Application Deadline: November 30th 2020

The Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship gives you the confidence, resources, knowledge, network, and financial support to build a startup with an impact. For African students and recent grads with a desire to solve pressing problems and bring entrepreneurial ideas to life. 

Best-in-class Training:

  • Business bootcamp delivered by Queen’s University faculty and industry leaders who bring decades of combined entrepreneurship and C-Suite experience
  • The Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework, a proven step-by-step framework for scalable startups developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Pitch coaching and mastery
  • Certificate awarded for 100% completion of DDQIC’s essential entrepreneurship training modules

Global Visibility and Network:

  • Liaise with mentors and speakers leading innovation and entrepreneurship in North America
  • Access a Global Network of Queen’s entrepreneurial alumni
  • Join a cohort of thousands of like-minded students and recent grads from across Africa

Mentorship:

  • Fellows are matched to industry leaders and entrepreneurs in the final phase of the program
  • Receive feedback at important startup milestones

Financial Support:

  • 15 Fellows will receive a stipend of $500 CAD
  • Opportunities to pitch for funding in Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre seed funding competitions

Program Timeline:

Phase 1: Explore – December 2020-February 2021

1000 exceptional candidates receive access to a curated list of online entrepreneurship courses and work through the first 11 steps of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework workbook. Candidates have several months to demonstrate their commitment to the entrepreneurial process by completing the training and progressing on their ideas’ respective milestones.

Phase 2: Ignite – February-April 2021

30 finalists with an outstanding commitment to the entrepreneurship process, who will have excelled at the milestones set out in phase one will be selected to join this phase. Under this phase, they will continue to go through an additional curated list of additional online entrepreneurship courses and work through the remaining steps of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework’s workbook. At the end of this phase, the participants will pitch their ideas, competing for the fellowship, and the most advanced and promising business ideas will become the finalists who receive the fellowship.

Phase 3: Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship – April-August 2021

15 Fellows will be selected to join DDQIC’s summer incubation program. During this phase, Fellows will get the opportunity to work on their ideas, access seed funding, and participate in weekly 3-2-1 pitch presentations about the work they are doing as they transform their ideas into scalable startups. In addition, Fellows will receive a $500 stipend and dedicated coaches and mentors from DDQIC’s Global Network of industry experts and entrepreneurs. 

Graduation – August 2021

Startup entrepreneurs (Fellows) will complete their incubation program at the end of August 2021. After graduation, Fellows will continue to receive post-incubation services, supports, and pitch competition opportunities as part of DDQIC’s network. Fellows will be invited to participate as ambassadors and mentors for future Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowships as well.

What is the time commitment?

Prospective fellows may complete the training on their own time, with a recommended minimum commitment of 10 hours per week. Successful participants who are selected for a Fellowship will commit themselves fully to launching their venture.

How will we select the 30 finalists in Phase 2 and the final 15 Fellows in Phase 3?

Participants will be assessed on their commitment to the training and their progress on building a venture by completing the steps outlined in the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework. 30 participants who demonstrate excellence in completing the Disciplined Entrepreneurship steps will be selected as finalists. In Phase 2, the 30 finalists will continue working on their venture and prepare a pitch of their venture to be selected as one of the 15 Fellows!

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the 2021 Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship Programme on Entrepreneurship

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