UP Accelerate WAY edition is an initiative of UNFPA in partnership with Outbox with support from the Government of Denmark that encourages and supports young people to develop innovative solutions responding to Sexual Reproductive Health (SRHR) and Gender Based Violence issues in Uganda. The overall outcome of the programme is to enhance utilization of SRHR and GBV (Gender Based Violence) services among the women and young people in northern Uganda, including refugees, in order to realise their right to live healthy and productive lives.

For this call, you are expected to propose solutions that:

  • Enable Women and Young people affected by conflict & their host communities to access timely, context appropriate and accurate information and education on Sexual Reproductive Health and GBV;

  • Improve access to essential Sexual Reproductive Health Services and Supplies for women and young people affected by conflict and their host communities;

  • Provide an integrated approach of reducing alcohol and substance abuse so as to limit instances of Gender Based Violence among women and young people

Participation in the Up Accelerate program constitutes the contestant’s full consent to these terms and conditions. The organizer’s decisions are final and binding.

Participating in the Up Accelerate program and (if the organizers choose to offer one) winning a prize (as further defined below) is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth in these Terms and Conditions and entering into further agreements.

To support constructive engagement, we propose that you use the following guiding principles to develop your innovative solutions:

  • Advancing gender equality and empowerment for women & young people;
    The centrality of gender inequality and discrimination, as both a root cause and a consequence of violence against women and young people, requires that services ensure gender sensitive and responsive policies and practices are in place. Solutions must ensure that violence will not be condoned, tolerated or perpetuated.
  • A Rights based approach; A human rights approach calls for solutions that prioritize the safety and well-being of women and young people, and treat them with dignity, respect and sensitivity. It also calls for solutions of good quality, available, accessible and acceptable to women and young people.
  • Culturally and age appropriate and sensitive; Such solutions must respond to the individual circumstances and life experiences of women and young people, taking into account their age, identity, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity and language preferences.
  • For digital products, keep in mind the UN Digital principles; UNFPA subscribes to the UN Digital principles that emphasise that while designing solutions, there is a need to understand the existing ecosystem, build for sustainability, and design with the users among others.

The Principles for Digital Development are:

  • Design with the user.
  • Understand the existing ecosystem.
  • Design for scale.
  • Build for sustainability.
  • Be data driven.
  • Use open standards, open data, open source, and open innovation.
  • Reuse and improve.
  • Address privacy and security.
  • Be collaborative.

Please look them up to guide your solution development.

Instructions for Applications

  • Answer all the questions in the application form.
  • All responses must be in English ONLY.
  • The terms and conditions can also be accessed online at https://way.upaccelerate.co.ug/terms-and-conditions


Reference to the “Organizers” means:

Outbox (U) Ltd
4th Floor, Soliz House,
Lumumba Avenue, Kampala, Uganda

Program dates

Sourcing and selection

  • Call for Applications offline: - 28th September 2020
  • Call for Applications online: - 28th September 2020
  • Application Deadline: - 15th November 2020
  • Shortlisting: - 19th - 25th November 2020
  • Announcement to shortlisted participants: - 30th November 2020
  • Pitch Practice: - 1st December 2020
  • Pitch Day: - 14th December 2020

Eligibility criteria

The program is open to:

  • Founding teams of individuals that are between 18 - 30 years of age at the time of the application and who reside in one of the ten (10) districts of focus. The project will only accept teams of at least 2 founding individuals and no more than 5 to participate in the program. A team of one founding individual will not be considered. Each team must be constituted of, as a minimum, 1 female founding member.
  • Participants must be Ugandan citizens or registered as refugees in Uganda resident in the eight target districts of the program and available for the incubation period of one (1) year. Your solution should be targeted for implementation in the eight target districts of the program. The focus districts are Adjumani, Agago, Amuru, Arua, Kitgum, Lamwo, Moyo, Yumbe, Madi-Okollo and Obongi. Should you not reside in any of the focus districts, your team composition should include at-least two residents from the target districts and you should be able to participate in the program without requesting for compensation on transport and accommodation as all activities will take place in West Nile and Northern Uganda.
  • All team members must be fully proficient in written and spoken English.
  • Up Accelerate is a program that requires founder participation. All founding team members must commit to fully participate in the program. Founding team members not fully-committed to the program will not be accepted to remain in the program, and their removal from the program may render the remaining team ineligible for the program.
  • Owning or having a registered business is not a prerequisite for winning the competition. However, winners without registered businesses will be expected to register businesses or companies in Uganda within 1 month of being notified of winning the competition to be eligible to receive the grant.
  • The business idea should be pre-revenue and not have raised more than UGX 37 Million at the time of submission of the application.
  • Only applications submitted through the Up Accelerate web portal at www.upaccelerate.co.ug or hand-delivered at the innovation partner centre in a sealed envelope will be eligible for consideration.
  • Employees of UNFPA, Outbox, Reach A Hand, Care Uganda, CDFU and any individual involved in the Up Accelerate program design, production, promotion, execution, distribution and any such individual’s immediate family or household, are not eligible to participate in this program.

