Startup E-Challenge

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Startup E-Challenge is the challenge designed for university students and young graduates who want to test their skills in respect to one of the most important topics of our times: sustainable development.
Working individually or in a team of max. 3 people, you will have the chance to propose your idea for an innovative startup that will help communities to build a more sustainable future. Read below for more details!

The Challenge

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors: we borrow it from our children” - Native American proverb

According to the the UN Commission on Environment and Development, “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
In September 2015 all the United Nations Member states met at the UN Sustainable Development Summit where they adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At its core are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), describing a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. 
Starting from Sustainable Development Goals 7,9,11,  you shall develop your idea, possibly through the use of innovative technologies, in order to reach a greener future by 2030. Challenge and validate your project throughout mentors’ workshops and one-to-one tutoring sessions during the first 3 weeks of May 2021. You will receive feedbacks from a selected jury of experts on sustainability and business development and finally you might have the chance to pitch your idea in front of them during the final workshop of the challenge.To participate to the Challenge you need to design an idea for an innovative Startup concerning one or more of the selected Sustainable Development Goals. In the following paragraphs a more precise description of the Goals will be provided.
Take this chance to become part of the movement to shape the future toward the ‘2030 Agenda’ and have fun!


For first 3 winners

1° place | 200€ Amazon Voucher + consultancy on how to launch your career with POLIHUB experts + tutored gadgets

2° place | Udemy Voucher for a course of your choice + consultancy on how to launch your career with tutored experts + tutored gadgets
3° classificato | tutored gadgets

How it works


Register to the challenge

Participate to the briefing webinars

Submit your work

The Briefing Webinars

Goal 7 -  Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Energy lies at the heart of both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The UN explains: "Transitioning the global economy towards clean and sustainable sources of energy is one of our greatest challenges in the coming decades. Sustainable energy is an opportunity – it transforms lives, economies and the planet."Indeed, ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all will open a new world of opportunities for billions of people through new economic opportunities and jobs, empowered women, children and youth, better education and health, more sustainable, equitable and inclusive communities, and greater protections from climate change. More precisely, this goal consists of 5 sub-targets:

Inspiring Examples

BiohackBrazillian startup Biohack offers clients a range of green technology and sustainability solutions. They help companies assess their greenhouse gas emissions and further assist them in employing abatement strategies. They also offer an alternative fuel for energy, biocoal, which is a renewable and clean fuel that is derived from residual biomass. The use of biocoal enables the reduction in greenhouse emissions compared to fossil fuels.

Power LedgerAustralian startup Power Ledger develops smart ledgers using blockchain and offers renewable energy providers and users with three main solutions. Their energy trading platform allows users with rooftop solar or battery storage to buy and sell their electricity. They provide greater transparency to environmental commodities trading and renewable energy credits. They also develop an asset ownership model that allows socio-economically poor households to benefit from renewable energy assets.

Goal 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

This Goal’s objective is to promote sustainable industrialization, to enhance innovation and to build accessible and capillar infrastructures for everyone. It is, probably, the broader goal among the hereby presented ones. The first target of the 9th goal is a widespread and sustainable industrialization. Countries’ progress strictly follows their capability of fostering a sustainable industry, both for the environment and for all the stakeholders of those industries. It is estimated that in 2019 14% of people were employed in manufacturing activities, and here is why it is important to look at the sector carefully. Widespread financial markets, upgraded research and development capabilities, sustainable infrastructure are some of the hidden topics behind the word ‘industry’. Then, the Goal focuses on innovation in its more wide perspective. Innovation as a way to shape the future, validating and executing startup ideas. Following up there is the crucial mission to create sustainable infrastructures for everyone. Here we can talk about how slightly less than half of the world’s population is not an internet user, or about the lack of appropriate transportation infrastructures in many developing countries, through air or through land.

Inspiring Examples

SolidiaSolidia is a cement and concrete technology company focusing on developing scalable solutions for the building and construction industry. They offer patented green solutions to provide superior and sustainable building materials by utilizing waste materials and CO2 to address the carbon challenge from both ends. They also introduce AI in the concrete production process in an effort to reduce waste, improve quality control, and system optimization. is the leading industrial AI company with a particular focus on the mining industry providing solutions to optimize efficiency, sustainability, and safety. It utilizes a real-time decision-making platform and a portfolio of process optimization applications that covers the entirety of the value chain.

Goal 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Indeed, ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all will open a new world of opportunities for billions of people through new economic opportunities and jobs, empowered women, children and youth, better education and health, more sustainable, equitable and inclusive communities,and greater protections from climate change. More precisely, this goal consists of 5 sub-targets:

Inspiring Examples

Hayden AIa sturtup delivering an autonomous traffic management platform to help cities become safer and more sustainable, by combining mobile sensors with artificial intelligence, in order to make traffic flow more efficient and less dangerous.

Wiseaira startup and community which developed an IoT-sensor based vase to measure the air quality (now also in the fit-and-forget size). Through giving people the opportunity to measure and share the quality of the air surrounding them, they are engaging them to share the company vision and create a community.





3rd MAY h 18.00
WEBINAR | Introduction to the Startup E-Challenge
Speaker: Giacomo Frigo from POLIHUB
This introductory event hosted by the Entrepreneurship Club Politecnico di Milano will walk all the participants and those interested in deepening their knowledge on sustainable development into the Challenge E-Startup. You will get to meet the main partners of this event, namely POLIHUB and Tutored, and you will discover all the rules and the prizes of the challenge. 
5th MAY h 18.00
WEBINAR | Sustainable Development Goals in Pills
Speakers: Francesco Grimaccia, Gabriele Masera, Simone Accornero
The speakers will introduce the participants to the conceptual foundations of the Startup E-Challenge, namely the Sustainable Development Goals. A thourough explanation of the rationale and the implications of Goals 7, 9 and 11, to grasp the fundamental aspects in order to elaborate better projects.
9th MAY h 12.00 p.m.
Registration's Deadline
10th MAY h 18.00
WEBINAR | Business Model Canvas: from Zero to Hero
Speaker: Stefano Mizio
The business model canvas is the document where you will outline your entrepreneurial idea. Along with the experts from PoliMi Innovation Park and PoliHub, we will learn all the secrets to outline a business model that works. In particular, we will go through all the elements that a business model shall include and the common mistakes that young entrepreneurs should avoid.
14th MAY h 18.00
WEBINAR | Tips & Tricks for Pitching
Speaker: Anna De Stefano
Pitching an entrepreneurial idea in a sharp and concise way is a fundamental part of designing a new startup. This workshop will be dedicated to learn the basic elements that a good pitch shall encompass. Moreover, the speaker will suggest some tips & tricks to get the best out of your idea and to captivate your audience.
21st MAY h 18.00
Submissions deadline
31st MAY h 18.00
WEBINAR | Startup E-Challenge - The Final
Speakers: Stefano Mizio, Anna De Stefano, Francesco Grimaccia, Gabriele Masera
The Startup E-Challenge's final appointment will offer the chance to the best teams to pitch their idea before a panel of experts. The selected teams will be contacted by tutored and will receive all the relevant instructions. Good Luck!

Register to the challenge

By the end of the registration process, you will receive the business model canvas mockup and all the relevant materials

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