seif Awards 2019: Tech for Impact


The business plan competition for impact driven startups goes into another round!

New for 2019 is the focus on Tech for Impact: We live in fascinating yet demanding times when it comes to technical progress. With these Awards we target entrepreneurs in Europe who develop or make innovative use of technologies to tackle social and/or environmental challenges and contribute to the UN sustainable development goals.


Why participate?

Each Award grants the winners a prize money of CHF 10’000. But that is not all: Together with our partners UBS and PwC we provide finalists a unique opportunity to increase their international awareness, gain reputation and present themselves to a top-class jury. Also, they will enjoy a coaching package as well as the opportunity to pitch in front of impact investors.


Award Categories 2019

seif Award for Scalable Solution
supported by seif

seif Award for Responsible Business
supported by PwC

seif Award for Social Innovation
supported by UBS


Apply here!

1. Can projects from outside of Switzerland apply for the seif Awards as well?

Yes, definitely! The seif Awards are not at all limited to Swiss ventures. We are more than happy to receive applications from all over Europe as well, the operations can be worldwide. With Europe, we refer to the region’s Innovation Eco-System and refrain from a purely political or geographical definition. The EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 provides a useful guideline and all participating countries are welcome to apply. 

2. Can we apply with any technical solution?

Yes, of course! From Low Tech to Deep Tech, there are endless opportunities to use the huge potential of technology to tackle today’s social and/ or environmental challenges!

3. How much does it cost to apply?

It’s free of charge! there is no cost to apply.

4. Do we have to apply directly for a specific category (e.g. scalable solution or responsible business)?

No, you just hand in a general application for the seif Awards. The jury will assign your case to a specific category during the evaluation process.

5. Can I submit my award application in German?

Yes, absolutely! You can submit your application in English or German.

6. My business plan is too short / too long. Can I upload it anyway?

Theoretically yes, but the business plan should not be significantly longer than 30 pages. Please remember that all important information should be covered in the business plan but that the reader should not feel overwhelmed with information. Ask for feedback from a person not involved in your organisation!

7. We already applied for the seif Awards in the past. Can we try again?

Yes, definitely. Every startup develops and changes over time. Among our past year’s winners were several start-ups that won an award only after applying for the second time.

8. What are the evaluation criteria for the seif Award applications?

The jury focuses on the following criteria during the evaluation of applications:

  • Professional skills of the project team
  • Innovation of the project
  • Social / ecological impact
  • Quality of the business model and financing
  • Proof of concept
  • Replicability and scale

9. We have an updated SRS-report. Can we hand it in instead of the business plan?

Yes, of course. If you also have a business plan, please hand in both documents.

10.  Can I start my application and come back to it later?

Yes, you are able to save your application and finish it later.

11. Can I still change my application after submission?

Yes, but you have to submit your application again.

12. When do I hear back from seif?

The applications for the seif Awards are open until 31st of March. After this deadline, we will review all the business plans and present them to the Jury. You will hear from us by mid/end of April. However, we recommend to block the pitch day 14th of May in your agenda. The pitch event will be held online and therefore, you attend remotely. Please be aware that we can’t give personal feedback to your application. Thank you for your understanding.

13. Where and when is the Awards Ceremony?

The Award Ceremony takes place in Zurich, 28th of June.


We continuously update the FAQs.