Amplify your impact.

Watson Institute’s Semester Incubator is a 4-month program preparing next-generation innovators and social entrepreneurs to launch social ventures and unleash a lifetime of impact.

A lifetime of impact begins

At Watson Institute’s Semester Incubator, college students and recent graduates with an early-stage social venture or project complete their Watson experience as a study away/abroad from a home university, gap semester before attending university, or as a ‘pre-career’ semester after their undergraduate degree.

During the 4-month intensive program, you will embark on a journey that includes:

  • A step-by-step methodology to rapidly and systematically validate your business model.
  • Training in the process of building and strengthening an effective team that can pioneer new innovations and markets
  • Testing your cost assumptions, developing a fundraising plan, creating an investors deck, and measuring impact metrics specifically to garner funder support.
  • Framing solutions so they expose injustice and speak truth to power, incorporate positive psychology, and create better models and systems.
  • Learning and applying entrepreneurial skills and mindset alongside a global community of like-minded and diverse peers.
  • Connect with a powerful network of mentors and social entrepreneurs such as Jerry White, a leader of the Nobel Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines; Tom Chi who helped invent Google Glass and the self-driving car; and Erin Schrode, the youngest person to run for U.S. Congress.

All Semester Incubator Scholars complete the program at Watson Institute’s campus in Boulder Colorado located in Chautauqua Park, a National Historic Landmark. The Watson Semester Incubator program is designed to equip the most promising members of the next generation with the skills, tools, and network they need to tackle world’s toughest social, economic, and environmental challenges. Watson Institute works with students on an individual basis regarding credit transfers back to their home institutions.

Watson Institute offers two Semester Incubators each year:

Spring Semester Incubator: January 22 – May 7, 2019.
Fall Semester Incubator: August 26 – December 13, 2019.

Protect Your Courage


We’re calling all next-generation innovators, leaders, and social entrepreneurs ready to pioneer their education. Contact Isabel Walker, Director of Admissions, at to learn more about our programs.

Application deadline to the Spring 2020 cohort is October 1st, 2019.


The Location

Abdelhak Ferhat, Watson Scholar, Fall 2018

At Watson Institute, Boulder, students live in Chautauqua Park, a beautiful National Historic Landmark nestled against the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Boulder’s entrepreneurship ecosystem is booming and students are matched with local mentors and social ventures to integrate into the local innovative entrepreneurial community.

In addition, Boulder is located just 30 minutes away from Denver, a growing tech hub and diverse city located east of the Rocky Mountains. Denver International Airport is one of the busiest in the country and allows for direct flights to all corners of the United States.

The Experience

Scholars in Boulder, CO

Graduation, Spring 2018

As part of a cohort of 30 young innovators and social entrepreneurs from around the globe, Watson Scholars build a powerful community of peers and lifelong friendships. The cohort, as diverse as it is, has in common a gritty idealism and drive to make the world a better place. Some highlights of student life include:

  • An experiential scholar trip where the cohort travels to learn more about themselves and their classmates
  • Shared, fully furnished and equipped apartment-style rooms with kitchens
  • Access to co-working spaces around town
  • Gym membership
  • Living within walking distance of lively downtown Boulder and within feet of dozens of hiking trails

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