Frequently Asked Questions 2018

1. What is the YSI Innovation Program?        2

2. How do I apply?        4

3. Who are we looking for?        4

4. Can I apply if I am older than 25 or younger than 16?        5

5. What is the cost?        5

6. How are the teams chosen?        5

7. Why only 3 in the team?        5

8. Are there any other opportunities in YSI?        6

9. What will happen in Oslo?        6

10. How did it go with last years participants?        6

11. Video and pictures from last year        7

12. Who are the YSI team members?        7

13. What is expected from YOU as a participant?        8

14. Curriculum and authors (program based on)        8

15. What do you get? (Benefits)        9

1. What is the YSI Innovation Program?

Online program: March 25th - August 12th

Live in Oslo, Norway: August 12th - 26th

The aim is for you and your team to create a real startup that helps solve the sustainable development goals and are economically viable. Brilliant individuals are put in international teams of 3 people, and will go through 5 modules and 10 objectives in five months. 4,5 months is online and the two last weeks is in Oslo, Norway where you get a fully funded trip to meet mentors, your teammates and investors.

Our program offers knowledge and tools in innovation, creativity and leadership. We train the teams to operate their own startup, as well as going from nothing to a fully fledged startup in 5 months. We provide close mentorship and follow up through our innovation team, access to the YSI network of talents, partners and mentors. We also train the team's to find the necessary information and help they need for themselves. The program will be facilitated online, primarily using an education platform named

  1. Team and leadership (Objective 1 - 2)
  1. Research and Empathize (Objective  3-4)
  1. Ideation and conceptualization (Objective 5-6)
  1. Re-shape, Retest, Repeat (Objective 7-8)
  1. Build brand and prototype (Objective 9-10)

More about the program HERE!

2. How do I apply?

From January 15th - February 15th you can apply through our form found on our website ( for round 1. You apply as an individual, and you do not apply with ideas but rather who you are as a person and your previous accomplishments.


Further, there is round 2:  February 20th - February 28th

and 3: March 5th - March 10th


Round three we will continue with the core YSI team, with expert help, picking out a group to interview. If you are called into an interview you are one of the absolute last ones left to be chosen for the program. The interview is for us to ensure that you are the right fit for the program, as well as making sure we are the right fit for you.

Criteria for applying is not shared in details because it will influence your answer. We are however giving some overview of who we are looking for.

3. Who are we looking for?

“I don’t want to start another company until I find a problem that I care about. A problem that I eat, sleep and breathe. A problem worth solving”

See also 13. What do we expect of you?

4. Can I apply if I am older than 25 or younger than 16? 

No, unfortunately, reason being that we have thousands of applicants and our age limit is strict, due to the amount of applicants. But you are very welcome to join our community of
Earthpreneurs, and hope we connect and create some action there!

5. What is the cost?

YSI programs are 100% free for all participants and it is a fully funded trip to Oslo, including flight, accomodation and food. You will live in Oslo for two weeks in August.. It does however take a lot of time, and it's expected to use between 15 and 35 hours each week from April 2nd - August 26th.

After the program we follow up to ensure that your startup hits the ground running.

6. How are the teams chosen?

In the global program we choose 7 teams with 3 people in each. These teams are built up based on their common interests (example, SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities), and their difference in skills, background and personalities. Based on consultancy with several professionals we have our set of criterias, and our way of putting together the team.

7. Why only 3 in the team?

A lot of research shows that in complex problem solving, 3-4 people is the best group size. At the same time we chose 3, as it is an online course. The teams are allowed to expand their team from the YSI application pool during the program. If a team needs a programmer or an engineer, they add the person in their team.

8. Are there any other opportunities in YSI?

YSI expands with two new innovation programs.

First is YSI Southeast Asia, located in Singapore ( who`s application process opens January 28th. The second is YSI Bangladesh (for Bangladesh citizens - who's application process opens February 4th.

We are in the development of making creative innovation challenges, expected to launch within the next few months.

Lastly you can join our community Earthpreneurs on Facebook to come in touch with other like minded people fighting for a sustainable world.

