Global Challenge Lab

Join students from across the world to form international teams and generate solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges and work towards the UN Sustainable Development Skills. Learn new skills, meet new people and win a share of the prize fund. Register below to be notified as soon as the next Challenge opens.
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In partnership with:
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Supported by:
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Our partners:

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University of Sao Paulo
University of Toronto

What is Global Challenge Lab?

The Global Challenge Lab is a virtual entrepreneurship programme run in partnership with Tsinghua University’s x-lab in Beijing and the Technical University of Munich.

Each year Imperial Enterprise Lab works with global university partners to bring together hundreds of students and alumni to grow their international network, gain new skills and create new ideas that help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Students from all disciplinary background are welcome in our 10-day hackathon, with optional workshops, guest speakers and mentoring. At the end of the programme, top teams from each track have the opportunity to pitch their ideas and win a share of the prize fund. Scroll down to read more about this year’s winners!

Icebergs melting in sea
10-day entrepreneurship programme
Mixed teams – each team must include participants from multiple institutions and disciplines
Delivered online – mix of live masterclasses and pre-recorded content
Supported by industry leader panel and speaker events
£10K prize fund
Expert training on cross-cultural collaboration, design thinking, prototyping and much more!
90+ global mentors​
Teams must present an innovative solution (technical or non-technical) to a UN Sustainable Development Goal

Challenge Tracks

Students formed international teams to innovate within tracks. Each track had one winner, who progressed to the final as well as a wildcard team.
Renewable Energy and the Circular Economy
Agriculture & Land Sustainability
Natural Hazards and Humanitarian Innovations
Urban Innovation, Transport and Infrastructure
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this programme you will:
Understand how to work and communicate effectively in cross-cultural teams
Understand the impact and importance of entrepreneurship in achieving the UN SDGs
Understand the factors that contribute to achieving UN SDG 13 from a global perspective
You will have created a comprehensive startup idea
Understand how to identify and test problems that are worth solving
Understand the fundamentals of what makes a great pitch and how to craft and articulate a compelling story

Entry requirements

  1. You must be a current enrolled student or alumnus (no more than 3 years since graduation) from one of the partner universities: Imperial College, University of Durham, London school of Economics, the American University in Beirut, University of Queensland, Indian institute of Science Bangalore, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Tsinghua University, University of Sao Paulo, University of Ghana, Technical University of Munich, University of Geneva, University of Toronto, Cornell University, Sciences Po, University of Tokyo, University of Lagos and more to be announced!
  2. You must be available for the final event on Friday 15 July 2022.
  3. You can join as an individual and we will help you find a team, or you can join with others, providing they are a student at a partner university. You can have no more than two people from the same university in your team.
  4. The programme is designed to help you generate new ideas, you should not be entering with fully formed ideas or ventures.

Key dates

Global Challenge Lab 2023 will run in early July 2023. Register your interest by clicking the button at the top of the page and we’ll contact you before the programme opens. 


Can I join with my friends/classmates?
Teams must be made up of students or recent alumni from partner universities, you will need to have a minimum of 2 partner universities represented on your team. You can join a team with your classmates as long as you meet this requirement. We will help you to form a team at the start of the programme.
Can I bring my own startup idea to the challenge?
You can already have some ideas, but this should be at early idea stage and you will need to agree with your team what to take forward and which idea to submit for the final.

The programme is designed to help you generate new ideas, you should not be entering with fully formed ventures.

Do I need to be fluent in English?
Yes, all the sessions will be delivered in English.
Do I need to have technical expertise, such as that in a traditional ‘hack’?
No technical skills are required, however, you are welcome to present or work on a technical idea or solution. You will also have access to the Harmony OS platform and technical support & mentorship should you wish to explore this, but it isn’t a pre-requisite.
How do I form a team?
If you want to join a team with a classmate or friend, please indicate this on the registration form. If you are joining alone, we will arrange a series of structured and guided networking sessions to help you meet students from other universities. There will also be a Slack channel for you to meet and introduce yourself. If you haven’t formed a team by the deadline, we will put you in a team – so don’t worry!
What if I don’t form a team before the deadline?
If you haven’t formed a team by the deadline, we will put you in a team – so don’t worry!
Can I submit multiple projects?
You will only be able to submit one project or solution to the Global Challenge Lab.
Who owns my IP?
By taking part in the Challenge you agree that any ideas/intellectual property generated within your team during the course of the Challenge will be deemed to be owned equally by all members of the team. At the end of the Challenge, team members can choose to continue to work on these ideas generated within their teams together or can choose to work on the idea independently of each other.

