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Flagship Fellowship

Equipping impact and growth-driven enterprises to achieve product-market fit and scale.

 

The priority deadline has passed. Applications are now reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis.

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Serena Allen and Jennifer Kou, 2023 Flagship Fellowship Fellows with Uche Ogbonna, Watson Institute team member.

The Flagship Fellowship is a 16-week leadership and venture development program for impact-driven entrepreneurs seeking to elevate their ventures with access to a global network, training designed to strengthen skills, and mentorship with seasoned professionals, venture capitalists, and executives. The program will kick off with an in-person immersive in Boulder, Colorado in August 2024. The remainder of programming is virtual and provides award-winning training, committed mentorship, and a powerful community of peers for impact entrepreneurs to advance their ventures and lives.

This program is fully funded* by our generous partners and consists of a variety of individual Fellowships. Each Fellowship is tailored to address specific social impact areas or has a geographical specification. For further details on the Fellowships available, please click here.

*Fellows might be responsible for covering expenses related to transportation to and from the immersive in Boulder, Colorado and some onsite meals during the Immersive.

Dates & Details

  • Dates: August 1st to November 12th, 2024 (16 weeks of programming).
  • Format: The program launches with a 10-day Immersive, starting August 1st, 2024. Virtual sessions are held for the remaining 15 weeks of programming (weekly time commitment 8–10 hours per week).
  • In-Person Immersive: 10-day Immersive starting August 1st, 2024 (20–25 hours per week time commitment).
  • Training: Fellows will engage in weekly expert-led sessions covering Foundations, Data & Metrics, Go-To-Market, Funding, Team Management, and Pitch.
  • Impact Series: Renowned leaders, entrepreneurs, and practitioners join the fellowships to share their entrepreneurial journey and experience, as well as mentor the Fellows. See previous Impact Series Speakers here.
  • Basecamp: Basecamp, a term coined by Watson Institute, refers to a 1-3 day Impact Workshop led by each Fellow in their community. Its purpose is to gather a minimum participant base, allowing Fellows to share their venture work, receive feedback, and network. Basecamps also offer participants a hands-on experience in exploring social impact through entrepreneurship.
  • Summit: This is a culminating community event where Fellows pitch to local leaders, funders, and entrepreneurs (November 12th, 2024).
  • Venture Development Stipend: $20,000 in venture development stipends will be distributed among select Flagship Fellowship Fellows based on progress and impact throughout the Fellowship.

Eligibility

  • Who You Are:
    • You are an entrepreneur or community leader deeply committed to creating sustainable, scalable impact in your community.
    • You have an entrepreneurial spirit, a growth mindset, and are driven to grow as an effective leader within your community. The ideal venture stages for this fellowship are Problem-Solution Fit or Product-Market Fit phases, with engaged customers or beneficiaries, and demonstrated outcomes in both impact and revenue.
    • You are able to commit to the 16-week program including the in-person Immersive in Boulder, Colorado starting on August 1st. We prioritize applicants who are fully committed to actively participating in the entire program. At the heart of the program is a strong sense of community, and its success hinges on the active engagement and enthusiasm of all participants, who are eager to both learn and share.

    Where You Create Impact: Applicants located in and/or creating impact in the following locations:

    • From any geographical location with a preference to applicants from the USA, Mexico, East Africa, Brazil and Johor Bahru, Malaysia and China.

    What You Are Looking For:

    •  You are looking for expert-guided entrepreneurial training, a community of entrepreneurs to give you feedback that improves your venture, and a wide-reaching mentorship network to enhance your leadership abilities and the impact of your venture.

What You Will Accomplish

 

With the unwavering support of the Watson Institute team, you will receive a comprehensive roadmap to guide the growth and scalability of your work and impact. Additionally, you will facilitate an Impactful Workshop (known as a Basecamp) in your community for your stakeholders, backed by a stipend, playbook, and team support to bring your vision to life.

 

Fellowships

Enlight China Fellowship

For entrepreneurs from greater China, including Taiwan and Hong Kong that are committed to lead lives of impact.

