FTxSDG Challenge

Calling the world's next startups

Why join the challenge?

The FTxSDG Challenge, powered by the Financial Times and Seedstars, has a mission to empower impact-driven entrepreneurs in emerging markets through a startup competition split in thematic challenges based on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. There will be one startup winner from each one of the themes who will have a Short track to Seedstars Investor Fund for an investment of $500K, access to the Seedstars Growth Program and so much more.

Deadline: November, 1st

Prizes

Gender Equality

Are you a women-lead startup or a venture that focuses on supporting gender equality & women empowerment?

Climate Action

Are you a startup focused on agriculture, environment, waste management, energy, infrastructure, or any industry that combats climate change?

Quality Education

Are you a startup innovating in the Edutech field? If you aim to improve the processes, accessibility and quality of education in Emerging Markets.

Good Health and Well-being

Are you a Healthtech startup? Do you bring innovative solutions to promote wellbeing, mental health or to prevent health issues from evolving

Good Jobs and Economic Growth

Are you a startup innovating in the logistics, e-commerce or Fintech fields or a growing startup with sustainable job opportunities?

Reduced Inequalities

Are you working on challenges related to migrants, vulnerable communities or innovations that help solve justice or gender-based inequalities?

The format of the FTxSDG Challenge gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to take their startups to the next level.

Investment Readiness Session

A digital training platform created by Seedstars Investment Team & mentors network. Startups will choose relevant on-demand content according to their needs

FTxSDG Challenge Global Event

An online global event hosting masterclasses, workshops, pitch competition, as well the public event for the winners with live sessions and panel discussions.

Winners Prizes Execution

Short track to Seedstars Investment Fund, investment opportunity of $500K, participation in the Seedstars Growth Program, FT Talent visibility package, etc.

Startups Criteria

If you are a startup looking to learn from industry experts, network with a global entrepreneurial ecosystem, achieve product/market fit and accelerate growth in your existing market, apply now to FTxSDG Challenge.

Startup criteria:

  • Industry fit FTxSDG Challenge
  • MVP
  • Less than 1 mln USD raised
  • Initial traction
  • Emerging markets focus

FAQ

1.) What is the timeline of the FTxSDGChallenge?

Call of Applications: September-November, 2021

Semifinalists & Investment Readiness Sessions: November, 2021

Finals & FTxSDGChallenge Global Event: 13-17th December 2021

2.) What is the deadline for the applications?

The deadline for applications for both startups and individuals is November, 1st 2021

3.) Is it possible to apply for both the startup & individual track?

Yes, you can absolutely apply for both tracks

4.) Do I need to have any legal format to apply for the competition?

If applying to the startup track, yes, you need to be legally established

If applying to the individual track, there is no need for any legal framework

5.) Can startups who’re still bootstrapping and yet to receive seed capital apply?

Yes, if you can apply if you have received less than 1million$ in investment.

6.) How much traction do we need to be eligible to apply?

Initial traction with a working MVP

7.) Is a startup in an idea stage eligible to apply?

Yes, they can apply to the individual track

8.) Can our startup/idea tackle multiple SDGs?

Yes!

9.) What is the ideal outcome for startups that apply to the challenge?

Prize for the startups include:

  • Short Track to Seedstars Investor Fund(Investment size for up to USD500K)
  • Free participation to the 3 months Seedstars Growth Program (Value of USD 80K)
  • 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

10.) How widely do you define the themes? For example on Quality Education, what if you build infrastructure that improves access but not necessarily and Edtech?

As long as it’s a tech startup that supports education you can apply. You can find out more info about each SDG and how they’re defined here: https://www.seedstarsworld.com/ft-x-seedstars-challenge/

11.) How many startups and individuals are to be accepted to the Finals?

Individuals: 60

Startups: 2000 for the Semifinals and 30 for Finals