Seoul – Dec 14th, 2020 – On 7-8 December 2020, Impact Collective (IC), the world’s first community-driven investment and acceleration program, held a virtual Demo Day where 20 impact-driven startups pitched their ventures in front of an audience of industry and innovation experts, impact specialists and responsible consumers.
The presentations were also viewed by over 200 judges, who voted for the teams that they believed had the biggest chance of driving impact in the Asia Pacific region. Based on vote results, the Impact Collective Committee (consisting of TheVentures partners and UNDP, UN ESCAP and WFUNA representatives) have chosen 10 startups that will be eligible to receive direct investments of up to US$ 500k.
Powered by UN-backed platform Citypreneurs and investment firm TheVentures, Impact Collective has created a new and disruptive investment model that relies on the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ to democratize capital allocation for high impact ventures looking to scale in Asia Pacific.
The equity-free acceleration program is run on a bespoke blockchain-based platform where IC community members (now over 1,000 – entrepreneurs, experts, government representatives, investors and conscious consumers) are empowered to show support for participating startups through a commenting and voting system that influences funding opportunities.
The aim of this community-driven approach is to achieve significantly enhanced diversity in the decision-making landscape for sourcing inclusive solutions with greater financial performance, as well as to help accelerate the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly in cities across Asia, by supporting startups whose work falls under the following 6 themes: inclusive health and quality of life, circular economy and the future of waste management, sustainable agriculture and food, digitalization for equal opportunities for all, future of work and economic growth, and green energy and the environment.
Using the framework of the SDGs, Impact Collective is looking to invest its US$5 million fund in startups that place as much importance on making profit as nurturing and protecting our planet, developing the right intellectual resources, creating a strong and motivated workforce, and supporting stable societies.
362 startups from around the world applied to the program with 86 teams, representing 32 countries, being selected to participate in a 10 week-long 100% virtual acceleration program, structured around an Impact Camp (a two-day online onboarding session for participants, judges and experts), Impact Sessions (organized and run by WFUNA around impact-profit alignment), an Impact Ecosystem Mapping Dialogue (a city-by-city mapping deep-dive workshop driven by UNDP and its Youth Co:Lab network), a Policy Dialogue (with ecosystem stakeholders driven by UNESCAP), a Cross-border Launchbox (run by 4 Regional Anchors in charge of helping startups tap into the local ecosystems of Seoul – TheVentures, Singapore – Draper Startup House, Bangkok – THUS and HCMC – Dreamplex) and Homegroup Meetings (small group meetups, where entrepreneurs can check-in and share their struggles, worries and receive support).
In addition to the US$5 million program fund, all 86 startups (known as ‘Impact Makers’) have been eligible to be part of a ‘fast track investment’ option with a ticket of up to US$ 100k.
Throughout the duration of the program, over 200 IC judges – among whom are renowned industry experts, seasoned entrepreneurs, impact specialists, ecosystem builders as well as conscious consumers who care about the sustainability of their regions – followed the journeys of growth and evolution of the Impact Makers. The judges had until the end of the 10-week program to place Impact Collective voting tokens on those Impact Makers that showcased the most compelling product, business model, impact story and team.
Based on the community’s voting results, 20 teams with the highest number of votes were chosen to pitch their ventures live, in front of an Impact Collective Committee and the whole Impact Collective community. The Impact Makers’ pitches served as the basis for a second round of voting from the IC judges, which results, together with the IC Committee’s recommendation, allowed to select the final 10 Impact Makers who will be eligible for direct investments of up to US$ 500k from the Impact Collective Fund.
Teams in Impact Collective benefit not only with access to investment tracks. “Impact collective is a great program to connect with experts and mentors from all over the world. The conversations that I had with the community members as well as their feedback and suggestions have been my biggest takeaway from Impact Collective.” – says Reyasat, CEO of Shuttle, 1st place in the 2020 Impact Collective program.
1. Shuttle (Bangladesh) – http://www.shuttlebd.com/
Shuttle is a mass-transit startup that provides safe transportation at an affordable price by moving more people with fewer vehicles, with a primary focus on women in Bangladesh.
