Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Request For Expression Of Interest From Tech Hubs And Accelerators 2023

Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Request For Expression Of Interest From Tech Hubs And Accelerators 2023

The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship is a business acceleration initiative for emerging African EdTech startups. The Fellowship, which is being implemented in collaboration with innovation hubs and EdTech accelerators across Africa, provides vital commercial and financial support, as well as insight into the science of learning, preparing EdTech enterprises for size, sustainability, and impact. In its first year, the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship sponsored 12 African EdTech businesses from seven countries, impacting over 800,000 learners. It was introduced in 2019 by the Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning. By 2025, the Centre hopes to collaborate with 12 Tech Hubs to help over 400 EdTech startups and reach at least 1.8 million young people.

The key objectives of the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship are to:

  • Recruit High-Potential EdTech Companies: Each hub/accelerator will identify and support 36 growth-stage EdTech companies over three years (i.e., 12 EdTech companies per year) to participate in the Fellowship.
  • Deliver Quality Acceleration Support: Each hub/accelerator will provide selected EdTech companies with holistic support to scale their businesses, enhance the educational impact and inclusivity of their products, and improve their investment readiness and long-term financial sustainability.
  • Enhance Learning outcomes: Each hub/accelerator, in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), will train EdTech companies in the science of learning, helping them incorporate these evidence-based principles into their products and solutions to impact learning outcomes.
  • Facilitate Market Access and User Reach: Each hub/accelerator will guide the selected EdTech companies in developing market-ready business cases and facilitate market access with the goal of expanding their impact by attracting at least 8,000 new end-users (learners) every year for three years.
  • Foster Ecosystem Building and Collaboration: Each hub/accelerator will help to nurture the growth of the African EdTech ecosystem by cultivating engagements between EdTech entrepreneurs and key stakeholders including governments through line Ministries of Education and ICT and their implementing agencies. They will also capitalize on community engagements, fostering collaboration among key players, and building a vibrant network of EdTech enthusiasts.
  • Provide Additional Support Services: Each hub/accelerator will support the selected EdTech companies with a range of support services such as co-working spaces, design labs, mentorship opportunities, funding avenues, and a vast network of relevant stakeholders.

Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Eligibility Criteria

The Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning is seeking to partner with African Tech Hubs that have demonstrated the ability to incubate and accelerate startup companies, preferably EdTech companies. The Tech Hubs will work with the Foundation to identify and scale high-potential African EdTech companies focused on improving education at all levels, particularly for the most underserved communities, including out-of-school learners. In addition, the Tech Hubs will serve as centres of excellence bringing together EdTech stakeholders to advance EdTech products and solutions. It’s therefore important that the Hubs have an already established and healthy relationship with the Ministry of Education and other education stakeholders in their respective countries of operation.

Any hub/accelerator interested in partnering with the Mastercard Foundation to implement the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Duly incorporated, validly existing, and in good standing, under the laws of an African jurisdiction.
  • Have its principal place of business in Africa.
  • Demonstrate a proven record of effectively supporting technology companies in Africa.
  • Demonstrate a proven record of working with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders in promoting EdTech.
  • A minimum operational experience of at least five years.
  • Must be African-owned and/or African-led.
  • Possess a solid understanding of monitoring and evaluation methodologies, with the ability to collect and analyze data.

Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Applications

Expressions of interest should meet the mandatory requirements listed below:

  1. Describe the proposed program and its objectives, including how it aligns with the Strategic Roadmap Briefing Note and how it will improve or strengthen child or youth education. (Note: The Mastercard Foundation defines “youth” as aged up to 35 years).
  2. Describe the program approach and the intended impact (noting any underlying assumptions).
  3. Describe the different elements of your program design or model, the levels the proposed program aims to create change (individual, community, institution and/or system level) and how. If relevant, include how the proposed program may have ripples of impact (individual, household, and community at large) beyond the target population, and how it contributes to resilience.
  4. Detail why the proposed program is particularly pertinent now.
  5. Provide an overview of expected program outcomes and impact on young people, especially young women. Include specific individuals/groups (e.g., young married women, refugees and displaced youth, young people with disabilities, low-income students, smallholder farmers, local training organizations, etc.) and who will benefit directly or indirectly from the proposed program.
  6. Describe key stakeholders who are critical to the successful delivery of the proposed program, including other implementing partner organizations, if any, who will be engaged to assist in program delivery.
  7. Describe the organization’s strengths and any previous experience and/or expertise that will help achieve program objectives. Include the proposed team, their size, and geographic location.
  8. Are there any other factors that are critical to success?

Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Submission Guideline

Interested organizations are invited to submit the following documents by August 27, 2023, here.

  1. An Expression of Interest response that addresses the above requirements (not exceeding five pages) submitted in Microsoft Word for review, collaborative discussion and must provide a single point of contact in your organization for all correspondence.
  2. A completed High-Level Budget reflecting the activities in the EOI. The template is accessible here.
  3. A completed High-Level Organizational Questionnaire and associated attachments.

Deadline: September 27, 2023.

Apply here


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