FTxSDG Challenge

The largest startup competition in emerging markets

Meet the winners


Financial Times and Seedstars announce this year’s six global winners of the FTxSDG Challenge: Anthem, India (Quality Education); Duhqa, Kenya (Reduced Inequalities); Medl, Trinidad and Tobago (Good Health & Wellbeing); Pinky Promise, India (Gender Equality); Trii, Columbia (Good Jobs & Economic Growth); and SafEarth Clean Technologies, India (Climate Action). The winners will be accelerated to the Seedstars International Fund where they’ll have the chance to secure up to $500K in funding.


Opening the FTxSDG Challenge call for applications to all startups and innovative entrepreneurs around the globe, over 4,500 applications were received. Narrowing that down, the Seedstars and Financial Times team have selected 30 finalists to compete for the six global winners spots for each SDG. The full list of finalists can be found here.

From there, the startup finalists got to pitch their ideas to experts in their respective SDG categories. You can view the full list of the jury members here. The results of the deliberations for this year’s global winners are the following:

Quality Education Winner

Anthem, India - Anthem is a simple, but very powerful SaaS tool built to keep the needs of mid-sized educational institutions in mind. It helps automate their four fundamental functions – fee collection, expense management, admissions, and communication.

Reduced Inequalities Winner

Duhqa, Kenya - For a small shop selling consumer products, they struggle to get a one-stop shop for their procurement needs, financing, and logistics. Duhqa is solving this problem and provides a tech solution that enables them to shop from manufacturers, get financing, and have all items delivered to their shop in under 6 hours.

Good Health & Wellbeing Winner

Medl, Trinidad and Tobago - There are millions of premature deaths by non-communicable diseases. Most premature deaths can be avoided by medications but 1 in 2 prescriptions are never filled: medication is confusing, time-consuming, inaccessible, and expensive. Medl's end-to-end prescription platform, to-your-door delivery, and continuing patient management scraps the traditional pharmacy model to transform the patient experience for the $75bn LatAm pharmaceutical market.

Good Jobs & Economic Growth Winner

Trii, Columbia - Local brokers make it difficult for 99% of the population to access the stock market and small investors were banned from the game. Trii is a Colombian Fintech partnered with the Colombian Stock Exchange to develop the first trading app in the country. They can serve millions and make the local stock market accessible and empower small investors.

Climate Action Winner

SafEarth Clean Technologies, India - Renewable energy is today the cheapest source of energy around the world, yet 9 out of 10 people don’t end up making this decision. As well as 67% of all distributed solar plants are not able to meet basic quality checks. From the end-user perspective, the transition to renewable energy is very complicated and prone to errors. Safearth helps in getting these users the right solar plants at the lowest possible price with zero errors.

Gender Equality Winner

Pinky Promise, India - Pinky Promise provides high-quality, automated reproductive healthcare to every woman in the world. Their gynecologist-verified chatbot walks a woman from her symptom, all the way to an answer for that symptom. Issue-specific chatrooms on our app help women connect with each other anonymously so they can ask follow-up questions and find support.