Zayed Sustainability Prize

Startups in Korea need to apply for the Zayed Sustainability Prize, held annually in the United Arab Emirates. It is one of the top pioneering global awards regarding sustainability. They call on innovators from international organizations to submit entries for the Prize annually. The winners of each category receive $600,000. This can be used to implement their sustainability solutions further to transform lives worldwide. Many great social impact startups in Korea and startups focus on sustainability. It is challenging for many of these startups in Korea to raise seed funding. Entering the Zayed Sustainability Prize will give many startups in Korea a chance to raise seed funding. This can be a nice runway for their startup to grow.

Zayed Sustainability Prize

Startups in Korea can apply to the Zayed Sustainability Prize by applying through their online portal. This year, the Prize brought in close to 4,500 entries from over 130 countries. The Prize has grown from an ambitious, UAE leadership-driven initiative that seeks to encourage global action on the development of renewable energy solutions into one of the most significant and globally renowned awards for affecting positive human and sustainable impact. It has rewarded innovators and visionaries whose achievements have furthered the global proliferation of innovative, impactful, and inspirational sustainability solutions.

Some of the categories for the Zayed Sustainability Prize include:

  • Health – Health Startups in Korea that ensure access to essential and affordable healthcare and startups that aim to end epidemics should apply.
  • Food – Startups in Korea that fight against hunger and malnutrition or that increase agricultural or other food processing productivity should apply. In addition, startups look to enhance sustainable food production.
  • Energy – Startups in Korea that focus on ensuring access to affordable and reliable clean energy should apply. Furthermore, startups that introduce new forms of clean energy or other technology innovations should also apply.
  • Water – Startups in Korea that focus on access to safe and affordable drinking water, improving water quality, or increasing water use efficiency should apply.
  • Global High Schools – This category is intended to encourage students to develop and implement their sustainability ideas and is not aimed at administrative projects or educational reforms at the school. These sustainable ideas can be in the categories listed above.

Zayed Sustainability Prize is awarded to startups offering innovatively sustainable and humanitarian development solutions. There were ten winners for 2023.

 “The UAE continues to lead on important global initiatives at the heart of our mission to create a better future for all, both within the UAE and beyond our nation’s borders. The bold ambition of the Zayed Sustainability Prize remains at the forefront of these efforts. It creates a pathway for delivering life-changing humanitarian aid and solutions to communities around the world.” Said His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

History of the Zayed Sustainability Prize

The Zayed Sustainability Prize was launched in 2008. To date, the Prize has awarded over 100 winners. Their solutions or school projects have, directly and indirectly, transformed the lives of more than 335 million people worldwide. It has gained a reputation for recognizing leading sustainability solutions globally. The Prize has an annual fund of $6 million, with each winner getting $600,000. The Global High Schools category is split into six global regions (The Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East & North Africa, Europe & Central Asia, South Asia, and East Asia & Pacific), with each winner getting $100,000. Therefore Korea has a chance to be one of the winners in this category. The entries should be led by students in Korea and demonstrate innovative approaches that will also be impactful and inspirational to others.

Startups in Korea that Should Apply

Sustainability Startups in Korea must use technology, applications, and solutions innovatively. Furthermore, they must drive a positive transformation in people’s lives. Besides the Global High Schools category, the other four categories (Water, Energy, Food, and Health) are open to startups that demonstrate improving access to essential products or services. In addition, they must have a long-term vision for improved living and working conditions.

Judging Criteria

  • Innovation 40%

    Innovation refers to a novel solution or a transformation of an existing solution that solves a challenge or a need. As well as generates value and brings significant positive impact. A solution can be a technology, a service, or a business model. The innovation criterion requires organizations to demonstrate that their solutions have a unique value proposition. As well as being disruptive or transformative, technically and commercially viable, and adopted by the market.

  • Impact 30%

    Impact refers to a positive change that addresses social, economic, technological, and environmental challenges and has proven to make the world a better place by improving the well-being of humanity. The impact criterion requires organizations to demonstrate that their solution has already positively impacted the quality of people’s lives. In addition, they need to show they are resilient to potential social, economic, technological, and environmental challenges. As well as having good governance by employing skilled people and establishing fair policies.

  • Inspiration 30%

    Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, was a pioneering advocate of global sustainability and human development. Leading by example, he placed great value in pursuing socio-economic development that meets the needs of both current and future generations. Sheikh Zayed’s legacy continues through the Prize and is a source of inspiration for the entire world. The inspiration criterion requires organizations to demonstrate that their solution reflects Sheikh Zayed’s core values, such as sustainability and human development.

All submissions will go through a three-tiered evaluation process. The first process involves a reputed international Research & Analysis firm. They will be in charge of conducting due diligence on all submissions. Therefore this will ensure that they meet the criteria of the Zayed Sustainability Prize (Innovation, Impact, and Inspiration). The second process involves The Selection Committee. They will review every entry, and then the final entries are sent to the Jury for final evaluations. The third process consists of the Jury. The Jury will meet in person to deliberate on the finalists and select the winner in each category. The final decisions are unanimous. The winners will be announced at the Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony. The Ceremony takes place in Abu Dhabi during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

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