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Gamechangers & Cities seeks 10 social impact startups for UN sustainable cities goal

gamechangers & cities social impact
Written by Tim Hinchliffe

UnLtd Spain, Ferrovial Services, and the Camilo José Cela University launch “Gamechangers & Cities” to boost social entrepreneurship and innovation in sustainable cities to align with the goals of the UN.

The program seeks 10 startups with social impact in the field of cities to contribute to the achievement of objective number 11 of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) — “Sustainable Cities and Communities.”

  • Winning projects will receive mentoring from Ferrovial Services, with the possibility of reaching subsequent agreements.
  • The selected entrepreneurs will be linked to the pioneer ‘Grade in Urban Management’ of the Camilo José Cela University, receiving advice from academic experts while transmitting the “innovative spirit” to the students.

Gamechangers & Cities is the first social impact entrepreneurship support program in sustainable cities that seeks 10 innovative startups with social and / or environmental impact working in the fields of mobility, energy, habitat, resources, consumption, and waste.

“To build future cities specific tools and methodologies are necessary”

The goal of Gamechangers & Cities is to promote Sustainable Cities and Communities by supporting projects that present solutions to transform cities into more inclusive, safe, resilient, sustainable and better prepared places.

Read More: What it takes to organize a 54-hour Startup Weekend

“There is a big field of action in the cities. To build future cities specific tools and methodologies are necessary,” said Nieves Segovia, President of the Institución Educativa SEK in a statement.

“We seek to support projects that are already working on this. The cities of the future will be sustainable, or they will not be,” Segovia added.

Gamechangers & Cities Program

The selected entrepreneurs will receive mentoring from Ferrovial Servicios’ expert professionals and will have access to collaboration opportunities with the company, benchmark in the provision of urban and environmental services.

Likewise, the 10 participating projects will receive expert advice from professors of the ‘Degree in Urban Management’ of the Camilo José Cela University, as well as with large firms with which they can work on aspects such as strategy, marketing, finance or legal support among others.

It is a unique and personalized program based on the objectives and needs of each of the participating startups. Among the activities that will be developed during the six months of support include:

  • Training adapted to each project.
  • Access to networking within the ecosystem of the cities.
  • Visibility and dissemination of the project.
  • Facilitation of access to financing.

In addition, entrepreneurs will receive tools and training to measure their social and / or environmental impact. All this, validated with the methodology of UnLtd — a support organization for social impact entrepreneurs present in 10 countries that has supported more than 15,000 entrepreneurs around the world.

To participate, startups must be legally constituted, have access to income or have received some type of financing, are commited to building a network of impact entrepreneurs during and after the program, as well as providing solutions to the great challenges of cities.

Alliance between UnLtd Spain, Ferrovial Services and Camilo José Cela University

The Gamechangers & Cities program arises from the need to carry them out innovative projects that contribute to the construction of more sustainable cities, as set out in the Sustainable Development Goal 11 ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’ proposed in the UN 2030 Agenda.

Ferrovial Services, in its vision to improve the future through the development and operation of sustainable and inclusive infrastructures and cities, drives this program through the involvement of its employees as mentors and advisors of the participating startups, putting their extensive experience in the cities sector to projects that generate impact in society and offering them the possibility of reaching business agreements.

For its part, the Camilo José Cela University participates in this initiative by giving entrepreneurs the opportunity
to enrich the learning experience through:

  • “Masterclasses” with some of the biggest international experts in the area of ​​development and city management.
  • Support for the students of the degree in Urban Management, which have a profile essential for the current city and the metropolis of the future.

The UN Sustainable Development goals are:

  • No poverty
  • Zero hunger
  • Good health and well-being
  • Quality education
  • Gender equality
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Decent work and economic growth
  • Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
  • Reduced inequalities
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action
  • Life below water
  • Life on land
  • Peace, justice, and strong institutions
  • Partnerships for the goals

GOAL 11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES states that there needs to be a future in which cities provide opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.

About the author

Tim Hinchliffe

Tim Hinchliffe the editor in chief at Novobrief. Previously, he was a reporter for The Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa, and Colombia Reports in South America. Principal at Espacio.