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Home Startups Call for Applications for Justice Innovation Circles

Call for Applications for Justice Innovation Circles

by Weddy Thuranira
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The Justice Innovation Circle (JIC), a training component of the Justice Entrepreneurship School incubation programme, is accepting applications through the HiiL Innovation Hub East Africa.

The incubation program is for startups that are in the incubation stage, which means they have a basic product, an MVP, but no traction, which means the product is still not in the hands of users, or only a small number of early adopter users, and there isn’t enough evidence that this product or business can work. In terms of the team’s status, it’s possible that the team isn’t yet fully formed, with a size of two or three co-founders coming in and out.

As a result, JIC’s training focuses on the following:

  • Team building: putting together a team, identifying like-minded and skilled individuals in the team with complementary skills
  • The basics of lean startup, including testing and analytics, as well as an in-depth MVP
  • Identifying customers, with a focus on Mom Methodology for testing
  • What goes into a pitch, the fundamentals (the different components)

HiiL Innovation is looking for applicants from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Somalia, Burundi, Ethiopia, and South Sudan in the East African Region.

The selection criteria for the incubation programme is as follows:

  • Having a team of at least 2 people (preferably co-founders), where the team shares a drive for justice impact.
  • A solution that meets the needs of those with unmet justice needs who struggle to access effective, easy to understand, affordable and accessible means to prevent or resolve their justice problems 
  • An MVP (Minimal Viable Product)

All JIC participants will receive e-certificates and will be invited to pitch for 3 minutes at the JIC Pitch Perfect event, where the best pitch will win a grant of 1,000 Euros (125,000 KES). Their profiles will also be featured in their newsletter and other marketing channels.

To ensure a vibrant community, the Hub will actively engage startups in order for them to develop a sense of belonging to a community where everyone is on the same path and facing similar challenges. This will give the founders the feeling that they aren’t alone and that they have a support system that they can rely on. This, in and of itself, promotes a healthy learning environment in which people think and learn together.

After the training, each startup will have a 1-hour startup-connect (Mentorship Session) in the following weeks for a month. This time allows the startup to process what they learned in the training session and finish any homework they may have. The purpose of the Start-Up Connects is to provide more individualized support based on the startup’s needs. It’s also an opportunity to learn more about the company (for future selection into the acceleration programme).

The Justice Innovation Circle (JIC) is divided into 6 sessions spread over the course of 5 working days. The cohort will run from the 4th to the 8th of October 2021.

The call for applications for the 2021 Justice Innovation Circles closes at 23:59 Eastern African Time on September 24, 2021.

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