FTxSDG Challenge

Empowering impact-driven entrepreneurs in emerging markets

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.

The SDG themes are:

Individual participants are also welcome to join the SDG 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.


Prizes for startups include

  • 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 include

  • 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

Both receive

  • 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.

*For our startups category we will be looking for the most promising early-stage startups from 90+ emerging markets (Operations based in the country/city of application).

Deadline for applications is the 1st of November 2021, 5pm GMT.

Apply now:

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


November 1, 2021
Organizer Seedstars International Ventures
Africa, Antarctica Region, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Europe, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Micronesia, Nicaragua, Northern America, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela
Sectors Sector agnostic
SDG (6)
10. Reduced Inequality, 13. Climate Action, 3. Good Health and Well-being, 4. Quality Education, 5. Gender Equality, 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth