What to expect during the FTxSDF Challenge


What to expect during the FTxSDF Challenge

Seedstars Global

DECEMBER 10, 2021

After almost a decade of organizing the biggest startup competition in the emerging markets, the Seedstars World Competition, it was time for a change. That is how the FTxSDG Challenge powered by Seedstars and Financial Times came to be! For the past six months, our teams have been working to identify the most impact-driven entrepreneurs and ventures creating innovative solutions to tackle six different UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.



After reviewing over 4,500 applications, more than 2000 candidates from over 90 emerging markets moved to the next stage of the competition. There they had the opportunity to access Investment Readiness Sessions and Seedstars tech perks to become investment ready and prepare for the Bootcamp taking place in December. Only the selected 30 startups will be joining the Bootcamp and have the chance to pitch their solutions for one of the six SDGs in focus.

The final week of the Challenge will kick off on December 13th with three live panel discussions on Gender Equality, Climate Action and Quality Education. The next day, December 14th, we will again host three panels on Good Jobs & Economic Growth, Reduced Inequalities, and Good Health & Wellbeing. Each panel will include a number of renowned speakers including global thought-leaders and impact creation experts who’ll discuss how innovation and technology can solve the most critical issues around the world.

Check out the topics and the speakers of this year’s edition of the FTxSDG Challenge:

Gender Equality

The first panel will explore Women in Innovation & Technology. Our speakers will touch upon the challenges women face, as well as the benefits of Women Entrepreneurship and how financial inclusion for women differs from financial inclusion in general.

Climate Action

Climate change has been a topic of conversation for many years now and after COP26 many are still left with the question: what can we do to make a difference now? Is there untapped potential in innovation that could drive towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions? Speaking more on this highly relevant topic will be:

Quality Education

Supported by the School of Management Fribourg (HEG-FR)

The education system has been in need of a re-shuffle for several decades. While certain markets are shifting towards a digital classroom, some are still figuring out how to increase the chances of pupils staying in schools. Inclusive and accessible education is one of the keys to reducing inequalities and achieving sustainable development. The panellists will be discussing how technology and entrepreneurship can help reach this goal.

Good Jobs & Economic Growth

Economic growth- the favorite topic of politicians around the world. And while economic growth does lead to job creation it does not guarantee better jobs, especially for vulnerable communities. Talking about the importance of financial and digital inclusion and the importance of building the infrastructure for technology and innovation will be:

Reduced Inequalities

We have already touched upon the importance of quality education and good jobs in order to reduce existing inequalities. However, this complex issue needs to be tackled from various standpoints and includes the discussion on the importance of technology in reshaping the economy and closing gaps in incomes, harnessing the positive benefits of migrations and reducing the vulnerability of migrants and much more. Speakers on this topic will be:

Good Health & Wellbeing

Health is often considered one of the most important assets an individual can have. With the news heavily revolving around the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic, many have yet again realized how important health, but also mental and social wellbeing is to the overall quality of life and achieving our fullest potential. So where do technology and innovation come into play? Can we make health more accessible? More on that from:

After two of the panel discussions on some of the most burning issues in the emerging markets, the 30 selected startups will have a chance to pitch their innovative solutions to the jury members.

On the last day of the challenge, December 17th, six of them will be announced as the FTxSDG Challenge Global Winners and will be accelerated to the Seedstars International Fund where they’ll have the chance to secure up to $500K in funding, will receive access to the Seedstars Growth Program, and a visibility package from the Financial Times.

Join us for three days of important discussions and empowering impact-driven entrepreneurs in the emerging markets by registering here.

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