SEIF Awards 2019 – First Insights

The application window for the SEIF Awards 2019 – Tech for Impact is now closed. With our Tech for Impact focus, we want to support startups in solving societal and environmental challenges with innovative tech solutions. Following the application deadline, we are excited to share some first insights with you, pointing to interesting trends in the Tech for Impact community.

This year, we received applications from 40 countries with Tech for Impact solutions ranging from AI to blockchain, computer vision, drone technology and nanotech. Switzerland took the lead with the highest number of applications, followed by Germany, Israel and the Nordic/Baltic region.

We are thrilled to have received so many interesting applications covering various technologies and impact areas, showing the relevance of technology in contributing to the UN SDGs.

Looking at the main tech focus areas amongst the applicants, big data, AI and machine learning stand out, followed by IoT, blockchain and computer vision. The main impact areas represented amongst the applicants are health & wellbeing, sustainable cities & communities, decent work & economic growth, responsible consumption & production, reduced inequalities, climate action as well as industry innovation & infrastructure.

Health is increasingly seen as one of the main impact focus areas, also in the developed world, with inclusion and education being the most popular ones in recent years.

Not only does this show the applicability of various technologies in solving both societal and environmental challenges, but also the relevance of such solutions in reaching many of the SDGs. Tech for Impact solutions are relevant on all levels of our community. More than 50 percent of all applicants have an international focus, roughly 30 percent a national focus and 7 percent a local focus. Nearly 90 percent of all companies were founded the last five years (2019 included).

Considering the UN SDG on gender equality, it is worth noting that 74 percent of all applicant CEOs are male and 26 percent female. The notable gender gap amongst applicant CEOs point both to the relevance of the SDGs and women in tech initiatives.

The average CEO age of 36 suggests that not only millennials or university graduates are active in the Tech for Impact startup community. Still, there is a growing Tech for Impact movement at the universities and in the startup community in Switzerland, and we are currently developing new services and programs to support the special needs of these impact driven tech startups.

These startups are empowering positive social and economic change and delivering new values with the impact-oriented mission which can not be reduced to simply monetary value.

Prof. Mariana Christen JakobFounderSEIF
At SEIF, we believe it is crucial to foster the positive potential of technology. This not only means integrating the impact dimension in the newest technological developments, but also to communicate the impact management transparently. We are pleased to see that a growing community starts to think in this direction and want to thank all applicants for their invaluable contributions to the SEIF Awards 2019!

Want to know more about our Tech for Impact focus? Read the article by our founder, Prof. Mariana Christen Jakob, here.

Did you apply for the SEIF Awards 2019? You will hear from us soon! In the meantime, your find the latest information here.