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  • Writer's pictureOmran Aburayya

The Foundry Fellowship 2024- 2025 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Updated: May 24


Hello fellows!

Applications are now open for the Foundry Fellowship for Africa-based entrepreneurs at the Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA.

In this blog we present to you the vital details you need to know about the Foundry Fellowship.

 

Background

The Foundry Fellowship is an eight-month transformative experience designed for accomplished entrepreneurs based in Africa. It aims to accelerate and interconnect the continent's innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems. Here are the key points:


Purpose*:

The Foundry Fellowship believes that entrepreneurs and their market-driven solutions are essential for advancing sustainable prosperity across global growth markets. It fosters a community of Africa-based entrepreneurs who envision a continent where people, ideas, and resources flow freely across borders.


Narrative Shift:

By supporting innovation-driven entrepreneurs, the fellowship plays a critical role in changing the perception of Africa. It shifts the narrative from scarcity to abundance, from limited opportunities to opportunity, and from stagnation to innovation and dynamism.

 

Eligibility:


The fellowship is open to Africa-based entrepreneurs who have founded and scaled a for-profit, innovation-driven company. Applicants should be at an inflection point, preparing to transition into leadership roles within the ecosystem. This could involve launching venture capital funds, starting accelerators, or engaging in policymaking.

 

Cohort-Based Program

Each year, 10-15 fellows are accepted into the cohort. Going through the fellowship together provides a supportive context for deep transformation. The curriculum includes personal leadership seminars, coursework with MIT faculty, and experiential tours of innovation ecosystems across Africa.


Systems Transformation:

The fellowship prepares principled leaders to lead initiatives that accelerate ecosystem development within their home markets and throughout the continent. It aims to catalyze inclusive growth and systems transformation in Africa.

 

FELLOWSHIP REQUIREMENTS


Applicants should be aware of the considerable commitment that the Foundry Fellowship requires, in both time and attention.


As a Foundry Fellow, your commitment to your personal objectives, your cohort, and the next generation of innovation-driven entrepreneurs across Africa is essential to your success. The Center asks that you seriously consider the following program requirements before applying: 


  • Confirming your English language ability: The Foundry Fellowship programming is delivered in English; all fellows should feel comfortable communicating complex ideas in writing, and verbally, in English. 

  • Attending all Foundry Fellowship online sessions and in-person meetings

  • Providing your own transportation to and from ecosystem tour locations and covering some of your travel expenses. Note that the fellowship program covers most costs associated with ecosystem tours, including hotels, group meals, group transport, etc.; however, fellows are responsible for their own flights to and from ecosystem tours as well as certain travel-related expenses.  

  • Participating fully in all sessions by giving your full attention to the participants and discussion.

  • Presenting the next steps you will take after completing the Foundry Fellowship program to your peers and other supporters of the fellowship.

 

Application Documents:


  • Personal demographic information and contact information

  • Details about your role as a founder and your company

  • Essay questions on your interest in the Fellowship program, questions about your role as an ecosystem builder, and what entrepreneurial leadership means to you; 

  • A resume outlining your educational background, professional experience, leadership positions held, and community engagement; 

  • A 2-minute video (in English), summarizing the key points of your application, and; 

  • Two letters of recommendation from people who know you as co-founder, mentor, board member, or senior manager in your company

 

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS


  1. Complete the online application here.

  2. Record and upload your 2-min video.

  3. Sign the application.

  4. Ensure that your two letters of recommendation have been submitted before the application deadline of June 30, 2024.

 

Key Dates


  • June 30: Application period closes. 

  • July-August: Interviews with Legatum Center staff, community, and Foundry Fellow alumni. 

  • September: Acceptance letters sent; commitments made. 

  • October: Orientation (virtual). 

  • November: Africa ecosystem tour (location TBD; approximately one week of travel). 

  • January/February: Africa ecosystem tour (location TBD; approximately one week of travel). 

  • April/May: US ecosystem tours (first location TBD; second location will be Boston/Cambridge; approximately two weeks of travel) and fellowship celebration event

 

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