The global innovation lab UNLEASH launches the second iteration of the pre-accelerator program UNLEASH+

This year the global innovation initiative UNLEASH is launching the second iteration of the pre-accelerator program UNLEASH+ which is co-hosted by Chemonics International. UNLEASH+ has already impacted startups and the global development agenda and the aim is that this year will drive forth action on the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNLEASH is a global innovation initiative for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. All activities will be moving online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is launching its second iteration of the UNLEASH+ program, which is a pre-accelerator for young talents who have previously participated in the UNLEASH innovation labs.

“The annual innovation lab is a fantastic catalyst for new ideas. But it is only a start. All the hard work comes when the teams return home and start planning implementation. We consider the UNLEASH+ program as an amazing addition because it helps teams to move on to the next level and create visible impact”, says Chairman of UNLEASH and Carlsberg Foundation, Professor Flemming Besenbacher.

This year UNLEASH+ will allow approximately 100 talents to return in teams and be provided with mentorship opportunities, expertise on developing business plans, marketing, and fundraising strategies. Chemonics International is the Lead Scale Partner of UNLEASH and UNLEASH+ and will be providing expertise, mentorships, and grants to the most promising solutions.

“This is an exciting time to be partnering again with UNLEASH. With the increasingly complex challenges facing the world and the development community, we look forward to harnessing the insights and creative thinking of youth to develop solutions that have real impact on the Sustainable Development Goals. Supporting a new cohort of innovators to bring impact to scale is even more critical today and we are honored to have a role in this effort,” says Chemonics President and CEO James Butcher.

The program is also supported by the Tuborg Foundation and the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

UNLEASH+ has supported innovative solutions already making an impact

In 2019, a total of 25 teams from 15 countries were selected to participate. All participating teams included at least one UNLEASH alumnus and had tested prototypes of solutions addressing sustainability challenges, which are the two key criteria of the program.

Nicolas Laing, who is an UNLEASH+ 2019 talent and co-founder of OneDay Health, which was born out of the UNLEASH lab in 2017 was one of the participants. His team has been able to use the tools, experience and connections made in the program to secure enough funds for launching 25 remote health care centers in Uganda by February 2021.

“If UNLEASH 2017 was the launching platform, then UNLEASH+ 2019 was the fuel we needed to reach the next level. We are now at 14 OneDay Health centers, have treated over 35,000 patients and are operating out of three Northern Ugandan regions. Tomorrow I’ll travel over 2 hours to Lira town to official launch there. We now have all the drive, funding and organizational support we need to have at least 25 health centers operating by February 2021, which I honestly never thought would happen.”

Another team has positively impacted the livelihoods of Mexican fishermen by creatively using the invasive devil fish to create fish jerky, while another solution focusing on arts to empower and build confidence in children has reached 70,000 children across 23 Indian States and 16 countries.

Applications open today on June 6 and is open to all former participants of the previous UNLEASH programs.

Learn more at www.unleash.org/unleash-plus


For more information, contact:

Julie Trærup,

UNLEASH Communications Lead

[email protected], +45 22336346