State Policy Network

SPN LaunchPad: Solutions Accelerated

In-Person LaunchPad Incubator Event: November 4-6, 2021

State Policy Network’s LaunchPad is an ecosystem where social and business entrepreneurs hone innovative solutions to address pressing problems related to human freedom and civil society in the states. A Brain Trust of transformative thinkers, like-minded innovators, and veteran entrepreneurs help create this ecosystem.

We will invite up to 10 idea entrepreneurs to advance their projects at an exclusive, intensive two-day LaunchPad in-person event, where they will pitch their ideas to the Brain Trust. Projects selected for the LaunchPad in-person event will receive initial seed funding of $7,500.

Idea entrepreneurs who successfully complete the in-person event will be evaluated for potential advancement to the LaunchPad Incubator Plus. Projects that successfully complete the Incubator Plus are eligible for significant seed funding.

Page Contents
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  • LaunchPad Overview
  • Selection Criteria
  • Selection Timeline
  • 2021 Event Details
  • Stories
  • SPN Contact

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The LaunchPad Experience: An Overview

1. The Discovery Phase: In the months leading up to the two-day event, the SPN team will work with each project and project owner the in-person event. This preparation process is called the Discovery Phase.

2. The Incubator Event: The two-day intensive is our incubator event. Using a co-creation process, assumptions are tested, ideas are improved, and an action plan is developed in concert with Brain Trust members. Up to 50 Brain Trust members will be at the work session. These individuals are experts in certain fields, successful entrepreneurs, and transformative thinkers. A handful will be grant-makers and investors. Brain Trust members are self-organizing and are free to choose where they lend their expertise.

3. The Incubator Plus: Idea entrepreneurs who successfully complete the Incubator Event and who need key resources to successfully launch, advance to the Incubator Plus. At this phase, the project owner receives the type of intense structure, training, mentorship, and investor networking required to potentially move toward remarkable success. Projects that successfully complete this phase are eligible for seed funding. They will also be invited to share their idea at SPN’s Annual Meeting.

Selection Criteria

For SPN's next LaunchPad Incubator Event, up to 10 projects will be selected.

We are looking for leverage: perhaps a new business model, reduction of institutional barriers in a particular arena, serving a currently underserved or ill-served market, using technology to advance key reforms, moving reform research into a private-sector industry, etc.

Fifty Brain Trust members will be at the event. Each will bring exceptional value: real-world experience, first-class strategic counsel, and project financing knowledge. Each project will also have a highly trained facilitator with subject-matter expertise.

Who we principally serve in SPN’s LaunchPad:

Social and idea entrepreneurs in the non-profit space whose projects solve problems that: 1) expand individual liberty and human well-being, and 2) drive market-based solutions that can reduce the size and scope of government. Occasionally the project may logically move toward a for-profit endeavor.

Each project submitted should meet these conditions:

  • Expands individual liberty and human well-being.
  • Market-based solution that reduces the size and scope of government.
  • Approaches a public policy or civil society problem in a new, different, or creative way.
  • Has potential to make a significant, measurable, and tangible difference.
  • Can have initial success inside a reasonable timeframe (1-3 years).

The organization's project decision maker and executor must attend all of the in-person LaunchPad Incubator Event.

Selection Timeline

July 15, 2021: Application Deadline.

July 23-30, 2021: SPN Team conducts personal interviews with finalists.

August 1, 2021: Final projects selected and notified. Idea Entrepreneurs are invited into the Discovery Phase.

August 1-November 3, 2021: Discovery Phase. Planning meetings will be calendared during this time – about 12-15 hours of preparation.

September 17, 2021: Final Project Prospective, including Executive Summary, due. SPN's team will provide feedback and edits prior to abstracts being compiled and shared with all event participants.

October 15-21, 2021: Opening Pitch developed, and SPN Team members engage with project owners for practice.

November 4-6, 2021: LaunchPad Incubator Event.

November 8, 2021, to April 1, 2022: Qualified Projects engage in the Incubator Plus.

In-Person Incubator Event: November 4-6, 2021

The in-person event will kick-off at 3:00 p.m. local time (location to be determined) on November 4, 2021, and we will officially conclude following dinner on November 6, 2021.

Participants at the event will fall into one of three roles:

  • Project Owners: A project owner is intellectually humble, genuinely curious, a good listener, receptive, and willing to be challenged. The owner will co-design and co-facilitate at their respective work stations on-site.  
  • Brain Trust Members: These participants are successful entrepreneurs who are experts in particular fields; specialists in a policy issue, craft, or technical area; or transformative thinkers. A handful are grant-makers and investors.  
  • Facilitators: Each project has a facilitator. Facilitators are good observers, and they are perceptive, empathic, able to prioritize, and capable of quick analysis and synthesis. They must be good questioners and good listeners.

LaunchPad Stories

SPN LaunchPad: The pivot that made all the difference for Libertas Institute

Success Story: Since participating in SPN's LaunchPad event, Libertas Institute's project has led to the adoption of regulatory sandboxes in Utah, a solution that gives new businesses and entrepreneurs a chance to flourish without being crushed by burdensome regulations. Libertas Institute is now using its expertise and experience to take this solution across state lines.

Empowering the Empire Center to turn a big idea into an actionable business plan

Accelerating the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs' solution through expert feedback

Recognition for SPN LaunchPad

SPN's LaunchPad was a 2019 finalist and a 2020 nominee for the Gregor G. Peterson Prize in Venture Philanthropy.

SPN’s LaunchPad was a 2019 finalist and a 2020 nominee for the Gregor G. Peterson Prize in Venture Philanthropy.

SPN Contact

Julie Burden
Senior Director of Special Projects and Events