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Applications are currently been accepted for the Fully Funded MIT D-Lab Innovation Ecosystem Builders Fellowship In USA 2018, eligible persons are invited to apply for this program.
Eligible countries: All
To be Taken in: USA
Between March 2018 and March 2019, MIT D-Lab will provide clusters of fellows from three to five different emerging innovation ecosystems with training, travel, and community so that they can:
- LEARN: They provide training in our participatory design methodologies and exposure to strategies from around the world for supporting innovators and entrepreneurs and creating systems change.
- Fellows will receive training in our participatory design methodologies and exposure to relevant research and case studies from around the world in order to learn from D-Lab’s and others’ experience supporting innovators and entrepreneurs and creating systems change.
- Fellows will teach one another lessons they have learned from their own work.
- Together fellows will generate new ideas, hypotheses, and research questions around creating and sustaining robust innovation ecosystems.
- CONNECT: They bring clusters of fellows from a few innovation ecosystems together through both in-person and online events, creating a community of support among them while connecting them to other potential collaborators, mentors, researchers, student interns, service providers, and funders.
- Fellows will be funded to gather 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 try out new strategies for engaging a variety of local stakeholders in their program design and execution.
- Fellows will also be connected to 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 into practice, working together within and across their ecosystem teams to devise and conduct low-cost program pilots to engage potential users and partners, test assumptions, gather useful feedback, and refine their designs.
- Fellows will receive guidance and small amounts of funding from the program to support these experiments.
- Fellows will also elicit and receive feedback and support from their cohort and mentors over the course of their design iterations.
They are seeking applicants whose programs/organizations/initiatives/ventures are:
- Dedicated to training, funding, resourcing, networking, or otherwise serving local innovators and entrepreneurs*
- Based in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, or East Asia & the Pacific
- Working with communities or in contexts in which people earn on average less than $3 USD per day
- Committed to social impact and inclusive innovation and design
- At least two years old
- Have either a proven business model or funding secured to cover core operations for at least 50% of the fellowship year
They are looking for individual fellows who are:
- In positions with both decision-making authority and implementing responsibility over programming and budgeting for their program/initiative
- Committed to collaborating with a variety of people within their ecosystem
- Excited both to learn and to develop new techniques and methodologies for building their innovation ecosystem
- Prepared to dedicate time and resources to initiate new programs or change existing programs over the course of the coming year
- Living at least part-time in the context in which they are working
- Committed to continue working within the same innovation ecosystem as you are now for at least two years following the close of the fellowship
* Examples of applicants’ current ecosystems-focused initiatives, programs, and organizations might include:
- education institutions and programs
- incubators and accelerators
- coworking spaces, makerspaces and fablabs
- public and private sector funders
- government and NGO development programs
- impact-oriented product distributors and resellers
- online networking and job-sharing platforms
- advocacy organizations or campaigns
Requests for Information will be evaluated by the Innovation Ecosytem Manager, D-Lab staff, and representatives from collaborator initiatives at MIT and elsewhere. They will be weighing applications based on the following criteria:
- Strategic coherence with D-Lab work and partners
- Number & Diversity of strong applications
- Potential for growth
The Fellow’s Initiative
- Alignment with fellowship goals
- Demonstrated impact
- Capacity for collaboration/increased impact
- Capacity for leadership
- Dedication to Community
- Enthusiasm for approach
Deadline: December 18, 2017
Fill out the online Request for Information by 9 A.M. EST, Monday, December 18, 2017, and encourage others who are supporting innovators and entrepreneurs in your community to do the same.
Clusters of applicants from a few well-represented emerging ecosystems will be invited to submit full applications in February, 2018. A final cohort of fellows from three to five ecosystems will be chosen that month.
For more information, visit MIT D-Lab Innovation Ecosystem Builders Fellowship.