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If you’ve launched a fintech (financial technology) startup, the chances are that you’re always looking for ways to showcase your solutions to various problems in the market.

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is currently looking for startups with innovations that address different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through digital financing.

Dictionary Time: SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.

United Nations (UN)

If your startup fits the description, you can apply to be one of up to 3 teams to present at an event that’s organised during the United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) in New York this September.

Who Can Apply?

Companies who are registered in Malaysia with products or services currently in the market are welcome to apply.

Even if you fit the bill for the above, do note that your company also needs to be addressing the SDGs through digital finance.

The UNCDF strongly encourages women-led business and teams to apply.

Why You Should Apply

Once you’ve made it through the final round, you’ll get to pitch your solution in front of an audience featuring global leaders, visionary speakers, industry leaders and icons from all over the globe.

This will also present you with an opportunity to work with high-value corporates, and you’ll receive first-hand feedback from UN Task Force members, UNCDF and other industry leaders on your solution.

According to the UNCDF, winners would be considered for engagement under UNCDF challenges.

What To Do When Applying

Based on the opportunities listed under the SDGs on how digital finance can contribute to them, your application should show that you are seizing these opportunities.

Image Credit: UNCDF

You can also show how your company is solving the challenges listed under the SDGs.

Image Credit: UNCDF

The opportunities and challenges listed under the SDGs are not an exhaustive list, rather, they serve as a guide.

Image Credit: UNCDF

What’s The Judging Criteria?

The judging criteria will look at 4 key areas which are as follows:

1. Degree of Innovation

  • This includes how innovative your business is, whether your product/service/business model goes beyond existing practices, and whether your solution addresses a gap in the market.

2. Sustainability & Commercial viability

  • Is your innovation commercially driven? Does it demonstrate a strong potential for commercial viability, scalability and replicability?

3. Inclusiveness

  • Does your product/service target the local and vulnerable populations (underserved, women and youth)? Does the innovation meet local requirements or address the problem?

4. Development Impact & Outreach

  • Will your innovation bring sizable and sustainable benefits to a significant number of underserved customers and contribute to the success of SDGs in the market?

But here’s the catch…

If you’re confident that your business fulfils the above criteria, you can definitely consider applying.

However, do note that all costs for travel, accommodation, food and other expenses will be self-financed by the participant(s), AKA you (and your team).

The Timeline Of The Entire Process

Image Credit: UNCDF

Applications are open from now until the 11th of August at 2:30 AM.

Demo day is when the 8 selected applicants present their startups for the final selection process of 3 teams.

The presentation workshop will be held for 1 to 2 days to prepare the 3 selected teams for the trip to New York. The dates for the workshop are subjected to change by UNCDF.

  • The event will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA on the 27th of September, 2019.
  • Find out more about the event here and send in your application here.

Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)