Financial Times and Seedstars have announced the finalists of FTxSDG Challenge for a chance to win $500,000 in funding among other prizes. Winners will be announced through a live broadcast on December 17, 1PM CET. 

The FTxSDG Challenge was launched to find impact-driven entrepreneurs and ventures creating innovative solutions from over 90 markets around the world. A new dimension of the startup competition is the alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

The focus on the SDGs aims to bring awareness to global problems, while also empowering entrepreneurs who are creating solutions that can address these issues.

The event brings together early-stage startups from emerging markets and individual entrepreneurs working in groups to solve real challenges for the different themes.

From over 4,500 applications, there were 2000 selected candidates who had the opportunity to access Investment Readiness Sessions and Seedstars’ tech perks.

From there, only 30 startups will have the chance to pitch their solutions for one of the following six SDGs:

  • SDG 4: Quality Education (supported by the School of Management Fribourg (HEG-FR))
  • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 5: Gender Equality
  • SDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing
  • SDG 8: Good Jobs & Economic Growth
  • SDG 13: Climate Action

The FTxSDG Challenge brings a five-day event, beginning on 13th of December that will lead up to the winner announcement on the 17th. 

The startup finalists for this year’s FTxSDG Challenge per SDG are the following: 

  • Gender Equality: Babybliss, Mujer Financiera, SHEROES, Pinky Promise, and Momby
  • Climate Action: Kudoti, Ualabee, SafEarth, Ghoom.bike, and ePioneers
  • Quality Education: Mohirdev, AlGooru, Anthem, Unschool, and Edu2Review
  • Good Jobs and Economic Growth: ChapChap, trii, Metabeta, mBolsa, and HintEd
  • Reduced Inequalities: abela.app, Tulix App, duhqa, Evolve Credit, TiendAPP
  • Good Health and Wellbeing: 360Moms, medl, Sila Health, InstaCare, and Cogni

Each company will have the opportunity to pitch to a panel of experts, namely:

  • Gender Equality: Seedstars, Partnerships for the SDGs, Romulo Navarette; Global Ventures, Principal, Sacha Haider; and IDB Invest Consultant in Gender Equity and Women’s Empowerment Jimena Serrano.
  • Climate Action: Seedstars, Head Of Partnerships (Asia-Pacific), Anurag Maloo; CTCN, Director at UN Climate Technology Centre and Network, Rose Mwebaza; DFC, Deputy Chief Climate Officer at U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, Aparna Shrivastava; and Prosus, Investor, Ting Ting Liu.
  • Quality Education: Seedstars, Investment Manager, Konstantin Hapkemeyer; UNICEF, Adolescent Development Manager, Marcy Levy; and GSV Ventures, Partner, Luben Pampoulov.
  • Good Jobs and Economic Growth: Seedstars, Chief Investment Officer, Charlie Graham-Brown; GIZ, Director Economic and Social Development, Digitalisation, Dr. Axel Klaphake; Click Ventures, Founder and Managing Partner, Carman Chan; and BFA Global, Senior Venture Builder, Maxime Bayen.
  • Reduced Inequalities: Seedstars, Growth & Acceleration Program Manager, Eugenia Shevchenko; DOB EquityImpact Investors, Shawn Pantophlet; and Bethnal Green Ventures, Partner, Dama Sathianathan. 
  • Good Health and Wellbeing: Seedstars, Investment Manager, Sebastian Molina Gasman; IFC, Sr. Operations Officer – Global Lead, Entrepreneurship and Inclusive Business, Heather Kipnis; and Ataraxia VC, Chief Operating Partner, Neha Tanna M.D.

Only six startups will be announced as the FTxSDG Challenge Global Winners. They will be accelerated to the Seedstars International Fund where they’ll have the chance to secure up to $500K in funding, as well as receive access to the Seedstars Growth Program, and a visibility package from the Financial Times.

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