2021 has been a quite a year for SEIF: it was full of opportunities to embrace change and transitions, as well as to build up on learnings from the past years.

We started the year by opening the calls for the Impact Academy and Tech for Impact Awards and launched our first open call for the Social Impact Accelerator (SIA). We were thrilled to receive a substantial number of applications from entrepreneurs who are committed to creating innovative solutions that have a positive impact on society. We respectively received 75 applications for the Academy, 336 for the Awards and 50 for SIA. The solutions presented by applicants once again demonstrated the relevance of technology as a catalyst for positive change. Indeed, at SEIF, we are convinced that innovative technologies represent highly scalable solutions with the potential to make a significant contribution to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and our mission is to continuously support the entrepreneurs in this path.

For the Awards, the majority of the applicants presented solutions to tackle SDGs related to Responsible consumption and production, Sustainable cities and communities, Industry, innovation and infrastructure, Good health and well-being, and Climate action – which does not come as surprise, as climate has been on everyone’s minds this year. Additionally, most of them were active in the following Tech verticals: Food, Climate, Sustainability, HealthTech and EdTech.

Despite the pandemic, we pursued our activities and were happy to start coordinating hybrid events such as the SEIF Awards Ceremony last June. Once again, we were impressed by the commitment of all participants and gladly selected the finalists of the Awards 2021 and the winners: Oxyle, Naturloop, Rrreefs and Oorja. In the meantime, we also released the Awards 2021 brochure available here.

The first edition of the Social Impact Accelerator (SIA) has also been a success and we are looking forward to its further development in 2022! The team was able to successfully select 10 social enterprises that were supported along a 12 weeks-program. The program consisted of events, workshops, training, peer learning sessions, impact investor and growth partner
events, as well as a closing event. During the recent alumni event, the team received positive feedbacks from the founders on how SIA has contributed to the development of the startups.

During the summer, we also ran two successful Workshops for EPFL and MassChallenge, empowering entrepreneurs to learn more about impact measurement and management.

This time of the year also marked an important transition for SEIF, namely the development of our data tools and impact investing services.

Hence, in the second half of the year, we have built on existing foundations and further developed our tools to offer services with a systematic and professional approach. By using the +1500 assessed start-ups, we continuously developed our assessment tool and impact due diligence services. We also made further progress with our impact self-assessment tool, Get Your Impact, which not only serves as a learning tool with tailored feedback, but also aims at making the impact dimension mainstream in early-stage venture development. We are proud to launch this self-assessment tool, as it is a unique offer within the market – and we hope that it will support the transitions and efforts towards reaching optimal and positive impact.

These changes also operated within the team: we were thrilled to welcome new colleagues, allowing to support the big transition at SEIF, namely Christian, Linda, Olajoke, Niccolò and Zoé.

What do we expect for 2022?

We wish to further grow and continue to support passionate impact driven founders who aim to solve our planet’s most pressing global challenges, while making use of innovative solutions. Next year, we will enter the market with new products, and will further develop our services and tools to professionalize the impact ecosystem. On this note, we are excited to see Get Your Impact entering the market in January 2022. The aim of this tool is to make the impact dimension mainstream in early-stage venture development.

The Open Call for the Tech for Impact Awards 2022 will be launched on 3rd January, followed by the Open Call for the Spring Impact Academy.

We will also make use of the momentum to further work with interesting partners who share our vision and who would like to be part of our adventure. If you are interested in partnering with us for 2022 to support impact driven entrepreneurs and create positive impact, get in touch with us.

We would also like to take the opportunity of this annual review to warmly thank our partners and clients for their trust and support.

As success is always happier when shared, feel free to share your biggest achievements, learnings and challenges with us.

See you in 2022!