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ABIS GlobalNewsBest Impact Startup Award

18th ABIS Annual Colloquium 2019: Best Impact Startup Award

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Theme and objectives

In light of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 18th ABIS Colloquium 2019 will represent a significant opportunity to reflect on the striking changes the world has experienced over the last 3 decades. In particular, the Colloquium aims to advance our knowledge on the state-of-the art of business in society and on how impact measurement, the growing role of investors and start-ups as well as the latest digital advancements can further accelerate positive impact and create value for society.

During this Colloquium, ABIS is holding a Best Impact Startup Award, with the aim to acknowledge the role of new, innovative companies that are positively contributing to sustainable development and inspiring others to do the same. We expect to invite and reward purpose-led start-ups which are finding creative ways to solve social and environmental problems while simultaneously growing their business.

Application and eligibility

We are opening a call for applications for any start-up that:

  • Was created 5 and less years ago
  • Has a steady growth
  • Is committed to sustainability and has positive social, economic or environmental impact

Applications are open to non-profits, social enterprises, or for-profit and private organizations. To apply, startups must fill in detail the form found HERE. The application must be in English. All applications must be submitted by uploading completed online applications.

The online submission should include:

  • Descriptions of the specific business activities and unique value proposition (how does the startup make money and evidence of growth)
  • Demonstration that the business engages in activities that have a positive impact
  • Measurement of the social, environmental and financial outcomes of the business
  • Examples of the company’s diversity and inclusion work
  • Examples of partnerships and collaboration projects for stakeholder engagement


Selection criteria and process

The winner will be the startup with the greatest development based on growth, innovation and sustainability measures. In particular, startups will be evaluated considering the following criteria:




  • Level of innovation and creation of market opportunities – the startup provides cutting edge product or service. The contestant will have to present the innovation and show its added value and explain why it is viable and better than existing solutions. The contestant will have to explain the startup's contribution on the innovation ecosystem
  •  Scope of impact and level of stakeholder engagement – the cutting-edge product or service brings major benefits to citizens and society and the economy, and addresses a community and/or societal challenge. The contestant will have to explain the challenge addressed and the positive social, economic and environmental impacts. Startups are also welcome to showcase how they are contributing to the SDGs ad how they are measuring such contribution
  • Workforce diversity and inclusion – The startup has implemented policies related to gender equality, inclusion and diversity and successfully embeds them in the organizational culture ABIS, in collaboration with ESMT and the Colloquium Steering Committee, composed of experts from different countries and fields, will make the selection of the 5 best impact startups. Shortlisted applicants will be then evaluated by the Colloquium audience on October 30th based on a pitching competition. The audience will include the best sustainability experts from the academic and business world, as well as leading civil society organizations. The prize will be awarded to the contestant who will receive the most votes.   


 Benefits of applying

The top 5 selected startups will be invited to participate in the 18th ABIS annual Colloquium 2019 at ESMT Berlin, that will take place on 29 – 30th October without any fee, regardless of being a member of our ABIS global network.

The selected startups will be able to showcase their scope of impact, innovation and commitment to sustainability and will gain exposure, visibility and feedback from the top experts of sustainability and related fields. They will also be able to network with a wide range of stakeholders from business representatives to academic professors, from researchers to students, from startups to junior entrepreneurs.

 Award  (TBA)

If you have any further questions please contact: 

 Click here to access the application form!

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