Global Impact Challenge

The event dedicated to impact-driven startups and investors

13 · 14 · 15  JUNE 2024 / BOLOGNAFIERE

+100 TALKS and SHOWS


The pursuit of a sustainable development model has become the primary objective and driving force for most organizations and institutions worldwide.

Through the Global Impact Challenge, we will bring together founders who have responded to at least one of the 12 Future Challenges of the WMF. We will analyze the success of non-extractive business models, the importance of adopting policies, and the transformative value of startups characterized by their ambition and commitment to contributing to positive change in social or environmental areas.

The Global Impact Challenge is among the events for startups, scale-ups, and the open innovation world held as part of the World Startup Fest and designed to support the development of a community of founders who have launched innovative entrepreneurial projects in Italy and internationally. The WMF has always been a must-attend event for the world of social and digital innovation, promoting the meeting and exchange between citizens, startups, stakeholders, and institutions.

Each of the initiatives of the World Startup Fest contributes to the expansion of a connected and open innovative ecosystem worldwide.

The Global Impact Challenge of WMF 2024 is officially open: fill out the form below to apply!


Founders of innovative entrepreneurial projects from around the world who are addressing at least one of the 12 Future Challenges of the WMF and are producing positive social or environmental change can apply.

Selected startups will have the opportunity to present on the Mainstage, the main stage of the WMF. Through pitches and open discussions or within roundtable sessions, each founder can describe their business model before directly engaging with the rich network of startups, investors, and stakeholders present at the WMF and participating in business and networking activities.

  1. Present to an International and Knowledgeable Audience:
    Thanks to an international audience comprising investors, industry-leading companies, and participants from around the world.

  2. Access the Startup District:
    The dedicated exhibition area for startups from around the world.

  3. Organize High-Level B2B Meetings and Networking:
    Thanks to the WMF's business community composed of investors, VCs, open innovation stakeholders, entrepreneurs, and potential business partners with whom it will be easy to connect during and after the event.

  4. Gain Extensive Visibility:
    Participating startups are in the spotlight of a wide audience and receive attention from media, influencers, and industry operators.

  5. Receive Additional Awards and Recognitions:
    Thanks to access to exclusive resources such as potential funding, acceleration programs, and strategic partnerships.

  6. Attend Industry Training and Panels:
    Thanks to dedicated stages on open innovation, entrepreneurs can update their business and technological skills, learn best practices, and increase competitiveness.

  7. Participate in the WMF International Roadshow:
    The international project that accompanies the best Italian startups abroad at major industry events.

  8. Access the global WMF network:
    with possible involvement in related initiatives in Italy and beyond.


The Challenge is dedicated to impact-driven startups composed of teams with innovative projects or ideas in the technology and digital sector. Additionally, particular interest is given to those innovative projects aimed at generating a positive impact on the environment and communities. The candidate projects are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Team skills, industry knowledge, project feasibility;

  • Stage of development of the product/service;

  • Degree of innovation and defensibility thereof;

  • Competitive context and positioning;

  • Alignment with market and customer needs and size thereof;

  • Business potential of the idea;

  • Completeness of the documentation presented;

  • The project's impact on future challenges;

  • Adoption of ESG policies;

  • Impact generated on at least one of the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals);

  • Gender mix.

Networking Activities

Networking moments are the beating heart of the event, offering opportunities to create meaningful connections. The main initiatives you can participate in are
Innovation Night

Innovation Night

An exclusive evening for investors within the WMF international network, where they can meet, share insights, and explore synergies in a completely informal and private setting.

Speed Meeting

Speed Meeting

The innovative format of quick and direct meetings, ideal for startups seeking funding, investors looking for promising projects, or those wanting to expand their network.

Job Placement & Recruitment

Job Placement & Recruitment

Recruitment service for Digital Professions, designed to facilitate the meeting between job demand and supply! A unique opportunity to find professional profiles suitable for your company."

Startup District

Startup District

The exhibition area at WMF entirely dedicated to startups, designed to facilitate meetings, exchanges, and collaborations. Here you can showcase your products or services, arrange appointments, gather feedback, and connect with other industry experts.

B2B, B2C, B2G meeting

B2B, B2C, B2G meeting

At WMF, you can schedule meetings with potential clients, international investors, and Open Innovation stakeholders. A unique opportunity to present your idea to those who can help you take it to the next level. In the last edition, over 3,000 startups, investors, incubators, VCs, Business Angels, corporates, and international accelerators participated.

More opportunities

Impact to Business Stage

Impact to Business Stage

The pursuit of a sustainable development model has become the primary objective and driving force for most organizations and institutions worldwide.

On this stage, we compare business models, policies, and experiences characterized by their ambition and commitment to contributing to positive change in social or environmental areas.

International Roadshow

International Roadshow

By participating in the Global Startup Program, you'll have the opportunity to access the WMF International Roadshow, a global cooperation project spanning across 5 continents and involving 29 countries.

Take part in events and initiatives organized by WMF worldwide with the aim of strengthening connections within the international innovation ecosystem.

During the application phase, each Startup is asked to indicate which of the 12 Challenges of the Future they are aiming to address through digital and technological solutions with their business project.
  • Future of Cities & Communities

  • Future of Health

  • Future of Work

  • Future of Culture & Travel

  • Future of Food & Agriculture

  • Future of Learning & Education

  • Future of Retail & Customer Experience

  • Future of Marketing

  • Future of Media & Entertainment

  • Future of Sports & Events

  • Future of Finance & Insurance

  • Future of Life On Planet Earth

Furthermore, you can indicate your adherence to ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) criteria, as well as the impact generated by your innovative project on one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the UN's 2030 Agenda.

Fill out the form to apply for the Global Impact Challenge.


Opening of the call
Closing of the call
Participation in the WMF
Would you like to participate in the Global Impact Challenge 2024?

Please fill out the form and attach the required material to participate in the upcoming edition of the Global Impact Challenge!





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