MIT opens applications for its 8-month Foundry Fellowship for accomplished African entrepreneurs

The Foundry Fellowship, a program under the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has opened applications for its eight-month fellowship for accomplished entrepreneurs who are committed to leading the acceleration and interconnection of Africa’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems.

This fellowship is a cohort-based program for principled leaders with fellows accepted into the cohort each year, designed to support personal growth, community engagement, and leadership in innovation across Africa.

Participating in the fellowship as a group provides fellows with the support they need to move past current challenges and shape the next steps in their journeys as entrepreneurs and leaders.

How the fellowship will run

Nairametrics learns that the curriculum will include personal leadership seminars, coursework with MIT faculty, and experiential tours of innovation ecosystems as a cohort, including tours of multiple ecosystems on the African continent.

This will therefore prepare fellows to lead initiatives that accelerates the development of ecosystems both within their home markets and throughout the continent.

The  Foundry Fellowship embodies this belief through its creation of a community of Africa-based entrepreneurs who share a vision for a continent where people, ideas, and resources move across borders, and where ecosystems enable innovation-driven entrepreneurs to thrive and scale.

This community plays a critical role in shifting the narrative of Africa to one of abundance, opportunity, innovation, and dynamism.


The fellowship is open to Africa-based entrepreneurs who have:  founded and scaled a for-profit, innovation-driven company, and who are now at an inflection point and are preparing to transition into leadership in one of the following ways:

  • By transitioning from running your innovation-driven enterprise to taking on a new leadership role within the ecosystem; for example, you may be launching a venture capital fund, starting an accelerator, or pursuing a path in policymaking;
  • By founding a venture or support organization that will specifically help build innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems across Africa; or
  • By expanding your innovation-driven enterprise across the continent, and through that expansion, focus on ecosystem development to reach your growth goals.

Founders from the same company may apply, but each founder must complete a unique application.

Application details

The application includes:

  • Personal demographic information and contact information;
  • Details about your role as a founder and your company;
  • Essay questions on your interest in the Fellowship program, questions about your role as an ecosystem builder, and what entrepreneurial leadership means to you;
  • A resume outlining your educational background, professional experience, leadership positions held, and community engagement;
  • A 2-minute video (in English), summarizing the key points of your application, and;
  • Two letters of recommendation from people who know you as co-founder, mentor, board member, or senior manager in your company (note: you are responsible for giving recommenders sufficient time to complete the recommendation letters before the application deadline).

Applications will be reviewed by an evaluation committee. Finalists will be invited to participate in at least one panel interview.

Key dates

  • June 30: Application period closes.
  • July-August: Interviews with Legatum Center staff, community, and Foundry Fellow alumni.
  • September: Acceptance letters sent; commitments made.
  • October: Orientation (virtual).
  • November: Africa ecosystem tour (location TBD; approximately one week of travel).
  • January/February: Africa ecosystem tour (location TBD; approximately one week of travel).
  • April/May: US ecosystem tours (first location TBD; second location will be Boston/Cambridge; approximately two weeks of travel) and fellowship celebration event.

Application instructions

  • Complete the online application here.
  • Record and upload your 2-min video.
  • Sign the application.
  • Ensure that your two letters of recommendation have been submitted before the application deadline of June 30, 2024.

Application submission date is June 30, 2024.

Applicants may apply here. The submission deadline is June 30, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET.


Nominations can be made for an Africa-based entrepreneur who is a great fit for the Foundry Fellowship, please nominate them through our form.

Nominations will be accepted here through June 17, 2024. Nominees will be invited to complete an application.


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