The Challenge is an ‘Open Hack’ meaning that neither the organisers, nor the Sponsors have any claim to the intellectual property generated by the participants at the Challenge. However, the status of the ownership of any pre-existing intellectual property generated outside the Challenge that you might use in connection with your idea/project will remain unchanged and will continue to be owned by those that owned it before Challenge.

Who can I speak to for more information?
Please email  if you have any questions.
What if I have class and cannot attend a session?
In most cases we have scheduled multiple sessions across different time zones so that you have the opportunity to attend, if however, you cannot attend, you can watch back the recording at a convenient time. With the exception of the Final event. If your team makes it to the final, at least two of your team members will need to be available to pitch for a share of the prize fund.
Do I have to attend every workshop?
Ideally you would attend as many as you can, but we will be recording them if you can’t attend and want to watch them back. At least two members of your team should be available on Friday 15 July in case you make it to the final!
Will all the sessions be delivered in UK working hours? What if I’m in another country?
Sessions will be delivered across all partner university friendly time-zones. If the delivery times are not at a reasonable time based on your location, you can either join another session, or watch the recording back.
Who are the mentors?
Mentors will be available from across different industry sectors, professions, and geographical locations to advise you. We will allocate mentors to each team. It’s a great way to build your global network!
Will the prizes be awarded in UK Currency?
If your team wins a cash prize it will be split equally across your team and awarded in your local currency.
Global Challenge Lab 2023: Registration of Interest

Global Challenge Lab 2023: Registration of Interest

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Sponsors and Partners


Nestlé was founded in 1866, headquartered in Vevey Switzerland. It is a world-renowned food and beverage company. Through more than 2,000 brands ranging from global icons, Nestlé is able to offer a wide portfolio of products, covering infant nutrition, water, coffee, pet food, professional solutions, dairy products, health science, frozen food, culinary and other areas. China is Nestlé’s second largest market in the world.
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University Partners
Imperial College London

Imperial College London is a world top ten university with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Consistently rated amongst the world’s best universities, Imperial is committed to developing  the next generation of researchers, scientists and academics through collaboration across disciplines.

Located in the heart of London,  Imperial is a multidisciplinary space for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle global challenges.
Tsinghua University (X-Lab)


Tsinghua’s x-lab is a university-based education platform designed to foster student creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. It brings together Tsinghua students, faculty, alumni, experienced entrepreneurs, investors and experts from across society.
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Technical University of Munich (TUM)

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Europe’s top universities. It is committed to excellence in research and teaching, interdisciplinary education and the active promotion of promising young scientists. The university also forges strong links with companies and scientific institutions across the world. TUM was one of the first universities in Germany to be named a University of Excellence. It’s affiliated entrepreneurship centre UnternehmerTUM is Europe’s Leading Center for Innovation and Business Creation. The Munich-based center offers founders and start-ups a complete service from the initial idea to IPO. A team of over 250 experienced entrepreneurs, including scientists and investors, supports start-ups with business creation, market entry and financing – also with venture capital.
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Unternehmer TUM

UnternehmerTUM is TUM’s affiliated entrepreneurship institute and Europe’s Leading Center for Innovation and Business Creation. The Munich-based center offers founders and start-ups a complete service from the initial idea to IPO. A team of over 250 experienced entrepreneurs, including scientists and investors, supports start-ups with business creation, market entry and financing – also with venture capital.
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University of Toronto

Founded in 1827, the University of Toronto has evolved into Canada’s leading institution of learning, discovery and knowledge creation. U of T is proud to be one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, driven to invent and innovate. U of T students have the opportunity to learn from and work with pre-eminent thought leaders through our multidisciplinary network of teaching and research faculty, alumni and partners. The ideas, innovations and actions of more than 560,000 graduates continue to have a positive impact on the world.
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Singapore University of Technology & Design

