This month marks the 5 year anniversary of serial entrepreneur Charlie O’Donnell‘s nextNY, New York’s largest independent innovation community group; a platform designed to let new entrepreneurs make a positive impact in the local innovation community.

To celebrate, O’Donnell has launched nextNY’s Fellows program, which will support four new community leaders in 2011 who are looking to ramp up their careers in the start-up world. Winners will receive $500 stipends for leadership development, access to local leaders and a platform for their community-building industry activities. The real perk is the community involvement like small group lunches with VC firms and successful entrepreneurs.

In exchange, fellows are asked to maintain a digital presence, highlighting events, people, projects and stories of interest, run two nextNY networking events and adopt a nextNY “structural value” project. Applications are due January 20th, 2010.

EnergyHub, an innovative Brooklyn startup in the cleantech space, has already signed up as a sponsor, but they’re currently looking for three more.