What support does The Leap provide to selected entrepreneurs and their businesses?
We provide different incubation programs, 100% online, that help early-stage entrepreneurs to structure and develop their entrepreneurial projects. All our programs provide:
- 3-month access to our learn-by-doing proven methodology.
- 18h of one to one mentorship with your personal support.
- “Checkpoints”, online meetings with your cohort and our team to deepen the work on each critical aspect of your business and leverage the collective intelligence of the group.
- Lifetime access to a peers community.
- Participation in bi-annual competition to compete for a cash prize of USD 5.000 and visibility amongst the partner organizations
How many businesses have been through The Leap? What have been the results?
1000 entrepreneurs from around the world (57 countries) founding 580 businesses have participated in the incubation program to date. Over 70% of all who start the program successfully complete the incubation within the 3 months and emerge with a viable business plan for their go-to-market and/or fundraising efforts. Some entrepreneurs have even launched their prototype and/or generated sales and revenue during the incubation program.
More commonly, participants emerge with a roadmap for continuing to test and update their idea and many of them use the knowledge gained through the tools and curriculum to test other ideas after the program ends. Some of them discover quickly that their initial idea will not work – and they report that their time was well spent discovering this sooner rather than later! In the months following the program, 96% of entrepreneurs said Bridge for Billions was a factor for their success.
What kind of entrepreneurs do you support?
We support early stage entrepreneurs that either have a solid idea they’re passionate about pursuing, an MVP/prototype with little business structure, or an early-stage company. Most of our cohorts are open to all sectors, but some are sector-based, so make sure you check the program details before applying. We have entrepreneurs from 57+ countries and the program is 100% online, so you can easily join from anywhere in the world. As of today, the program is available in English and Spanish (French to be released soon).
How are the participants selected?
We choose promising entrepreneurs who are proposing products or services that solve real problems and have the dedication to make them a reality. The selection process includes an online application and possibly a video interview to ensure that accepted entrepreneurs are ready for the incubation program. We evaluate applicants based on:
- The stage of maturity of your project at this moment (should be from solid idea to early-stage company)
- The needs you currently have (should be about getting external validation, planning your go-to market and have a clear roadmap for the next months; we are not an investment fund)
- Your understanding of the problem you’re solving for your customers
- Your passion to solve this problem and launch your business
- The innovative nature of your project
The best tip we can give you for your application: show us you’ve really thought about your business and the problem you’re solving, and that you’re ready to put all of your energy into making it a reality.
Do I need to send in documentation to support my application?
Nope. Just fill out your profile and then your online program application – that’s all you need for us.
Can I apply to more than one program?
Yes, you can, however if you are accepted into a program, accepting your spot means all other ongoing applications with be aborted. This guarantees that selected entrepreneurs are focused on one program only.
I’m a single founder. Can I get into The Leap or do you only look for teams?
We accept both teams and solo founders to our program.
I’m a single founder. Can you help me find a co-founder?
While we don’t directly provide this service, it has happened in the past that teams got formed through our community, or even that a mentor joined a solo entrepreneur as co-founder. We suggest you check out websites like CoFoundersLab or Founder2be. We also suggest you check local entrepreneurship Meetups and events in your city on Eventbrite to network.
How does the “Matching” with a mentor works?
Once accepted to the program you will enter the “matching” phase, 10-15 days dedicated to finding the perfect mentor match for you. During matching, basic information about your project will be accessible to our community of mentors and they will invite you to initial meetings so you can get to know each other. You can attend as many meetings as you want, but eventually you will have to choose your preferred mentor.
The process of matching is one where you as entrepreneurs must be active participants by answering to mentors’ invitations and letting us know how your meetings go within the indicated deadlines. We send all accepted entrepreneurs the important dates and deadlines of the matching process that should be respected. A consistent lack of response from an entrepreneur will be taken as a lack of interest in the program and can lead to their acceptance being revoked.
What is exactly the role of the mentor?
Your mentor is your guide throughout the program, someone who can understand the ins and outs of your business and, week after week, help you validate your strategy for each critical stage, from better targeting your customers to having a 3 years growth plan. Mentors support you through collaboration on the platform as well as in-person video chats once a week.
Who exactly are Bridge for Billions’ mentors?
Our 560+ volunteer mentors come from a variety of backgrounds and sectors. All of them are trained to the Bridge for Billions methodology and share our passion for helping entrepreneurs in the early stages of development. They’re all volunteers who will give their 100% to you and your project.
I also have my own mentor, can he/she join me during the program?
If you know someone who you’d like to join your project as your mentor you can invite them to apply to join Bridge for Billions as a mentor here. If approved, they will join our onboarding session and then select your project during the “Matching” period. Like other mentors, they will have to sign a Mentorship Agreement with a confidentiality clause prior to accessing your project on the platform.
What will a typical week be like for an entrepreneur enrolled in The Leap?
