Shifting Capital for Improved Lives and a Healthier Planet

SHIFT! is an ambitious new discovery platform for impact technologies. Seeking local solutions to systemic global problems, the SHIFT city challenge will call for founders and innovators to pitch their impact technologies to investors and impact experts in cities around the world over three years. Finalists are funded to compete globally at Impact X Summits in China, Europe and the USA.


Enter Shift!

Shift! City Hubs

City Hub partners organise SHIFT! city challenges to engage the ecosystem, discover emerging impact technology startups and support them with funding, mentoring and partnerships to scale. Hub partners support ongoing ecosystem development and community engagement that promote the need for and benefits of impact technologies towards accelerating local, national and global development. 


Q. What is SHIFT?

A. SHIFT! is a startup pitch competition open to early stage, pre-series A, impact technology companies who can enter by completing an online questionnaire and submitting a 2-3-minute video pitch. Technologies pitched must demonstrate a viable business model as well as an intention to create positive impact in one of the following areas - food, energy & carbon, inclusive finance, resilient cities, health or circular economy. We will be progressively adding new areas of Impact tech application in 2021.

Q. What is Impact technology?

A. Impact technologies are technologies designed to have a measurable and positive impact for people, society and the planet. Here is a useful resource to help further your understanding of Impact Technology.

Q. When are applications accepted?

A. SHIFT! city applications are taken twice a year. Applications are now open for Jakarta, Sydney, Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai. Check the key dates here.

Q. How do I apply?

A. Click the ‘Enter Shift’ link on the SHIFT! page of the IX website here. Please note it will take around 18 minutes to complete the online application. We suggest you first review the questions and gather supporting materials before beginning the application.

Q. Does it cost to apply?

A. No, it’s free to apply.

Q. How many applications do you shortlist for SHIFT! City pitches?

Q. How many applications do you shortlist for SHIFT! City pitches?

Q. Are all applications reviewed?

A. Yes, 100% of them. All applications go through the same unbiased process.

Q. Is my application confidential?

A. Yes, your application will be kept confidential and shared with the internal SHIFT! City Challenge review committee only.

Q. What is the criteria for selection?

A. A panel of expert investors will short list up to 18 startups based upon what you tell us in the online application. Through a collaborative process, our evaluation panel of investors & impact experts shortlist the SHIFT! City Challenge finalists. Consequently, submissions will be vetted through a review committee to filter the best startups – in terms of the eligibility criteria, novelty or originality of business idea, and its potential for impact.

Q. Do we have to be a software company?

A. No, not explicitly, however, there should definitely be an underlying technology innovation associated with your idea where the intention is to have impact as described above.

Q. If selected, who will I be pitching to?

A. Typically three investors, one impact expert and an audience.

Q. If selected how will I be notified?

A. SHIFT! City Challenge finalists will be contacted directly by a member of the Impact X SHIFT! team. This typically occurs around one month after receiving the application. They will set up a call to brief you further on the process and preparation required.

Q. If selected as a SHIFT! City Challenge finalist, will I be allowed to use a Pitch Deck?

A. Yes for sure. We will provide you with a template to ensure consistency throughout the pitching process.

Q. How long will I have to pitch?

A. You will have 5 minutes to pitch and 5 minutes for Q&A.

Q. Can I bring members of my team?

A. Yes, please bring them along. We just ask that one person (the Founder/ Co Founder) is on onstage for the pitch.

Q. Are there rehearsals for the SHIFT City Challenge finals?

A. No, but we will conduct a 15 minute onboarding call and we are always available to offer support. This does not mean you should not rehearse. You should practise, practise, and practise until you feel your delivery is perfect. If you are selected to progress to the SHIFT! Global Challenge, two rehearsals will be arranged by the SHIFT team.

Q. Will we know the judges prior to pitching?

A. Yes! Their bios will be on the SHIFT! website.

Q. Do I have to be an actual resident of the SHIFT! city competition I am applying to?

A. No. But your company must be registered in the country and or you are applying from.

Q. How many startups will be selected to pitch at the SHIFT! Global Challenge?

A. The judging panel will select two startups from the shortlisted SHIFT! City Challenge finalists.

Q. Is there cash prize money for the SHIFT! City Challenge winners?

A. No. But the City Challenge winners will receive airfares and accommodation to the SHIFT! Global Challenge in China. And of course the opportunity to win the grand prize of USD $100,000.

Q. If we are selected as two of the City finalists what happens next?

A. Congrats. A member of the Impact X SHIFT! team will reach out to set up a call to walk you through the process for preparing for the big event. And they will stay with you throughout the entire journey.

Q. What is the format of the SHIFT! Global Challenge?

A. The format of the Global Challenge will be the same as the SHIFT! City Challenge, 5 minutes to present plus 5 minutes of Q&A.


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