The Accelerator: Overview

The Accelerator: Overview

SPRING businesses receive nine months of world-class technical expertise, including Human-Centred Design Boot Camps, investment-readiness support and mentorship. This support is delivered via our SPRING partners and experts. In return businesses commit to finding innovative ways to reach adolescent girls with products and services that meet their needs; determined, formed and tested by girls themselves.

We use action-research learning methods to inform and improve our work. Key measures include the number of girls who benefit, the increased commercial success of the businesses, and the positive impact of human-centred design on the participant organisations.



(Month 0)

In the 4 months leading up to launch, the SPRING team reviewed applications received. Businesses who met with our criteria were interviewed for a place in the SPRING cohort. We were on the look-out for high-potential businesses with opportunities for scale, or established nonprofits looking for significant market-oriented commercial innovation. Essential traits of SPRING candidates include ethical alignment to SPRING’s goals and governance, commitment to improving the lives of girls and concrete commitment from senior management to participate in all SPRING activities.

Boot Camp 1

(Month 1)

The cohort kicked off with selected participants meeting for two weeks at boot camp 1. Boot camp equipped participants with the fundamentals plus the time and collaborative environment to innovate using human-centred design. Think user journey sketches, colour pin-boards, insight-fuelled brainstorm sessions and thought-provoking perspectives. Every angle of the business was examined and refined with the support of advisers and peers. Our structure was flat and our approach collaborative – we worked with and for businesses to prototype innovations. Every participant left boot camp with a clear prototype for a Girl-focused product, service or business model.


(Months 2 to 4)

The research and prototyping phase gave all participants the structure and opportunity to examine their innovation prototype from the end-user’s perspective, researching with and receiving feedback from girls in their target country. Design workshops with fuseproject took place in each country to refine prototypes based on feedback from end-user girls.


(Month 5)

The cohort meets again for boot camp 2 to refine prototypes, develop business models, and create brand and digital assets with SPRING to help bring prototype innovations to market. We started to look at investment readiness and opportunities in more detail.


(Months 6 to 8)

During this phase, we supported the businesses with go-to-market strategy and implementation, built capacity, and connected them with mentors and investors to ensure the success of their prototype launches.


(Month 9)

After 9 months we reached the final stage of the cohort, where we celebrate accomplishments and planned post-cohort activities to support businesses in refining their prototypes and sharing lessons learned.