Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

What is the SDG Impact Accelerator?

The SDG Impact Accelerator (SDGia) is a global accelerator built by a multi stakeholder platform focusing on empowering “systems entrepreneurs” and innovators who are providing impact at scale. It aims to generate market-creating innovations initially for refugee populations and least-developed country (LDC) populations at the second stage.

Market-creating innovations will be executed not by focusing on a particular solution only, but by mobilizing different stakeholders to catalyse systems change. As the partners of SDGia we are building a unique model for accelerating the discovery and market entry of solutions for the selected big problems related specifically to topics described below. We will do this by finding, mentoring and funding founders and innovators in an accelerated time frame with the help of global investors mentors and partners.

Why join the SDG Impact Accelerator?

When you are selected to the program, you will:

  • Be part of a global network which will support you as you work towards the SDGs and create your impact in the world,
  • Receive mentorship from UNDP, UN Technology Bank, governmental institutions, financial and technology experts, and global investors,
  • Receive equity-free grant of $15,000 when you get accepted the Accelerator Program,
  • Receive impact investment at the end of the program if your idea or product is selected for implementation in Bangladesh or Uganda.
Who can apply to the call?

If you are working on any technology, service or product offering a solution to a global problem within the realm of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or want to propose an innovative solution to the Sponsored Challenge topics, we would welcome you to join us in the SDG Impact Accelerator program

We accept applications from all international teams with a focus on commercializing their inventions and ideas and building sustainable business models. The call is primarily open for teams, but individuals with a proven track record may be accepted as well. You can apply if you fit in one of the definitions below:

  • Founders of established companies
  • To-be founders of startups at idea stage who have expertise in their domain
  • Technology developers who are working on the field, but would commercialize through IP Transfer
  • Teams from R&D institutes and universities with relevant technology to commercialize
  • NGOs who want to test social business models inside their organizations or build spin-offs

The following teams will be given priority in the selection process:

  • Teams who already have a product, traction, or MVP
  • Teams working on one the Sponsored Challenge topic (Financial Inclusion or Digital Agriculture)
  • Teams who can implement or test their product in Bangladesh or Uganda with additional impact investment from SDGia. You can apply if you are working on any technology, service or product offering a solution to a problem defined in the call to application. Mainly we are focused on global solutions towards resolving poverty at any level for anyone.
How can we apply for the open call?

The applications will be easily tracked through

What criteria do you use to select the teams?
  • Team – Is this team dedicated and passionate with required expertise in their domain?
  • Product-Market Fit – Has the team identified a specific market and validated customer need?
  • Product Readiness – What is the development stage of the product?
  • Commercialization – Has the team demonstrated ability to execute a go-to-market strategy?
My team is not based in Bangladesh or Uganda, can I participate remotely?

Yes. Applications are accepted globally.

How many of our team would need to be in Bangladesh/Uganda for the program?

At least one, preferably two representatives from the team need to be present for field visits, which will be planned following travel restrictions due to the pandemic.

We’ve already received funding, are we still qualified to apply?

Yes, you are most welcome. The acceleration funding of up to $15,000 is non-dilutive. If you are eligible for impact investment opportunity, we will negotiate how it will be structured in accordance with your current capital structure and valuation.

Do you have preferred topics that you focus on?

Topics of 2020 call are Digital Agriculture for Uganda and Financial Inclusion for Bangladesh.

Does the SDG Impact Accelerator provide any funding?

Yes. We provide an equity free cash support at up to $15,000. The alumni of the program also gain opportunity to receive an impact investment of up to $100,000.

When do the selected teams receive funding?

Once the teams complete the pre-acceleration program and are selected for acceleration program, they will receive a standard contract enabling them to be eligible for the grants. The first cash part of the contracts will be paid accordingly.

What is demo day like?

The Demo Day will be focused on putting the solutions and teams to the spot light. Our Demo Day will include invitees from public and private sectors as well as investors and partners. Our aim is not to limit the purpose of the presentations to just fundraising but also to give the founders the opportunity to present their progress and products.

I am already earning revenue, do I fit in an accelerator program?

The short answer is Yes. We believe that we can help any startup no matter what stage they are currently in, from minimum viable product to early traction.