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FTxSeedstars SDG Challenge for Early-stage Startups [$500,000]

Deadline: November 1st, 2021

The Financial Times is partnering with Seedstars, a Swiss-based company that invests and supports startups from emerging markets, to host the first FTxSDG Challenge. The competition has been launched to empower promising, impact-driven startups and entrepreneurs with learning and funding opportunities. The call for applications is now live.

The focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims to bring awareness to global problems, while also empowering entrepreneurs who are creating solutions that can address these issues. The event will bring together early-stage startups from emerging markets and individual entrepreneurs to take part in the FTxSDG Challenge competition.

Individual participants are also welcome to join the SDGs Challenge and work in groups to solve real challenges for the different themes. They’ll be given the opportunity to work with their team over the course of a month in order to submit a pitch on their assigned SDG topic.

150 participants will be invited to solve real business challenges and present innovative strategies with a focus on the SDGs. The selected themes are:

  1. Gender equality,
  2. Climate Action,
  3. Quality Education – supported by the School of Management Fribourg (HEG-FR),
  4. Good Jobs and Economic Growth,
  5. Reduced Inequalities, and
  6. Good Health and Wellbeing.

Why You Should Apply

Prizes for Startups

  • Short track to Seedstars Investor Fund (investment size of USD 500K)
  • Free participation to the 3 months Seedstars Growth Program (value of USD 80K)

Prizes for Individuals

  • Mentorship session after the challenge with Financial Times senior leadership team
  • Free access to USD 49k worth of discounts and perks from 50+ tools including AWS, Hubspot, Miro, Twilio and more
  • Certificates and Awards
  • Feature in the post-event FT PR piece and in the FT Talent Newsletter
  • Pitches will be featured on the FT Talent website as part of FT.com
  • Access to exclusive masterclasses, guest panels and networking opportunities

The FTxSDG Challenge gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to take their startups to the next level. The experience starts with participation in Investment Readiness Sessions in the lead up to the pitching competition. In parallel the individuals will be paired up with the teams to work on their solutions. Over the week of the challenge the participants will take part in masterclasses and workshops, then they will pitch their startups and ideas, get support from international mentors and the opportunity to connect to a global community of impact-driven investors. During the final day of the event the winners of each SDG theme are announced.

Who Can Apply

Apply as a Startup:

  • If your startup fits any of the FTxSDG Challenge Themes
  • If you have already a MVP
  • If you have raised less than 1 mln USD.
  • If you have already Initial traction
  • If you have an Emerging markets focus

Apply as an Individual:

  • If you are interested in one of the 6 key topics
  • If you enjoy solving challenges and thinking on your feet
  • If you are driven and motivated
  • If you think critically and bring a fresh perspective

Visit FTxSeedstars for more information.

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