Citypreneurs: Seeking Applications for Urban Innovation Challenge

Deadline: 15 August 2018

Citypreneurs is seeking applications for its “Urban Innovation Challenge” which consists of two main components: a startup competition that works in close collaboration with city governments to solve urban problems as defined by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), and an inclusive policy interface that brings together academia, the public and private sectors, the civil society and international organizations to discuss the policy and set up an alliance of youth empowerment enablers.


Citypreneurs aims for the following objectives:

  • Urban Impact (SDG 11): generation of businesses that contribute to urban development and general social improvements as measured by the SDGs.
  • Start-ups (SDG 8/9): contribution to the urban start-up ecosystem through an interlinked support system involving the international, public, and private sectors.
  • SDGs Promotion: public awareness of SDGs raised through a series of event marketing as well as the business success of participating teams.
  • Regional Scaling (SDG 17): proliferation of the Urban Innovation Challenge program in the Asia Pacific region through multilateral partnerships and city-to-city policy support.
  • Contribution to Global Dialogue: contribution in providing an innovative means of SDG implementation by encouraging youth entrepreneurship and incentivizing impact investment.


Teams will choose one of the following themes to propose a viable business model to solve urban problems:

  • Green Energy
    • Production & Consumption of Renewable Energy
    • Energy Efficiency
    • Energy Storage and Recycling
  • Urban Mobility
    • Traffic and Public Transportation
    • Parking
    • Urban Bicycles
  • Social Protection
    • Road and Public Facility Safety
    • Crime Prevention
    • Ageing and Disability
    • Cybersecurity
    • Income Inequality
    • Women and Children

Type of Programs

  1. Seed Track: The Seed track is designed for early stage startups looking for validation of their venture. These startups have much more creative flexibility to focus on urban issues presented by Seoul City agencies. The program will assist teams from designing a viable business model to cultivating investor relations.
  2. Growth Track: Startups with 3+ years of experience and market-tested prototypes are invited to pitch in the Growth track. The program will offer sessions to help find ways applicant’s solution can solve urban issues, while sharpening their pitch to the partner investors.

Award Information

  • Awards for 30 selected Citypreneurs
    • Right to use official CITYPRENEURS branding
    • Quality mentoring sessions with public sector officials, private investors, and accelerators
    • Participation in Start-up Workshops and Clinics
    • Pitching and networking opportunities between participants
    • Travel subsidies to teams from Seoul
    • AI, IoT, Blockchain tech sponsorship opportunity
  • Winning Teams
    • Total Award of 24 million KRW for Seed Track winners
    • Investment Reserve Fund available for Growth Track winners
    • Awards from UN High Officials
    • Private Demo Day with Business Growth Partners
    • Invitation to International Forums and Events
    • Publication in domestic / international investment magazines and reports
    • Collaborations to secure public contracts with Seoul Metropolitan Government

Eligibility Criteria

  • Urban Innovation Challenge: Citypreneurs welcomes anyone with an interest in solving urban issues and implementing the SDGs using innovative business models.

How to Apply

Applicants can apply via given website.

For further information, please visit Citypreneurs.

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