Application period

Participants may enter an application between 28th September 2020 to 15th November 2020.


To be considered:

  • Applications submitted must directly address one of the three challenge areas advertised on the Up Accelerate WAY Edition website and also stated on the first page of the Application form.
  • Applications submitted must be correctly filled in English.

General requirements

  • Participant may enter more than one application. However, each application must be, at the sole discretion of the Organizers, substantially different from the Participant’s other applications. If similar applications are received, the Organisers may require the Participant to choose one of the similar applications for consideration. If an individual is a member of more than one team or organization, the applications made by the team or organization that the individual is part of must be substantially different from other applications the individual is involved in.
  • An application may be rejected at the sole discretion of the Organizers for any reason, including if the application, either in part or in its entirety, is deemed to be obscene, defamatory, likely to incite violence;or illegal activity, in violation of any third-party’s rights or any relevant regulations or is otherwise deemed to be inappropriate.
  • Applications must not attempt to duplicate a prior application already submitted in this Programme. The Organizers reserve the right to disqualify any application that in their opinion is a duplicate or substantially similar to another application.
  • Applications must not violate the intellectual property rights or other rights including, but not limited to, copyright, trademark, patent, contract, and/or privacy rights of any other person or entity.
  • By entering an application the participant represents, warrants and agrees that any use of the application by the Organizers (or any of their respective partners, subsidiaries and affiliates) as authorized by these Terms & Conditions, shall not infringe upon, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property right or proprietary right including, without limitation, any registered or unregistered trademark, copyright, design rights or patent, nor any privacy rights, moral rights nor any other rights of any person or entity.
  • Participants in the previous call for applications that did not win are welcome to submit an improved version of their previous application or a new application.
  • Teams currently undergoing incubation support in the program are not allowed to submit another application in the program.


a) There are two cycles of this incubation program. This cycle will seek to support up-to ten startups, one from each of the target districts.

b) Applications to the incubation program will undergo an initial screening by the Organizers. To be considered, teams must apply at www.upaccelerate.co.ug by setting up an account and accurately completing and submitting personal details of the team members. Or getting an application form from an innovation champion. The organisers will select a shortlist of up-to 16 applicants to participate in a pitch event whereby a team of independent judges will determine the winners.

c) Should a successful Participant wish to accept such offer and participate in the Up Accelerate program they will be required to submit further documentation. This may include a requirement to set up a limited company which owns the intellectual property rights of the business idea. Participants may also be subject to criminal record checks before entering the programme.

d) Participants will also be offered a sum of money (up to UGX 18 Million in local UGX Currency) to help with any costs the team may incur in taking part in the incubator. The seed funding will not be transferred to the established businesses but will be managed with oversight from Outbox based on agreed milestones. The successful teams may, after the conclusion of the incubator program, also be offered the opportunity to receive investment in its business from Outbox in consideration for a legal interest in the business.

h) The detailed requirements for entering into the Up Accelerate program are to be negotiated between the Organizers and the Participant once an invitation has been issued, unless such documentation is agreed and entered into by all parties the Participant shall not be obligated to participate in Up Accelerate program and the Organisers shall not be obliged to admit the Participant to the Up Accelerate program.

i) In order to maximize benefit from expertise and tools made available by Outbox, Participants in the incubator (“Incubator Participants”) are strongly advised, but not required, to relocate their businesses to the nearest innovation centre partner space for the duration of the Up Accelerate program.

 j) Participation in hosted events, speeches and workshops during the Up Accelerate program is mandatory for all Incubator Participants. This includes all members of the founding team and other non-founding members.

k) During the incubation phase, businesses will be recorded and videos will be posted in the Up Accelerate program website to allow the organizers’ partners and the public to track the program’s progress.

l) Each team should have a nominated leader that will act as the focal point of contact. All information will be shared with the nominated leader.

m) Public demo day: Towards or at the end of the incubator, the Incubator Participants will demo their product or solution to potential partners, investors and fellow entrepreneurs.


