2022 UNLEASH Plus Incubator Program for Entrepreneurs working on Social or Environmental Challenges.
Deadline: April 10, 2022.
UNLEASH Plus is a global 6-month incubation program for entrepreneurs working on social or environmental challenges, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The program provides teams with the right skills, tools, and mindsets to test and launch early-stage solutions, and design them for large-scale impact. The program is open to all youth entrepreneurs looking to advance solutions that address the SDGs.
Co-hosted with UNLEASH’s Lead Scale Partner, Chemonics International, the program supports teams with an existing prototype to become an impactful social venture. UNLEASH Plus enables teams to create an effective organizational strategy, build a cohesive vision and team, determine a go-to-market approach, measure their impact, and develop clear financials towards fundraising goals. Participants access applicable learning materials, join interactive workshops, and receive direct support from world-class experts. Facilitated connections to investors and partners are made throughout the program to accelerate teams’ intended positive impact.
Phase 1: The Basecamp – where the journey begins: The first phase is an inspiring and practical two-day event that kicks off the UNLEASH Plus program and ensures teams are set on a trajectory to reach new heights. Participants will meet and hear the pitches of the other passionate teams from around the world in their UNLEASH Plus 2022 cohort, engage with the mentors who will support them throughout this journey, and gain alignment within their teams around their vision, business model, and priorities for their six-month plan during the program.
Phase 2: The Ascension – online learning with monthly checkpoints: The second phase is the core 21-week virtual program within UNLEASH Plus, focusing on team development, solution testing and refinement, strategy, and pitching, with the goal of launching a first complete solution that will attract the right customers, partners, and funders to accelerate their journey.
Participants will learn how to run their venture in a lean way, grow a strong team, design their solution for scale, develop a financial model, raise funding, measure their impact, and bring their solution to market. Monthly checkpoints with mentors will ensure teams receive targeted feedback on their progress and are focusing on core priorities for their effective launch. Teams will also have direct access to Potentialife, a leading leadership and team effectiveness program, which leverages positive psychology, neuroscience and technology, and serves as a core part of the program.
Phase 3: The Bootcamp: in-person program in India for the top 25 teams: The last phase is the in-person finale of UNLEASH Plus during the Global Innovation Lab in Karnataka (India), where teams receive intensive support from world-class experts to refine their strategies, meet with potential partners, and pitch their solutions to investors awarding cash prizes at the Dragons’ Den.
By the end of the program, teams will be able to fully launch their solution and embark on their journey towards achieving the SDGs!
- UNLEASH Plus is designed for all young innovators around the world who are solving sustainability problems in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Applicants may be social entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, or activists who have an early-stage solution but seek support to further test, refine, plan, and fund its launch.
- Participants do not need to be working on their ventures full-time to qualify for the program. Previous experience participating in UNLEASH programs is beneficial, but it is not required.
Qualifying criteria for UNLEASH Plus includes:
- At least 2 active team members participating throughout the program
- Ability to commit at least 4 hours per team per week throughout the program
- At least half of the team members aged 35 years or below
- A validated, working prototype of a solution that addresses one or more of the SDGs
- Documented feedback, references, or testimonials from early testing with actual users or prospective customers that demonstrates market demand for the solution
- The solution must be responsive to one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
- A legal entity with the ability to receive funds*
- A maximum of 50,000 USD raised to date**
The incubator culminates in a one-week, in-person program in India from late November to early December 2022, where teams work with international experts and pitch to potential funders. Only the top 25 teams of the program will be selected, and all costs will be covered.