DIGITAL INNOVATION ACCELERATOR
The Innovation Factory Digital Innovation Accelerator is a multi-stage programme that includes a 6-month acceleration programme and a final competition.
Participants begin by submitting their digital innovation solutions for Gender Equality, EduTech as well as Environmental Climate Action-related topics. 45 short-listed teams will participate in the 6-month Digital Innovation Accelerator programme where they will – among others – receive capacity building support; refine their business models and pitch strategy; optimise their SDG impacts; and work on their investment readiness.
At the end of the acceleration phase, teams will submit their refined business plans to compete for the final prize. 12 winning teams of the competition stage will receive tailored support packages equivalent to 15.000€ each that will go into further development of their products and/or the scaling of their start-ups. Additionally successful teams will also profit from the Innovation Factory’s network.
Receive capacity building support;
Be guided in business model refinement;
Become investment ready;
Optimise SDG impacts;
Develop a comprehensive business plan
Women and girls make up half the global population and therefore half its potential. However, gender inequality in various forms still persists everywhere and stands in the way of sustainable economic growth and social progress. Similarly, this disparity between genders is also reflected in the access to digital technology.
Whether it is providing equal education access or increasing access to adaptive microfinance, technology provide endless possibilities to improving quality of life and enabling women and girls to participate in building resilient communities.
Good quality and accessible education is a crucial foundation for sustainable development. In addition to improving quality of life, it equips locals with tools to further develop innovative solutions to global problems. According to the UN, 617 million children and adolescents lack minimum proficiency in reading and mathematics, and up to 750 million adults still remain illiterate*.
Digital technology has a high potential to help propel forward impoverished communities, and to help youth gain relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills for employment.
*Source: UN (2019) The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019
ENVIRONMENTAL CLIMATE ACTION
Climate change affects all communities globally with increasingly severe weather pattern changes, rising sea levels and extremely high greenhouse gas emissions. Limiting global warming to 1.5ºC will require drastic changes in all aspects of society. Furthermore, the poorest and most vulnerable people are affected the most.
Digital innovations that contribute to climate and environmental action can deliver scalable solutions to enable countries to increase local adaptation efforts across all communities and advance quicker towards cleaner and more resilient economies.
Submissions will be accepted until 3 February 2020, 23:59 CET.
Late submissions will not be considered.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Applicants are not assessed based on education qualifications.
Applicants must have a digital innovation that contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the areas of Gender Equality, Environmental/Climate Action or EduTech. The digital innovation solution should also be operational & has been introduced to the market & its intended users.
The Accelerator supports digital innovation start-ups who have been established and are entering growth stage. Applications should present a clear business case and feasible financial sustainability for its future/current revenue model. Applications that have potential for scale and significant replication to maximise impact will be highly favoured.
Start-ups that are led by women or youth innovators are highly encouraged to apply.
No. We take no equity in your company.
Applying to the Accelerator does not require you to provide information about your "start-up secrets" or intelligence. You are not required to disclose information about details of your proprietary technology.
However, the application will ask for information that demonstrates your business progress, funding status, and market opportunity. This information is critical to help us evaluate your fit for the Accelerator.
We do not provide accommodation and travel expenses. The Accelerator programme will take place in 5 countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico, and Senegal. Applicants are encouraged to participate in the Accelerator in their home country.
Once you’ve submitted your application, the Innovation Factory jury team evaluates all applications based on a predefined set of eligibility criteria.
If your digital innovation and team fits the Accelerator eligibility requirements, we will be in touch with more information about the Accelerator programme in your local country. All applicants will be notified of their application results, whether successful or not.
Applicants who have not been short-listed to join the Accelerator programme would still receive an opportunity to have their digital innovations profiled on the Innovation Factory website. It's one way to get additional visibility on the international scene.
Congratulations! You will then be invited to join the Digital Innovation Accelerator which will provide capacity building support, guidance in business model refinement, support to become investment ready, help in optimising SDG impacts, and develop a comprehensive business plan, all delivered through a dynamic peer-learning environment.