Protect Your Courage.

We Are Watson

Watson is a new university model tailored for next generation innovators, leaders, and social entrepreneurs. We protect the courage of the next generation so they can pioneer their education, trailblaze lives as innovators, and contribute to solving the toughest challenges facing the world.

The Watson Method

  • Mentorship
    Each student has weekly meetings with their mentors, who are leading entrepreneurs and practitioners from the community.  The result is students learning from those who have been in their shoes and overcome the challenges they are facing.
  • Community
    A powerful community is forged between the scholars, alumni, mentors, preceptors and team at Watson.  The result is lifelong friendships and invaluable peer support that protects the courage of each Watson student.
  • Master Courses
    Watson invites leading practitioners to campus from across the world to lead short workshops, one-on-one mentorship sessions, and act as short term entrepreneurs in residence. The result is a greatly expanded network for each student, transformative workshops, and guidance through challenges.
  • Hard Skills
    Each semester, scholars learn and practice a series of hard skills necessary for building a venture and making change in the world. The result is students complete a mini-MBA and develop expertise in a wide array of skills ranging from graphic design and web development to time management and personal branding.
  • Personal Development
    Perhaps the most powerful element of the Watson experience is the personal development that comes from being surrounded by a group of peers from across the world each driven to make change. Students leave Watson with greater clarity about who they are and the potential they carry to create significant change in the world.
  • Watson Lab
    The Watson Lab is a hybrid of a co-working space combined with coaching, mentorship, and structured goal setting. The result is that students make significant progress towards their goals, receive coaching and mentorship along the way, and ultimately achieve more than they thought possible.

Program Highlights

Each Watson semester is an intensive fifteen week program in which scholars receive weekly mentorship and coaching sessions, free international legal support (through a partnership with Thomson Reuters), training in the hard skills and frameworks to take their ideas to the next level, and a community of peers that will last far beyond Watson.  We aim to be the Olympic training ground for next generation changemakers and you can expect the experience to be both challenging and fun.  Below are four key elements of each semester.

  • Scholar Trip
    Each semester the scholars travel to a new destination for a weeklong series of challenges and learning from thought leaders.
  • Funder Week
    An intensive week focused on fundraising for for profit and nonprofit ventures led by real impact investors and foundation heads themselves - seed funding is awarded to the strongest non-profit proposals at the end of the week.
  • Summit Week
    The culminating event of the semester in which scholars pitch their ventures to a packed crowd of supporters, partners, mentors, funders, family and friends.
  • Seed Funding
    Scholars earn seed funding from a $15,000/semester pool through stellar participation, completing challenges, and investing in the Watson community.

“My time at Watson taught me two things: That within me there is an endless source of possibility waiting to happen, and that there are people who fiercely believe in the good in the world and are passionate about making a lasting positive impact, just like me.”

Allyson Ann Carpenter, US

“Watson is simply the way of the future for higher education: I walk away with the most meaningful friendships I have in my life, the courage to aim for the sky, the depth of reflection required to live a balanced yet cutting-edge lifestyle, and a renewed vision for my social venture Umbiyozo.”

Jason Woolf, South Africa

“Watson is simply the place to be. Although I already have 2 degrees, my experience at Watson far tops any of my previous educational experiences. At Watson, I found the courage to really go for what I want and was able to craft the vision for the future that I want for my life, my community and my country.”

Omotola Akinsola, Nigeria

Who We Partner With