Queen's Innovation Centre

Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre
Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre

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Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship

The Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship gives you the confidence, resources, knowledge, network, and financial support to build a startup with an impact.

For African students and recent grads with a desire to solve pressing problems and bring entrepreneurial ideas to life. 

The proven winning formula: Combine students and recent grads with a willingness to learn, take risks, and commit themselves fully

with best-in-class entrepreneurship training from the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre.

The result? Leaders with the exceptional entrepreneurial skillset and mindset to drive social and financial impact.

Best-in-class Training:

  • Business bootcamp delivered by Queen’s University faculty and industry leaders who bring decades of combined entrepreneurship and C-Suite experience
  • The Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework, a proven step-by-step framework for scalable startups developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Pitch coaching and mastery
  • Certificate awarded for 100% completion of DDQIC’s essential entrepreneurship training modules

Global Visibility and Network:

  • Liaise with mentors and speakers leading innovation and entrepreneurship in North America
  • Access a Global Network of Queen’s entrepreneurial alumni
  • Join a cohort of thousands of like-minded students and recent grads from across Africa

Mentorship:

  • Fellows are matched to industry leaders and entrepreneurs in the final phase of the program
  • Receive feedback at important startup milestones

Financial Support:

  • 15 Fellows will receive a stipend of $500 CAD
  • Opportunities to pitch for funding in Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre seed funding competitions

Program Timeline:

Phase 1: Explore – December 2020-February 2021

1000 exceptional candidates receive access to a curated list of online entrepreneurship courses and work through the first 11 steps of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework workbook. Candidates have several months to demonstrate their commitment to the entrepreneurial process by completing the training and progressing on their ideas' respective milestones.

Phase 2: Ignite – February-April 2021

30 finalists with an outstanding commitment to the entrepreneurship process, who will have excelled at the milestones set out in phase one will be selected to join this phase. Under this phase, they will continue to go through an additional curated list of additional online entrepreneurship courses and work through the remaining steps of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework's workbook. At the end of this phase, the participants will pitch their ideas, competing for the fellowship, and the most advanced and promising business ideas will become the finalists who receive the fellowship.

Phase 3: Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship – April-August 2021

15 Fellows will be selected to join DDQIC's summer incubation program. During this phase, Fellows will get the opportunity to work on their ideas, access seed funding, and participate in weekly 3-2-1 pitch presentations about the work they are doing as they transform their ideas into scalable startups. In addition, Fellows will receive a $500 stipend and dedicated coaches and mentors from DDQIC’s Global Network of industry experts and entrepreneurs. 

Graduation – August 2021

Startup entrepreneurs (Fellows) will complete their incubation program at the end of August 2021. After graduation, Fellows will continue to receive post-incubation services, supports, and pitch competition opportunities as part of DDQIC’s network. Fellows will be invited to participate as ambassadors and mentors for future Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowships as well.

Deadline to apply is November 30, 2020. For inquiries, please contact jimleechfellowship@queensu.ca.
Frequently Asked Questions
How and where should we apply?

All participants should go to apply on this link before midnight the 30th November 2020, your local time. Application link: https://queensu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5tJtLvxCbetcMMB

How will the training be delivered?

The training will be delivered virtually through an online learning platform. Prospective fellows will receive access to the online learning platform where they will complete the video training and readings at their own pace. In order to demonstrate their commitment to the entrepreneurship training and their progress on building a venture, prospective fellows will submit assignments online, adhering to strict deadlines.

In what language will the program be delivered?

This program will be delivered and run in the English language. All applicants and participants must be able to participate and complete the program in English. If someone doesn’t speak or write English, they are still encouraged to apply, but they must form a team with someone who can fulfil all the requirements of the program in English. They may also work with their local university to come up with a strategy to make sure they are able to access university resources that will help them navigate the challenge related to language ability.

What is the time commitment?

Prospective fellows may complete the training on their own time, with a recommended minimum commitment of 10 hours per week. Successful participants who are selected for a Fellowship will commit themselves fully to launching their venture.

How will we select the 30 finalists in Phase 2 and the final 15 Fellows in Phase 3?

Participants will be assessed on their commitment to the training and their progress on building a venture by completing the steps outlined in the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework. 30 participants who demonstrate excellence in completing the Disciplined Entrepreneurship steps will be selected as finalists. In Phase 2, the 30 finalists will continue working on their venture and prepare a pitch of their venture to be selected as one of the 15 Fellows!

Which university information should I provide in the application?

All the applicants to this program should provide details of their local universities. Whether a current student or a recent graduate, provide details of your local university. The details being requested are not related to Queen’s University. Please note that by a local university, we mean a university that is part of the Mastercard Foundation Scholar program in Africa.

I have reached maximum number of words per question. What should I do?

We advise applicants to be concise with their answers and to aim for short, precise, and clearer answers to all the questions. The word limit on each question has been set to allow you to express and explain your ideas concisely.

Who will be the top 15 beneficiaries of the program?

This Fellowship project is divided into 3 phases:

· Phase 1: This phase runs from December 2020 to February 2021. The total number of participants is 1,000 from all the universities participating in the African Mastercard Foundation Scholars program. 1,000 participants will be selected based on the application that is closing on the 30th November 2020, at midnight your local time. This phase consists of experiential entrepreneurship training and idea exploration work from step 0-11 of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework.

· Phase 2: This phase runs from February 2021 to April 2021. The total number of participants or ideas is 30. These 30 participants or ideas will be selected based on the final assignment delivery of phase one. The most feasible, strongest submissions solving real challenges in their regions, countries, Africa or globally will the ones to be shortlisted in this phase. This phase consists of experiential entrepreneurship training and idea exploration work from step 12-24 of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework

· Phase 3: This phase runs from April 2021 to August 2021. The total number of participants or ideas is 15. These 15 participants or ideas will be selected based on the final assignment delivery at the end of phase two. The most feasible, strongest submissions solving really challenges in their regions, countries, Africa or globally will the ones to be shortlisted and recommended to be the 2021 Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellows. This phase consists of the company creation process, financial incentives, mentorship, pitch presentation and many more resources.