What are the key dates I need to be aware of?
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While dates will vary in each programme, this is an indicative timeline:

April-May Interview process: short VC interviews, virtual site visits/product demos, deep-dive interviews to understand barriers to growth, and final selection of two start-ups per theme

June Interactive, 2-day workshop with business partners to align on acceleration goals and explore potential partnership opportunities (also an opportunity to hear from inspiring leaders from business and beyond)

July-October Deliver targeted acceleration support to each start-up

November Workshop in South Africa to conclude programme and finalise partnerships and acceleration support (expenses covered)

Does it cost anything to join the programme?
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No – our theme sponsors cover costs of participation. We are looking for an assured and productive engagement, and for you to commit to participate fully over the duration of the programme. We estimate the time commitment is likely to be a minimum of 6-8 hours per month, but you may choose to spend more time as you see increasing value from the interactions.

Will you (or the partner companies) take equity in my start-up?
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No. There is no expectation that you give up equity to participate. You will have opportunities to build relationships with executives and organisations who may be interested to invest in your start-up, and this will be on an opt-in basis. 

Will there be investment available after or during the programme?
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The aim of the programme is to foster partnerships between global corporates and impact enterprises, not specifically to enable you to pitch to investors. Nonetheless, you will have access to a network of senior executives, including potential investors and funders. Some enterprises participating do secure funding at the end of the programme, though in our eyes this is a co-benefit, and no more valuable than a global procurement contract or advance market commitment from a global company.

For reference, two of six from our previous cohort secured funding from within the Vanguard network at the end of the programme.

Will you cover travel costs to workshops?
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Yes, we will cover reasonable travel expenses. Please ensure you have written approval from our team before booking any flights or stays. 

How is the programme structured, and how much time do I need to dedicate to it?
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On average, we estimate a time commitment of 6-8 hours minimum per month, but this varies across the programme.

We’ve prepared an example of what your time investment might look like over the 6-month period:

Of course, as you start getting value from the discussions, you might choose to invest more time (as we saw with our start-ups from 2019), so consider this a guide to help you get an idea.

Interviewing (April – May):

First and second-round interviews: Approximately 2 hours preparing for and participating in (30-minute) interviews to get to know your corporate leaders.

Final-round selection process: Approximately 4-6 hours to prepare for the final round of the selection process, which has two parts:

1) Business Immersion: for the corporate leaders to get to know your business in more detail. This will include one or more of the following:

–  A virtual site visit (live streamed or recorded)

–  A product or service demo

– A customer insights session

(Any costs associated with the above will be covered, and your Vanguard point of contact will support you to prepare for this session).

2) Deep-dive: an in-depth interview (1.5 hours) to better understand the specific challenges you’re facing, and your barriers to growth.  

Virtual Workshop (June): A 2-day, full-time commitment to participate in a virtual workshop with the corporate leaders, plus 4-6 hours in lead-up and follow-on activity.

Acceleration support (July - October): Approx. 6-8 hours per month to progress more detailed partnership plans, plus a potential visit from the corporate partner participants.

Final workshop (November): A 3-day full-time commitment to attend the workshop in South Africa, plus 10-15 hours in the lead-up to prepare.

Future (Post-November): to be agreed with participants who you would like to continue engaging with.

Will my IP be protected?
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Yes, we do put in place measures to ensure your IP is protected, but also to facilitate agile collaboration. We expect to have non-disclosure agreements in place with start-ups selected in May, so that conversations to explore possible partnerships for scaling can continue to move forward in a way that is comfortable for all.

If I am accepted as part of the programme will my brand be featured anywhere?
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Yes, but only provided we have permission from you to do so. We will potentially feature the brand in a number of places – internal and external presentations; internal and external reports; and on publicity materials for the programme. Where appropriate and reasonable (mainly external documents) we will share any drafts with you, so you are aware of where it will be shared and have opportunity to respond before publication.

What if I need to drop out of the programme?
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Accepting participation is a commitment to engage fully for the duration of the programme. If due to unavoidable circumstances you personally cannot continue to participate, we require that you find a suitable substitute from your team – ideally a co-founder or senior manager.

Who is Xynteo and what’s their role in the programme?
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Xynteo is an advisory firm that works with business leaders to drive a new kind of growth. We believe that business is the most powerful instrument of this systems change.  We see that business’s ability to compete depends on its ability to create inclusive and regenerative growth. We create and run cross-industry coalitions to harness the power of collaboration to apply commercial muscle to complex systems challenges – from waste and energy to financial inclusion and health.

Xynteo designs, manages and facilitates the Leadership Vanguard programme – it is one of Xynteo’s flagship programmes, and an important vehicle for impact. The listed sponsors and partners pay a fee to Xynteo for designing and managing the programme.

Any further questions, please reach out to mas@xynteo.com