The Singapore University of Technology and Design is established to advance knowledge and nurture technically-grounded leaders and innovators to serve societal needs, with a focus on Design, through an integrated multi-disciplinary curriculum and multi-disciplinary research.
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London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

LSE Generate supports students and alumni to build a socially responsible business, in the UK and beyond. Our year-round programme is packed with funding competitions, treks, events and networking opportunities. We support LSE innovators at each stage of your entrepreneurial journey and provide the infrastructure to build, develop and scale your ideas.
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University of Queensland


The University of Queensland (UQ) is one of Australia’s leading teaching and research universities. For more than a century, UQ has educated and worked with outstanding people to deliver knowledge leadership for a better world. UQ ranks among the world’s top universities, and with a strong focus on teaching excellence, UQ has won more national teaching awards than any other Australian university.UQ’s 280,000 graduates are an engaged network of global alumni spanning more than 170 countries, and include more than 15,400 PhDs. More than 53,600 current students, including more than 19,900 postgraduate students and approximately 20,200 international students from 142 countries, currently study across UQ’s three campuses in South East Queensland. UQ’s six faculties, eight globally recognised research institutes and more than 100 research centres attract an interdisciplinary community of 1500 scientists, social scientists and engineers who champion research excellence and continue UQ’s tradition of research leadership. This is reflected in UQ being the number one recipient of Australian Research Council Fellowships and Awards nationally across all scheme years (419 awards worth over $290 million). UQ is also one of only three Australian members of the global Universitas 21; a founding member of the Group of Eight (Go8) universities; a member of Universities Australia; a member of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU); and one of only three Australian charter members of the global edX consortium for massive open online courses (MOOCs).
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University of Ghana

The University of Ghana, the premier university and the largest university in Ghana was founded as the University College of the Gold Coast by Ordinance on August 11, 1948 for the purpose of providing and promoting university education, learning and research. As a University poised to distinguish itself in the area of research to make an impact at the national and international level, the University has launched a new Strategic Plan. This new strategic plan (2014-2024) is intended to consolidate the gains made from the review of the University’s mission and practices and situate these within the context of a very dynamic environment of higher education in Ghana and beyond. Our Vision To become a world class research-intensive University over the next decade. Our Mission We will create an enabling environment that makes University of Ghana increasingly relevant to national and global development through cutting-edge research as well as high quality teaching and learning.
University of Ghana
University of São Paulo

The University of São Paulo (USP) is the largest institution dedicated to higher education and research in Brazil. Founded in 1934, USP is a public university, with approximately 90,000 students, 13,000 administrative and support staff, 5,300 professors and 8 campuses located in the State of São Paulo. USP offers undergraduate courses in all fields of knowledge and graduate programs in the Exact, Human and Biological Sciences. USP has Institutes and Schools in all fields of knowledge, hospitals, physical and digital libraries and centres and institutes specialised in advanced research, which complete the scientific development promoted by the University. The university has an active role in disseminating science, culture and quality health care for citizens across the country. Strongly integrated with the local community, USP runs several hospitals, museums and public services that benefit the population. USP International Cooperation Office develops and implements policies that promote the internationalisation of the institution. USP International Cooperation Office seeks to: Establish cooperation strategies between USP and its international partners; Foster international academic cooperation; Select, organise and disseminate information about programs and initiatives concerned with academic cooperation.
University of Ghana
Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Formally inaugurated in 1959, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM), is one among the foremost institutes of national importance in higher technological education, basic and applied research in India. A faculty of international repute, a highly motivated and brilliant student community, excellent technical and supporting staff and an effective administration have all contributed to the pre-eminent status of IITM. The institute is proud to be the top-ranked engineering institute in India for five consecutive years (2016-2020) as well as the ‘Best Educational Institution’ in the Overall Category in the NIRF Rankings (2019 & 2020) by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. More recently, IITM has been given the distinction of Institute of Eminence by the Government of India. IITM is internationally renowned for the quality and diversity of its academics and research in various fields of science, technology, humanities, and management which is nurtured through various programmes run by its 16 departments and through sponsored programmes funded by national organizations and the industry. The institute has advanced research centres in various disciplines of engineering and pure sciences, with nearly 100 excellent laboratories organized in a unique pattern of functioning. There are 37 Centres of excellence, and the institute is also home to India’s first university-based research park – IITM Research Park. IITM is a residential institute with a self-contained campus located in a beautiful, forested area of about 250 hectares. The institute is in the city of Chennai, which is the state capital of Tamil Nadu, a southern state in India.
University of Ghana
The University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo (UTokyo) was established in 1877 as the first national university in Japan. UTokyo has primarily five main campuses in and around Tokyo and 51 facilities which are located across Japan. UTokyo also has research facilities worldwide. Additionally, UTokyo has international offices in Seoul (Republic of Korea), New-Delhi (India), and Colombo (Sri Lanka). As a leading research university, UTokyo offers courses in essentially all academic disciplines at both undergraduate and graduate levels and conducts research across the full spectrum of academic activity. UTokyo is the largest energy consumption institute among all national universities in Japan, and the Hongo Campus is the largest single energy consumption institutional area in Tokyo Metropolitan Area. In order to realize a sustainable campus while utilizing its existing intellectual resources and revitalizing research and education, the University of Tokyo established the UTokyo Sustainable Campus Project (TSCP) in 2008.
University of Ghana
Sciences Po

