Start something that matters

Who You Are

You have a vision for where the product is going and know how best to leverage the talents of your team to get there. You break complex problems down into testable pieces and adapt quickly to unexpected challenges. You’re obsessed with getting inside the head of your user. You set the pace and get things done.

Your Skills

  • You’ve built and launched multiple products – ideally across a range of platforms – and are looking for a meaningful new challenge
  • You can quickly translate the big picture vision into steps in a product development timeline and are known for finding creative ways to test key assumptions
  • You’re ruthlessly user-focused because you know uptake matters. You jump at the chance to talk with the people who use your products, and you’re willing to stretch yourself to ensure your products will be effective
  • You understand the importance of partnerships and are skilled at understanding the market and identifying points of opportunity
  • You’re comfortable with ambiguity and making decisions with limited information, and you know that the perfect is often the enemy of the good – particularly during the early stages of product development
  • You genuinely enjoy working with people with different skill sets and can hold your own in conversations with the tech team, sales reps, and the folks in operations
  • You’ve led teams in fast-paced, highly collaborative environments and can balance the day-to-day details of project management with a broad view of where your team is going and how you’re going to get there

The Task

You’ll participate in our empathy and immersion program, meeting and spending time with folks from our Design Insight Group. Using the insights from this research, you’ll join our cohort of fellows to quickly brainstorm, prototype, and evaluate ideas. Integral to the whole process is product validation – quickly and creatively collecting data and teasing out insights.

At the end of the Research Phase, you’ll team up with a few colleagues and settle on an idea. Over the next 80 days, you’ll rapidly develop a prototype to test with potential users, iterating against user feedback. As the product manager on your team, you’ll own the product development timeline, lead validation efforts, and figure out how your product fits into the ecosystem.

How To Apply?

Applications have been closed for the 2017 fellowship.

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Applications have been closed for the 2017 fellowship.

2017 Key Dates

  • Applications open: 1/27/17 at 9:00am EST
  • Open House: 2/16/16 at 6pm EST.
  • Weekly Info Sessions:Every Thursday in February at 1pm EST
  • Applications close: 3/6/17 at 11:59pm EST
  • Finalist workshops: 4/1/17 or 4/9/17
  • Fellows Accepted: 4/15/17
  • Fellowship Start: Early June
  • Research Phase Ends: End of July
  • Build Sprint Ends: Mid October

Support includes:

  • Co-working space in downtown Brooklyn
  • Access to a pool of 200+ community members who can shed light on problem areas and provide feedback and validation
  • Connections to front-line organizations
  • Access to a strong network of talented mentors, social innovation funders, and our alumni
  • Free and discounted access to a number of services and products to help you get things done
  • An honorarium to pay your rent and bills
  • The opportunity to work on important issues with some of the best in the business

More Questions

For more information on the Fellowship or the application process, please see our FAQ or attend one of our weekly webinars.

You can also watch a recorded webinar.

Additionally, we'll be hosting an Open House on February 16th.

Alumni Profile

Jimmy Chen, 2014 Product Fellow


  • The fellowship creates a space for talented technologists to investigate some of the most pressing problems faced by low-income New Yorkers and collaborate on innovative/meaningful/groundbreaking solutions. You will never get a better opportunity to build products with a true social impact.
    Georges Clement
  • Coming from the startup world, I was surprised and heartened by the fellowship’s emphasis on combining social good and technology. Learning to build empathy with New York’s most vulnerable citizens through 1:1 interviews has changed my worldview for the better and made me a more effective entrepreneur. I’d recommend Blue Ridge Labs to any technologist with a conscience.
    Sam Gimbel
  • The Labs fellowship was life-changing for me. The deep emphasis on user research, support in sourcing users, designers and developers and connection to experts in the field were crucial in enabling the fellows to make the most of the thirteen week program. The camaraderie developed among the fellows, socially and professionally, stands out as a highlight of the thirteen week program.
    Margo Wright
  • The fellowship offered the opportunity to learn about how a large segment of the American population lives, works, and uses technology on a day-to-day basis. The lessons learned from hours of in-home user interviews and 1:1 discussions will carry over into how I think about building software products well into the future.
    Shazad Mohamed
  • If there's one thing I've learned from the fellowship, it's that there are not nearly enough talented technologists working on the problems faced by low-income Americans. The Labs fellowship provides a unique opportunity to dive into some truly important problems - don't pass it up.
    Jimmy Chen
  • The most unique and valuable aspect of the Labs fellowship is its focus on the needs of a group of users the technology industry generally ignores - low income Americans. That's a very diverse group of people as we discovered from talking to all kinds of low-income New Yorkers and I had a great time meeting them.
    Ciara Byrne