February 8, 2021

The Aha! Fellowship: Apply Now for the Spring 2021 Program

by Brian de Haaff

Six months ago, we announced a unique new program. We were not sure how it would go but we knew it had the potential to create positive change. And we knew that what we were creating had the potential to improve people's lives and the companies they work for. The Aha! fellowship was a response to our own awakening to the breadth and depth of social injustice — a tangible way that we could contribute meaningfully and sustainably to increase opportunity.

Twice a year, we welcome people into the Aha! fellowship program — which provides training in entrepreneurship, product management, and customer success for groups who have been historically underrepresented in software.

More than 500 people applied for the inaugural class of fellows last fall. And of those, 11 folks joined us for eight weeks of intense training. Together, we embarked on a journey that included seminars, group projects, and lots of conversation. We were grateful to be able to provide fellows a monthly stipend of $4,200 so each person could focus entirely on the curriculum.

Since then, we have been told that the majority of that first class have accepted full-time roles in software companies. It was gratifying to receive notes like this one from Maria Paz Zuniga: "I accepted an offer for a product role. It was amazing because I was able to choose and several companies invited me to interview with them. I would like to thank all the team at Aha! — the fellowship was a great contributor to my success."

Our intention was to create more opportunity for more people. Hearing that the program advanced forward progress for the first class of attendees is incredibly validating. We are energized by the outcome. And we appreciated the feedback on ways that we could make the curriculum even more impactful.

So I am excited to announce that applications are open now through February 28, 2021, for the next Aha! fellowship program.

We continue to focus on a mix of hands-on experience, peer collaboration, and mentorship for maximum skill-building. And core focus areas remain the same — help people grow their innovation, product, and customer service skillsets. From building lovable products to presenting the best version of yourself to prospective employers, every aspect of the program is aimed at readiness for a career leap forward into software.

If you are not eligible or able to apply, please help deserving people who would benefit from the program by sharing the application with them or in professional groups that can notify their members. Each of us has an important role to play to increase equity for all.

I am looking forward to welcoming the next group of fellows and introducing you to them here very soon.

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 roadmap software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the adventure of living a meaningful life.

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