  • Number of Fellowships Available: 20
  • Location:  Greater China, including Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Hoge Fellowship

For impact-driven entrepreneurs in the product market fit stage with a focus on youth empowerment and / or environmental sustainability.

  • Number of Fellowships Available: 1
  • Location: Open to applicants from all over the world. Applicants from East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, South Sudan) and Brazil will be given preference.

Jane Strode Miller Fellowship

For visionary entrepreneurs dedicated to transforming their communities, shaping innovative ventures, and driving profound impact.

  • Number of Fellowships Available: 5
  • Location: Open to applicants from all over the world.

Kenneth King Foundation Fellowship

For highly promising, impact-focused entrepreneurs who are creating impact in Colorado, United States.

  • Number of Fellowships Available: 1
  • Location: Open to applicants from Colorado, United States.

Luff Fellowship

For highly promising, impact-focused entrepreneurs.

  • Number of Fellowships Available: 1
  • Location: Open to applicants from all over the world.

Mike & Christine Miles Fellowship

For visionary entrepreneurs dedicated to transforming their communities, shaping innovative ventures, and driving profound impact.

  • Number of Fellowships Available: 1
  • Location: Open to applicants from all over the world.

Rising Leaders of Mexico Fellowship

For impact-driven entrepreneurs based in Mexico.

  • Number of Fellowships Available: 10
  • Location: Mexico.

If you are interested in learning more about this Fellowship, please click here.

Sistla Planet Scale Fellowship

For innovators developing technological solutions aimed at addressing pressing global environmental challenges. These challenges encompass a wide range of issues such as climate change, environmental degradation, deforestation, carbon sequestration, space technology for environmental conservation, innovations benefiting ecosystems and biodiversity, plant-based food alternatives, and more.

  • Number of Fellowships Available: 2
  • Location: United States.

Sustainability Fellowship

For applicants developing solutions focused on environmental sustainability and climate change.

  • Number of Fellowships Available: 1
  • Location: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, South Sudan.

Tech Fellowship

For game-changing entrepreneurs creating tech solutions to solve the greatest social, economic and environmental challenges in their communities and country.

  • Number of Fellowships Available: 1
  • Location: Open to applicants from all over the world.

Watson Institute Fellowship

Watson Institute Fellowship

For digital leaders/entrepreneurs who are running an impactful digital skilling venture/program in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Preference given to those focused on generative AI, Chat GPT, and the growth of data centers.

  • Number of Fellowships Available: 1
  • Location: Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Application Process

1. Applications Submitted: Complete the online application. This application should take approximately 45 minutes to fill out. The priority deadline for application submissions is June 1st, 2024. Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis thereafter until the spots are filled.

2. First Round Review: Our Admissions Committee diligently reviews all applications, seeking entrepreneurs who demonstrate strong leadership qualities and ventures that are both innovative and scalable. Applications received after the deadline will be assessed on a rolling basis as needed.

3. Interview: Qualified applicants will receive invitations for a 20-minute one-on-one Zoom interview. This interview allows us to delve deeper into your motivations for pursuing the fellowship and to gain a better understanding of your venture.

4. Admissions Committee Review: The most promising applicant profiles will be shared with our external Admissions Committee for their final review and selection.

5. Acceptances Announced: Notifications of acceptance will be sent out no later than June 27th, 2024.

6. Fellows Confirm & Enroll: The final step to complete your enrollment is to confirm your commitment to the program. Upon confirmation, you will receive an invitation to participate in a “Meet the Cohort Webinar” event leading up to the program’s commencement. The program begins on August 1st, 2024.

Program Elements

The Flagship Fellowship provides award-winning training, committed mentorship, and a powerful community of peers to equip Fellows with the tools and knowledge they need to support their venture’s continued development and impact.

Pay the Impact Forward: Empower Your Communities through Basecamps

 

Grow your leadership skills, build local partnerships, and expand your impact by facilitating a Basecamp in your community.

Basecamp, a term coined by Watson Institute, refers to a 1-3 day Impact Workshop led by each Fellow. They are designed to help rising entrepreneurs and leaders from Fellows’ communities to ideate solutions, design business models, and compellingly communicate their businesses and organizations to an external audience. The Watson Institute team facilitates training workshops, shares the Watson Institute Basecamp curriculum and planning materials, and provides a financial stipend to help organize and facilitate Fellow-led Basecamps. Fellows are empowered through their training to tailor the Basecamp structure and outcomes to their desired participant community.

