Applications are currently being accepted for the Fully Funded MIT D Lab Innovation Ecosystem Builders Fellowship in USA 2023, eligible individuals are invited to apply for this program.
Field: Technology / Innovation / Ecosystem
Eligible Countries: All
To be taken in the UNITED STATES
Between March 2022 and March 2023, the MIT D-Lab will provide groups of fellows from three to five different emerging innovation ecosystems with training, travel, and community so they can:
- LEARN: They provide training in our participatory design methodologies and exposure to strategies from around the world to support innovators and entrepreneurs and create systems change.
- Fellows will receive training in our participatory design methodologies and exposure to relevant research and case studies from around the world to learn from the experience of D-Lab and others in supporting innovators and entrepreneurs and creating systems change.
- Fellows will teach each other the lessons they have learned from their own work.
- Together, fellows will generate new ideas, hypotheses, and research questions about creating and sustaining strong innovation ecosystems.
- CONNECT: Unite groups of fellows from selected innovation ecosystems through in-person and online events, creating a supportive community among them and connecting them with other potential collaborators, mentors, researchers, student interns, service providers, and funders.
- Fellows will be funded to meet in person two to three times during the year and will connect with each other online throughout the fellowship year, forming a community of support for one another.
- Fellows will test new strategies to engage a variety of local stakeholders in the design and delivery of their programs.
- Fellows will also be connected with potential collaborators, mentors, researchers, student interns, service providers, and funders.
- EXPERIMENT: They offer guidance and funding to help Fellows test their new collaborative programs and initiative ideas, and we adjust our own programming to meet Fellows’ needs.
- Fellows will put their new design and collaboration skills and new ideas to work, working together within their ecosystem teams and leading them to design low-cost pilots to engage potential users and partners, test assumptions, collect user feedback and refine their designs.
- Fellows will receive guidance and small amounts of program funding to support these experiments.
- Fellows will also gain and receive feedback and support from their cohorts and mentors over the course of their design iterations.
They are looking for candidates whose programs/organizations/initiatives/companies are:
- Dedicated to training, funding, resources, networking, or serving local innovators and entrepreneurs*
- Based in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific
- Work with communities or in contexts where people earn on average less than $3 USD per day
- Committed to social impact and inclusive innovation and design.
- at least two years
- Have a proven business model or secured funding to cover core operations for at least 50% of the scholarship year
They are looking for single individuals who are:
- In positions with decision-making authority and implementation responsibility over programming and budgeting for their program/initiative
- Committed to collaborating with a variety of people within their ecosystem.
- Excited to learn and develop new techniques and methodologies to build their innovation ecosystem.
- Prepared to commit time and resources to start new programs or change existing programs over the course of the next year
- Live at least part-time in the context in which they work.
- Committed to continuing working within the same innovation ecosystem that you have now for at least two years after the fellowship closes.
*Examples of initiatives, programs, and organizations focused on applicants’ current ecosystems could include:
- educational institutions and programs
- incubators and accelerators
- Coworking spaces, maker spaces, and fab labs.
- public and private sector funders
- Government and NGO development programs.
- Distributors of impact-oriented products and resellers.
- Online networks and work-sharing platforms.
- advocacy organizations or campaigns
Information requests will be evaluated by the Innovation Ecosystem Manager, D-Lab staff, and representatives of collaborator initiatives at MIT and elsewhere. Applications will be weighed based on the following criteria:
- Strategic coherence with the work of D-Lab and partners.
- Number and diversity of strong applications
- growth potential
- Alignment with fellowship goals.
- Demonstrated impact
- Ability to collaborate / greater impact.
- dedication to the community
- Enthusiasm for the approach
Deadline: December 18, 2022
Please complete the online Information Request by 9 AM EST, Monday, December 18, 2022, and encourage others who support innovators and entrepreneurs in your community to do the same.
Applicant pools from a few well-represented emerging ecosystems will be invited to submit full applications in February 2022. A final cohort of fellows from three to five ecosystems will be chosen that month.
For more information visit the MIT D-Lab Innovation Ecosystem Builders Fellowship.