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Legatum Foundry Fellowship

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The Foundry Fellowship (Fellowship) is a transformative experience for accomplished entrepreneurs who are at an inflection point between scaling an innovation-driven company and transitioning into a role as an entrepreneurial leader catalyzing systems change and inclusive economic growth across the African continent.

During the Fellowship journey, Fellows will learn new frameworks in leadership development and ecosystem building with expert faculty and practitioners, be exposed to ecosystems through visits with key stakeholders, and explore new ways to accelerate innovation-driven entrepreneurship in Africa. 

The Fellowship is open to entrepreneurs from Africa who have founded and scaled for-profit innovation-driven companies. At an inflection point where they are prepared to step away from the daily management responsibilities of their companies, entrepreneurs who are prepared to expand their leadership roles in accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems are welcome to apply. 

Fellowship Summary

The Foundry Fellowship program content is centered on the themes of entrepreneurial leadership development and building entrepreneur-led ecosystems. Content is delivered during in-person immersive experiences and online sessions. The interactive curriculum is designed to

  • Increase Fellows’ leadership acumen by reflecting on their accomplishments and learning new frameworks;
  • Create a cohort-based experiential learning journey where Fellows explore new roles as ecosystem builders;
  • Exchange practical knowledge with MIT faculty and students; and,
  • Engage in multi-stakeholder networking opportunities through immersion programs in African and U.S. cities.

At the conclusion of the Fellowship journey, Fellows will present their next step as an entrepreneurial leader and ecosystem builder to an audience of MIT faculty, staff and students, as well as likeminded ecosystem builders.

Program Overview

The Foundry Fellowship Program will be delivered through online sessions and in-person immersive experiences.

  • Immersive experiences include leadership workshops, knowledge-building sessions, and ecosystem tours in African and U.S. cities.
  • Online sessions with Faculty and expert practitioners who will facilitate workshops and lead conversations on leadership, systems change, and innovation ecosystem building.
  • Fellows are encouraged to complete recommended readings and exercises in advance of scheduled sessions.

Key Dates

Applications Closed


Applicants to the Foundry Fellowship should have scaled and exited at least one innovation-driven technology company in Africa and reached an inflection point in their professional and personal journey where they are ready for a new and expanded leadership role. Inflection point is defined as a point in which a founder finds him/her/themself between two phases of leadership. Having led a company through its growth stages, the applicant is at a stage where they can (or already have) step away from the daily operations of the company to transition into a role as an ecosystem builder.

  • Have founded and scaled for-profit innovation-driven companies on the African continent;  
  • Have a demonstrated interest in supporting entrepreneurship ecosystems on the African continent;  
  • Are at an inflection point in their entrepreneurial journey having exited their company and are considering expanded leadership roles as ecosystem builders;
  • Are prepared to dedicate time and space for their own self-discovery and leadership development to achieve the next milestone;   
  • Are able to participate in regular online sessions and cohort activities, from September 2022 through May 2023 (note: additional time is required for readings and exercises); and,  
  • Are able to commit to in-person immersive sessions in Africa and the U.S.
  • Founders from the same company may apply, but each founder must complete a unique application. Each founder will be considered independent of a co-founder. 
  • MIT alumni and current degree candidates are welcome to apply.


Nominations & Applications

Applicants who have scaled an innovation-driven company in Africa are welcome to apply.

The Legatum Center is also accepting nominations. Nominees will receive an invitation to complete the application process. A nomination does not guarantee acceptance, nor is it required to apply. Nominations must be submitted by June 28, 2022, to allow sufficient time for candidates. The Legatum Center is also accepting nominations. Nominees will receive an invitation to complete the application process. 

Application Details

Application Details

The application includes:

  • Personal demographic information and contact information;
  • Details about your role as a founder and your company;
  • Essay questions on your interest in the Fellowship program, questions about your role as an ecosystem builder, and what entrepreneurial leadership means to you;
  • A resume outlining your educational background, professional experience, leadership positions held, and community engagement;
  • A 3-minute video essay in English addressing the prompts in the online application form, and;
  • Two recommendation s to be completed by someone who knows the applicant as co-founder, mentor, board member, or senior manager in your company (note: the applicant is responsible for giving recommenders sufficient notice to complete the recommendation forms before the application deadline).

Applications will be reviewed by an evaluation committee. Finalists will be invited to participate in at least one panel interview.

Candidates who accept the offer to become a Foundry Fellow will be asked to sign a commitment to:

  • Participating fully and actively in the program.
  • Pursuing a significant role as an ecosystem builder following the Fellowship.
  • Completing processes and submitting all required documentation to participate in the program in a timely manner. At the time of acceptance into the program, Fellows will be notified of immersive program cities and dates so they may apply for visas. Fellows will also receive dates for confirming flight and hotel reservations.


Email with questions about the Legatum Foundry Fellowship.  


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