The Impact Award

Advances in science and technology for positive social and environmental impact in partnership with Sycomore Asset Management

This year, on the 26th of October at the Hello Tomorrow Global Summit, the Impact Award will be given to one start-up from our Global Start-up Challenge to recognise projects that excel not only in deep-tech, but also in deep-impact.

The How

Our Global Start-up Challenge assesses start-ups on a range of areas from technological innovation to economic viability. The Impact Award specifically emphasizes on potential positive impact on both society and the environment, brought by all competing start-ups. Powered by our partner Sycomore Asset Management, a key player in responsible investment, it is designed to demonstrate the paramount role that innovation plays in building a better tomorrow. From a shortlist of four finalists, the winner will be chosen by a panel of leading technologists and investors (see jury below) and will be awarded a prize of €5,000.

The Why

So, why is this important? We believe that advances in science and technology have the unbounded potential to improve our lives and the world we live in, solving some of the biggest global challenges we face today. New technologies are aiding people to make more informed decisions, creating ways for people to connect, addressing healthcare needs and saving energy. The four finalists selected for the Impact Award address these challenges in a wide variety of manners from providing universal access to internet and electricity, finding novel modes of durable transport to the possibility of anticipating natural catastrophes or disasters.

Meet the Impact Award finalists


BuffaloGrid has developed a platform to bring mobile power and internet connectivity to the off-grid world. Millions of people all over the world own a mobile phone, the problem however, is powering these devices. This start-up’s goal is to bring power and connectivity to 700M people. They have designed a network of solar powered internet-connected Hubs that can charge dozens of phones per day and simultaneously becomes a platform for many more services, helping people get connected and stay connected.


Transport via boat can have high operating costs and can damage the environment polluting both water and air. India’s first solar ferry boat ADITYA, which seats 75 passengers, draws 90% of its energy from the sun. The start-ups’ goal is to reach 100% renewable energy, making such public transport eco-friendly, efficient and more accessible for people in developing nations.


Feminine hygiene available today is often not only non-biodegradable, but also expensive. Start-up Saathi is offering solutions to both these problems. It has developed and manufactured biodegradable sanitary pads made from banana fibre, substantially reducing sanitary towel waste. The fibre processing technology converts banana fibre into a soft super-absorbent, without any use of chemicals. They degrade within 6 months of disposal, 1,200 times faster than current plastic pads, which amounts to saving 60kg of sanitary waste over each woman’s lifetime. Its sanitary towels are also subsidized to give women on low-income or from disadvantaged communities access to feminine hygiene, which could transform many women’s lives around the globe.

Meet the jury

Philippe Desfossés
CEO of ERAFP & Vice Chair at Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change
Pierre-Eric Leibovici
Co-Founder & Partner at Daphni, VC firm investing in early stage start-ups
Bertille Knuckey
Head of Sustainable & Responsible Investment at Sycomore AM
Jean-Guillaume Péladan
Head of Environmental Investments & Research at Sycomore AM
Frédéric Ponchon
Partner & Fund Manager at Sycomore AM

Want to join the session?

The Hello Tomorrow Global Summit
The Startup Stage
26th of October, 6:30 pm

Still need a ticket? Book your place at the Hello Tomorrow Global Summit here.