Participation in the programme constitutes a participant’s consent to the Organizers and their agents’ use of the participant’s name and description, including the team or organisation name, if applicable, and the Participant’s likeness, photograph, voice, opinions, comments and/or the place of business / residence of the Participant (or individuals who contributed to the Participant’s application) for non-commercial promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration for a period up until two years following the conclusion of the programme.

General conditions

  • The Organizers reserve the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the programme, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failure or any other unanticipated factor or factor beyond the Organizers control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the programme, as determined by the Organizers at their sole discretion. The Organizers reserve the right at their sole discretion to disqualify any Participant, including if they find the Participant to be tampering with the programme, specifically including, but not limited to, the entry or voting process (for example by using the aid of computer software programs to auto-vote, creation of fake email addresses), or the operation of the programme, or to be acting in violation of these Terms & Conditions, or in a manner that is inappropriate, unsportsmanlike, not in the best interests of this programme, or a violation of any applicable law or regulation.
  • Any attempt by any person to undermine the proper conduct of the programme may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Organizers reserve the right to take proper legal action, including, without limitation, referral to law enforcement for any illegal or unlawful activities.
  • The Organizers’ failure to enforce any provision of these Terms & Conditions shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. The Organizers are not responsible for incomplete, late, misdirected, damaged, lost, illegible or incomprehensible applications, or for address or email address changes of the Participant. Proof of sending or submitting will not be deemed to be proof of receipt by the Organizers.
  • In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency between any provisions of these Terms & Conditions and disclosures or other statements contained in any programme materials, including, but not limited to, the programme application form, programme website, advertising (including, but not limited to, television, print, radio or online ads), these Terms & Conditions shall prevail.
  • The Organisers reserve the right, without liability, to amend these Terms & Conditions at any time, including the rights or obligations of Participants, UNFPA, Outbox. In such an event, the Organisers will post the amended Terms & Conditions on the programme website. Any amendment will become effective at the time the Organisers post the amended Terms & Conditions.
  • All intellectual property related to this programme (excluding Participants’ products and innovations and proprietary intellectual property), including, but not limited to, trademarks, trade-names, logos, designs, promotional materials, web pages, source codes, drawings, illustrations, slogans and representations, are owned or used under license by Outbox. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized copying or use of any copyrighted material or intellectual property without the express written consent of its owners is strictly prohibited.
  • The Participants shall at all times act in accordance with all applicable laws in any relevant jurisdiction and continue to do so during their involvement in the Incubator. Organizers may terminate any agreement with the Participant with immediate effect should it, in its sole discretion, deem that the Participant has contravened any applicable laws. The Organizers shall not be liable for any direct or indirect losses of the Participant arising out of any termination under this clause.
  • Should any provision of these Terms & Conditions be, or become, illegal or unenforceable, such illegality or unenforceability shall leave the remainder of these Terms & Conditions unaffected and valid. The illegal or unenforceable provision shall be replaced by a valid and enforceable provision that comes closest and best reflects the Organizer’s intention in a legal and enforceable manner with respect to the invalid or unenforceable provision.

How will the selection be done ?

  • All entries will be screened on eligibility, completeness and timeliness of submission.
  • All entries eligible, complete and timely submitted will be put forward as a longlist to a panel of judges. The judges will thereafter review the entries against the shortlist criteria to determine which ones make it to the shortlist. Twenty (20) ideas will be shortlisted. The shortlisted teams will be invited to pitch in-front of a panel of judges. The Judges’ decision is final, binding and not subject to any review or appeal. The program will not enter into any correspondence with participants regarding the decision of the Panel of Judges. The program may select additional reserve winners to replace any winner of any of the Prizes who is subsequently disqualified.
  • The entries in the Campaign that will have met the Judges’ criteria at the close of the pitching window will be declared the winners.

Selection criteria

Stage 1: Shortlisted ideas

These are ideas that make it to the last twenty (20) to pitch in-front of a panel of judges.

