Many of our world’s most pressing problems fall within health, poverty, and disaster resilience. In fact, overpopulation and poverty in urban areas increase the risk of natural disaster vulnerabilities. These issues are happening across the globe, not in one geography. In the SUniverse, we categorize these worldwide issues as global grand challenges (GGCs), and we empower a global innovation ecosystem with the mindset, tools, and networks to address them.
Through our Global Startup Program (GSP), we give entrepreneurs the tools and time to focus on GGCs and build solutions that can actually impact billions of people’s lives. We call this innovating at the billion-scale. No photo-sharing apps here. Rather, GSP participants think beyond the people in their own community or country. They have to be willing to scale their startups to make a bigger impact on GGCs. That is how they come to be in our program.
We redesigned GSP to help startups scale globally
The reimagined GSP accesses the resources and expertise from innovation hubs around the world and provides a bridge for participants back to resources in Silicon Valley. And in doing so, we connect the nodes to create a powerful global network for startups. This network makes it easier for our participants to address GGCs while also scaling for global impact. The program has three phases:
- GSP Activate: Over four weeks, founders assess technology solutions to find solutions for GGCs, and evolve their ability to create a powerful narrative around their startup.
- GSP Accelerate: The founders reconvene in Silicon Valley for another four weeks to collaborate, prototype new ideas, and work through how to support and launch global startup initiatives.
- GSP Connect: The program provides a year of virtual support and networking plus access to digital courses and webinars.
The founders also participate in sessions with SU Faculty, staff, and mentors—including Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis.
First stop: Denmark!
I’m thrilled about the launch of GSP 2019! It’s the first iteration of the new program. We have a cohort of 47 amazing founders. And given the program’s more global emphasis, it’s fitting that we’re kicking it off outside of the US. As I write this, the first leg of the program, GSP Activate, has just begun in Denmark at our SingularityU Nordic campus.
We had a tremendous number of applications and excitement around this program. We selected our 47 participants for their potential and promise to make a positive impact through their startups. Participants have traveled to Denmark from across the globe—including Brazil, India, Australia, Lithuania, and Ecuador. Visit the cohort’s page to see a full list of our founders.
As is typical of our GSP program historically, many of our Activate founders have a focus on health, followed by energy, environment, food, and learning. These focus areas align with our efforts to make a 10x global impact within our named GGCs.
Meet the luminaries who are mentoring and coaching our founders
GSP includes an entrepreneurs-in-residence program, and this year we have eight individuals with strong technical, business and fundraising backgrounds. They’ve built and scaled large companies, and either exited or took them public. These eight EIRs will be in Denmark for the duration of the Activate program to help the participants every step of the way. Our four-week mentorship program pairs them with five or six cohort founders who they’ll support and meet with each week.
Attending SU Faculty members include the greatest minds in robotics, data science, longevity, digital biology, quantum computing, and more. These leaders will be present throughout the program to guide small founder groups, lead panel discussions, and provide coaching.
GSP promises an exciting future for more founders across the globe
“The new GSP is a thoughtful re-imagination and re-creation of a program that’s evolved over the years to help startups achieve more than they ever intended.”—SU Executive Founder and Director Peter Diamandis
This time next year, GSP cohorts will be gathering all over the world. We’re pumped about making this real because it means we’re inspiring entrepreneurs to focus on solving global grand challenges and making them successful. The whole world can benefit from this program.
Want to be one of them? We’d love to tell you what we’re up to and keep you in the loop for the next application period. Sign up to be notified when it’s time to apply.