Accelerator, Startup Competition, and Fellowship Program for Post 9/11 Veterans

The Atlantic Council, in partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, launched the Take Point Initiative (TPI) in 2014 to support post-9/11 veterans transitioning to careers as nonprofit and thought leaders in the policy field, and to provide them with a voice in key discussions shaping American foreign policy and national security. 

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Take Point is open to veterans, including former officers and enlisted personnel, of the United States Armed Forces who are 35 years old and younger and who currently work in, or would like to transition to, careers in international policy. The ten-day, intensive fellowship is designed to prepare veterans for leadership positions in the nonprofit and policy fields, with a focus on international affairs and national security. The 2015 Take Point Fellowship offered three distinct fellowship tracks for applicants –Nonprofit Startup, Nonprofit Accelerator, and Thought Leadership (for projects such as research, publication and documentary film making that are not technically nonprofits).The Atlantic Council, in partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, awarded $75,000 during the second fellowship cohort.


Building on the strong success of the inaugural 2014-2015 TPI fellowship the Council is expanding the initiative to engage a broader community of veterans nationally. Through Take Point, the Council provides exceptional young veterans with tools that will help them become nonprofit and thought leaders in the international affairs arena. In 2015, this included opportunities to network with potential employers and funders, deepen their substantive policy expertise, and build nonprofit and thought leadership skills over the course of an intensive ten-day fellowship program in Washington, DC. Additionally, the Council awarded over $60,000 in grant funds to Take Point fellows to support their work. In turn, fellows commit to using their training to help provide a voice for other young veterans in the foreign policy discourse, including injured veterans.



In 2016, the Atlantic Council will enhance the programming and benefits offered in the inaugural fellowship, which included training, mentorship, hands-on experience, and access to the Atlantic Council's network and expertise. The 2014/2015 fellowships featured a week of intense training designed to build the core competencies of strategic planning, nonprofit management, thought leadership, and communications. The first two classes of ten exceptional young veterans were selected through a highly competitive process, and included former officers and enlisted men and women who served in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.

2015 fellows met with high-level officials from the government, civil society, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector, including meetings with Atlantic Council Chairman Gov. Jon Huntsman, Gen. James Cartwright, former White House Counselor Pete Rouse, and other senior Atlantic Council Staff, as well as nonprofit trainings by KNP Communications, Rubino & Company, Hogan Lovells US, and Georgetown and Indiana Universities. Following the week of training, fellows pitched their project idea to a panel of expert judges with the top pitch from each track receiving $20,000 in seed funding.

Photos from the 2014-2015 Fellowship Program can be viewed here: 



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