SingularityU Miami Global Impact Challenge

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

Francisco D'Elia

2017 Winner
Francisco D’Elia

Areas of expertise: Technology/Science, Networks & Computing Systems, Data Science

Winning idea: Earth Science Hub

The Earth Science Hub is a real-time, interactive climate monitoring database able to use AI to exponentially expand the ability to map correlating factors linked to climate-driven events. It involves data exchange from global to local sources in one giant platform.


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

This year, we are looking for applicants who have the skills and passion to develop big ideas that address climate change in South Florida. Climate change is a broad focus area that includes many areas ripe for innovation from different focus areas such as sea level rise, extreme flooding and other vulnerabilities to civic strategies of awareness, education and resiliency.

We are looking for applicants from ANY technology or science discipline because we know a challenge as complex as climate change can only be solved within the convergence of multiple disciplines and exponential technologies.

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

The prize

The winner of this challenge will secure a full sponsorship to attend the prestigious Global Solutions Program at Singularity University. The program runs from June 17 to August 17, 2017.

Dates and timeline

Applications open: February 13, 2017

Applications close: April 23, 2017

Pitch event & winners announced: May 11, 2017

Sponsored by:

Knight Foundation logo

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Rules & Criteria

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The challenge is open to residents and citizens in the US
  • You must be age 21 or older on the first day of the GSP
  • You must be fluent in written and spoken English
  • You must be able to participate in the entire GSP17 program from June 17 – August 17, 2017
  • Applicants selected as finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges the first week of May 2017.

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

  • You’re an accomplished entrepreneur, technologist, scientist, or change agent with expertise in your chosen field(s)
  • You have a background in or a passion for addressing sea level rise and climate change or are working to address any of the direct or indirect effects of climate change, such as governance, security, sustainable water supplies, and alternative food or energy sources
  • You’re already considering how to leverage exponential technologies to create positive impact in the world
  • You’re committed to the long-term journey of launching an impact-focused startup

We will evaluate submissions using the following criteria:

  • Degree of solution’s relevance to sea level rise and climate change and regional relevance in solving the challenge in U.S
  • 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 or resume
  • Summary of accomplishments
  • An abstract of the project idea
  • A video URL of the project idea
  • Applications open: February 13, 2017
  • Applications close: April 23, 2017
  • Pitch event & winners announced: May 11, 2017

GIC Organizing Team

Ana C. Benatuil

Ana C. Benatuil

SingularityU Miami GIC Organizer
Architectural Designer, Gensler
GIC Winner 2015, GSP 2015

Natasha Tzakos

Natasha Tzakos

SingularityU Miami Chapter Ambassador
Chief Imagination Officer, NTiD Inc.
GIC Winner 2015, GSP 2015

Carl Hildebrand

Carl Hildebrand

SingularityU Miami GIC Production
Social entrepreneur, MIAMI SOUP, PechaKucha Miami, FuckUP Nights Miami
SingularityU Miami Chapter member

Yuda Saydun

Yuda Saydun

SingularityU Miami GIC Logistics
President, Genventure
SingularityU Miami Chapter member

Tanya Bravo

Tanya Bravo

SingularityU Miami GIC Marketing/Social Media
Artist Director, Juggerknot Theatre Company
SingularityU Miami Chapter member

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 our transformational Global Solutions Program.


No, ideas do not have to be at a certain stage to be submitted.

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

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.

No, there’s no such obligation from either SU or the GIC Sponsor. The GIC winner can elect to recruit fellow GSP classmates to work on his or her winning project or create an entirely new project during the summer.

GIC winners are responsible for their own travel expenses to/from SU.

In all cases where a GIC winner cannot attend GSP, the winner forfeits his or her GSP seat to the first runner-up and would then need to reapply for admission in a future year.


Still have questions?

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