Global Challenge Lab 2021

 Good Health & Well-being

Join students from across the world to form international teams and generate solutions that address the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing. Learn new skills, meet new people and win a share of the £20,000 prize fund.

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Sponsored by:

huawei logo

Nestle logo

In partnership with:

Tsinghua logo

Supported by:

Futurize Logo

Co-funded by Bristol Myers Squibb 

University partners:

University of Toronto
LSE logo
White TUM
White SUTD 2
AIMS Cameroon logo
University of Ghana logo
University of Sao Paulo
University of Queensland logo
Institute of Technology Madras

What is Global Challenge Lab?

The Global Challenge Lab is a brand-new virtual entrepreneurship programme run in partnership with Tsinghua University’s x-lab in Beijing. 

Imperial Enterprise Lab is working with seven 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 UN SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing. Students from all disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to join!

You’re looking at a 10-day programme of core and optional workshops, guest speakers and mentoring to help you come up with and develop innovative ideas. At the end of the programme, the top teams from each track will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas and win a share of a £20K prize fund!

Workshop and pitch final of the venture catalyst challenge

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

£20K prize fund

Expert training on cross-cultural collaboration, design thinking, prototyping and much more!

50+ global mentors​

Teams must present an innovative solution (technical or non-technical) to UN SDG 3

Challenge Tracks

You will have the opportunity to form an international team and innovate within one of the following tracks:

Mental Health & Non-Communicable Diseases

The pandemic has accelerated the rise of mental health conditions and other non-communicable diseases such as Alzheimers, cancer and heart disease. According to a CDC study 42% of respondents reported anxiety or depression symptoms, an increase of over 200% from the 2019 average. How can we improve NCDs worldwide across all age groups? 

Women & Children’s Health

Improve the lives of women around the world by tackling sexual health, menstruation & period care products, fertility/birth control, menopause – the list is long! Women’s Health is currently the fastest growing sector in Healthcare. This track also includes child health and preventing premature death and improving children’s healthcare around the world.

Communicable Diseases

Tackle and improve awareness, early-diagnosis, prevention and treatment of communicable diseases (HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Hepatitis, water-borne diseases and neglected tropical diseases) to put an end to preventable diseases around the globe.

Access to Healthcare

Ask yourself “how can we increase accessibility and affordability of healthcare globally through technology?” A high degree of access to healthcare improves people’s overall health status, prolongs life expectancy and decreases health inequalities.

A group of students working on a project

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 3 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 following universities: Imperial College London, Tsinghua University, Singapore University of Technology & Design, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), University of Queensland, AIMS Cameroon, University of Toronto, Technical University of Munich, University of Ghana, University of São Paulo, Indian Institute of Technology Madras and more to be announced soon!
  2. You must be available for the final event on Friday 23 July, 11.30 – 13.30 GMT+1
  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

    Applications for the Global Challenge Lab will close on Friday 9 July at 23.59. The event will run from 14 – 23 July 2021 and will feature events and workshops across multiple time zones. Content will be available after the live event, so if you find you can’t make it, you can watch back on demand. If your team makes it to the final, you should be available to pitch live.

    9 July - Registration Deadline

    Make sure you register to join the challenge before 23:59 GMT+1 on Friday 9 July 2021.

    14 - 22 July - Programme takes place

    Optional and core keynotes, workshops, and networking to help develop your idea.

    16 July - Optional coding workshops with Huawei

    Want to learn how to code? Join these optional skills classes.

    22 July - Pitch submission deadline

    Teams participating in the Global Challenge Lab must submit their pitch by 12.00 GMT+1 to be considered for the final.

    23 July - Live Final

    Taking place from 11.30 -13.30 GMT+1, Challenge Finalists pitch to an industry leading panel for a share of the cash prize. If you are applying to take part in the Challenge, you must be available for this event. 


    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 23 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.

    Join the Challenge

    Registration for Global Challenge Lab has now closed. Tickets are still available to attend the open access sessions. 

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    Sponsors and Partners


    Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. Operating in more than 170 countries and regions, serving more than three billion people around the world, Huawei is committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent world.

    Huawei logo

    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.

    nestle logo
    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


    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.

    Tsinghua logo
    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.

    University of Toronto Logo
    AIMS Cameroon

    Established in 2013 with the support of the government of Cameroon, AIMS-Cameroon through its facilities, partnerships, scientific output, and pan-African character, is poised to bring Cameroon to the forefront of African science. The AIMS-Cameroon Centre of Excellence is located in Limbe, a seaside city with its black sand beaches in the South-West Region of Cameroon. AIMS-Cameroon offers: A Master’s Degree in Mathematical Sciences through a 10-months research-oriented Structured program and an 18-months Co-operative Education program with a direct link to industry. A Teacher Training Program

    AIMS Cameroon logo
    Singapore University of Technology & Design

    SUTD Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) Lab advances data science and artificial intelligence methods, tools and expert systems to inform, inspire and intelligentize the innovation process. DDI Lab brings together researchers and innovators from diverse disciplinary and cultural backgrounds for borderless collaboration, inspiration, and innovation

    SUTD logo
    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. 

    LSE logo
    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).

    University of Queensland logo
    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.

    TUM logo
    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
    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.

    Futurize Logo
    Imperial College Advanced Hackspace

    Launched in October 2018, and located at Imperial university’s White City Campus, the Advanced Hackspace is Imperial’s prototyping hub. Three purpose designed prototyping and fabrication workspaces developed to complement each other and accelerate multi-disciplinary making and collaboration, supported by team of (rapid prototyping) experts, and all the latest equipment to help bring ideas to life. 

    Open to all at Imperial the Advanced Hackspace community brings together inventive minds from all backgrounds, disciplines and levels of expertise to collaborate, experiment and innovate. 

    University of Ghana