The Democracy Tech Entrepreneur Fellowship
Making technology work for democracy is the defining challenge of our time. Election interference on social media, disinformation, deep fakes, pandemic surveillance, and illicit facial recognition are all dangers to democracy from the wrong uses of technology. Our fellowship is established against this backdrop with an aim to support tech entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to democracies' problems. We recognize the need to build from the bottom up, while bringing out what the free world does best: innovation, entrepreneurship and new ideas. The fellowship is driven by three key elements; collective learning masterclasses, peer to peer mentor sessions, and building strong networks among entrepreneurs.
The Fellowship Details
Our democracy tech entrepreneurs fellows are selected from Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and Armenia, which all live in the menacing shadow of Russia.
The democracy tech entrepreneur fellowship is divided into two phases. In the first phase, the fellows attend bi-weekly collective masterclasses, where alongside traditional entrepreneurship classes, they learn ways to defend democracy and, also integrate more democratic principles and processes in their innovations and ventures. These lessons are supplemented by bi-weekly mentor sessions, where the fellows are matched with successful entrepreneurs from Denmark’s start-up and business ecosystem.
In phase two, the fellows are invited to Copenhagen, starting at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit, to build strong networks with policy makers, democracy activists and the start-up ecosystem in Denmark. Here they meet with their mentors, pitch to investors, and visit a few selected partner hubs and companies. Winning fellows are awarded a prize at the closing event. Follow up sessions are conducted post-Copenhagen visit and an alumni network is established to support the fellows beyond the fellowship.
- Applicants should have started a scalable business based on an innovation that meets our Democracy Tech criteria. We set greater emphasis on this year's theme but not limited to that. If in doubt, please see the FAQ section below.
- Applicants should demonstrate proficiency in the English language.
- Applicants should submit a 1 minute elevator pitch about them or their democracy tech innovation/venture.
- Applicants should be available for entirety of the fellowship. See the FAQ section for exact dates.
- Applicants should come from one of the target countries: Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and Armenia,
- Applicants should demonstrate commitment to democratic values.
Innovations that enhance contestation, free and fairness in electoral processes.
Innovative solutions to the question of individual rights, civil liberties and transparency.
Solutions strengthening horizontal & vertical accountability in institutions.
Innovations that enhance voices of the less privileged in decision-making process.
Innovations that ensure that political decisions are as a product of public deliberation.
Tech solutions that ensure equal representation and distribution of politically relevant resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
We will update the FAQ section as we receive additional questions about the fellowship. If your question is not addressed here or in the materials above, please contact: [email protected]
What is Democracy Tech?
Tech innovations that can strengthen or/and provide solutions to one of the above six mentioned conceptions of democracy, namely, electoral, consensus, accountability, participatory, deliberative and egalitarian. We also consider media literacy tools addressing the problem of disinformation, and unethical artificial intelligence.
What is a scalable business?
A scalable business is one that focuses on the implementation of processes that lead to an efficient operation. The workflow and structure of the business allow for scalability, where measurement of the entire business can be assessed and managed at each level.
What is the application timeline?
Our call for applications opens on October 1, 2023 and closes on November 30, 2023. Following that is the selection process which will also entail interview sessions with selected fellows.
What is the fellowship timeline?
Phase 1, which is composed of bi-weekly collective masterclasses and mentor sessions will run from early January until the end of May, 2024. And Phase 2 will start in May, where fellows will attend Copenhagen Democracy Summit, slated for May 14 - 15, 2024. And follow up activities will be conduct including regional outreach events in our target countries