Up & Coming: SIA Switzerland 2017
6 March 2017 - Geneva

Untitled-2-2Up and Coming: adj. (of a person beginning a particular activity or occupation) making good progress and likely to become successful. Source: google.com


Do you or someone you know have an idea that you think can change the world?  Do you have a desire to make an impact?  Are you looking for a new way to get your project off the ground but lack resources?

If so, I hope you’re joining us at Impact Hub Geneva tomorrow night for the Social Impact Award Kick-Off, from 6:15pm – 9pm!  Want to know more about the Social Impact Award?  Keep scrolling!

So, what is the Social Impact Award (SIA)?


The Social Impact Award (SIA) was launched in 2009 by the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Impact Hub Vienna as a way to provide and equip young people with the knowledge, skills and networks needed to help solve complex social and/or ecological problems facing our society.  Since its inception, the SIA has supported social the enterprises of 500 young people in 58 cities, of which 60% are implemented and 35% generate income.  It has touched more than 4,600 participants with nearly 200 workshops.

Sounds good but, how does it work?

I’m glad you asked!

First, the SIA Switzerland 2017 will offer students three one-day workshops on the topics of ideas creation, business development and the implementation of a viable business model in four Romand cities (Geneva, Lausanne, Neuchâtel And Friborg).

Then, these workshops will be followed by a competition for the incubation of an entrepreneurship idea.  Twelve teams will be nominated as winners and will participate in the first incubation program.  You can be a team of 1 or multiple people.  These teams will be supported by mentors, such as successful entrepreneurs, UBS employees and expert consultants in business support in addition to access to the international community of entrepreneurs from Impact Hub and the SIA 2017 community.

Next, in September, four teams will be nominated winners of the Social Impact Award Switzerland 2017. The jury will select the three most economically and socially viable projects, while the public will vote via the Internet to select their favorite project. These winning teams will be awarded a modest monetary prize, international recognition and active support from the SIA community of experts.

Finally, the three companies selected by the jury will participate in the SIA Summit which will take place from November 1-3, 2017 in Belgrade, Serbia for a one-week bootcamp with winners from all the participating countries.  This year, the SIA has 18 participating countries: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Tunisia.


OK, so what’s the criteria to participate?

The criteria is simple:

  • All members of the team must be between the ages of 14 and 30 years old (born between 1987 and 2002) 
  • Ideally, teams must be at least 50% composed by registered students (for winter 2016/17 and/or summer 2017).
  • The team must have an intensive approach to its work.
  • The team may have begun to work on its idea intensively at the earliest on January 1, 2016. The application is open for ideas not yet implemented as well as projects in the first phase of implementation.
  • The submitted project must not have received any previous financial and/or professional support, ie: monetary support formalized by one or more external parties or exceeding CHF 3’500 in value (eg. investment angel, grants, cash prizes, etc.)
  • The project should not have already participated in a comparable incubation program.

Photo credit: Impact Hub Vienna

But what is the timeline for participation?

The current 2017 schedule is as follows:

  • Kick-off: March 7, 2017 at the Impact Hub Geneva, 6:15 pm – 9:00 pm.  We hope to see you at this bilingual event (French & English)! join us and discover the contest and explore all the possibilities available to you!  The presentation will be followed by a fun networking cocktail hour.  Register here.
  • Workshops: March – May 2017 
  • Meet the jury: May 2017, Lausanne 
  • Deadline for applications: May 28, 2017 
  • Announcement of selected participants: June 5, 2017  
  • Incubation – summer program: June 19 to August 29, 2016 
  • Public Voting: September 1 to September 27, 2017 
  • Prize-giving ceremony SIA Switzerland 2017: September 28, 2017
  • SIA Summit: November 1-3, 2017 in Belgrade, Serbia
  • Project realization:  begins on October 1, 2017

Alright, I want in.  How do I sign up?

Great! If you’ve already registered for tomorrow night’s event to get more detailed information and to spend some time with like-minded individuals who can help you reach your goal of making an impact on the world, we look forward to meeting you! It’s sure to be a night that exceeds expectations.  However, if you are unable to make it to tomorrow’s event, you can also sign up to participate here.  We’re excited to be in contact with all students, graduates and young professionals who meet the criteria and are enthusiastic about participating in the Social Impact Award Switzerland 2017.  Don’t forget to tune-in to this blog, Impact Hub Geneva’s Facebook page and the Social Impact Award Switzerland 2017’s website for updates.

All information sourced from the Social Impact Award Switzerland 2017 website.