Wadhwani Ignite: a program for aspiring & new entrepreneurs

The Wadhwani Ignite course is an experiential, structured and immersive digital learning program providing skills, tools, and knowledge to transform ideas of youth into REAL VENTURES helping them become successful entrepreneurs.

The Ignite program will help you to build a compelling value proposition, sustainable business model, financial stability and a validated MVP through resources like case-study based concept sessions, access to faculty, alumni and ecosystem mentors, state run startup initiatives and grants, and access to incubators and investors.

Join Wadhwani IGNITE

Early-stage startups:

  • If you are a recent startup founder and feel the urgency to establish the venture and become pitch ready
  • If you have a validated idea and feel an urgency to launch your venture
  • Team applications will be given preference. However outstanding individuals will also be considered

Do you as an institution or organization want to partner with us?

You can partner with Wadhwani Foundation’s Entrepreneurship program and let your community be eligible for Wadhwani TakeOff.

Program

14 weeks journey | Limited seats – competitive selection | 4 Milestones to measure progress | Milestone pitching to present confidently | 35 hrs of reference content | Expert facilitator | Global & Local Experts & Mentors to support the journey

Hands on Learning & Application program to build along your venture

The Wadhwani IGNITE Program is an entrepreneurship program based on experiential learning that aims to support startups’ founders through a structured pathway from Minimum Viable Concept to an Investable Pitch Deck. This practitioner’s program will enable entrepreneurs to:

  • Assess and analyze their current business model
  • Articulate a compelling Value Proposition
  • Identify risky assumptions, gaps, and obstacles; iterate to a sustainable business model
  • Practice, test and build a Validated MVP in an efficient manner
  • Select and execute an appropriate Go-to-Market Strategy

Who is eligible for Wadhwani Takeoff?

  • The Prize can be claimed only by a legally registered company/legal entity. The individual representing the company and who will claim the benefit of Prize shall be of 18 years or above.
  • Only individuals who have enrolled into and successfully completed ‘Wadhwani Entrepreneurship’ [also known as National Entrepreneurship Network’s (NEN)] courses across India/SEA, Latin America, Africa/MENA regions can apply to participate in Wadhwani Takeoff.
  • Participant with a commercially viable idea/venture which gets top certification by an independent global jury.
  • ‘Wadhwani Entrepreneurship’ course enrolments in the below two phases:
    • Participants enrolled in the period January to June 2022 and certified by a global jury in July’22 (for the 1st trip planned in August/September 2022); and
    • Participants enrolled in the period July to December 2022 and certified by a global jury in January 2023 (for the 2nd trip planned in February/March 2023).
  • Individuals who are enrolled in ‘Wadhwani Entrepreneurship’ courses at their respective institutes will be enrolled automatically without applying.
  • You may contact WOF for any query related to Wadhwani Takeoff by writing at: takeoff@wfglobal.org.
  • You have read and agreed to the terms mentioned in Wadhwani Takeoff Terms & Conditions here.

Selection criteria

A mature ‘Idea’ or a ‘New Venture’

Aptitude, attitude and discipline to learn venture building frameworks and apply them to own idea and or venture

Respect for time and for the program requirements

Passion and a sense of urgency to build a successful venture

Responsiveness and participation

Partners /Teams (at least 2) get preference

Selection Process

  • Complete application with video submissions (incomplete applications will be rejected)
  • Shortlisted based on criteria, and quality of application information and submissions
  • May be called for a personal interview or a group discussion
  • Timely sign up on WF technology platform post intimation of selection to your registered email id

Please note this is a ‘full scholarship’ program. Selection is stringent. Staying in the program requires effort and regular work. Selected participants are of value to their peers as well – opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences, questions, business pitches, feedback and observations.

The program’s resources are to be matched with those that are serious and willing to make the most of the program. So please do note that you could be asked to leave the program for any one of these or similar reasons – if you are not an active participant, if you do not put in the required work as per the structure of the program, or do not produce quality output in your milestone and final business pitches.

 

Program Format

The program is experiential and focused on individualized advancement and progress of ventures and entrepreneurs. It is also designed to help you become familiar with and able to leverage new generation tools for your venture as well as become confident to present your venture to external stakeholders including investors, incubator managers, customers etc.

Program delivery is supported by Wadhwani Foundation’s GENIE technology platform and tools like zoom and google site. Some details include:

  • Program structure and reference content accessed via GENIE
  • Group chat, session details, program calendar, links to sessions, important notifications and connects to mentors and coaches for doubt clearance via GENIE
  • Facilitated Concept, Application, Masterclasses, and other AMA sessions via zoom
  • Venture pitch development via google site
  • Venture pitch practice via ZOOM session

You will be required to put in 3-4 hours of work every week apart from the weekly sessions to derive the real benefit of the program. Please apply only if you expect to get the full benefit of the program and are willing to put in the work required to succeed. We wish you the very best and look forward to seeing you soon.

Calendar

Program launch dates for the next 2 months

  • June 24, 2022
    Application closes on June 14th, 2022 at midnight SAST
    Selected applicants notified by June 15th, 2022
    Please note your email used for application so you don’t miss notification. Failure to sign up in time will result in you losing your seat.
  • July 26, 2022
    Application closes on July 14th, 2022 at midnight SAST
    Selected applicants notified by July 15th, 2022 via their registered emails
    Please note your email used for application so you don’t miss notification. Failure to sign up in time will result in you losing your seat.

