Welcome to SHIFT! Haikou.

SHIFT! is open to early stage, pre-series A, impact technology  startups who can enter by completing our online form and submitting a pitch deck via our website. Technologies pitched must demonstrate a viable business model as well as an intention to create positive impact in one of the following areas – food systems, energy & carbon, inclusive finance, resilient cities, health & circular economy.

A SHIFT! review committee will pre-select the most promising startups to go through a process of refining and rehearsing their pitch before presenting to a jury of investors, business leaders and impact experts with a live audience. Two semi-finalists will be selected and receive an all expenses paid trip to compete globally at Impact X Summit for up to USD 100,000 in non-equity prize money.

All semi-finalists competing at Impact X will also be given a free exhibition space where they can meet and share their technology products with investors and corporate VCs from around the world.

Personally, I am shifting more than $1 billion into helping promising energy startups take great ideas from the lab to market at scale.

Bill Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Key Dates

Registrations Open:
LATE 2021

Registrations Close:
LATE 2021

LATE 2021

Selected Startups Announced:
LATE 2021

Hanghzou City Challenge:
LATE 2021

Enter Shift! Now

By registering with us, you will be starting the process of applying for our 2021 competition. Expect to hear back from us within 48 hours. Please note the registration open date on the left.

For more about SHIFT!


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?

A. Our judges will select on average 18 startups to compete in each city challenge.

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 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.