The Xcelerator training program is part of the VentureWell pipeline that cultivates creators and entrepreneurs who can turn ideas into successful commercial products. The program provides training and coaching specifically for USAID and Grand Challenges for Exploration grantees working in global health to increase the likelihood that their innovations will succeed. The training prepares innovators to address the complexities of implementing new technologies in the developing world, helping speed up the process by which their ideas are turned into products that can have a real impact and potentially save lives.
The focal point of the eight-month program is an immersive multi-day training that includes an assessment of the stage that each team is at in the innovation process. Following the training, teams are offered individualized support that guides them toward their scale-up strategies. Since January 2013, 99 teams have participated in the Xcelerator program.
The Xcelerator training program is currently available only to Saving Lives at Birth and Grand Challenges Explorations teams. Supporting partners include USAID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lemelson Foundation.
Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development
Saving Lives at Birth grantees are focused on developing new technologies and approaches to helping pregnant women and newborns in the high-risk period leading up to and immediately following birth, which is the riskiest time for mothers and infants in the world’s poorest places. Participating Xcelerator teams are based at universities, research institutions, for-profits and non-profits the world over.
Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
In the first half of 2014 VentureWell conducted three pilot Xcelerator workshops for the Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) program, an initiative of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. GCE engages scientists worldwide to expand the pipeline of innovative ideas to meet global health challenges.