USAID

Xcelerator

NCIIA’s Xcelerator program supports global innovators to create groundbreaking technologies to solve problems that challenge the lives of people in the developing world.

Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development 

Designed originally in partnership with USAID and The Lemelson Foundation for Saving Lives at Birth grantees, the Xcelerator Training Program supports innovative 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.

Participants include a team from Rice University that has reduced the price of an essential treatment for babies suffering from respiratory distress from $6,000 to $160; a Columbia University-Rwandan partnership to deploy a low-cost diagnostic device for HIV and syphilis that requires only one drop of blood; and a team from Australia developing a needle-free, non-refrigerated treatment for postpartum hemorrhage.

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE)– The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In 2014, NCIIA will produce three Xcelerator workshops as a pilot program for Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE), an initiative of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMFG). GCE engages scientists worldwide to expand the pipeline of innovative ideas to meet global health challenges.

BMGF and The Lemelson Foundation are partnering to providing support for Xcelerator for GCE grantees.

Learn more about the Xcelerator training

Watch our training videos:
Intro to Strategy Mapping Video
Context Analysis Training Video
Exit Strategy Training Video

Suggested reading:
Africa - Promise And Progress
Scaling-up Aid

For more information, contact:
Laura Sampath
Global Training Programs Manager
lsampath@nciia.org

Xcelerator training program

July 2013 Program Book

 

The Xcelerator training program provides training and mentoring on entrepreneurship and commercialization to USAID and Grand Challenges grantees to increase the likelihood that their innovations will succeed. The training prepares innovators to address the complexities of implementing a new technology in the developing world and turn inventive ideas into products that have broad impact on the lives of the poorest populations.

The Xcelerator training program is implemented through the NCIIA in partnership with USAID and The Lemelson Foundation. The focal point of the eight-month program is an immersive multi-day training preceded by pre-course preparation and an assessment of the stage that each team is at in the innovation process. Following the training, teams are offered individualized team support that guides them toward their individualized scale-up strategies.

 

In the pre-course preparation phase, we ask teams to gather specific information about their target markets, including problem identification and competitive landscape analysis. Also in this phase, we conduct an assessment of where the teams are in their innovation pathway.

While teams are immersed in several days of training, they focus intensely on aspects of their strategy including problem framing, customer development, financial sustainability options, conducting a value chain analysis and identifying and communicating their value proposition.

Through individualized coaching and mentoring, post-training activities support the teams in refining scale-up strategies and addressing specific barriers to scale including legal frameworks, manufacturing, distribution and strategic partnerships.

Xcelerator Arusha agenda

Xcelerator home | Agenda | 
Faculty
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Sample daily agenda

Day 1
Team introductions
Pushing the “mental reset button”
Intro to strategy mapping
Framing the problem
Rapid prototyping of business models

Day 2

Financial models and additional market research
Overlay and scalability
Evaluating & iterating
Paths to scale
Day 3 Morning site visit
Developing the action plan/next steps
Day 4 Communicating the value proposition
Closing ceremony
Participant wrap up

 

Xcelerator training program faculty

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James Barlow,
Co-instructor
 

Sara Farley,
Co-instructor
 

Joel Segre,
Co-instructor

 

 

Announcing the Xcelerator training program in partnership with USAID and The Lemelson Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

USAID/LEMELSON FOUNDATION PARTNERSHIP AWARD NCIIA TO HELP TRANSLATE INNOVATIONS TO IMPACT

Award to fund Xcelerator training among USAID Grantees, turning ideas into sustainable solutions that improve the lives of expectant mothers and newborns

OTTAWA, ON, Canada, December 12, 2012 — Today at the Grand Challenges meeting in Ottawa, Canada, Wendy Taylor, Director, Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Carol Dahl, Executive Director of The Lemelson Foundation, announced a partnership between USAID and The Lemelson Foundation to award more than $700,000 to the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA).  The Foundation and USAID will each contribute $352,000 toward this effort. The funds will be used to enable USAID’s Saving Lives at Birth grantees the ability to avoid common pitfalls in scaling, helping them accelerate their ideas and inventions into sustainable solutions that will impact on the world’s poorest populations.

