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 and offers a mentoring programme tailored to their particular challenges. It supports them in further developing their entrepreneurial skills and their international network.
The 6-month-long Westerwelle Young Founders Programme Spring 2021 starts with a digital kick-off conference from 1st to 5th of March 2021. In the following six months, the young founders will have the opportunity to develop their company with the support of a personal mentor and to exchange ideas with the other young founders and obtain feedback.
On top of that, the Westerwelle Foundation will select the ten best performing Young Founders and invite them to the Top-10-Conference in Berlin in autumn 2021. During this conference, the selected startups will have the opportunity to pitch in front of investors, participate in workshops and networking events and get an insight into the German start-up scene.
Applications for the Westerwelle Young Founders Programme Spring 2021 are open from November 13th till December 9th and accessible here.
We wish all applicants good luck and are looking forward to again a new cohort of inspiring Young Founders.
What we offer:
The Top-10 Conference – a week-long conference in Berlin for the ten best performing startups who will be given the unique chance to pitch in front of investors, participate in workshops and networking events and get an insight into the German startup scene. (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.
The buddy programme that connects alumni of the Westerwelle Young Founders Programme with new Young Founders that operate in the same business to potentially open doors and enhance mutual exchange.
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 digital kick-off conference 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 YFP Spring 2021
Application deadline (9th of December 2020, 12am CET)
Skype interviews with shortlisted candidates (2nd of January to 31st of January 2021)
Jury decision and selection of participants (4th of February 2021)
Notification of all applicants (6th of February 2021)
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.