Frequently asked questions


When can I apply?

The UNLEASH application portal will be open between March 18, 2019 (12:00 CET) to April 18, 2019 (12:00 CET). From March 18, you can access the application portal via

What kind of talent characteristic is UNLEASH looking for?

Talents are selected based on five criteria:

  • Demonstrated passion and commitment to solving the world’s pressing challenges
  • Possession of a creative and innovative mindset
  • Willingness to engage in co-creation with peers and experts
  • High proficiency in English with the ability to engage in complex discussions
  • Approximately 20-35 years old
  • Bonus: Direct experience working in a development context, e.g. field work

What kind of talent profiles is UNLEASH looking for?

Talents must fulfill one of the following

  • Entrepreneurs: Recently launched/or considered launching start-ups, organizations, or campaigns at a very early stage (both non- and for-profit)
  • Intrapreneurs: Improved or changed entities, e.g. through R&D, business development, or organizational changes
  • Academia: Acquired in-depth content knowledge, e.g. via a PhD position, post-doctoral position, research projects, or advanced master courses
  • Technical experts: Possession of skills, tools, or know-how (e.g. in storytelling, design, technology, etc.)

What kind of talents is UNLEASH not looking for?

UNLEASH is not an accelerator for existing ideas, but rather a place for collaboration and unfolding of new ideas. UNLEASH seeks to source early stage ideas and applicants need to be willing to work with others.

As such, applicants will not qualify for UNLEASH if they:

  • Are not willing to work on completely new ideas or challenge their existing idea significantly through collaboration with other participants
  • Launched their current idea in an entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial capacity that they are working on full-time, and intend to only use UNLEASH to further this idea
  • Have generated revenue (e.g. from customers, users) or raised funding (e.g. from grants, investors) for their current / newest idea, and intend to use UNLEASH to work on this idea
  • Have multiple full-time paid employees working on their current / newest idea.

Can teams apply?

No, UNLEASH will only accept applications in individual capacity.

Are nominated talents guaranteed a spot at UNLEASH?

Nominated talents will receive a pass through the first round of the evaluation process. However, nominations do not guarantee a spot and selection will be based on evaluation of qualifications


Intellectual Property rights

Who owns the Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the ideas/solutions after UNLEASH?

To the extent that participants’ participation in UNLEASH give rise to intellectual property, hereunder copyrights, patent rights, and design rights, participants work within their teams to determine future ownership. UNLEASH, and its partners, cannot claim any IP, and are not liable to solve any disputes within teams. However, UNLEASH does retain rights to use solutions developed during UNLEASH for publicity.



Do I have to pay for my own transport expenses to Shenzhen?

You do not have to pay for your own travel expenses. Once accepted, talents will submit their travel information to UNLEASH, specifying travel dates, cities of origin, and other relevant details. UNLEASH will then provide information on how travel is booked.

Can I extend my stay beyond the program?

Talents can choose to extend their stay in Shenzhen up to the number of days allowed by their visa. However, UNLEASH will only cover the costs of flights between talents’ specified home country and Shenzhen and will not be able to cover ticket costs, if the selected return date is more expensive than the return date suggested by UNLEASH.

Do I need a visa, and if I do, when and where to request?

Please check out to see if you need a visa and where to get it. It is generally recommended that talents apply for visas three months in advance of travelling to China. If accepted, talents will receive detailed instructions for how to go about visas.

Can I arrive later and/or leave earlier?

No. You must be present during the entire event and ready to check in prior to the opening ceremony.



Who will cover the costs of participation?

UNLEASH will cover the costs of flights, visa, local transport, accommodation, food, curriculum, facilitation, and program activities for the entire event. UNLEASH charges USD 150 as a participation fee.

Do I have to pay a participation fee?

Talents must pay a participation fee of USD 150. If you are accepted, you will receive information on how this fee is collected.

What if I do not have enough funds to pay the participation fee?

Talents have the option of applying for a scholarship, exempting them from paying the participation fee. As UNLEASH offers a limited number of scholarships, please only apply for this if you are completely unable to pay the fee. Scholarship applications should be filled in as part of the application process.

Will UNLEASH cover my visa expenses?

UNLEASH will cover the costs of the visa. Talents seeking reimbursements must submit receipts clearly showing the paid expense.

Will UNLEASH cover my travel expenses to the visa office?

UNLEASH does not cover your expenses for transport to and from the visa office. Talents, who are not able to cover the travelling costs to a visa office, can apply for UNLEASH to cover such costs as part of a scholarship application, but talents are not guaranteed coverage.

Will UNLEASH cover my travel expenses to the airport when leaving for UNLEASH?

UNLEASH will not cover the costs of talents travelling from their home to or from the airport from which they are flying.

Will UNLEASH cover transportation during the event?

UNLEASH will provide talents with transportation throughout the event, including transportation from Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport to the venue and upon departure as well.



Where will I be staying?

You will receive notice of where you are staying, if you are selected.

Can I get a single room?

You will receive notice about rooms, if you are selected.

Can I bring family, children or friends to UNLEASH?

No, unfortunately, we do not allow individuals other than accepted talents to attend UNLEASH.



I have certain dietary restrictions; will these be taken into consideration?

Yes. Prior to your attendance, you will be asked to submit information on any special needs.



Can I call UNLEASH if I have an urgent safety problem?

Yes, you can. During the event there will be an emergency number for you to call if you experience any problems.



Can and should I bring my computer?

Yes, we encourage you to bring your laptop. However, UNLEASH is not liable for laptops being damaged or lost during the event.

I do not have a laptop, is that a problem?

No, that is not a problem. As an UNLEASH participant, you are welcome with or without a laptop, but if you have a laptop, you are encouraged to bring it.

Will I receive a sim card during my stay in Shenzhen?

No, UNLEASH will not provide sim cards to talents. Talents wishing to purchase a sim card can do so upon arrival.