The Westerwelle Young Founders Programme is a fully funded 6-month-long programme for outstanding young entrepreneurs from emerging and developing countries. The programme aims to connect young founders from all over the world with each other and with the Berlin startup scene, and support them in further developing their entrepreneurial skills and their international network.
Twice a year (Spring and Autumn), 25 entrepreneurs start the programme by attending the Young Founders Conference in Berlin. During this time, they have the unique opportunity to meet and interact with successful entrepreneurs, investors and political decision makers. Throughout the programme, the Young Founders will have the chance to develop their businesses and discuss challenges with a personal mentor as well as with fellow Young Founders in a peer mentoring group. Moreover, Young Founders will receive further support through regular expert webinars that cater to their needs.
Applications for the Westerwelle Young Founders Programme Spring 2019 are closed. To be informed once the next Call for Application opens for the Autumn 2019 Programme please register here.
What we offer:
The Westerwelle Young Founders Conference – a week-long conference in Berlin to get to know fellow Young Founders, the German startup scene, and strengthen their entrepreneurial skills by attending workshops and meetings (travel and accommodation will be covered by the Westerwelle Foundation);
A personal mentor who is an experienced entrepreneur and will function as a sparring partner with whom you can discuss upcoming challenges and new opportunities;
Monthly peer mentoring calls with the other successful Young Founders of the cohort to share knowledge with and support each other;
The Young Founders Network — a strong alumni network that functions as a platform for all Young Founders to connect with each other, exchange ideas and find support for existing challenges;
Exposure to the Berlin startup scene and the public for you and your startup via our social media channels and our networks,
Assistance beyond the programme as we remain a contact person for the Young Founders and will help you to find suitable experts for challenges, offer possibilities to share learnings with current cohorts or celebrate successes.
You have recently (in the last 5 years) started a for-profit company with a scalable business model that has achieved Product-Market Fit and has ideally secured first external funding (if you run a business model that requires external investment);
your company is based in a developing or emerging country or has a strong business focus on developing and emerging economies;
you possess a good working knowledge of English;
you are available to attend the Young Founders Conference in Berlin and can make time to participate in monthly mentoring and peer mentoring calls for the 6-month programme.
Please note that foreign applicants must possess valid travel documents (including a visa, if necessary) to enter Germany, and valid travel medical insurance.
Application Process WYFP Spring 2019
Online application (Deadline: 8 January 2019, 1PM CET)
Notification of application status to all candidates (23 January 2019)
Skype interviews with shortlisted candidates (24 January - 12 February 2019)
Jury decision and final selection of candidates (18 February 2019)
Notification of application results to shortlisted candidates (19 February 2019)
One of the highlights of participating in the Westerwelle Young Founders Programme is that every participant will also join the Young Founders Network — a strong network of outstanding entrepreneurs from emerging and developing countries who had participated in the programme themselves. The Young Founders Network is a place to look for expertise, develop synergies with other Young Founders and support each other.
Meet the Westerwelle Young Founders Autumn 2018 here.
Meet the Westerwelle Young Founders Spring 2018 here.