List of Political Incubators and Accelerators

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As an immigrant, I am an expert learner. I had to learn the customs of my new country, academia, how get a corporate job,  how climb a corporate ladder, and how be an entrepreneur. And, I can learn how to run for a political office. My sisters and brothers, you can learn how to run for the office too! This guide highlights political incubators and accelerators that will teach you how to successfully run for the office. Knowledge is power so learning the logistics about running a political campaign will ease your anxiety about doing so.

Startup incubators and accelerators are very successful in helping first time entrepreneurs get their business off the ground through mentoring, training, education and financing. Running  a political campaign is not much different than running a startup, so political incubators and accelerator are popping up all over the country to help people enter the political stage, run for the office for the first time and change our country for the better.

I will update this document as I uncover new organizations and resources, so I appreciate your comments as we crowdsource this information together for the benefit of all of us.Run for Office

Scientists Running for Office

314 Action, is a nonprofit that was founded by members of the STEM community, grassroots supporters and political activists.  Why 314 Action?  Pi is everywhere. It’s the most widely known mathematical ratio both inside and out of the scientific community. It is used in virtually everything we encounter in our daily lives. Check out excellent coverage of 314 Action by  the Atlantic  magazine.

On Tuesday, March 14th, 314 Action will be holding an online information session for those in the STEM community who are interested in running for public office for the first time. Please register for the webinar.

Women Running for Office 

  1. Emily’s List, founded in 1985 to raises money for Democratic pro-choice women, has trained more than 9,000 female candidates. EMILY’s List recruits women to run for office at every level across the country. From research, communications, and mobilization strategies, EMILY’s List supports its candidates’ campaigns from start to finish. You can sign up here to be notified about future trainings in your area.
  2. She Should Run Incubator is an online resource to help more women envision themselves in public leadership. The organization is a nonpartisan group founded in 2008 that serves women who are curious about running for elected office but not ready to build a campaign. Women can sign up for the organization’s leadership incubator—a free series of online courses to help women prepare for a potential run—or send an encouraging nudge to a woman who might make a great candidate.
  3. NOBEL Women is a non-profit, non-partisan organization primarily composed of current and former black women legislators as well as many appointed officials.
  4. Republican Party nurtures its pipeline of conservative women via National Federation of Republican Women.
  5. Elect Her is a training program that trains college women to run for student government on their college or university campuses. Research has shown that women who run for student body elections in college are more likely to run for office as adults. The training addresses the disparity between the high percentage of women in colleges and universities and their low percentage in student governments.

Progressives Running for Office 

Justice Democrats is a movement about freedom and justice. And it’s a movement by and for working people. If the Democrats refuse to embrace this platform, they’ll continue to lose, either to Republicans or to us. The future of the Democratic party is the Justice wing, not the establishment wing. The organization is recruiting Justice Democrats to run a unified campaign for Congress in 2018.

The Blue Lab is a progressive campaign infrastructure incubator. The lab’s mission is to cultivate the next generation of progressive campaign leaders, to provide a unique educational experience, promote economic development, and to lower the barrier of entry for first-time, minority, and female candidates. A successful Blue Lab helps to level the playing field and create a true land of opportunity for candidates and future campaign leaders.

Veterans Running for Office 

Veterans Campaign is the only non-partisan, non-ideological organization whose mission is to encourage, mentor and prepare veterans for a “Second Service” in civic leadership. The organization provides Campaign Training Workshop, a weekend bootcamp for veterans, transitioning service members, and other members of the military community committed to pursuing a “Second Service” to their country in elected office and political campaigns.

LGBT Running for Office

Victory Fund was founded in 1991 by LGBT activists and donors who recognized the success of EMILY’s List at attracting attention and support for women candidates for public office. Their Candidate & Campaign Trainings provide comprehensive, non-partisan training to present and future LGBT candidates, campaign staff and community leaders. Trainees learn necessary skills and strategies by engaging in tough, realistic campaign situations. The first training session is on March 23-26, 2017 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and more training sessions will be added.

Rocking the Pussy Hat at Women's March in Washington D.C.
Rocking the Pussy Hat at Women’s March in Washington D.C.

Reading List 

  • CROWDPACK is crowdfunding platform for your political run. Nominate yourself, someone new to politics, or an elected official for any office in the country – federal, state or local. Crowdpack will  create a fundraising page so you can start collecting pledges today.
  • How Do You Inspire Women to Run for Office? Elect Trump. Read this in-depth article if you want to know what does it take to run for the office, where to get help and encouragement. It’s not as hard as you think.
  • I Ran for Office and Won. Four first-time candidates explain how. These are very inspiring stories! Patsy Terrell, a social media consultant and blogger, defeated a 25-year incumbent Republican and former conservative Democrat in the Kansas House who wrote the state’s 1996 ban on same-sex marriage. Brett Parker, an English teacher, beat a two-term incumbent Republican in a Kansas House race in November. Juana Matias, a 29-year-old Dominican immigrant, attorney, and head of a family-run construction company, defeated an incumbent Democrat in the primary for the 16th Essex District seat in the Massachusetts State House before running unopposed in November’s general election. Letitia Clark is director of public affairs, marketing, and government relations for the Coast Community College District in Southern California. In November, she won one of three seats on the city council of Tustin, in traditionally red Orange County, against a slate of three conservative candidates.
  • Quora is always the best Q&A platform. Here’s the thread where people talk about their own first run for the local office.
  • Phil Van Treuren, is a political consultant that has a really good and comprehensive blog offering advice on running for the office for the first time.
  • Three million women marched all over USA on January 21, 2017 against regressive policies of the new White House administration. Check out Women’s March page frequently for the latest initiatives, events and resources.

This is a living document that will be updated frequently. Please send me your comments so I can include resources and articles that I have not included in this blog.


Raleigh-Durham Area Representatives

Phone call to your representative, senator or congressman is the most effective way to voice your concerns about theirs and federal policies.

REPRESENTATIVE Washington DC Office NC Office
Richard Burr

US Senator for NC

217 Russell Senate Office Building,
Washington, DC 20510
P: (202) 224-3154
F: (202) 228-2981
Federal Building
151 Patton Avenue
Suite 204
Asheville, NC 28801
P: (828) 350-2437
F: (828) 350-2439
Thom Tillis

US Senator for NC

185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6342
Fax: (202) 228-2563
310 New Bern Avenue
Suite 122
Raleigh, NC 27601
Phone: (919) 856-4630
Fax: (919) 856-4053
Gorge Holding
Congressman, NC 2nd district
1110 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-3032
3725 National Drive
Suite 101
Raleigh, NC 27612
Phone: 919-782-4400
David Price
Congressman, NC 4th district
U.S. House of Representatives
2108 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202.225.1784
Fax: 202.225.2014
Raleigh
436 N. Harrington St
Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone: 919.859.5999
Fax: 919.859.5998Western District Office
1777 Fordham Blvd, Suite 204
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Phone: 919.967.7924
Fax: 919.967.8324
G.K. Butterfield
Congressman, NC 1st district
2080 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3101
Durham Office
411 W. Chapel Hill Street, Suite 905
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 908-0164
Fax: (919) 908-0169Wilson Office
216 NE Nash Street, Suite B
Wilson, NC 27893
Phone: (252) 237-9816
Fax: (252) 291-0356
About Dragana Mendel 84 Articles
Dragana Mendel is a President and Principal Consultant at ANAGARD, LLC. In her role, she provides management consulting services to small and medium size businesses on the best strategy to achieve their short and long term goals.