Financial Times and Seedstars team up for first FTxSDG Challenge

The Financial Times is partnering with Seedstars, a Swiss-based company that invests and supports startups from emerging markets, to host the first FTxSDG Challenge. The competition has been launched to empower promising, impact-driven startups and entrepreneurs with learning and funding opportunities. The call for applications is now live.

The focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  aims to bring awareness to global problems, while also empowering entrepreneurs who are creating solutions that can address these issues. The event will bring together early-stage startups from emerging markets and individual entrepreneurs to take part in the FTxSDG Challenge competition.

150 participants will be invited to solve real business challenges and present innovative strategies with a focus on the SDGs. The selected themes are: Gender equality, Climate Action, Quality Education – supported by the School of Management Fribourg (HEG-FR), Good Jobs and Economic Growth, Reduced Inequalities and Good Health and Wellbeing. 

The event programme includes one month’s access to the Investment Readiness Sessions by Seedstars and a five-day event filled with workshops, masterclasses, talks, mentoring and networking hosted by FT and Seedstars experts. Winning startups will be fast-tracked to the Seedstars Investments Fund and have the opportunity to secure up to $500,000 in funding. 

Alisee De Tonnac, CEO, Seedstars, said: “Seedstars is very excited to launch the FTxSDG Challenge. Since 2013, our team has been organizing the Seedstars World Competition created to support and invest in impact-driven entrepreneurs from emerging markets. Working with Financial Times, we’re confident that this mission can be amplified together in the FTxSDG Challenge. Looking forward to seeing our combined efforts provide the entrepreneurs with even more resources and a larger global community of expert mentors and investors.”

Jon Slade, FT’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We’re excited to see FT Talent grow to include supporting early startups, as well as young professionals who are passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. Partnering with Seedstars is a game-changing opportunity to collaborate together and make a positive impact towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Virginia Stagni, Business Development Manager & FT Talent Director, Financial Times added: “This partnership with Seedstars is our first startup challenge and supports the SDG’s critical agenda. Involving enterprises, and not just individuals is a new step for the FT Talent project.”

The deadline for applications is 1 November, 6 pm GMT. 

For more information, please visit the FTxSDG Challenge site: 

About Seedstars

Seedstars is a Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. The groups’ activities cover over 90 emerging ecosystems through a variety of initiatives such as the largest entrepreneurship competition in emerging markets, Online Seedstars World Competition; startup acceleration programs, Seedstars Growth Program; talent incubator, Seedstars 01; physical hubs, Seedspace; and a global venture capital fund, Seedstars Investments.

About FT Talent 

The FT Talent Challenge is a series of international events. FT Talent selects the most innovative and diverse individuals from thousands of international applicants for a multiple-day challenge experience, giving them a chance to understand and challenge the existing ecosystem and benefit from FT and partner expert insights alongside invited guests. The challenge helps foster new creative thinking, develop potential solutions to strategic business issues and stimulate disruption within the business ecosystem.

About the Financial Times

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of more than one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.


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