Germany: Fully Funded Westerwelle Young Founders Programme, Spring 2019

By Country, Education, Europe, Field of Study, Germany, International

The Westerwelle Young Founders programme is a fully funded 6-month-long programme for outstanding young entrepreneurs from emerging and developing countries. The programme aims to connect young founders from all over the world with each other and with the Berlin startup scene and support them in further developing their entrepreneurial skills and their international network.

Twice a year (Spring and Autumn), 25 entrepreneurs start the programme by attending the Young Founders Conference in Berlin. During this time, they have the unique opportunity to meet and interact with successful entrepreneurs, investors and political decision makers. Throughout the programme, the Young Founders will have the chance to develop their businesses and discuss challenges with a personal mentor as well as with fellow Young Founders in a peer mentoring group. Moreover, Young Founders will receive further support through regular expert webinars that cater to their needs.

Country : Germany Institution: The westerwelle foundation
Application Deadline: January 8, 2019 Level of Study: Entrepreneurial Mentorship program


The world is in a state of constant change. Processes of globalization and digitalization are creating opportunities all over the world. As boundaries between nations recede, new partnerships emerge, ideas are intertwined, and we move ever closer together. Countless people seek new pathways, undertaking inconceivable risks, striving to obtain peace and prosperity. This puts us all before new challenges. In order to meet them, we must commit to closer cooperation in designing our shared future. The risk of change and fear of the unknown should not impair our vision of new, emerging opportunities. It will require an investment in education, as well as an openness to new ideas.

The Westerwelle Foundation wants to contribute to this goal. We want to create more opportunities for more people around the world. We promote international understanding, and foster values of democracy, market-economy, rule-of-law and tolerance. Our founders’ biographies rest on these values.
We believe in the correlation of economic success and democratic participation. Our focus lies on empowering the middle class as a socioeconomic model, comparable to the idea of the German Mittelstand. Fostering cooperation between governments and civil societies, politics and economics facilitates this objective.

Prioritizing three focal points Educate. Promote. Connect. we turn disruption into innovation, conflict into consensus and contention into collaboration.


Scholarship Benefits:

The costs of the flight, accommodation and food during the kick-off conference in Berlin will be covered by the host.

The programme will offer:

  • The Westerwelle Young Founders Conference, a week-long conference in Berlin to get to know fellow Young Founders, the German startup scene, and strengthen their entrepreneurial skills by attending workshops and meetings.
  • A personal mentor who is an experienced entrepreneur and will function as a sparring partner with whom you can discuss upcoming challenges and new opportunities;
  • Monthly peer mentoring calls with the other successful Young Founders of the cohort to share knowledge with and support each other;
  • Expert sessions on relevant topics (e.g. OKRs, investor KPIs, marketing & sales);
  • The Young Founders Network — a strong alumni network that functions as a platform for all Young Founders to connect with each other, exchange ideas and find support for existing challenges;
  • Exposure to the Berlin start-up scene and the public for you and your start-up via our social media channels and our networks.
  • Assistance beyond the programme as the foundation will remain a medium for the Young Founders and will help them to find suitable experts for challenges, offer possibilities to share learnings with current cohorts or celebrate successes.

One of the highlights of participating in the Westerwelle Young Founders Programme is that every participant will also join the Young Founders Network, a strong network of outstanding entrepreneurs from emerging and developing countries who had participated in the programme themselves. The Young Founders Network is a place to look for expertise, develop synergies with other Young Founders and support each other.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • You have recently (in the last 5 years) started a for-profit company with a scalable business model that has achieved Product-Market Fit and has ideally secured first external funding (if you run a business model that requires external investment);
  • your company is based in a developing or emerging country or has a strong business focus on developing and emerging economies;
  • you possess a good working knowledge of English;
  • you are available to attend the Young Founders Conference in Berlin and can make time to participate in monthly mentoring and peer mentoring calls for the 6-month programme.

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

Eligible Regions: Emerging and Developing Countries.


Six months

Application Procedure:

  1. Online application (Deadline: 8 January 2019, 1 PM CET)
  2. Notification of application status to all candidates (23 January 2019)
  3. Skype interviews with shortlisted candidates (24 January – 12 February 2019)
  4. Jury decision and final selection of candidates (18 February 2019)
  5. Notification of application results to shortlisted candidates (19 February 2019)



Christoph Rohde Programme Manager Tel.: +49 (0)30 887281614 rohde(at)




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