Westerwelle Young Founders conference is selecting emerging leaders for a conference in Berlin

The Westerwelle Young Founders Programme (YFP) is set to offer targeted support to some founders and help them to scale their entrepreneurial ventures.

The six-month fellowship programme is for leaders who promote emerging and developing markets towards a sustainable future.

More programme details: The programme is a 5-day conference that will be held in Berlin. It will be preceded by a 6-month remote programme with 50 young founders from emerging markets.

The programme will also involve mentoring, peer learning, expert sessions and a buddy programme.

The schedule of the programme is as follows:

  • Kick-Off Conference: A two-day digital kick-off conference will take place on March 3 and 6, 2023.
  • Remote Programme: From March – August 2023, the Young Founders will receive six months of support including a personal mentor, monthly peer learning sessions, monthly expert workshops and networking opportunities with corporates and investors.
  • Berlin Conference: The ten best-performing Young Founders will be invited to a five-day conference in Berlin in May 2024. During this conference, the founders will have the opportunity to pitch in front of investors, participate in workshops, join networking events and get insights into the German start-up scene.

Benefits of the programme 

  • Participants will gain a unique experience with successful entrepreneurs or investors
  • Participants will also be opportune to partake in exchanges with other successful young founders of the cohort to share knowledge and support each other.
  • Participants will have in-depth sessions on relevant topics with high-class experts.
  • They will have access to new business opportunities by being connected to programme alumni, partners and other members of the Westerwelle Foundation network
  • The participant will also gain exposure to the Berlin Startup Ecosystem through a fully funded 5-day conference together with other founders.

Selection Criteria: Participants in the program need to meet the following requirements-

  • Be a citizen or resident of a developing or emerging country
  • Must have recently launched a for-profit business with a developing or emerging market as its primary market focus in the previous five years.
  • The business should have disruptive qualities that can improve the quality, impact, or inclusiveness of the industry.
  • The business must have a scalable business model that has ideally generated revenue or secured a first round of outside funding.
  • Applicants must be able to communicate clearly in English.
  • Participants should be able to make time to participate in the program activities for the next six months and be available to attend the digital kick-off conference.

Application Process: The application should include –

  • Your startup pitch deck
  • Basic financial information (i.e. revenues, funding)
  • Your LinkedIn profile and/or CV
  • The application deadline is Wednesday, February 15 at 23:59 CET
  • Interviews with shortlisted candidates: February 16-25, 2023
  • Notification of all applicants: March 1
  • Applicants can sign up for an info session here that will be held on February 1, 14:30 CET.
  • Check here to apply.

About the Foundation: The Westerwelle Foundation for International Understanding is a nonprofit organization based in Berlin, Germany, and was founded by Guido Westerwelle and Ralph Dommermuth in 2013. The mission of the foundation is to create more opportunities for young people around the world by creating equal opportunities for all and uplifting emerging markets through empowered entrepreneurship.

The foundation focuses on promoting democracy, a market economy, rule-of-law, and tolerance.

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