreneurs in our criteria for selection, so that applicants with more limited entrepreneurial experience have an equal playing field. Make no mistake, our focus is fresh ideas from up-and-coming social entrepreneurs who have big, passionate hearts and an expansive vision to tackle problems in new and exciting ways.
Will we only allow ideas that impact the city/area/region of the Twin Cities?
Not necessarily–however we require the individual to reside in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs in order to maximize the richness of the mentoring and coaching relationships.
How soon will I hear the decision on my application?
You will hear back from us with news on whether your application has been selected to move the next round by the 2nd week of January, 2024.
If my proposal is not accepted, will I know why?
We expect to receive a large volume of applications and are unable to comment on each one. We will be unable to share the exact reasons for why your project was declined.
Does Wayzata Community Church want to own any of these ideas or future organizations?
No. Our desire is to serve our city and world, through the power of encouraging social entrepreneurship targeting needed areas of renewal and restoration in our city. We’ll supply coaching and encouragement but it is ultimately your work, your effort, and Dough isn’t interested in an equity stake.
What happens to people who make it to the next round of semi-finalists but ultimately don't get funded?
They will still have access to our mentorship, skills coaches, and navigating teams and be allowed to continue working with volunteers who give their permission. That skills coaching and those connections have proved invaluable to many social entrepreneurs.
Does Dough require applicants to become Wayzata Community Church members in order to get funded?
Not at all.
What is the long term support model for finalists after the funding is awarded?
Determining the long term support model and engagement with the selected finalists who receive funding will be one of the formal jobs of the “Incubator” team. It is not enough to simply help launch the ideas. We want to see long term success and provide deep and abiding care, support, and stewardship of the individual, organization they form, team they build, and money they make. Determining a concrete answer to this question will be an ongoing development in the coming months because we obviously don’t know the specific support winners will need until we’ve identified the winners.
Do we distinguish between non-profit and for-profit ideas?
We want to encourage all ideas. More than likely we will find that many ideas have not been incorporated into any official entity. It is then the job of Dough — depending heavily on our skills coaches, judges, and incubators to help evaluate and give proper guidance. In terms of funding however, we will more than likely encourage non-profit incorporation or B-corp ventures for simplicity in abiding by regulatory requirements.
Who designed this process?
This process we are seeking to implement was designed and successfully carried out by Colonial Church in Edina, Minnesota. After two rounds of giving away $500,000 over the course of five years, Colonial Church used this framework to successfully launch eleven ideas, including successful Minnesota nonprofits like Every Meal, Fair Anita, HOYO, Exodus Lending, and the Twin Cities Mobile Market. They named the initiative “Innové” and it was ultimately replicated in Houston and Atlanta. Dough is the next adaptation of that initiative, and they have offered us consulting support and partnership in order to successfully see this launched here at WCC. For more information, please see www.innovestudios.org
What if my question is not answered in the FAQ?
Please submit additional questions to email@example.com.