2. Freedom One Life (UK) – https://freedomonelife.com
A game changing next generation power wheelchair redefining mobility. At Freedom One Life we find solutions to problems other power chair manufacturers take for granted. Whether going to the office, attending a social gathering or travelling to the other side of the world, Freedom One Life provides the ultimate in comfort, safety and reliability – short haul and long haul.
3. Kara Technologies (New Zealand) – https://www.kara.tech/solutions
Kara improves accessibility and quality of service for the Deaf by translating customer-facing content using a hyper-realistic computer-generated avatar.
4. Planet Protector Packaging (Australia / New Zealand) – http://www.planetprotectorpackaging.com
Planet Protector Packaging makes a revolutionary secondary packaging solution called Woolpack, which is a sustainable alternative to expanded polystyrene for temperature-controlled food and pharmaceuticals made primarily from sheep’s waste wool.
5. SOGO Energy Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) – https://sogoenergy.com/
SOGO Energy is building the first distributed utility to serve rural communities in emerging economies in Asia with affordable, reliable and clean energy.
6. iFarmer (Bangladesh) – https://www.ifarmer.asia/
iFarmer is a technology company that enables small-scale farmers and Agri Businesses to maximize their profit by creating better access to Finance for Farmers by enabling individuals and institutions to fund the capital requirement of the farmers.
7. DamoGO (Indonesia / Korea) – https://damogoapp.com/
Damogo is an all-in-one mobile app where anyone can purchase and rescue perfectly good, unsold food from restaurants/retail and “ugly” produce from farms at half price. We also sell this “ugly” produce to our restaurant partners. All this is food that would otherwise go to waste in the bin.
8. Sehat Kahani (Pakistan) – https://sehatkahani.com/
An e-health startup, Sehat Kahani aims to democratize access to quality and affordable health care using cost-effective ICT enabled solutions through a network of qualified home-based female doctors. The solutions are implemented via two main service channels – E-Health Clinics and E-Health Application – based on end-users with diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
9. Fefifo (Singapore / Malaysia) – https://www.fefifo.co
Fefifo is pioneering digitalised farming in ready-to-farm modern farmspaces (Co-farms) for smallholder farmers in South East Asia.
10. Tella (Korea / Uganda) – https://tella.co.kr
Tella provides highly effective & personalized English tutoring services through the synergy of professional English native tutors and technology. Tella trains and hires tutors mainly from East Africa to create jobs for university graduates and globally promote African talent.
Changseong Ho, CEO of TheVentures, commented, “Although this year was the first trial run of Impact Collective, it has already reached significant achievements, including setting up the Impact Collective platform, a basis for building a global community ecosystem which will fuel community-powered investments.” He also added, “I believe that this will grow even more, with more partners and supporters from all over the world, who will be joining to drive meaningful financial results and bigger social impact in the startup scene.”
TheVentures – http://theventures.co
TheVentures is an investor and incubator for early-stage startups focusing on technology, community, and impact. With the belief that building a powerful community is a key driver behind any successful business, they aim to redefine the capital model for startups by bringing the collective power of community and local experts into the investment process. They bring together a diverse community of founders, investors, changemakers, and industry leaders.
Citypreneurs – http://www.citypreneurs.org
Citypreneurs is a UN-backed ecosystem building and growth platform that focuses on building the capacity of young entrepreneurs to offer revenue generating solutions that help solve urban challenges within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The platform brings together a cross-section of stakeholders focused on sustainable and inclusive impact to foster public-private collaborations and policy development.
Impact Collective – http://impactcollective.earth
Impact Collective is a Community-driven Investment & Acceleration program for exceptional startups focusing on opportunities in Asia. We invest in, support, and connect startups that are solving global challenges to accelerate positive impact in the world.
Impact Collective creates a connected network of innovators, investors, civil society organizations, and government leaders across the APAC region. Collectively, we design and deliver programs that drive investment, innovation, and partnerships for inclusive sector solutions to SDG-aligned global challenges.
With the belief that building a powerful community is a key driver behind any successful business, we aim to redefine the capital model for startups by bringing the collective power of community and local experts into the investment process.
Hosted virtually from 4 innovative cities of Asia:
Seoul, South Korea / Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam / Singapore, Singapore / Bangkok, Thailand.