SEIF Awards Tech for Impact

Since 2011, the SEIF Awards target European impact entrepreneurs who develop or make innovative use of technologies to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development GoalsThanks to the highly qualified jury and detailed selection process, the SEIF Awards have been established as a quality label in the impact ecosystem over the past 10 years.

Together with our partners – UBSPwC Switzerland and Julius Bär – we provide finalists with a unique opportunity to increase international awareness, pitch in front of impact investors and establish a positive reputation in the impact ecosystem. Each Award grants the winner CHF 10’000. 


Who is it for? 

Impact driven entrepreneurs with innovative tech solutions designed responsibly to contribute to at least one of the UN SDGs. We are looking for European based entrepreneurs, operations can be worldwide. The positive impact dimension should be clearly reflected in the core business principles.

Why Tech for Impact? 

When it comes to technological progress and global challenges, we live in fascinating yet demanding times. Technology can be a great tool for positive change, as innovative technologies often represent highly scalable solutions with potential to make a significant contribution to reach the UN SDGs. At the same time, we need to be aware of the potential negative impact it may bring along.

This is why it is crucial to foster the positive potential of impact driven tech entrepreneurs. It not only means integrating the impact dimension in the newest technological developments, but also to conduct and communicate the impact management and measurement transparently. We are pleased to see that a growing community starts to think in this direction.

What do we mean by impact driven tech entrepreneurs? 

We have a broad definition of impact driven tech entrepreneurs spanning across all sectors ranging from solutions applying AI, AR, nanotech, robotics or material science to low tech solutions, digital platforms or drones. You have either created a new solution or apply existing technologies in an innovative way to create positive impact to reach the UN SDGs. Meet last years finalists here and winners here.

Can startups from outside of Switzerland apply for the SEIF Awards?

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, operations can be worldwide. With Europe, we refer to the region’s Innovation Ecosystem 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.

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.

How much does it cost to apply?

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

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.

Can I submit my award application in German?

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

What should be included in my business description?

The structure of your business description is free but it should include all relevant information about your business. The business description should be uploaded in PDF format and should not exceed 25 pages, or 30 slides if you upload your pitch deck.

Please remember that all important information should be covered, but the reader should not feel overwhelmed with information. Ask for feedback from a person not involved in your organization!

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 startups that won an award only after applying for the second time.

Do I have to upload a Business Description and a Pitch Deck, or is only one of these required?

No worries! You only need to upload one business description. This could be for example your business plan or pitch deck. The most important thing is that the document includes all relevant information about your business.

What are the evaluation criteria for the SEIF Awards applications?

The jury focuses on the following criteria during the evaluation process:

  • 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

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

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

Can I still change my application after submission?

Yes, but you have to submit your application again. You can not change your application after the deadline.

When do I hear back from SEIF?

The applications for the SEIF Awards are open from January 4th until March 31st 2021. After this deadline, we will review all applications and present them to the Jury. You will hear from us by end of April. However, we recommend to block the pitch day 11th of May in your agenda. Please be aware that we can’t give personal feedback to your application.

Where and when is the Awards Ceremony?

The Awards Ceremony takes place June 10th 2021.

We continuously update the FAQs.

The benefits


For winners

  • A total prize money of CHF 40’000 is at stake (divided across 4 Awards)

For all finalists

  • Unique opportunity to increase international visibility and gain reputation
  • Pitch to a top-class jury & a large audience of relevant stakeholders
  • Opportunity to pitch in front of impact investors
  • Opportunity to pitch in front of sustainability and business leaders in Switzerland
  • Stay part of the SEIF network of impact fellows for future opportunities

What previous winners say 

64_SEIF2019_28. Juni 2019_Eva Zingg Photography

“The SEIF Tech for Impact Award had a significant influence on our development, in particular on the fundraising. It publicly showed our ambition to go towards impact driven entrepreneurship and attracted, as a result, impact driven investors. One year after, we are still in touch with several of them.” 

Etienne Jeoffroy
FenX Co-Founder and CEO

“2016 was a key year for us. We won the SEIF Award, which allowed us to register Mosan as a company and move to the next level. That year we worked a lot on our business model and established key partnerships in Central America.”

Mona Mijthab
Founder of Mosan

Mona Mijthab
Carbon Delta Team 2016

“The most important aspect of the award was the recognition we received from the nomination. The award also helped us to gain additional traction as an employer.”

Oliver Marchand
CEO & Co-Founder of CARBON DELTA

SEIF Awards Ceremony 2021: Highlights