Wadhwani TakeOff

An all-expense paid Silicon Valley trip for Wadhwani IGNITE program participants

Roar up your startup at full throttle.

Wadhwani Ignite Africa: a program for aspiring & new entrepreneurs

Wadhwani TakeOff

A golden opportunity for aspiring startups/entrepreneurs to win an all-expense-paid trip to Silicon Valley and get a dream exposure to the famed entrepreneurial ecosystem by networking with entrepreneurs, getting mentored by the very best, and pitching to investors.

All you have to do is enrol in the pro bono, immersive and experiential Wadhwani IGNITE entrepreneurship program (preferably in a team format with min. 2 members), complete the course and get top certification by an international jury. So, hurry! Rush your team’s nomination.

The Wadhwani IGNITE Program is a digital entrepreneurship course providing skills, tools, and knowledge to transform ideas into real ventures.

Join Wadhwani IGNITE
  • 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.


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.


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: Explore

Week 1


Introduction to Entrepreneurship

Week 1


Problem worth solving and assumptions validation

Week 2


Problem worth solving and assumptions validation


Milestone 2: Discover

Week 3


Product & lovable solution

Week 4


Competitive advantage

Week 5


Market validation


Milestone 4: Activate & Ignite

Week 9


Skills for entrepreneurship

Milestone 3: Go-to-market


Week 8


Investability, legal

Week 7


Finance & Metrics


Business model & sustainability

Week 6


Marketing sales & partnerships

Masterclasses by marquee entrepreneurs and industry experts


Play Video about a man wearing glasses
Arushan Williams

University Student, South Africa

Play Video about a woman looking at the camera
Euraisha Naidoo

EN Consultants, South Africa

Play Video about a person posing for the camera
Shandukani Taylor

University Student, South Africa