Notebook journal with ideas on desk 913250

API’s Innovation Lab offers you the opportunity to work with a team of 4-6 peers to build essential skills of cross-cultural teamwork and collaboration, concept design, and to develop innovative business solutions to global challenges. The lab is designed to leverage the UN Global Goals as a blueprint for understanding global problems that need solving, like poverty, gender equality, and climate action - among many others - for a healthier and happier world. Your work will result in a pitch deck and investment proposal of a viable business model that you will present in a virtual boardroom.

  • CULTURAL COACHES will keep your solutions global, with cultural insight to guide development of your concept, enhance your impact, and maximize your global reach.
  • INDUSTRY MENTORS will support you through creative ideation, help you position a unique value proposition in the market, and provide real-world feedback on your pitch.

As a participant, you will:

— Engage Lean Launchpad methodology to prepare for success in concept development, valuation and design

— Participate in dynamic and immersive virtual learning and rich cultural experiences led by our Resident Directors abroad, including guided tours, cooking classes, networking opportunities and community building across borders

— Follow a guided pathway of activities to achieve global skills and the opportunity to earn a digital badge stack that demonstrates cultural knowledge and the skills employers value to display on LinkedIn, e-portfolios, or other online platforms

“The experience of creating a nearly full-blown business plan, the opportunity to learn from the keynote speakers, and the ability to work with a team from around the world are extremely unique when compared with anything that can be experienced in a typical university class.”
- Nicholas M., Innovation Lab Participant 2020

What's Included?

  • Advising
  • Community-building activities and cultural resources in a digital learning workspace
  • API Digital Badge Stack: Global Innovation, Global Problem Solving, and Global Teamwork
  • Access to API alumni network & API Ambassador Program
  • Career readiness materials and support, including how to reflect this experience on a resume and at job interviews
  • Live events featuring speakers, activities, networking and more
  • Post-program evaluation

Application Requirements

  • Current resume or CV
  • Personal statement outlining interest in innovating solutions for a current UN Global Challenge
Session Program Dates Program Cost Application Deadline Extended Application Deadline Payment Deadline
Spring Jan, 2024 - Mar, 2024 $1,900 Dec 1, 2024 No Extension Jan 23, 2024
Winter Jan, 2024 - Apr, 2024 $1,900 Dec 1, 2023 No Extension Dec 27, 2023
Fall Sep, 2024 - Dec, 2024 $1,900 Aug 1, 2024 No Extension Sep 1, 2024

API Lab participants pay a $150 application deposit with the initial application and the remaining balance is due upon acceptance. Participants who apply on the application deadline are responsible for submitting 50% of the program fee with the application.

What You’ll Study

API Innovation Lab participants will participate in dynamic team-based, experiential learning utilizing a flipped classroom model to move an innovative idea through design and development to create a pitch. Alongside the guided modules and supported learning opportunities with industry mentors and cultural coaches, you’ll level-up your learning along the way by earning digital badges.

Learners will earn a stack of digital badges that certifies meaningful engagement with the outcomes of the API Innovation Lab to enhance their LinkedIn profiles, e-portfolios, personal websites and digital resumes, and more. The stack includes, Global Teamwork, Global Problem-Solving, and Global Innovation badges.

Global Teamwork:

This digital badge is part of the Innovation Lab digital badge stack. Earn this digital badge by working with a team to create innovative solutions to global problems. Diverse perspectives, cultural competence, and a drive to succeed are all key to collaborations that make an impact. Assess your collaborative skills, practice peer review, and refine your individual approach to leadership in team settings.

Global Problem-Solving:

This digital badge is part of the Innovation Lab digital badge stack. Address global problem solving by embracing diverse perspectives, leveraging curiosity, networking with experts, and piloting solutions. Design, implement, assess, and modify to test your hypotheses and grow skills of resilience and change management.

Global Innovation:

This digital badge is the capstone badge of the Innovation Lab digital badge stack. Collaborate with teammates to innovate solutions to global challenges. Learn from cultural coaches and build connections with industry mentors. Connect your solutions to real-world applications. Drive innovation to make a meaningful impact.

  • Caroline headshot

    Caroline Mobley

    Caroline Mobley will be your Program Coordinator and will help prepare you for your API program.

    (she / her / hers)

Click Here to Find Classes

Team-based learning is a central component of the API Innovation Lab. Teams are interdisciplinary and selected through aligned interest in the UN Global Goals. Weekly modules guide your team through collaborative ideation, developing a value proposition, defining a concept, modeling a hypothesis, communicating value, market testing, and pitching. The lab follows the Lean Launchpad methodology that uses the scientific method to frame business discovery and experiential concept design through active testing of business hypotheses and ideas. Teams will be guided by industry mentors, cultural coaches, and lab facilitators and can expect to dedicate 3-5 hours of work per week. The teams will be assessed on ideation, value proposition, business model hypothesis, innovation pitch and investment proposal, and a teamwork assessment.

Hear from a former API Innovation Lab participant: "I think the API Lab offered a wonderful chance to connect with students from all around the world and learn about business practices in an engaging and valuable way. Guest speakers provided incredible industry and experience insights and mentors were supportive and offered fantastic guidance. The content in the modules exceeded my expectations, especially in combination with the keynote speakers."

During the 12-week experience, learners will engage each of the following four modules alongside their teammates: