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Westerwelle Young Founders Programme 2017


Apply now for the Westerwelle Young Founders Programme 2017 and attend the Young Founders Conference in Berlin, Germany from 13 to 16 September 2017

The Westerwelle Foundation for International Understanding supports collaboration that transcends borders: between young entrepreneurs, executives and decision makers from around the world. The Foundation globally connects people and ideas and creates spaces for interaction and innovation. It fosters an approach that puts consensus over conflict and community cooperation over confrontation.

As part of the Young Founders Programme, the Westerwelle Foundation hosts an annual conference in Berlin: the Young Founders Conference. Its focus is to connect young founders from developing and emerging economies with each other and with the German startup scene. The participants of the Young Founders Conference 2017 will have the unique opportunity to meet and interact with successful German entrepreneurs and political decision makers and will join a network of like-minded outstanding young founders from developing and emerging countries.

During the one year long programme, you will get access to:

  • The Young Founders Conference in Berlin, 13 to 16 September 2017
  • A mentoring programme
  • Invitations and scholarships for entrepreneurship conferences
  • Online coaching and webinars
  • An international alumni network

The Young Founders Conference 2017 will take place in Berlin from 13 to 16 September 2017.

Travel and accommodation will be covered by the Westerwelle Foundation.

Applicants should:

  • Have recently (0-5 years) started a for-profit company with a scalable business model
  • Be based in a developing or emerging country or have a strong business focus on developing and emerging countries 
  • Possess a good working knowledge of English

Please note that foreign applicants must possess valid travel documents (including a visa, if necessary) to enter Germany, and valid travel medical insurance.

To apply, please fill out the application form by 30 April 2017. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is considered a Young Founder? Do I have to be of a certain age?
To us, a Young Founder is someone who had started his or her own company recently (usually within the past five years). Although there is no fixed age limit, the entrepreneurs in our programme are typically between 20 and 35 years old.

Do I have to be an entrepreneur to participate?
Generally, yes. The goal of the Young Founders Programme is to support young entrepreneurs. If you work in a closely-related field (such as an incubator, accelerator, VC fund, etc.) we encourage you to apply nonetheless, as the exchange with entrepreneurs can be beneficial for both sides. The mentoring programme, however, will only be available to entrepreneurs.

Will I have to pay to participate in the Young Founders Programme?
The Westerwelle Foundation will cover the costs of your return flight, accommodation and food during the Young Founders Conference, which takes place from 13 to 16 September 2017 in Berlin, Germany. Additional costs for health travel insurance, visa and personal expenses have to be borne by the participants. 

Throughout the year, we offer activities which are free of charge, such as mentoring sessions over Skype and other types of online coaching. On top of this, there is the possibility for you to apply for more scholarships from the Westerwelle Foundation to attend entrepreneurship conferences worldwide.

How are participants selected?
Applicants will first be shortlisted according to their written application. The shortlisted candidates will then be invited for a Skype interview. Results of written application and Skype interview will be discussed by a jury and the selected candidates will be invited to participate at the Young Founders Programme.

When will I know if I have been accepted?
The deadline for applications is on 30 April 2017. Skype interviews will be carried out at the beginning of May and final decisions will be made in late May. We will notify all applicants about our decision by the end of May.


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