fbpx Skip to content

Wadhwani TakeOff

An all-expense paid Silicon Valley trip for NEN entrepreneurship program participants

Roar up your startup at full throttle.

Wadhwani Ignite Africa: a program for aspiring & new entrepreneurs

Wadhwani TakeOff

Become a successful entrepreneur

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 Wadhwani NEN’s pro bono, immersive and experiential entrepreneurship programs, complete the course and get top certification by an international jury. So, hurry! Rush your nominations.

The Wadhwani Foundation Ignite Program is an experiential and immersive digital learning program that runs across the world providing skills, practical tools, and knowledge to help transform an idea into a real ventures, to build a stable venture and become a successful entrepreneur.

The  Wadhwani Ignite program is offering a structured, intensive, customized entrepreneurship  program, for aspiring and new entrepreneurs.

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


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 Foundation NextGen 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


  • You are a new entrepreneur and have an urgency to make your venture work
  • You are a professional or senior university student with an idea that you have validated and feel an urgency to startup.
  • The Silicon Valley trip will apply to:
    • Participants who have enrolled into and successfully completed NEN 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 NEN 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)
    • Participants who are enrolled in NEN courses at their respective institutes (they will be automatically enrolled and need not apply)

Early and advanced semester graduate program student, post-graduate student, working professional, or startup founder.


A passionate professional

Idea icon

An idea or an early-stage project to solve a meaningful problem


Ready to take their first step as an entrepreneur

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

  • February 22nd, 2022
    Application closes on February 6, 2022 at midnight SAST
    Selected applicants notified by February 11th, 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.
  • March 17, 2022
    Application closes on February 27th, 2022 at midnight SAST
    Selected applicants notified by March 11th, 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



Here is what we mean by a Validated Idea:

  • You have identified a problem that is critical for the customer to have a solution
  • You have validated this problem with a ‘sizable’ set of customers
  • There is a ‘considerable’ number of customers that are looking for this solution to make the venture financially viable and feasible
  • There are no apparent existing solutions which can solve the customer problem
  • May have started working on a website to showcase
  • May have worked on prototype
  • May have early traction

Here is what we mean by a Validated Idea:

  • You have identified a ‘customer type’ that you are dealing with.
  • You have identified a problem that is critical for the that customer type
  • You have validated this problem with a ‘sizable’ set of customers so you know that it is a ‘real problem’
  • Your research and customer discussions shows that There is a large enough number of customers that are looking for a solution to this particular problem, and the venture can be financially viable and feasible
  • There are no apparent existing solutions or good enough solutions that are serving your customer type at this time for the problem
  • May have started working on a website/facebook/Instagram page to get customer reactions
  • May have worked on a prototype solution already
  • May have early traction with some customers