Mercatus Center Announces the Launch of Emergent Ventures Africa & the Caribbean

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is pleased to announce the recent launch of a new Emergent Ventures (EV) vertical focused on Africa & the Caribbean. This vertical is supported by a grant from Schmidt Futures and managed by previous EV recipient Rasheed Griffith, under the direction of Tyler Cowen, Faculty Director at Mercatus. Africa & the Caribbean join India and Ukraine as the latest geographical regions to have allotted funding within the Emergent Ventures program.

“Emergent Ventures’ unique approach to talent selection has already led to the funding of superb individuals and teams across Africa and the Caribbean in the new vertical. The grant from Schmidt Futures will go a long way in accelerating funding endeavors,” said Rasheed Griffith, who recently became a Schmidt Futures Innovation Fellow.

EV Africa & the Caribbean has already announced the first three cohorts of grant recipients. These awards have been allocated to projects ranging from statistical genetics research in South Africa to phage isolation in Nigeria to data science training boot camps in Ethiopia.

“I’m thrilled that EV now has a dedicated focus on Africa and the Caribbean,” said EV founder Tyler Cowen. “These are regions that have been thoroughly underrated. But you can find an exceptionally high number of talented people if you make an effort to look for them.”

Emergent Ventures began in 2018 as an incubator fellowship and grant program for social entrepreneurs with highly scalable ideas for meaningfully improving society. In 2020, two issue-specific verticals developed from the initial program. EV India supports entrepreneurs focusing on “moonshot” projects related to India, and FastGrants has awarded over $50 million to support scientific research and treatments for COVID-19.

The application for EV Africa & the Caribbean is available at Click the “Apply Now” button and note how your project will transform Africa and/or the Caribbean as you answer the questionnaire. There is no application deadline for EV, but applicants are encouraged to apply quickly, as funds are limited.

For questions about the EV application process, please contact [email protected]. For media inquiries, please reach out to [email protected].