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Open Call 2022

The Social Business Innovation Lab (SBI-LAB) proudly presents the Open Call 2022

Registrations are now open until December 31, 2022! Register your social business or purpose-driven startup now!

The Open call has five main goals:

  1. Pre-selecting social startups that will participate in the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) free of charge
  2. Selecting 8 social startups that participated in the IRP to pitch in front of potential investors and facilitate their access to financing by giving them visibility at the Social Business Conference which will be held on May 5, 2023 in Lugano, Switzerland.
  3. Identifying high-potential social startups at local level that may become guests at the SBI-LAB in Lugano
  4. Engaging local and international stakeholders to expand the Social Business Ecosystem in Canton Ticino and the World through concrete commitments (mentoring, sponsoring one or more desks for social startups at the SBI-LAB, investing in a social startup)
  5. Contributing to the achievement of the UN SDGs.

    The 2022 SBI-LAB Open Call focuses on 5 main themes:
  • Poverty Alleviation (SDG1)
  • Zero Hunger (SDG2)
  • Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7)
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG8)
  • Climate Action (SDG13)

Open Call 2022 Timeline

  • October 1, 2022. – Open Call 2022 starts
  • Social entrepreneurs will register using the form on Social Business Earth’s website.
  • Dec. 31, 2022 – Registration closed
  • January 2023 – Pre-selection of social entrepreneurs who will participate in the Investment Readiness Program.
  • February-March 2023 – Investment Readiness Program
  • First week of April 2023 – Selection of high potential startups to pitch at the final event.
  • April 17-21 – Mock Pitching with Mentors
  • May 5, 2023 – Social Business Conference (SBC) 2023 and Pitch Day.

Startups Eligibility and Profile

  1. Startup operates under one of the five key themes
  2. Applicant must be 18 years of age or older
  3. Startup has been established for at least 6 months and not more than 4 years.
  4. Startup has evidence of initial traction (at least a basic user/revenue report shown in the pitch deck).
  5. Apply first via our registration form.
  6. Submit a pitching video with the following requirements:
  • Video submission in the form of link (from Youtube, Google Drive, etc.)
  • Video length: up to 5 minutes
  • Make sure the speaker and the slides are visible and the audio is audible
  • Pitching and pitch deck should be in English only

Criteria of Social Startup Pre-selection to Participate in Investment Readiness Program

  1. Problem Statement
  2. Solution
  3. Business Model
    How the business model works and generates revenues, type of product/service, capacity to be financially sustainable.
  4. Impact (Social, Environmental and Financial) and SDGs
    Short, medium and long-term impact of the social startup and how it contributes to achieving one or more SDGs. Explanation should provide specific SDG indicators.
  5. Team
    Academic background, expertise, specific competence in the field, role in the startup, previous work experience, why is the person most suitable for the role etc.
  6. Feasibility
    Technical and legal aspects, timeline, risks, SWOT analysis
  7. Scalability and Replicability potential
    Is the social startup scalable or replicable? What is your strategy for scaling up?
  8. Innovation and Creativity
    The ability of the social startup to propose new, original and unique solutions to challenges and problems that can translate into benefits and advantages, positively impacting the lives of individuals, communities and the environment.
  9. Maturity
    Maturity refers to the date in which the principal balance of an investment/loan becomes due and payable. How many years will the social startup take to pay the investment back? Should provide a maturity plan.

Originality and Intellectual Property

  1. Participant represents and warrants that the social startup is and will be the participant’s or participant’s teams own original work and does not and will not infringe the intellectual property or proprietary rights of any third party, including, without limitation, any third-party patents, copyrights or trademarks. Should third parties nonetheless file a claim for the violation of their rights, and should such violation be the result of intentional or grossly negligent conduct of the participant, then the participant shall be liable for any and all damages.
  2. Entries may be subject to a due diligence review at any time for eligibility and compliance.
  3. All submissions remain the intellectual property of the individuals or teams that developed them. By registering, consenting to the terms of the Open Call 2022, the participant agrees that all materials (e.g. business plan, financial plan, pitch deck, etc.) of preselected startups will be made available to the organizers and, if selected among the top 8, to potential investors at the SBC 2023.

  1. What kind of social startups can participate?
    We welcome applications from startups that have been established at least 6 months prior to Oct.1, 2022 and not more than 4 years from Oct. 1, 2022. The startups work to contribute to one of the 5 SDGs of the Open Call: SDG1, SDG2, SDG7, SDG8, SDG13. See our Open Call page for more details on eligibility.
  2. When will I know If I have been selected to participate in the Investment Readiness Program?
    We will contact you via email by the end of January 2023. So be sure to put the right email when applying!
  3. When will the Investment Readiness Program start?
    February 6, 2023.
  4. What will the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) cover?
    The IRP will build skills and capacity to facilitate access to social finance investments. It will cover different topics such as the main aspects of business planning, impact measurement, pitching techniques, speaking the language of investors and corporates, and more.
  5. Who will deliver the IRP?
    Professionals from the Social Business Innovation Lab and its network of partners and stakeholders.
  6. How long will the IRP last?
    2 months with 1-2 sessions every week.
  7. In what time zone will the IRP be delivered and how?
    Central European Time (CET), online via a platform to be confirmed (e.g. Zoom)
  8. What if the time difference in my country does not allow me to participate in the IRP?
    The IRP sessions will be recorded and you will be able to follow them online.
  9. When will I know if I have been selected among the 8 startups to pitch at the Social Business Conference 2023?
    We will contact you via email by April 9, 2023.
  10. What will I win if I am selected to pitch at the Social Business Conference 2023?
    You will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to pitch your social startup to a group of potential investors. If you are a local social startup, based in Ticino or Switzerland, you will be entered into a draw to win a workstation at the Social Business Innovation Lab for a year with 10 hours of consulting free of charge.
  11. Can the social startups bring tools/props at the Social Business Conference?
    You can bring tools/props and such for your presentation as long as they are not dangerous, oversized or causing potential damage to the event property.
  12. If I can’t afford to travel to Lugano for the Social Business Conference can I pitch my social startup remotely?
    Yes, but it will have to be live. No previously recorded pitches will be allowed.
  13. Will the Social Business Innovation Lab pay for travel and accommodation of the 8 selected startups to the Social Business Conference 2023?
    No. The social entrepreneurs will have to cover their own travel and accommodation to Lugano. Should we find sponsors for social entrepreneurs’ trips between now and May 2023, the selected startups will be notified.
  14. What is the dress code?
    Nothing specific, we recommend (business) casual dress code.
  15. In what language will the IRP and the event be?
    Both the IRP and the Social Business Conference 2023 will be in English. All pitches must be in English.
  16. How can I contact the organizer for further information?
    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact specifying in your subject line: Open Call 2022 – Question.

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