2018 SingularityU Estonia Global Impact Challenge

Submit an idea that will positively impact the lives of the people of Estonia and beyond


What’s your moonshot innovation to a global grand challenge that leverages exponential technology and has a potential to impact a billion people in 10 years?

Submit your idea


The purpose of the SingularityU Estonia Global Impact Challenge is to foster moonshot innovations and high impact startups that positively impact the lives of people living in Estonia, with an ability to scale and impact a billion people worldwide in 10 years.

What is your moonshot innovation to solve a global grand challenge (environment, energy, water, food, health, disaster resilience, governance, learning, space, security, prosperity, and shelter) using exponential technology that would impact the lives of a billion people in the next decade?

Why Host a Global Impact Challenge in Estonia?

Estonia has emerged over the last 20 years as one of the most advanced digital societies in the world. We have proudly pioneered in digital innovation and bold implementation of new ideas. 
We now believe it’s time to take the next step and apply our technologies and business models to unlock solutions to global grand challenges that create positive impact worldwide.

We know that Estonia has the talent, drive, and dedication to create the next generation of billionaires – high impact leaders and start-ups who will improve the lives of a billion people by applying exponential technologies to global grand challenges.

If you think you could be one of them - join us and submit your moonshot! The best way to predict the future is to create it!

The Prize

The winner receives a seat at the SU Ventures Incubator Program in Silicon Valley starting in September 2018. The SU Incubator Program is an intensive 10-week program that is designated to transform and scale moonshot ideas into high impact startups fully sponsored program that fosters the development of viable start-ups (for profit or not-for profit) that have the potential to make positive impact at scale.

The SU Ventures Incubator Program runs from September 3 - October 19, 2018.

The Incubator Program Journey

Dates and timeline

Applications open: April 16, 2018
Applications close: May 25, 2018
Winners announced: June 1, 2018

Apply now

Sponsored by:

Rules & Criteria

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The challenge is open to citizens and e-residents of Estonia.
  • You must be age 21 or older.
  • You must be fluent in written and spoken English.
  • You must be able to participate for the entire Incubator program from September 3 - October 19, 2018.
  • Winners will be selected from startups intering the Latitude59 pitch events on May 23, 2018.

Who Should Apply

We look for people from all professional backgrounds, but will be really thrilled to find you if:

  • You're a founder of an idea-stage startup or an individual with a moonshot idea
  • You're an accomplished entrepreneur, technologist, scientist, or change agent with expertise in your chosen field(s).
  • You're already considering how to leverage exponential technologies to create a positive impact in the world.
  • You're committed to the long-term journey of launching an impact-focused startup.

Assessment Criteria

We will evaluate submissions using the following criteria:

  • Degree of the solution's relevance to solving a global grand challenge.
  • The regional relevance in solving the challenge in Estonia and Northern Europe.
  • Feasibility, Viability, and Coherence of implementing the idea.
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative potential, with a focus on technological novelty.
  • Applicant’s leadership experience and quality, profile, achievements, and potential

Entry Criteria

  • CV/Resume.
  • Summary of accomplishments.
  • An abstract of the project idea.
    • Within the abstract, describe and detail the following: Your idea and problem/opportunity you are addressing, your solution and long-term impact, applied technology for your solution, and your business model
  • Video URL of the project idea.

Important Dates

  • Applications open: April 16, 2018
  • Applications close: May 25, 2018
  • Winner announced: June 1, 2018
Apply now

GIC Organizer

Siim Saare

Founder, SingularityU Tallinn, SUEP 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

Global Impact Challenges (GICs) are annual incentive competitions held in partnership with sponsor organizations worldwide and organized by geography and theme. These challenges act as a platform to identify outstanding entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists, and engineers with the most innovative ideas for moonshot innovations and startups that can positively impact a billion people in 10 years. The winner of each challenge receives a full sponsorship to attend an SU program.

Do ideas have to be at a certain stage to be submitted?

We are looking for early-phase startup ideas or individuals with a moonshot idea. Judging criteria is based on the grandness of the idea—such as whether it solves a problem with a potential to positively impact millions of people, technological novelty, viability of implementing it, and applicants leadership potential.

If you’re a later-stage venture, check out the SU Ventures program.

Who is the owner of the intellectual property resulting from a GIC?

Intellectual property resulting from a GIC belongs to the applicant(s).

What is the GIC review process?

The selection process has 2-3 phases, depending on the GIC. The first phase involves a review of all applications to determine 5-10 finalists, and the second phase involves final judging to select the winner at a pitch event.

Who pays for the travel expenses for the winner to come to SU?

The travel expenses of the winner to/from SU are going to be funded by the GIC partners.​

What happens if a GIC winner cannot attend the Incubator for any reason?

In all cases where a winner cannot attend the Incubator program, the winner forfeits their seat to the GIC first runner-up and would have to then re-apply for admission in a future year.

Apply now

Still have questions?

Contact the Global Impact Challenges team at SU at [email protected].