Fellows who have led successful Basecamps have unlocked opportunities for new partnerships, additional funding avenues, media exposure, and have created a ripple effect of deeper impact within their communities.

Learn More

On average each Fellow leading a venture impacts 32,130 individuals in their communities.

The Fellows are Making an Impact

Watson Institute Alumni from 81 countries have raised over $185 million in capital for their ventures, created over 1,900 part or full-time jobs, and impacted over 10 million people around the world through initiatives they help lead. Watson alumni have been selected to Y Combinator, the Echoing Green Fellowship and Forbes’ 30 under 30 list, and continued their education at Harvard University, New York University, and Princeton University, among others.

 

Diversity

Surayya Walters ’23, United States

DEIntity exists to address the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) infrastructure that exists in the small business sector, which includes startups, non-profits, and for-profit organizations. iDEIntity’s #Changemaker program provides entrepreneurs and founders of small organizations with the education, funding, and community they need to build equitable companies from the very early stage.

Mental Health

Wei (Felix) Wang ’23, China

1 in 5 people worldwide experience mental illness in their lifetime. Moodee is a decentralized wellbeing planner designed to empower users to achieve happiness and longevity (ikigai) by providing a simple, secure, and private platform for recording daily moods and addressing mental health challenges related to career and intimate relationships. The venture is currently operated by a team of 3 and has over 10,000 users only one month after its official launch.

Art

Sagal Ali’23, Somalia

The Somali Arts Foundation (SAF) is the first contemporary art institution in Somalia. SAF seeks to promote and create conducive environments for the creative industries to flourish in Somalia, while leveraging the arts to ignite critical discourses around ideas on identity, memory, loss, healing, and what it means to be a Somali person in the 21st Century. SAF has partnered with significant entities such as the United Nations Development Program in Somalia, Save the Children, Royal Danish Embassy, Moleskine Foundation, and Porticus.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the eligibility for this program?

  • Your venture is in Problem-Solution or Product-Market Fit Stage, with engaged customers or beneficiaries, and demonstrated outcomes in both impact and revenue. This typically includes a track record of successfully raising funds through grants, investments, donations, or other means to support your ventures.
  • You are able to commit to the 16-week program including the in-person Immersive in Boulder, Colorado starting on August 1st. We prioritize applicants who are fully committed to actively participating in the entire 16-week program. At the heart of the program is a strong sense of community, and its success hinges on the active engagement and enthusiasm of all participants, who are eager to both learn and share.
  • You are available to attend the workshops that are hosted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:00am to 11:00 am Mountain Time, United States.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Venture Development Stipend?

Fellows have the potential to receive a venture development stipend of up to $6,000, contingent on their active participation in the program, leading a Basecamp, and successfully completing the workshop-related checkpoint assignments (eligibility requirements may vary depending on the Fellowship).

How selective is this program?

We receive a high volume of applications each year and have a 2% selectivity rate for this program.

 

What do the in-person components entail?

  • Fellows will travel to Boulder, Colorado for a 10-day in-person immersive to build community and learn about key programmatic information.
  • Fellows will facilitate a Basecamp event in their communities during their time in the program. They will also have the option to have meet-ups with other program Fellows in their locations.

 

What are the costs associated with this program (travel, fees, deposits, etc.)?

Fellows are responsible for travel expenses and some meals during the in-person Immersive. No fees are collected or directly associated with this Fellowship.

What is the application review timeline?

We understand the substantial interest in the program and strive to provide prompt responses. Decisions will be dispatched during the week of June 27th, 2024. Your patience during this process is greatly appreciated.

Can I apply if my country is not listed under the priority countries?

The Flagship Fellowship consists of a variety of individual fellowships. Each fellowship is tailored to address specific social impact areas or has a geographical preference.  If a specific geographical location is not listed, this fellowship is open to all applicants.

I have another question and need assistance.

For all other questions, please reach out to Milena Kirillova at milena@watson.is.