The Access Incubator



Growing to 20 active country teams world-wide has not been easy. In fact, weโ€™ve had to close down 5 teams already.


Well, often because the teams were not yet ready to stand on their own legs - we were simply not good enough at supporting them. Particularly not at critical times of management handovers. They needed help with setting the right goals and expertise within a number of important areas.

So we asked ourselves: how can we keep growing Project Access globally, without compromising on the success of our existing teams? The answer we landed at was this: The Access Incubator - a 4 month program for entrepreneurial students who are deeply committed to solve the access challenge in their home country and have the leadership skills to succeed.

The Incubator consists of four phases that each tackle an important part of building an impactful and sustainable Project Access Country Team. Weโ€™ll support you along the way and equip you with a mentor from an existing successful PA Country Team. ๐ŸŒŽ

The four phases:

Each phase lasts a month and has a concrete goal you need to achieve. Meeting each goal unlocks more funding for your team as well as the next challenge. ๐ŸŽฏ

๐Ÿ“šPhase 1 | Research: we want to understand the space weโ€™re operating in before entering a new country. What is the problem really: is it a socio-economic problem? A geographical problem? A language barrier? A funding gap? Or something completely different, that keeps students from untraditional backgrounds from getting into the worldโ€™s top universities?

After we understand the problem, youโ€™ll work with our Global Team to design the right mix of the interventions we have developed and start thinking about applying them in your country. This includes designing the right screening criteria to target the right type of applicants.

๐ŸคPhase 2 | Team recruitment: solving educational inequalities is not a one-man job. Weโ€™ll help you build a killer team of access heroes with capabilities within the areas that are important to bring change, such as marketing, partnerships, research and operations.

While we build the team together, we will develop your leadership skills, so you have the right toolbox to apply in the various situations you will get exposed to when managing smart and ambitious university students.

๐Ÿ“ˆPhase 3 | Brand building: now when we understand the context and have the team ready, youโ€™ll start building your Country Teamโ€™s brand. That includes building a strong online presence, designing flyers, create accounts on relevant social media. You want to start mobilising the community of students from your country at our target universities and begin recruiting our first mentors.

Youโ€™ll be supported along the way by our global Marketing Team, who has professional graphic designers, website heroes and nerdy insights into social media.

โค๏ธPhase 4 | First impact: now it comes to the execution. Youโ€™ll sign up the first excited, but nervous, applicants from your country and start matching them with mentors at their dream universities. Your team might have identified a gap in online knowledge, so you will start offering webinars. Youโ€™ll start building the first partnerships with funders and other organisations in the space.

This is also the time when you graduate from the Access Incubator and become an independent Project Access Country Team. Youโ€™ll incorporate your team in your country and join an impressive group of people who have all managed to build a PA Country Team from the ground up.

What happens after the Access Incubator graduation? ๐Ÿ†

Donโ€™t worry - we wonโ€™t leave you! However, we expect that you will be able to manage your team yourself, define the ambitions and goals your team envision and continue delivering impact

You will always have a strong support team in the back, in form of the Global Team in Project Access, who has team members within: Product, Mentor Engagement, Marketing, Talent and Corporate Relations.

Youโ€™ll report your impact at our annual Leadership Summit and receive the much-deserved high-fives for your work. And youโ€™ll be a mentor to the next Access Incubator.

A last word of caution before you apply: you will be in our first cohort of the Access Incubator. Put differently, you will be a test rabbit for how we can best scale our work globally. Weโ€™re still a young startup, so expect mistakes. We hope, however, that the opportunity to help shape this program convinces that this is an opportunity of a lifetime!

Ready for the challenge? Apply here! ๐Ÿš€

Note: you can only apply to the Access Incubator if we are not already active in your country. Project Access has teams in: Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom

Joining the access incubator is unpaid, however Project Access International will fund your team so that you have initial funding to pay for marketing materials etc.