WHAT?

DO!, the center for entrepreneurship at Ghent University, launches Expedition DO!, a 7-month pre-acceleration program for entrepreneurial talent and successor to Do Goes USA. The mission is to support and stimulate every student and researcher to pursue their wildest business ideas.

What is more, for the winning teams the expedition leads all the way to a treasury in Helsinki. But more about that later.

With Expedition DO!, Ghent University aims to create a unique pre-accelerator program in which students and researchers are able to develop critical entrepreneurial skills to start, build and grow their business ideas into thriving ventures. Thanks to the help of an extensive network of experts and existing accelerator programs in the industry your business idea will be propelled to the next level.

Expedition DO! has 2 goals:

  1. to prepare students / researchers with an early business idea to start
  2. to prepare students / researchers with an existing business for growth, potentially in preparation of an accelaration track such as The Birdhouse or imec.istart

FOR WHOM?

Any (team of) student(s) / researcher(s) at Ghent University that:

  • wants to validate an innovative idea and verify whether it is, or could be, market-ready
  • wants to explore the bigger potential of an existing business and grow it to the next level

At least 1 team member should be a Ghent University student (with a minimum of 27 credits) or researcher. If you are graduating this academic year, you are still eligible to apply and partake in Expedition DO!

WHAT TO EXPECT?

A 7-month program consisting of monthly individual coaching sessions, 2 jam-packed bootcamps on location, expert mentoring and workshops on topics such as pitching, finance, IP, design thinking and so much more.

The program is free for students and researchers with the exception of PhD students, who can reclaim their entrance fee through Doctoral Schools.

The expedition focuses on innovative ideas that are situated in one of the following 4 categories:

  • sports & health
  • sustainability
  • food
  • general (any idea that does not fall under the other categories)

For more inspiration regarding these categories, visit the websites of our partners - The Birdhouse, Watt Factory, Blue Health Innovation Center, SportUp and Proef! (links in the banner below).
All partners will be part of our expert, workshop and jury team throughout the track.

16 teams will be selected to join the expedition in March. On the awards night in October, 4 teams will be chosen from the remaining finalists. They win tickets to Slush, one of the biggest startup conferences in the world with over 20.000 startup’ers and investors in Helsinki, Finland. Check out their website for more information: https://www.slush.org/

APPLICATION PROCESS

The application form below is a mandatory first step in the application process of Expedition DO! Please be as complete as possible but in a concise way.

The selection of the program’s participants will be based on the application form and an interview that gives you a chance to pitch your business idea in front of a jury. More information will follow.

DO! will review all applications thoroughly and will make a selection based on the following 5 criteria with regards to your business idea:

  • innovativeness
  • ambition
  • potential market size
  • growth potential & scalability
  • team

The final selection of the teams joining Expedition DO! will be announced by the middle of March. The timing of the track will be as follows (individual monthly coaching sessions still to be added):

  • 22-23 March: bootcamp #1 on location (to be confirmed)
  • 01 July: mid-program selection round in front of a jury of experts
  • 14-15 September: bootcamp #2 on location
  • 10 October: awards night

Please be aware that this timing is subject to change.

Important note: each person/team can only apply with 1 business idea. Submitting multiple business ideas will result in disqualification. DO! expects all founders listed on the application form to actively participate during the entire Expedition DO! program, if shortlisted.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 28 February 2019