Learn more

Xcelerator training program

Xcelerator home | Agenda | 
Faculty
 | Announcement

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

USAID/LEMELSON FOUNDATION PARTNERSHIP AWARD NCIIA TO HELP TRANSLATE INNOVATIONS TO IMPACT

Award to fund Xcelerator training among USAID Grantees, turning ideas into sustainable solutions that improve the lives of expectant mothers and newborns

OTTAWA, ON, Canada, December 12, 2012 — Today at the Grand Challenges meeting in Ottawa, Canada, Wendy Taylor, Director, Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Carol Dahl, Executive Director of The Lemelson Foundation, announced a partnership between USAID and The Lemelson Foundation to award more than $700,000 to the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA).  The Foundation and USAID will each contribute $352,000 toward this effort. The funds will be used to enable USAID’s Saving Lives at Birth grantees the ability to avoid common pitfalls in scaling, helping them accelerate their ideas and inventions into sustainable solutions that will impact on the world’s poorest populations.

The customized training program, called Xcelerator, will leverage NCIIA’s experience in ensuring well-designed pathways to scale for socially-minded products and services. A pilot will initially be offered to grantees of USAID’s Saving Lives at Birth program, which funds the brightest minds across the globe to identify and scale-up transformative prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns around the time of birth.

“Through Saving Lives at Birth and other programs, our Agency supports a large number of researchers and entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas and technologies with potential to save and transform lives," says Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator for USAID. "The Xcelerator program is an important new effort to speed the development and distribution of these solutions for greater impact.”

“We are excited to capitalize on the capacity that The Lemelson Foundation has been building through its support of programs like the NCIIA, to recognize and nurture the path of ideas and inventions through the innovation process, and ensure products and services that have impact on people’s lives, says Carol Dahl, Executive Director of The Lemelson Foundation. “Leveraging NCIIA’s substantial experience, we’re collectively able to train inventors on how to turn their ideas into self-sustaining enterprises.”

“The Xcelerator training program is based on our successful VentureLab, an intensive and immersive program designed to enhance the success of startup enterprises. Participants come away with the skills, tools and support they need to increase the impact of their technological innovation or service,” says Phil Weilerstein, Executive Director of NCIIA. “The Xcelerator training will help participants develop a strategy map, various paths to scale, and give them tangible next steps for increasing the reach and impact of their innovations.”

About USAID
The U.S. Agency for International Development provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States. Spending less than one-half of 1 percent of the federal budget, USAID works in over 100 countries to promote broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad. For more information, visit www.usaid.gov.

About The Lemelson Foundation
Founded in 1992 by prolific US inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy, The Lemelson Foundation works to inspire and enable the next generation of inventors and invention-based enterprises in order to build a stronger US economy and create social and economic change for the poor in developing countries. For more information, visit http://lemelson.org.

About NCIIA
The NCIIA catalyzes positive social and environmental impact through invention and technological innovation by providing funding, training and mentoring for university faculty and student innovators. With support from The Lemelson Foundation, the National Science Foundation and a membership of nearly 200 colleges and universities from all over the United States, the NCIIA engages approximately 5,000 student entrepreneurs each year, leveraging their campuses as working laboratories for invention and innovation and incubators for businesses, and ultimately helping them to bring their ideas to market.

Media Contacts:

USAID
Office of Press Relations
(202) 712-4320 (phone)
usaidpressofficers@usaid.gov

The Lemelson Foundation
Tak Kendrick
(503) 459-4790 (phone)
media@lemelson.org

NCIIA
Jo Ellen Warner
(413) 587-2172 ext. 117 (phone)
jwarner@nciia.org

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