  • Team: It should demonstrate that they are available for the duration of the program i.e 1 year. We shall be assessing:
    • For team diversity, district natives and at least 1 female participant are required. Refugees are highly encouraged in the case of refugee-hosting districts.
    • Capacity: It should have the skill sets, network, experience to implement the solution.
  • Innovative: The solution should take a new approach to a problem or use an existing approach in a new way. We shall be assessing:
    • How the solution hopes to differentiate or improve what exists.
    • Evidence that supports the approach of the solution. For example any research done on the subject, any feedback from users with which the solution has been tested.
  • Potential Impact: It should demonstrate potential. We shall be assessing:
    • Whether there is a good understanding of the likely impact that the solution will have on women and young people.
    • Clearly articulate how the solution addresses the challenge area.
    • How clearly the understanding of the need is translated into the solution.


Stage 2: Top ideas

These are ideas that make it to the incubation program after a pitch event.

  • Accessibility: An understanding of user needs and  how the solutions meet them through ease of use and affordability. We shall be assessing:
    • Ease of use: languages, connectivity, digital literacy, education levels.
    • Accessibility to target audiences (Women & young people, refugees) through the team's account of distribution models and business model.
  • Roadmap: The solution should have well planned milestones and resource needs. We shall assess:
    • The feasibility of bringing the solution to market within the program timeframe and funding available.
  • Market potential: It should demonstrate potential. We shall be assessing:
    • The realistic understanding of solutions that are out there and how well the solution fits in.
    • How well the solution will be developed in relation to a particular market/context & how the growth potential is understood.
    • Any partnerships or strategies to ensure the affordable and effective transmission of the solution.

The prize

  •  The winners for each incubation cycle (if any) will be offered a conditional grant of UGX 18 Million. This grant will be disbursed to the winning participants in tranches and based on milestones developed at the start of the incubation cycle.
  • The teams having the final selected winning ideas must attend an entrepreneurship incubation program for a period of one year, facilitated by Outbox, to be eligible to receive the said grant. The applicant agrees and accepts that financing will be pegged on the team attaining all the set milestones as per the incubation curriculum.
  • All winning business ideas MUST be lawful under the laws of Uganda.
  • The prize is non-transferable.
  • Outbox will inform the winners by email and mobile contact through their nominated team leader.
  • The winner will be contacted by Outbox within 72 hours from conclusion of selection of winners. The prize shall be deemed to have been forfeited and another winner will be selected if the call from our above telephone line is not answered within 3 attempts or the winner’s phone is off at the time of the call or the call is directed to voicemail or a person other than the winner answers or there is failure to verify the winner’s identification details.
  • In the event of disqualification of a participant in the incubation program, the Organizers may at their sole discretion select an alternate participant or award the applicable prize to an alternate potential winner.

Entry conditions and indemnity

  • Each Participant acknowledges and agrees that the relationship between the Participants, and the Organizers is not a confidential, fiduciary, or other special relationship, and that the Participant’s decision to provide the Participant’s application to the Organizers for the purposes of this incubation program does not place the Organizers and their respective agents in a position that is any different from the position held by the members of the general public with regard to elements of the application, except as specifically provided in these Terms & Conditions. The Organizers and the judging panel will not enter into nondisclosure agreements with Participants in connection with the programme.
  • By entering, each Participant (including all participating members of a team or organisation) agree(s) to:
  • Comply with and be bound by these Terms & Conditions and the decisions of the Organizers and/or the judging panel, which are binding and final in all matters relating to this innovation incubation programme; and
  • Indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Organizers, and their respective parent, subsidiary, and affiliated companies and any other organizations responsible for sponsoring, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the programme, and all of their respective past and present officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including legal fees), including, but not limited to, negligence and damages of any kind to persons and property, defamation, infringement of trademark, copyright, design right or other intellectual property rights, property damage, or death or personal injury arising out of or relating to a Participant’s entry, creation of application or entry of application, participation in the programme, acceptance or use or misuse of the prize (including any related travel or activity), participation in Pitch Days, participation in the accelerator and/or the broadcast, transmission, performance, exploitation or use of application as authorized or licensed by these Terms & Conditions.


All personal information collected from you is subject to the privacy policy located on https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QTzVGc9UUOrGEsg6IezrsxKtnUatCExkO0uzL-4vQGU/edit 

Law and Jurisdiction

These terms and conditions will be governed by Ugandan Law and are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of Ugandan Courts.