Every year we host multiple Innovation Challenge campaigns with particular themes. We encourage people to apply with innovative ideas in line with these challenges. We also have a rolling application process to accept and review applications multiple times throughout the year. Please look out for specific challenges or submit your project to be reviewed on a rolling basis.

2022 Programme Dates
2022 Cohorts Cohort I Cohort II Cohort III
Application Deadline 31 October 2021 6 April 2022 30 June 2022
Innovation Bootcamp 7-11 February 2022 20-24 June 2022 21-25 November 2022
Pitch Event 18 February 2022 30 June 2022 30 November 2022
What We Offer

Funding

Access to WFP Operations

Hands-On Support

Networking

Apply to receive up to $100,000 in equity-free funding, with further funding dependent upon progress and measurable achievement of key targets.

Successful teams will work with WFP units on the ground to further develop and refine their solutions.

You'll have the chance to work with technical and industry mentors who will provide guidance and accelerate your progress. Selected projects will be able to apply for the WFP Sprint Programme, a six-month acceleration programme that may qualify for further funding and support. 

Teams will be able to tap into and leverage our strong network of public, private, and government partners to accelerate implementation.

How It Works

Apply for an Innovation Bootcamp

Our Innovation Bootcamps are five-day, high-intensity workshops to help your team dive deep into challenges, ideate solutions and refine your project plans. Twice a year, we source up to 10 teams based on a competitive application process with a one percent acceptance rate, offering a life-changing experience with expert mentors and facilitators. Over 50 percent of participating teams go on to receive funding and support.

Take the stage at an exclusive pitch event

On the last day of each Innovation Bootcamp, you’ll have the chance to pitch your project to an audience of potential partners, investors, and officials at an exclusive, invite-only pitch event. Take the stage to tell your story and compete for non-dilutive cash awards. We provide dedicated coaching and mentorship to help you develop and refine your winning pitch.

Sprint from idea to impact

Our Sprint Programme is an intense six-month acceleration programme that matches innovators and startups with exceptional support to sprint from idea to impact. Apply to our Sprint Programme for access to US $100,000 in funding, world-class mentors, results-driven programming, and WFP’s vast field operations. On average, our Sprint projects hit 69 percent of their targets within six months.

Zero in on what works, pre-scale

The pre-scale phase is a period to retool and prepare your project before full entry to the Scale-Up Enablement Programme. We provide access to best-in-class mentors and experts to help you zero in on what works and map out your path to scale.

Scale-up for global impact

We select high-impact innovations for our Scale-Up Enablement Programme, featuring tailored strategic planning, fundraising, communications, knowledge management and mentorship support. We scale-up innovations that have the potential to significantly disrupt hunger by improving the livelihoods of over 100,000 people, increasing efficiency and effectiveness across multiple countries. On average, our scale-up projects raised US $2 million in funding in 2019 alone.

Graduate within and beyond WFP

We match projects with sponsors to enable their sustainable graduation, internally or externally from WFP. Internally, we provide dedicated support to integrate scale-up projects into relevant WFP divisions or business units. Externally, we provide matchmaking support to help find the best partners and develop exit strategies to help projects become standalone, profitable businesses.

Eligibility Requirements
If you are a start-up...
  • Your start-up must be incorporated at the time of application. It can be for profit or not-for-profit.
  • Your innovation must at least be at the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage. Proof-of-concept and initial traction is preferred.
  • Your solution should be financially viable.
  • Your proposal must show how working with WFP will serve your long-term strategy.
If you are a WFP employee...
  • Your team must have evidence of Country Office support and management buy-in.
  • You are encouraged to apply, regardless of your contract type or function.
  • We accept project applications from WFP employees who are collaborating with NGOs, government or private sectors.
How We Select Innovations

Applications submitted to the WFP Innovation Accelerator are assessed according to a standard set of criteria, and are reviewed by both WFP and external experts. Please note that we prioritize projects that are designed alongside our core users—vulnerable communities—and that show initial traction and market validation to ensure impact and maximize cost effectiveness. We are looking for innovations that meet the following expectations:

  • Impact for the people we serve and potential to reach Zero Hunger
  • Feasibility, including time to deliver impact, technology maturity, and user traction
  • Level of innovation
  • Financial sustainability with a clear business case that does not rely on WFP funding
  • Team strength, experience, and commitment

Interested but don’t feel your idea is ready yet? Don’t let this stop you! We accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year, and applications received past this deadline may still be considered for future programmes in 2023. 

For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

Innovations in Action
Learn about previously submitted innovations that are already accelerating progress towards zero hunger.

Takachar

Turning crop waste into fertilizer

Electric Pressure Cookers for Schools (EPC4S)

Clean cooking solution for school canteens

SHAPES

Data-driven simulations to enhance humanitarian response