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Refining Solutions

Incubator | Unbundle Policing: Reimagine Public Safety Challenge

How can we decrease unnecessary and adverse law enforcement encounters in order to promote community health and well-being in the US?

Submissions are Closed

What to Expect

Through the virtual, three-month Incubator, individuals and teams will have the unique opportunity to learn from a diverse range of viewpoints on the state of policing and crisis response in the US and work with police officers, community leaders, and startup experts to build solutions at no cost to you. Incubator participants may have existing solutions or ideas that would benefit from refinement and feedback, or simply be interested in the Challenge and looking to meet a team, focus on a problem, and ultimately prepare to apply to the Challenge with a solution.

The Incubator application is due August 2, 2021, and the deadline for submitting a solution to the Challenge is November 19, 2021. Teams that do not participate in the Incubator may still submit a Solution to this Challenge at that time, but these teams will lose the benefit of significant education, advisor support, and partner resources that will support them in their Challenge application.

All teams that submit to the Challenge will automatically be considered for admittance into the Stand Together Ventures Lab Unbundle Policing Accelerator, where selected teams will be invited to the six-month follow-on Accelerator with an immediate $50,000 in funding, in-kind resources (including access to pro bono legal services), and support to pilot and deploy their solutions – or further support and scale existing solutions. Select teams may receive additional funding and investment post-Accelerator. In doing so, we hope to bring meaningful and scalable change to the current state of law enforcement’s response to, and interactions with, communities across the country.

Incubator Approach


The Incubator is designed to support a range of Solution stages and teams. There will be a range of workshops, mentors, and other support appropriate for you.

The majority of the programming will take place remotely via video conferences and online collaboration tools.

Live workshops will be offered to help you consider a range of issues such as:

  • Education - Who are the stakeholders involved in your solution? Which aspects of justice system reform should be incorporated into your solution?
  • Problem Identification - What is the exact problem you are trying to solve? What are the root causes? Is this a research, innovation, or adoption problem? 
  • Team Building - Whether you are coming into the Incubator as an individual or an existing team, you’ll have the opportunity to meet others similarly committed to reforming the justice system. Is there a missing skillset on your team? Are you looking for team members?
  • Customer Discovery - What specific group will your solution serve, and how will it impact their lives? How can you better understand this group?
  • Demonstration - Are you presenting and pitching your solution in a compelling way? What might a pilot or expansion of your solution look like? 

In addition, the Incubator will provide frameworks, mentors, and direct coaching for teams to develop their products, business models, legal structures, and market approach (including exploring potential pilots).


Participating in the Incubator


You may be a good candidate for the Incubator if you:

  • Are passionate about seeing better policing outcomes, decreasing the risk of unnecessary law enforcement encounters, and improving overall public safety and community well-being;
  • Are excited by the opportunity to refine an existing product/solution or to begin work on an early-stage idea;
  • Have strong principles, a learner’s mindset, openness to diverse opinions, and are eager to contribute; and
  • Believe in your potential to make a difference. 

We are looking for a diverse mix of Incubator participants who bring a variety of strengths to build complementary teams. You or your team members might fill some of the following roles: 

  • Entrepreneur [risk-taker, business-owner, startup founder, inventor]
  • Designer [planner, creator]
  • Engineer [builder, problem-solver]
  • Researcher [questioner, analyzer, investigator, teacher, writer]
  • Justice Expert/Professional [lawyer, police officer, first responder, 911 operator]
  • Technologist [applicator, experimenter, implementer]
  • Data Expert [analyzer, cruncher, validator, visualizer, processor]
  • Policy Expert [analyzer, researcher, speaker, writer]
  • Activist [campaigner, organizer, reformer, supporter, speaker]

Questions? Contact rachael.drew@solve.mit.edu

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