Ashoka/American Express Leadership Academy Emerging Innovators Bootcamps 2017

Ashoka/American Express Leadership Academy Emerging Innovators Bootcamps 2017

Deadline: June 30, 2017

The American Express Leadership Academy Emerging Innovators Bootcamps gather 100 changemakers around the globe who are positively transforming communities and revolutionizing healthcare, education, food security and more. Apply for one of 100 spots at the leadership Bootcamps, which will be held in five locations around the world this fall. As an Emerging Innovator, you’ll receive industry insights, personalized feedback, direct connections to sector leaders and ongoing support from a network of peers who are rising stars in the social enterprise world.


The top 100 applicants will receive:

  • An invitation to an American Express Leadership Academy Emerging Innovator Bootcamp happening in a location near you—New York City, Mexico City, Berlin, Dakar or Nairobi. There will be 20 participants per location for a combined total of five cohorts. Each cohort of innovators will be supported by thought leaders, Ashoka Fellows and alumni who can help increase the impact of their work;
  • The cost of meals, lodging and activities during the Bootcamp will be covered by Ashoka, and a partial travel award will be issued to participants who live outside city limits;
  • Selected Emerging Innovators will also be featured in social media campaigns on Ashoka and American Express’ social media platforms.


  • Bootcamp applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 35;
  • The entrepreneurial (or intrapreneurial) project for which they are applying should have launched within the last 5 years and demonstrate potential for significant impact in their communities;
  • Applications to the 2017 Bootcamps are open to all individuals (not-for-profit founders, social entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, etc.) in the North American, European, Francophone West African, and East African regions. Eligible countries include Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Cyprus, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Kenya, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Luxembourg, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Netherlands, Niger, Norway Portugal, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and the United States;
  • Entries must be written in English, French or Spanish;
  • Participants must be available and able to travel to these events in October 2017, which may require having a valid passport.


Successful applicants will score top marks in each of the following areas:

  • Innovation: Applicants should describe how their solutions are driven by original, ground-breaking ideas or approaches. The strongest applicants will apply out-of-the-box thinking to critical social problems in their region;
  • Social Impact: Applicants should have launched their initiative already and achieved some level of impact or uptake in their communities—no untested ideas will be considered. Top applicants will also be able to explain how they can grow their impact on a national or international scale;
  • Sustainability: Applicants should have a clear and feasible plan for their projects to become sustainable. They should describe not only how they currently fund their work, but also how they plan to maintain financial support for the work in the future;
  • Ethical Fiber: Applicants should demonstrate courage, ethical fiber, resilience and empathy towards others.

Application Process

  • Complete the online application. Please submit your answers by 11:00 p.m. PDT on June 30, 2017. Note: You must complete all required fields before submitting.

Before applying, make sure that you’re available to attend the Bootcamp in your region.

  • Mexico: Mexico City, Mexico, October 10-12, 2017
  • United States: New York City, New York, October 11-13, 2017
  • East Africa: Nairobi, Kenya, October 17-19, 2017
  • Europe: Berlin, Germany, October 18-20, 2017
  • Francophone West Africa: Dakar, Senegal, October 25-27, 2017

Emerging Innovators will be notified of their acceptance and their assigned location no later than August 31, 2017.

For more information, visit American Express Leadership Academy Emerging Innovators Bootcamps.