A typical week is a blend of online work, live video calls with your mentors, peers and the Bridge team, and activities to learn more about your customers and develop your prototype. You’ll work on our online platform following our step by step methodology, you’ll meet with your mentor for a 1-2h conference call to brainstorm and validate the work previously submitted, you’ll meet 1h with your cohort for a “Checkpoint” about the current tool, and you’ll interact with peers and access articles and extra resources in our online community. Many activities outside the platform are also recommended to validate your hypothesis, such as customer interviews, focus groups, competitive research, etc.
Do I need to attend all checkpoints?
The “Checkpoints” are the core of The Leap experience, and the best opportunity to talk about your strategy with others and overcome challenges with peers. We strongly recommend that you attend all of them, or have someone from your team attend if you’re not available for any reason.
What is the time commitment to the program?
The more time you’re able to put in, the better the results! We’ve structured the program so that you should be able to complete all activities within 6 to 8 hours per week (including a 1h video call with your mentor and another with your cohort), but there are always opportunities for you to go deeper and spend more time on each stage to significantly develop and validate your ideas. If you can’t commit to at least 6 hours per week over 3 months, this probably isn’t the program for you. You can also divide some of the work with other people on your team (if any).
Will I earn a certificate?
Yes, entrepreneurs who successfully complete the incubation program do receive a certificate.
What technology will I need for the program?
You will need to be able to use a laptop or desktop computer (not tablet or smartphone) and preferably one of these browsers: Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox. We expect you to have a strong, reliable internet connection both for your online work on the platform and to participate in the Checkpoints and online mentors calls via video conference.
I’m concerned about my intellectual property if I apply. Should I be worried about this?
Can my teammate work with me on the project?
Of course! Our program was made for collaboration with your entire team. You can easily invite your teammates to join your project and seamlessly collaborate on its development (this doesn’t incur any additional fee). You can work at the same time as a teammate, but note, however, that our platform does not allow for live collaboration as with google docs – you will only see a teammates edits after refreshing the page and you should be careful not to “override” one another’s inputs.
Why isn’t The Leap free? Yes, we know: you wish The Leap was free. So do we! But the truth is that creating and implementing such programs costs (a lot of) money – much more than what we charge. And we took the decision to take most of the cost off your shoulders, because we believe it is our mission to bring more diversity and inclusivity to entrepreneurial ecosystems. Your contribution is what enables us to provide you with a tailored program, direct support and a top-notch online platform. We also think it is a token of your commitment to make the most out of everything The Leap has to offer you. We worked hard to set an affordable price while still being faithful to The Leap’s amazing added value. We dream of a world where entrepreneurs could have unlimited access to such programs, no matter their economic status or background. In the meantime, we decided to allocate a limited number of partially-funded financial aid offers that are exclusively need-based for each of our cohorts.
Can you tell me more about financial aid? We offer financial aid up to 60% for need-based, economic reasons only. There are no 100% fee waivers and the average financial aid we provide rounds up to 40%. If you apply for financial aid which is a separate application process after your regular one, you will be asked to provide documentary evidence demonstrating your personal circumstances. A financial aid request with no documents cannot be taken into consideration. More on financial aid here
How can we get funded after The Leap ends? We don’t directly invest in any business that takes part in The Leap program. However, all throughout the program we connect you to prize opportunities, competitions, and other opportunities for funding. We also prepare you for fundraising through expert masterclasses and, provided you have finished the incubation program, you can be connected to investors from our network based on geography, sector, and other criteria.
Do you take equity or any stake in my business? No, we do not and will never take equity or any participation in your company. We think a flat fee for the program is the fairest possible model for entrepreneurs.
What payment methods do you accept? You will need a credit or debit card to pay for the program fee (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express). If you have been selected to a program and do not own a credit or debit card, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we can’t promise anything but we’ll analyze your case individually.
Can I extend my program after the 3 months? Yes, we give you the option to extend your program for as many additional months as you want, for a fee of $30 / €25 per month. Regardless of extending or not, you are part of the online community and its resources for life.
I’ve heard a lot about the Bridge for Billions ecosystem and being a part of the community for life. Is there anything I could do to get kicked out of the ecosystem? Yes, while very unlikely, you can get expelled from the program and community if you show an unacceptable behaviour towards your mentors, peers, or the Bridge team and/or if you do not cover the program fee.
What if I’m not happy with my Bridge for Billions experience? You may have the right to request a refund in accordance with our Cancellation and Refund Policy that follows: If you are in the first month of your incubation program a partial refund (of 50%)* can be granted, but only if you have requested it within the first 3 days after your first payment was made. After the first three days of your incubation program, you may cancel your program at anytime, which will nullify any future payments, but no refund of past payments will be granted. *This partial reimbursement policy reflects the efforts that were taken on your behalf to select and onboard you onto the program, find a mentor for your project, etc.
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