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Young people are both digitally and physically connected, constituting the most urbanized generation we have ever experienced. Out of the 1.2 billion young people alive today, 717 million are located in Asia Pacific, making youth the key to unleashing the region’s next economic miracle.


They will also be the most impacted by the challenges – from inequalities to climate change - that the UN Sustainable Development Goals seek to address. As such, initiatives that bring different sectors together to collaborate through innovation, entrepreneurship, and the harnessing of young people’s leadership offer huge potentials for exponential development to achieve the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

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Global Goals

Accelerate the achievement of the SDGs through bringing together innovators with policy makers.

Smart Sustainable Cities

Find innovative solutions to growing urban challenges.

Youth for Change

Grow the innovation ecosystem for youth-led start-ups to create positive social impacts.

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“URBAN INNOVATION CHALLENGE: CITYPRENEURS” consists of two main components: a startup competition that works in close collaboration with city governments to solve urban problems as defined and measured by the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), and an inclusive policy interface that brings together academia, the public and private sectors, civil society and international organizations to partake in policy discussions and set up an alliance of youth empowerment enablers.

In 2018, Citypreneurs will take place in Seoul for the second time, tackling the major urban issues with the Seoul metropolitan region.

#Citypreneurs #UN # SDGs #2030Agenda #startup # innovation

#SmartSustainableCities #youth #LeaveNoOneBehind


Seed Track

Have a groundbreaking idea for a sustainable business?


The Seed track is designed for early stage startups looking for validation of their venture. These startups have much more creative flexibility to focus on urban issues presented by Seoul City agencies. Our program will assist teams from designing a viable business model to cultivating investor relations.


Apply now with your business idea!

Growth Track

Looking to scale up with the support of proven investors?


Startups with 3+ years of experience and market-tested prototypes are invited to pitch in the Growth track. Our program will offer sessions to help find ways your solution can solve urban issues, while sharpening your pitch to our partner investors.


Apply now and expand your business!

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Teams will choose one of the following themes

to propose a viable business model to solve urban problems

Green Energy

  • Production & Consumption of Renewable Energy

  • Energy Efficiency 

  • Energy Storage and Recycling

Urban Mobility

  • Traffic and Public Transportation

  • Parking

  • Urban Bicycles

Social Protection

  • Road and Public Facility Safety

  • Crime Prevention

  • Ageing and Disability

  • Cybersecurity

  • Income Inequality

  • Women and Children

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Select the most relevant area(s) of impact from the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and take part in the global movement to achieve them by Year 2030.


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Mentorship / Incubator Program

Selected teams will have the opportunity to take part in our Citypreneurs Startup Development Program. Created and executed with Young Sustainable Impact, a Norwegian NGO specializing in incubation startups for UN SDGs, the program spans a month during which teams are assigned to a mentor and go through a specially curated business curriculum to refine their business strategy and align their mission within the framework of the SDGs.

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Winning Teams

Awards for 30 selected Citypreneurs

  • Total Award of 24 million KRW for Seed Track winners

  • Investment Reserve Fund available for Growth Track winners

  • Awards from UN High Officials

  • Private Demo Day with Business Growth Partners

  • Invitation to International Forums and Events

  • Publication in domestic/international investment magazines and reports

  • Collaborations to secure public contracts with Seoul Metropolitan Government

  • Free office space provided in Seoul

  • Right to use official CITYPRENEURS branding

  • Quality mentoring sessions with public sector officials, private investors, and accelerators

  • Participation in Start-up Workshops and Clinics

  • Pitching and networking opportunities between participants

  • Travel subsidies to teams coming from outside of Seoul

  • AI, IoT, Blockchain tech sponsorship opportunity


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Look back at the 2017 Winners

The first “Urban Innovation Challenge: Citypreneurs” was successfully launched in 2017 as a collaborative effort between the United Nations Economic & Social Commission for Asia & the Pacific (ESCAP), the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Digital Foundation to solve three critical urban problems identified through citizen surveys conducted by Seoul Metropolitan city: health technology, education technology, transportation & environment. Winning teams proposed solutions in cognitive-therapeutic education (DoBrain), Alzheimer’s disease prevention (Eidware), and urban wind power generation (Liberty). The finalists received opportunities for mentorships, participation support to conferences and meetings, and a pitch slot in a final ‘Demo Day’ with partner investors.


Media coverage of the event:


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Check out specific details for our events and program here.


Access all necessary documents, datasets, and other relevant files here.


Find the answers to our most frequently asked questions.





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