Founded in 1872, Sciences Po is France’s leading university in the social sciences. For nearly 150 years, Sciences Po has educated decision-makers in the public and private sectors. Our college offers a three-year undergraduate degree that includes a year abroad at one of our 478 partner universities. There are seven graduate schools composed of 30 master’s degrees and five PhD programmes. Sciences Po offers over 40 dual degrees with partner universities, including Columbia University in New York, the London School of Economics and Peking University. We also provide executive education with 15 dedicated executive master’s degrees and over 100 customised training programmes. Sciences Po offers a multidisciplinary, multilingual and outward looking education. In order to provide a comprehensive curriculum, Sciences Po places great emphasis on fundamental academic courses, professional training and extra-curricular activities. Sciences Po also integrates digital teaching methods into its programmes and continues to develop innovative teaching platforms, such as MOOCs.
University of Ghana
Cornell University

Cornell is a private, Ivy League university and the land-grant university for New York state. Cornell’s mission is to discover, preserve and disseminate knowledge, to educate the next generation of global citizens, and to promote a culture of broad inquiry throughout and beyond the Cornell community. Cornell also aims, through public service, to enhance the lives and livelihoods of students, the people of New York and others around the world.
University of Ghana
American University of Beirut


The American University of Beirut (AUB), a teaching-centered research university, with around 800 instructional faculty and a student body of around 8,000 students. Founded in 1866, AUB bases its educational philosophy, standards, and practices on the American liberal arts model of higher education. The University encourages freedom of thought and expression and seeks to graduate men and women committed to creative and critical thinking, life-long learning, personal integrity, civic responsibility, and leadership.
The University, which was granted institutional accreditation in June 2004 by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in the United States and reaffirmed in 2016, includes seven faculties: Agricultural and Food Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Architecture, Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, and ​Business. ​AUB currently offers more than 130 programs leading to the bachelor’s, master’s, MD, and PhD degrees.
University of Ghana
Durham University
Durham University’s Hazan Venture Lab is a dedicated co-working space for student startups. Sitting within the Careers & Enterprise department, the Venture Lab team delivers a range of support services including: innovation and idea generation workshops, 1:1 business advice sessions, competitions, networking events and funding support. We are dedicated to helping students discover their potential and create transformational new ventures to have a positive impact on the world. The team has recently been recognised by the United Nations for delivering innovation programmes that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, and are excited to be a partner for the Global Challenge Lab in 2022.
University of Ghana
Supported by

Futurize designs virtual programs that enable creative minds from business and academia to collaborate and learn, design, and execute together to fuel innovation for a brighter future.
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What's on

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How To Build a Financial Model
How To Build a Financial Model

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How To Pitch Your Idea
How To Pitch Your Idea

Event dateApril 28, 2023

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