FAQ For Innovation Programme


1. When will the applications open?

Applications for the 2019 YSI SEA programme opens on 1st December 2018, and will end on 5th January 2019. There will be three rounds of selection process (with the first round beginning with the application form you submit).

2. Do I need to have a start-up idea before applying?

No. We are looking for passionate people that want to create something innovative from scratch. Our Innovation Programme is designed to build strong teams and strong startup ideas from these teams. Unfortunately, you can't join YSI based on a previous idea and expect the team you have to push your idea during our programme.

3. What is the YSI SEA Innovation Programme?

The aim is for you and your team to create a real startup that helps solve the sustainable development goals and are economically viable. Fellows of the YSI SEA programme are put in international teams of 4 people, and will go through 5 modules and 10 objectives in three months online. You will the spend about two weeks in Singapore where you get a fully funded trip to meet mentors, your teammates, investors and other stakeholders in the sustainability space.

Our programme offers knowledge and tools in remote team building, innovation, creativity and leadership. We train the teams to operate their own startup, as well as going from nothing to a fully fledged startup in 5 months. We provide close mentorship and follow up through our innovation team, access to the YSI network of talents, partners and mentors. We also train the team's to find the necessary information and help they need for themselves. The programme will be facilitated online, primarily using an education platform named www.novoed.com.

More about the programme can be found here.

4. Do I need a team to apply? Let me go find my friends!

No. All you need is passion and drive to create an impact in the field of sustainability or social issues. Apply for the programme as an individual. We do not accept team applications.

5. But my team is awesome!

When you apply as an individual, you will be put in teams based on what goals you want to work on and diversity in skills and background. Your team will consist of 3 individuals from across Southeast Asia, including you. We believe in drawing strength from the diversity in the team. By ensuring that you are exposed to a team of individuals from different background and expertise, we hope to spark more creative ideas and solutions.

6. How old do I have to be?

We are looking for people between 18-25 years. If you are bit older, let`s say 26 or 27, we encourage that type of rule breaking and you can apply (but not if you are older than 28). You do, however, need to be over 18 years old. If you can`t join because of age, we encourage you to keep following us for online E-cases and other cool things in the near future. Also - Anyone residing in Southeast Asia can apply!

 7. I am not a citizen of any country in Southeast Asia but I am currently residing/studying in the region. Can I apply?

Yes. As long as you are residing in the region, you are eligible to apply. You do not have to be a citizen of the Southeast Asian countries.

8. So do I need to commit to the whole programme?

Yes. You will have to commit to the whole programme. From April to July, you will work online in groups and do some researching alone to find opportunities inside your chosen goal and gather insights. You will use between 15-25 hours each week, and it's because this is what, we believe, it takes to get through the programme and emerge with great, working solutions. Your team will chat, do online workshops, talk with people in our network (mentors, businesses and so on) and keep track and explore your chosen goal together.

9. What is the cost?

YSI programmes are 100% free for all participants and it includes a fully funded trip to Singapore (including flight, accomodation and food). You will live in Singapore from  19th - 30th July. It does however take a lot of time, and it's expected to use between 15 and 25 hours each week from April 15th - July 30th.

10. Will there be any follow-up after July?

Yes. The real work starts after the conference in Singapore. Once your teams have solidified the ideas and pitched to investors, you stand a chance to being awarded funding to take the next step for your start-up. There are also chances of being admitted to accelerator programmes in order to bring your startup to the next level. Therefore, you have to be ready to commit to responsibly running a startup and ensuring that it succeeds after the conference in July.  

11. Who will help us in the innovation process?

You will have access to our network of mentors and businesses who have a lot of knowledge and experience. Everything from green businesses, entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders, domain practitioners and government representatives. Additionally, if you put in the work to identify who you would like to get in touch with, we will make the connection happen.

12. What do I stand to gain from this?

Our goal is to make you realize your passion into impactful solutions that create a positive change in society. Our Innovation Programme is designed to ensure this happens. After the Innovation Programme, we will get you in contact with businesses and set you in contact with investors. We will help you with marketing tools, build the concept further, team management skills and much more. We`re in this together!

13. Are there any other opportunities in YSI?

In addition to YSI SEA, YSI’s presence spans a number of other places expands with two new innovation programmes.

The first is YSI Global, located in Norway, whose application process opens January 15th and is open to anyone in the world! The second is YSI Bangladesh (for Bangladesh citizens) who's application process opens February 4th.

Lastly you can join our community Earthpreneurs on Facebook to come in touch with other like minded people passionate to realise our vision of a sustainable world.

14. How did it go with the participants of YSI SEA 2018?

Following the conclusion of our program, all our start-ups are still keeping up their momentum. You can check out our alumni start-ups here.

15. How did it go with the participants of YSI Global 2018?

7 out of 9 teams are still going strong! They are in a stage of prototyping and developing. The other two teams found out their markets didn't want their concepts - which is why we focus heavily on MVP and prototyping before arriving to Singapore. You can check out some of the YSI Global alumni start-ups here.