Fellowship-it: an idea to get over the last hurdle when applying for funding

I keep planning to apply for the Shuttleworth fellowship, and failing to apply, because I’m not happy with my final application, so I want to try a weird trick that might help. It might help you too.

My experience

I tried earlier this year, at the last minute, I flaked out, because, after spending hours writing an application, I couldn’t get a good video together that I was happy with, actually make up the last bit of the the submission for the fellowship. I’d keep re-recording, or re-writing what I was going to say.

In a word, I couldn’t ship it.

What if I can’t keep noodling around with the video?

If you’ve ever been to an ignite/pecha kucha event, you’ll be familiar with an interesting hack – to make the night more interesting, and keep the event flowing.

Speakers have 300 seconds, and the slides automatically cycle through the deck – you don’t get control it. It’s scary, but also liberating.


Puns seem to be one of the main drivers of my professional career, and and this is no exception. I’m planning to run an event in the last week before the Shuttleworth Fellowship application closes, for others in Berlin or Germany, who are thinking of applying, who:

  • want to apply for the shuttleworth fellowship which closes on Nov 3rd
  • are cool with presenting your idea on a projector in venue in Berlin, from a PDF, or online deck (i.e. not your laptop)
  • are happy presenting in front of a small, friendly supportive audience

This sound like you? If so, here’s the plan:

  • we get venue (I’ve asked co-up but I’m open to other venues, as long as they’re easy to get to, and free)
  • one of us sets up a DSLR or similar camera
  • we take it in turns to present our idea, in one take, to the rest of the audience. We have the projector and the audience to help.
  • we immediately upload the video somewhere we can all access (probably youtube, but I’m not too fussy)

We then have a video uploaded an online, the same day, that we can link to, before the deadline.

Why do this?

I have a hard time getting these applications shipped, and I think others might too.

So, if we can do something to help with the most awkward part of getting these applications over the line, I think it’ll increase the chances of one of us actually getting funded, for whatever project we want to throw the majority of our waking hours at, over the next few years.

If nothing else, it’ll be a good test run, if you DO want to make a video anyway. You’ll get the practice for trying to speak coherently about your project.

If you’re into it

Let’s say we might do on this on the afternoon/evening of Friday Nov 1st, or at some point on Saturday Nov 2nd. That still gives time to see the vid and make the application deadline of Nov 3rd.

If you have a venue in mind, or you fancy doing this, shoot me an email with the subject of Fellowship-it“, and say “I’m up for doing this”, to chris@productscience.net.

You can see more, but that’s enough.

If there’s enough of us in Berlin who want to this I’ll set some time aside to make it happen.

Update: I provisionally have a space now (Co-up, a cool community space in Berlin) and a date – the evening of Nov 2nd.