What is the process for matching fellows and startups?

Companies and fellows undergo a streamlined matchmaking process on our digital portal:

  • February - Early-March, 2020: Companies receive access to the matchmaking portal to create company profiles & to rank fellows based on job position preferences

  • March 2020: Phone interviews conducted with “matched” fellows

  • Early-April 2020: In-Person interviews at Hacker Fellows HQ (map)


When does the fellowship begin & when will a fellow start working at my company?

The Hacker Fellow bootcamp will start on Monday, May 11th (lasting 3-weeks) in Midtown Detroit and will be led by Invest Detroit and a series of technical instructors. Fellows will begin working at their startup company on, or about, the week of Monday, June 1st.


When does the fellowship end and what happens at the end of the program?

Fellows will complete the program on June 2021, but Hacker Fellows will not provide an additional compensation boost after May 2021. At that point, companies and fellows will determine the employment path moving forward. We hope that the employment arrangement continues between the two parties, but Hacker Fellows will provide no additional compensation boost after May 2021. 


What are the details of the compensation boost?

Hacker Fellows are expected to receive a starting annualized salary of $60,000. To offset part of this cost, Invest Detroit / Hacker Fellows will pay participating startup companies an annualized grant valued at ~$15,000. The participating startup will pay the hired Hacker Fellow their full compensation directly and the Hacker Fellows program will provide a grant to the company on a monthly basis.

In addition, Invest Detroit will cover all costs associated with the bootcamp plus cover fellows living expenses during the bootcamp. Expenses associated with the bootcamp include room, board, parking, move-in bonus and incidentals – valued at ~$13,00. Companies will not be involved in the payments associated with the bootcamp training.


When will companies receive the compensation boost? When are companies expected to pay fellows?

Companies will receive a monthly grant from Invest Detroit / Hacker Fellows fr June 2020 to May 2021. Companies are expected to pay fellows using their standardized payment schedule.


What about benefits?

There are no requirements for specific company benefits that must be provided to fellows, but we do expect that startup companies will treat fellows like employees and offer those benefits that are typically offered to company employees. 


What Hacker Fellows programming will my fellow be expected to participate in throughout the year?

We will have ongoing programming for the fellows throughout their 1-year experience – particularly our one-day offsite in Spring 2021. We don’t anticipate any compulsory programming that requires fellows to have any extended absence from the company, but we hope you’ll allow fellows to participate in future events to support the program including professional workshops, career fairs, panel discussions, and graduation events. 


We all want this to work out, but what if it doesn’t? Is this employment at will?

The expectation of the Hacker Fellows program is that fellows will complete the fellowship at the startup company they are matched with at the start of the program. However, employment is at will and both the startup company and the fellow have the option to terminate the agreement at any time. Hacker Fellows encourages companies to communicate workplace hurdles with both the fellow and the program. Hacker Fellows will be actively involved in coaching fellows and companies throughout the employment period in an effort to mitigate termination. The salary boost will be immediately terminated in the event that the fellow does not complete their full year-term.


If my company moves outside of Michigan, what will happen to my fellow

In the event that your startup company moves outside of the state, your fellow should have the option to stay in Michigan and work remotely, but if they leave the state the compensation subsidy from the fellowship will not be fully executed. 


Who from the Hacker Fellows program will be my point of contact for company inquiries?

Sam Ging, Hacker Fellows Program Director: sam@hackerfellows.com | 248-505-3027

Bradley Hoos, Hacker Fellows Executive Director: brad@hackerfellows.com | 313-320-1010