SingularityU Portugal Global Impact Challenge

What moonshot idea would you develop that would impact the lives of a billion people in the next 10 years by applying exponential technology to address a global grand challenge?

2018 Winners

sofia couto da rocha
2018 Winner
Sofia Couto da Rocha

Project: SkinSoul
The referral of patients with skin cancer lesions by machine learning app. To reduce the time to diagnose of skin cancer using an AI app. It will reduce health direct and indirect costs and improve health outcomes.


Pedro Silva Jose Toscano Pedro Garcia

2018 Winners
Left to right: Pedro Silva, Jose Toscano, Pedro Garcia

Project: mov.e
Electricity Contract digital transformation to access anytime, anywhere, with security and privacy at a competitive cost, due to blockchain technology.


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

These innovations should be focused on three particular global grand challenges that currently have great impact on our planet. Those are:

  • Governance – We want ideas on innovative societal and organizational governance models and how technologies can promote a better governance on Portuguese companies, cities, and in the country as a whole.
  • Learning – We want ideas on how the Portuguese education system should evolve in order to be more adapted to the reality of this century (today’s educational systems were built for Industrial Age), to the environment outside schools, and to empower students since an early age.
  • Environment – We want ideas on how Portugal can prevent fires, fight them more efficiently, and prevent and/or manage the drought, as it currently has a great national impact.

While we prefer ideas related to governance, learning, and environment, ideas that tackle other global grand challenges— such as energy, food, shelter, space, water, disaster resilience, health, prosperity, and security– are also welcomed.

Why Host a Global Impact Challenge in Portugal?

Portugal is a country of dreamers and conquerors, proud of being the birthplace of the first world explorers. This spirit of unsettling desire for growth and development lives until today through the search for innovation and it has led Portugal to be recognized as a major entrepreneurial ecosystem.

On the other hand, Portugal is currently facing significant challenges that deserve our attention and, above all, our ideas. We believe that we have the talent, drive, dedication and opportunity to create the change we need. Therefore, let’s rise to the occasion and showcase our innovative ideas to humanity’s biggest challenges and create solutions for millions of people in Portugal and beyond.

Apply to this challenge by submitting your idea to improve the standard of living in Portugal over the next 3-5 years using exponential technology.

The Prize

The winner receives a seat at the SU Ventures Incubator Program. The Incubator Program is a 10-week program that fosters the development of viable start-ups (for profit or not-for profit).

The SU Ventures Incubator Program runs from April 2, 2018 to May 18, 2018.

The Incubator Program Journey

The incubator program journey

Dates and timeline

Applications open: December 14, 2017

Applications close: February 6, 2018

Pitch event & Winners announced: February 26, 2018

Sponsored by:


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Rules & Criteria

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The challenge is open to residents and citizens of Portugal
  • 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 April 2, 2018 to May 18, 2018.
  • Applicants selected as finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges on Monday, February 26, 2018.

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.

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 Japan
  • Coherence of the idea and the feasibility and viability of implementing it
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative potential, with a focus on technological novelty
  • Quality of applicants’ leadership experience, profile, achievements, and potential
  • 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
  • Applications open: December 14, 2017
  • Applications close: February 6, 2018
  • Pitch event & Winners announced: February 26, 2018

GIC Organizers

BETA logo CASCAIS logo NOVA School of Business & Economics logo

GIC Organizing Team

Ricardo Marvão

Ricardo Marvão

Lead Organizer

Mariana Silva

Mariana Silva


Francisca Pereira

Francisca Pereira


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.

We are looking for early-phase startup ideas or individuals with a moonshot ideas. 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.

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.

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

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.


Still have questions?

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