Program Benefits to Participants

  • Readiness to launch a new venture in 14 weeks
  • A refined, market validated Business and financial model and go to market strategy
  • A pitch deck ready for incubator/accelerator/investor as relevant
  • Practice (mock) pitching sessions with real investors and incubator managers for the top teams
  • Certificates for the teams whose pitch decks are validated by WF’s global jury panels
  • Other global competitive incentives under development

Journey Map

Milestone 1

Week 1 – 4

Problem


Sharpen your problem pitch
Customer and Markets
Sustainable Differentiation Strategy

 Milestone 2

Week 5 – 7
MVP / Product


Business Model and Testing Riskiest assumptions
Minimum Lovable product

Milestone 4

Week 12 – 14
Growth


Managing growth
Targeting Scale
Funding Strategy

Milestone 3

Week 8 – 11

Business Plan


Sustainable Business Plan
Go to market Strategy
Branding Positioning

Milestone 1

Week 1 – 4

Problem


Sharpen your problem pitch
Customer and Markets
Sustainable Differentiation Strategy

 Milestone 2

Week 5 – 7
MVP / Product


Business Model and Testing Riskiest assumptions
Minimum Lovable product

Milestone 3

Week 8 – 11

Business Plan


Sustainable Business Plan
Go to market Strategy
Branding Positioning

Milestone 4

Week 12 – 14
Growth


Managing growth
Targeting Scale
Funding Strategy

Testimonials

FAQs

What is Wadhwani Takeoff?

Wadhwani TakeOff is an initiative from Wadhwani Foundation to create more excitement amongst the Wadhwani entrepreneurship program participants towards pursuing entrepreneurship. Participants enrolled in the entrepreneurship courses will stand a chance to win an all-expense paid mentoring and networking trip to Silicon Valley (in two phases).

One member out of the winning team of the event will be eligible to a minimum 5 days’ trip sponsored by Wadhwani Operating Foundation to the Silicon Valley, San Jose, California.

Can the chosen team member be replaced by another from the same team?

A team member, owing to sickness or any unavoidable circumstance, can be replaced by any of the other participant who is a team member.

What happens at Silicon Valley?

The winners get a dream exposure to the famed entrepreneurial ecosystem by networking with entrepreneurs, getting mentored by the very best, and pitching to investors.

Who is eligible for Wadhwani Takeoff?

The Silicon Valley trip will apply to:

  • Participants who have enrolled into and successfully completed Wadhwani Entrepreneurship courses across India/SEA, Latin America, Africa/MENA regions
  • Participants with a commercially viable idea/venture which gets top certification by an independent global jury
  • Wadhwani  course enrolments in the below two phases:
    • Participants enrolled in the period Jan to June ’22 and certified by a global jury in July’22 (for the 1st trip planned in Aug/Sept ’22)
    • Participants enrolled in the period July to Dec ’22 and certified by a global jury in Jan’23 (for the 2nd trip planned in Feb/Mar ’23)

Will I get help to prepare my pitch if I get shortlisted?

Yes, our faculty and mentors will work with the shortlisted entrepreneurs to help with the pitch preparation.

Is my Intellectual Property protected?

As we receive many applications from Startups with similar ideas/focus areas, please do not ask for an NDA at this stage.
All the application data that you share is confidential and will not be shared with anyone apart from the WF team.

How can I apply?

All you have to do is to enrol in the Wadhwani  ACTIVATE and IGNITE pro bono, digital, and experiential entrepreneurship programs in a team format (min. 2 members), complete the course and get top certification by an international jury
Apply here: https://wfglobal.org/africa/ignite

Is there a participant fee for the event?

There is no participant fee.

Will you provide funding for my business?

WF does not fund Startups directly. However, if selected, participants have the opportunity to pitch to investors, venture capitalists, influential industry leaders and corporations.

Is this program only for tech Startups or is there any other specific sector focus?

We are sector-agnostic but emphasize on Startups that have the potential for high growth irrespective of the sector.

I have applied but haven’t heard back yet? When will I get a reply?

We receive many applications and review them individually but will not be able to respond to everyone individually. If you are shortlisted for the next round of selection process, you will definitely hear from us soon.

What is Wadhwani Foundation?

Wadhwani Foundation’s primary mission is accelerating economic development in emerging economies by driving large-scale job creation through entrepreneurship, innovation and skills development. Founded in 2000 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, today the Foundation is scaling impact in 25 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Visit us at https://www.wfglobal.org/ to learn more.

What is Wadhwani Entrepreneur (WE)?

Wadhwani Entrepreneur empowers students and professionals with knowledge and skills to create high-potential startups thereby leading to high-value job creation.

Who is Dr. Romesh Wadhwani?

Dr. Romesh Wadhwani is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist and the Founding Chairman and CEO of $3.5 billion Symphony Technology Group (1999), Founder and Chairman of Wadhwani Foundation (2003) and the Founding Chairman of PE firm Symphony AI (2018). Until 1999, he built three successful companies, the last of which was exited at over $9 billion. Dr. Wadhwani is also a member of the Gates Buffet Giving Pledge, Board Member of Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C and a President Obama appointee to the Board of Trustees of the John. F. Kennedy Center.