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Applications Open for the New Fellowship Program, Innovations in Justice Tech

The fellowship program will work with tech-enabled startups creating solutions to support individuals who are disproportionately impacted by the civil and criminal justice system

Washington, D.C.,  (July 20th, 2022) Village Capital, with support from the American Family Institute for Corporate and Social Impact and, announced today that applications have opened for a new Justice Tech fellowship program in the United States to support innovations that help individuals impacted by the criminal justice system.

Village Capital and the AmFam Institute have been laying the groundwork to build and define the Justice Tech community over the last two years, including mapping out the Justice Tech startup and investor ecosystem in the U.S. They recently launched an Investing Framework to help inform investors in this nascent space on how to approach making ethical Justice Tech investments. The partnership with is a complement to their work to end the system of mass incarceration and create more pathways to opportunity in the tech industry for people of color.

With that context, the fellowship program, Innovations in Justice Tech, will support eight to ten for-profit Justice Tech innovations that are improving the lives of individuals and communities in the United States justice system, easing the burden on incarcerated individuals and their families, reducing recidivism and allowing for easy transitions out of the justice system, and reducing the footprint of the criminal justice system.

Applications close on August 15th, 2022. Full details and eligibility criteria can be found here.

The call for applications is open to tech-enabled startups in the United States that are creating solutions to support individuals who are disproportionately impacted by the civil and criminal justice system. Village Capital is looking for startups that focus on:

  • Financial Health: technology helping justice system-involved people achieve financial security and stability
  • Future of Work: technology supporting justice system-involved people access to education and employment, particularly during incarceration and reentry
  • GovTech: technology that makes government systems (like the courts) more accessible or efficient
  • Healthcare: Technology that supports the mental and physical health of justice system-involved people
  • Legal Tech: Technology that expands access to both civil legal resources and criminal legal representation after arrest to justice system-involved people
  • Communications Technology: Technology that helps justice system-involved people stay connected with family, friends and service providers, from arrest through reentry.

The accelerator will run from September through December 2022, and involve two virtual week-long workshops, as well as an in-person kick off event and an in person culminating summit. The curriculum is focused on helping cohort members build financial, social and human capital; the cohort members will meet one-on-one with mentors including investors, peer entrepreneurs and industry experts.

Cohort members will also be connected with a one-on-one investment analyst coach to help them build a financial model, identify unit economics, and use financial metrics for their business.

All Fellows will receive an equity-fee participation stipend of USD $10,000 from the AmFam Institute and upon program and milestone completion, each will receive an additional USD $10,000 non-dilutive capital from the AmFam Institute. Also, by the end of the program, will deploy USD $100,000 in investment capital to three Fellows participating in the program.

All startups that apply to the program will also be invited to join Abaca, Village Capital’s free online global platform that helps entrepreneurs map out critical milestones on their path to scale. The network provides a diagnostic tool, and then matches entrepreneurs with relevant investors and resources.

For more information, reach out to Sofía Cándano at Village Capital (

About Village Capital

Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 110 program graduates.

About the American Family Institute for Corporate and Social Impact

The American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact is a venture capital firm and partner of choice for exceptional entrepreneurs who are building scalable and sustainable businesses in a long-term effort to close equity gaps in the U.S.

We also believe in capacity building and supporting organizations which are working tirelessly towards creating resilient communities, healthy youth development, economic opportunity for all, and learning and academic achievement.

Headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin with portfolio companies and partners nationwide, American Family Institute was established as one of the first public benefit corporations in Wisconsin — and one of the first among the Fortune 500 group of companies nationwide.

About is a national advocacy organization committed to closing prison doors and opening doors of opportunity. We bring people together across racial, social and partisan lines to create a future with freedom and dignity for all. The Justice program advances criminal justice reform policies at the state and federal level by centering the voices of directly impacted leaders, members of our national Empathy Network. also works with unlikely allies to build powerful coalitions that transcend ideology. This theory of change allowed to take the lead on passing the historic First Step Act in 2018, which has brought nearly 20,000 people home from federal prison. was founded by Van Jones in 2015.