2018 SingularityU India Global Impact Challenge

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


What’s your BIG IDEA to address a global grand challenge by leveraging exponential technology with a potential to impact a billion people in 10 years?

Submit your idea


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

SingularityU Global Impact Challenges aim to bring together innovators and stakeholders with a  passion to solve one or more of the global grand challenges (environment, energy, water, food, health, disaster resilience, governance, learning, space, security, prosperity, and shelter) by leveraging exponential technologies.

This year, the India Global Impact Challenge is looking for solutions to address the following global grand challenges:

  • Learning, such as addressing skill shortage in emerging technologies and adoption of 21st-century skill sets
  • Environment, such as solid waste management in urban and rural areas and air and water pollution in cities

Why Host a Global Impact Challenge in India?

India has always been a key contributor to various fields including education, mathematics, medicine, science etc. Being the seventh-largest country by area and the second-most populous country (with over 1.3 billion people), its opportunities and challenges are of large proportions. 

India is expected to have one of the youngest and largest workforces in the world in the coming years. To capitalize this opportunity, it is important to come up with innovative ways of developing content, pedagogy, delivery, and distribution to equip the growing population of youths in India about emerging technologies and prepare them for the 21st-century jobs.

Additionally, rapid population growth coupled with urbanization has resulted to poor environmental conditions such as improper solid waste management and air and water pollution. With the increase in urbanization in the next decade projected at 24%, it becomes important to find innovative solutions to avoid/manage the impact this will have on the environment. 

With the increase in urbanization in the next decade projected at 24%, it’s crucial to find innovative solutions to manage the impact this will have on the environment.

The Prize

The winner receives a seat at the SU Ventures Incubator Program starting in September 2018. The Incubator Program is a 10-week 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

The top teams will also be shortlisted for Kerala Innovation Challenge and will have the opportunity to pitch for an innovation grant of INR 80,00,000 for implementing the solution in the state of Kerala, India. 

Dates and timeline

Applications open: April 6, 2018
Applications close: May 31, 2018
Shortlist Announced: June 8, 2018
Pitch event: July 2-6, 2018
Winners announced: July 7, 2018

Apply now

Sponsored by:


Rules & Criteria

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The challenge is open to residents and citizens of India.
  • 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.
  • Applicants selected as finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges on the first week of July.

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 the theme of the challenge.
  • The regional relevance in solving the challenge in India.
  • 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 6, 2018
  • Applications close: May 31, 2018
  • Pitch event: July 2-6, 2018
  • Winner announced: July 7, 2018
Apply now

GIC Organizing Team

Dr. Saji Gopinath

Chief Executive Officer, Kerala Startup Mission

Deepu S Nath

Managing Director, FAYA Corporation

Tom Thomas

Project Director (Operations), Kerala Startup Mission

Ashok Kurian Panjikaran

Manager (Business Development), Kerala Startup Mission

Varun G

Technical Officer, Kerala Startup Mission

Arya Krishnan E

Technical Officer, Kerala Startup Mission

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?

Get in touch with the India GIC organizers by emailing them at i[email protected], or contact the Global Impact Challenges team at SU at [email protected].