9. What will happen in Oslo?

A lot of hard work, cool events and new friendships created. On the one side you will work closely with your own team, get inspired by incredible speakers, learn from awesome mentors. We will run various parties and events, such as culture night, Chewing Gum and Earthpreneurs 2018 conference to end it all! You will work on your prototype, action plans, future plans and your pitch deck and business model. Simply put, you will be ready to get investment, work after you get home and continue to create real impact.

10. How did it go with last years participants?

3 out of 5 teams are still going strong, and are in a stage of prototyping and developing. The other teams found out their markets didn't want their concepts - which is why we focus heavily on MVP and prototyping before arriving Oslo, Norway this year.

Xyla Water is a social startup founded to defy the challenge of affordability in providing clean drinking water to masses. By providing affordable, biodegradable and suitable water filters.(Xyla Water filter was developed and prototyped at MIT.)

HeatGrade aims to mass-measure heat loss in low rise buildings – commercial and residential - to save money and emissions. Our product provides a non-invasive way to measure the efficiency levels of towns and cities with the aim of improving homeowner awareness and council/community awareness of building efficiencies.

Decdis uses a variety of data sources and our own proprietary artificial intelligence algorithm to provide accurate, actionable, real time health data to people within closed environments to halt the spread of disease. We’re launching in the workplace, providing office specific recommendations to HR departments, helping them implement proactive measures that increase overall productivity and keep employees healthy and happy.

We also have a cool team from our 20 under 20 conference in 2016:

Aquasolis is a Norwegian high technology startup, specializing in highly efficient RO based water recovery and desalination, saving huge on operational costs and environmental impact. 

11. Video and pictures from last year

Video is here


pictures is here

12. Who are the YSI team members?

You can see some of us at

In short we are a group of young entrepreneurs, innovators, changemakers and students from different places in the world. Our headquarter is based in Oslo, Norway but we also have teams in Singapore, Bangladesh, Korea, and China.

We believe in a sustainable future, and we believe that our efforts can help speed up the process of getting there.

13. What is expected from YOU as a participant?

We think it's important to note that we have thousands of applicants from all countries in the world. We are looking for the best talents between 16 and 25 years, who can bring about real change. This is why we expect people who wants to fully commit to the program, and keep building a startup after the program.

People who are in the program online, not giving their best, will not be travelling to Oslo in August. We also expect honesty, resilience, and open-minded people on board in YSI. We expect open communication, over-delivery, and to have fun.

We also fully expect this of ourselves.

14. Curriculum and authors (program based on)

Our program is using ideas and research from a broad spectrum of organizations, researchers, and experts. There are hundreds that in some way contributes to the program, but we have chosen a small part of the group to give you some further reading.

Overall methodology:

Design thinking, Lean methodology, and Agile principles. To how these methods and principles are used in the same program -
follow this link!


  1. Keith Sawyer - Author of “Group Genius” and “Zig Zag”
  2. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - Author of “Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention.
  3. Teresa Amabile
  4. Ed Catmull
  5. Alex Osborn
  6. IDEO


  1. Tim Brown - CEO and president of IDEO.
  2. Jonny Schneider - Author of “Understanding Design thinking, lean, and agile.”
  3. Clayton Christensen
  4. Guy Kawasaki
  5. Jay Doblin “Ten types of innovation
  6. Nassim Taleb - author of the “Black Swan!


  1. Alexander Osterwalder
  2. Elon Musk
  3. Zoltan Acs
  4. Grant Cardone
  5. Companeurs e-book
  6. Tim Grover
  7. Christian Madsbjerg
  8. Seth Godin
  9. Oren Klaff

We also work with Future Leaders Global on leadership development, Thunderwave on innovation, and Emergence School of Leadership on curriculum and project management. See more of our partners at

15. What do you get? (Benefits)

- All expenses covered (Flight, food and accommodations) and trip to Norway

- Meet the entrepreneurial community of Oslo, Norway!

- Mentors, access to investors, and some of the best talents under 25 years in the world in your team.

- Learn about innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship through action and our curriculum.

- A golden chance to create a real startup tackling the sustainable development goals.

- Learn to work online, with a diverse team.

- Get access to a huge network of young talents and a community of driven people.

- Unknown amount of money to mvp-test and prototype