DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia 2018 (Win SGD$50,000 at the Finale in Singapore)

DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia 2018 (Win SGD$50,000 at the Finale in Singapore)

Deadline: May 6, 2018

The DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia 2018 is now open for applications. Asia’s top regional challenge for social ventures is back and seeks to propel your ideas & ventures into the limelight they deserve! The DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia is a start-up competition for social ventures in Asia with the potential to generate scalable and sustainable impact.

The DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia (SVC Asia) is an Asia-wide competition for social enterprises, open to any member of the public. Organised by DBS Foundation and NUS Enterprise, the Challenge aims to identify and support innovative new ideas and existing social ventures that have the potential to generate positive, scalable and sustainable social impact. They’re looking for aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs who are passionate and leverage on their innovative business solutions (be it product, service or processes) to solve social issues and create positive and sustainable social impact in Asia.


  • Over SGD$100,000 in total prize money for top teams
  • Network with industry experts and impact funders
  • Join the community of changemakers in Asia
  • Access resources of leading corporate partners and more!


Finalist teams will compete for the top prize of SGD$50,000 at the Finale in Singapore. In addition to the top prize, two prizes of SGD$30,000 and SGD$20,000 will be awarded to two other promising social venture teams.

All finalist teams will receive the following benefits and support:

  • 1-day Special Boot-Camp training
  • 1-on-1 Presentation Coaching
  • Certificate of Recognition for their contribution to the social sector
  • Exclusive, facilitated access to the SVC Asia network (comprising of alumni finalist teams, impact partners, mentors, judges, and the SVC Asia steering committee)
  • Mentorship or incubation support by DBS Foundation/ NUS Enterprise or in home country by our Impact Partners (if available, and team must meet partner’s selection criteria)
  • Exclusive invitation to SVC Asia, DBS Foundation, NUS Enterprise, partner network events
  • Showcase opportunity on AsiaForGood website
  • Relevant in-kind services/products from our partners (e.g. skilled-volunteer matching)

Teams who progress to the second round of judging will get exclusive access to facilitated online courses provided by NUS Enterprise.


  • SVC Asia is open to anybody and everybody with an innovative business solution that addresses social issues in Asia, regardless of age and nationality.
  • However, the proposed ventures should be independent entities, i.e. not subsidiaries of an existing corporation or legally-linked to a government entity. Existing non-profit entities can participate only if the entities propose a new venturing idea or a new plan to transform their existing non-profit operations into a financially self-sustaining business which does not rely on philanthropic donations.
  • In addition, participating or proposed ventures should not have received funding (combining all grants, prize money and equity) in excess of USD$1,000,000 (with the exception of medical device start-ups and other R&D or capital intensive innovations) at the time of application.
  • The participating or proposed venture should not have any religious or political agenda/affiliations.
  • You do not need to incorporate/register your venture before applying. However do note that in the event you are picked as one of the prize winners, your venture has to be legally incorporated in order to receive the prize money.
  • If you applied for SVC Asia in the past, you are welcome to reapply as long as your business solution or venture meets our eligibility criteria.

Apply if

  • Your social enterprise is sustainableand impacts communities.
  • Your idea is innovative and can bring much-desired social change.
  • Your social impact can change Asia for the better.

Judging Criteria


  • Clearly-defined, feasible solution for an identified need/social problem
  • Innovation in product, service, or business model
  • Clear market position and differentiation from competitors
  • Evidence of validation* of the identified need/social problem and solution. (* Evidence of validation is feedback from customers/users/target recipient community which supports your assumption that the identified need/problem exists and your solution meets that need.)


  • High-impact social value proposition, be it in depth (extent of problem eliminated) or breadth (reach).
  • Actively engages and works together with community to tackle the social problem
  • Feasible plan to clearly measure and evaluate social impact
  • Social value proposition is aligned with the business model; impact scales as business scales
  • Track record of actual impact achieved
  • Intended social impact is sustainable in the long run


  • Viable addressable market size
  • Clear identification of target customers & intended beneficiaries and how to reach them
  • Scalable in terms of geography and solution, or across industries
  • Opportunities and risks have been mapped out with possible mitigations


  • Feasible and realistic commercial model and funding plan
  • Realistic financial projections for venture’s operations
  • Realistic road map towards financial sustainability
  • Evidence of consistent revenue generated from your customers


  • Members demonstrate entrepreneurial ability to adapt
  • Demonstration of knowledge and understanding of target community
  • Clear identification of key gaps in talent and experience and realistic plan to fill these gaps


Before starting your application, please read our Terms & Conditions.

Click here to apply.

For more information, visit DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge.