2018 Innovation Fund

The Workers Lab is an innovation lab supporting organizing efforts and enterprises that build scalable and sustainable power for working people in the 21st century economy. Specifically, we work with our partners by supporting experiments, validating ideas, and scaling solutions.  

This call for proposals is for our 2018 Innovation Fund. We recognize that financial resources are often a significant barrier for organizers, entrepreneurs, and progressive government leaders to build new models, work with new partners, or test new approaches to building power for working people. We want to remove this barrier. 

  • Our Innovation Fund fuels new approaches for building working power by breaking down the barrier of access to capital.
  • Our flexible funding empowers innovators and worker organizers to experiment, test, and ultimately create, scalable, and self-sustaining solutions to improve workforce development, worker power, and respond to automation. 
  • The fund supports projects with up to $150,000 over 12 months.

We are seeking organizers, public sector leaders, and entrepreneurs who are seeking support for their work in these three areas: 


New ways to build power for workers in  the workplace such as negotiating for workplace standards, better wages, employee ownership, and a collective voice


Solutions that train and connect people to quality jobs in sectors with strong economic growth.

Respond to

Broadly address automation with ideas to retrain and support workers in jobs that are becoming obsolete. Forecast solutions for jobs likely to be impacted by automation as well as those with needs for an expanded workforce.

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Application Process Opens - December 7, 2017

Application Deadline - January 12, 2018

First Round Finalist Notified - January 18, 2018

Second Round Finalist Notified - February 1, 2018

Public Announcement - March 1, 2018