What innovation would you develop to solve a global grand challenge that leverages artificial intelligence and has a potential to impact a billion people in 10 years?


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

This GIC is open to the citizens and residents of the following Asia Pacific countries: Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Using artificial intelligence, what innovation would you develop to solve a global grand challenge (environment, energy, water, food, health, disaster resilience, governance, learning, space, security, prosperity, and shelter) that would impact the lives of a billion people in the next 10 years?

Why Host a Global Impact Challenge in the Asia Pacific?

Taiwan has historically been a hotspot for hardware development and production in the world. Now, with a robust research and development culture and with a rapid increase in high-tech industrial clusters, Taiwan and the greater APAC region is becoming an ideal place to grow technology startups. For the second year in a row, we are launching the SingularityU APAC Global Impact Challenge to mobilize APAC-based startups that leverage artificial intelligence to positively impact humanity.

Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA), a flagship startups program based in Taiwan for technology entrepreneurship and innovation, is partnering together for this Global Impact Challenge to identify innovators within the APAC region with projects that can solve global grand challenges with the potential to positively impact the lives of millions of people in the world, specifically via the creation of products, services, and solutions utilizing AI technology.

The Prize

The winner of the SingularityU APAC Global Impact Challenge will win a seat to attend SU’s Global Startup Program free of charge.

The GSP helps future-focused entrepreneurs transform radical ideas into tangible impact on a global scale. It’s a structured, immersive program offering startup-focused educational resources and world-class mentorship from SU’s faculty, staff, and industry experts—in a safe, nurturing environment. The program aims to scale startups into global businesses.

The GSP brings together entrepreneurs from around the world for structured, immersive workshops and intensive fieldwork in multiple locations around the globe, as well as continued access to support and resources via a best-in-class connectivity platform.

The GSP will start by helping to cultivate a new mindset and toolset to overcome the challenges of technological disruption. Next, the program will work with you to accelerate your time to product-market fit, transform your startup from an idea to a venture that can help a billion people (“billion-scale”), and connect you with a global community to catalyze results. In short, GSP is designed to help you create a 10x startup at a global level.

Find more information on the Global Startup Program here.

TTA Special Award

Sponsored by Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA), four runner-up teams will be awarded the TTA Special Award.

Recipients will gain qualification as a TTA member and can access to TTA’s facilities for 3 months. (Must be granted within 1 year after the January 1, 2020)

Dates and timeline

Applications open: July 24, 2019
Applications close: November 22, 2019
Announcement of Finalists: December 2, 2019
Bootcamp: December 12, 2019
Pitch event & Winner announced: December 13, 2019


Sponsored and hosted by:


MOST logo

As the Taiwan government’s dedicated scientific and technological development agency, MOST is responsible for promoting the nation’s overall S&T development, supporting academic research, developing the science parks and bringing academic research another step closer to industrial needs. MOST’s goal is to boost Taiwan’s academic and industrial competitiveness at the international level.

Taiwan Tech Arena logo
Taiwan Tech Arena is a tech innovation and entrepreneurship program aiming to connect the whole tech startup ecosystem under one roof.

We partner with technology innovations affiliates around the world such as French Tech Taiwan, Canadian Technology Macerator (CTA) and global accelerators such as SOSV-MOX, SparkLabs Taipei, IAPS and BE Accelerator, and 200+ international startups. Its main mission is to foster tech entrepreneurship, innovation, and build a vibrant international tech startup ecosystem in Taiwan, alongside with VCs, accelerators, corporations, research institutions across APAC region and beyond to make innovation happen.

Rules & Criteria

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • You must be a citizen or resident of the APAC region. The countries included in this GIC are: Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
  • You must be at least 21 years of age at the time of application
  • You must be fluent in written and spoken English
  • Your venture is a fully formed entity in seed or scale-up stage and has at least 1-2 full-time co-founders.
  • You must be able to attend the entire Global Startup Program prize, beginning in Q1 2020

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

  • SU mission alignment: You have a startup in one of the global grand challenge (GGC) spaces.
  • Team: Your startup has at least two full-time co-founders.
  • Experience: You have expertise in an exponential technology and/or a key GGC space.
  • Time: Your venture is a fully formed entity, and is in the seed-stage or idea-stage.
  • Traction: You have demonstrated market traction (LOIs, purchase orders, validated trials, sales, etc.).
  • Eagerness to learn: You’re looking for a substantial shift in mindset and skillset, and are eager to globalize your startup and 10x your impact.
  • Availability: You’re available to travel to a global location for the Activate (three weeks) phase, and the SU campus in Santa Clara for the Accelerate (three weeks) phase.
  • Degree of solution’s relevance to the theme of the challenge
  • The regional relevance in solving the challenge in the Asia Pacific region
  • 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
  • CV/Resume
  • Summary of accomplishments
  • An abstract of the project idea
  • A video URL of the project idea
  • Applications open: July 24, 2019
  • Applications open: July 24, 2019
  • Applications close: November 22, 2019
  • Announcement of Finalists: December 2, 2019
  • Bootcamp: December 12, 2019
  • Pitch event & Winner announced: December 13, 2019

GIC Organizing Team

Chyou-Huey Chiou, PhD

Director General,

Department of Academic-Industrial Collaboration and Science Park Affairs,

Ministry of Science and Technology

Chun-Hao headshot photograph

Chun-Hao Huang, PhD

Co-founder & CEO, Algen Biotechnologies

UN SDGs Talent & Winner, UNLEASH

GSP 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

Global Impact Challenges (GICs) are incentive competitions organized by partners in countries around the world to identify innovative startups & solutions using exponential technology to solve the world’s pressing challenges.

The GSP is for startups aligned with global grand challenges (GGCs) that want to 10x their current startup and scale it globally. We’re looking for startups that have experience with exponential technology, some level of demonstrated market traction, and an eagerness to radically level-up their business.

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

Yes, there is an expectation for winners to continue working on their winning projects.

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.

The winner will cover their own air travel expenses to and from SU.

In all cases where a winner cannot attend the Global Startup 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.

Still have questions?

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