Moonshot Open Innovation Challenge

Join Expand North Star’s cornerstone activity for 2023 and scout disruptive solutions and talent from over 300,000 global startups! Launching on 10th April 2023, now is the time to get involved.


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What is the Moonshot Open Innovation Challenge?

Expand North Star proudly introduces its cornerstone activity for 2023: a very unique 4-month open innovation programme for tech corporates and government agencies to uncover the most ambitious and future-thinking solutions from a global network of startups and digital talent spanning over 300,000 businesses and entrepreneurs. Each sponsor will set a unique challenge for the international startup ecosystem to find solutions to global challenges to discover new technology, programmes, access resources, grow their talent pool, gain a competitive advantage and position their corporation at the forefront of the innovation ecosystem.

Why sponsor your own challenge?

The end-to-end innovation programme is operated by the world’s leading startup platform. It connects global corporates and government entities with the innovators and entrepreneurs defining our new tomorrow providing them with the unique opportunity to access resources, mentorship, and capital provided by corporations to help them scale their solutions.

What’s in it for challenge owners and startups?

  • End-to-end project management
  • Speaking slot and exhibition showcase at Expand North Star 2023
  • Tailored funnel of tech, solutions, dealflow, and access to talent
  • Scouting to over 300,000 startups
  • Inclusion and exposure in an international marketing campaign
  • Booth at Expand North Star
  • Continued Pilot and incubation with Challenge Owner
  • Cash prizes, grants and incubation
  • Market access to UAE, Middle East, Africa and Asia
  • Business license, business set-up and visa support from DCDE
  • Concierge Meetings Programme during Expand North Star 2023 to meet investors, buyers, and government players
  • Marketing exposure and media opportunities

What are the steps for the Moonshot Challenge?

  • 1Set your Challenge Statement
  • 2Offer Prizes
  • 3Decide Criteria for Applications
  • 4Choice to Evaluate all Submissions or Selection by our Expert Committee
  • 5Short Workshops with 10 Semi-Finalists to Select 5 Finalists
  • 6Join Expand North Star in October with pre-built Exhibition Stand and Demo day Showcase with all Finalists

Challenge Timeline

  • Application
    10 April - 29 june 2023
  • Application Final cut off
    29 May - 29 june 2023
  • Shortlisting
    30 June - 28 July 2023
  • Deepening
    30 July - 20 Aug 2023
  • Selection
    21 Aug - 3 Sep 2023
  • Announcement
    4 Sep 2023
  • Journey Prep
    15 Sep - 5 Oct 2023
  • Demo Day
    15 -18 Oct 2023

Prizes and support for challenge winners

Challenge owners can select between 1 to 3 prizes of their own choice.

Some examples are given below:
  • Prize Money: USD$10,000
  • Paid Trial Opportunities: Up to USD$30,000
  • Pilot deployment support: USD$15,000
  • POC Development Grant: Up to USD$20,000
  • Project management and engineering support
  • For Talent: Opportunity to join the corporate team, job offers, visa and relocation support
  • Incubation support: Challenge Owner to host challenge winners in their offices for a number of days/weeks
  • Support for POC/Pilot, project management and access to pilot sites
  • Access to in-kind tests and operational testing
  • Test-bedding of solution and support from potential manufacturing partners
  • Facilitate conversation with corporate and government partners or regulatory authorities
  • Project marketing grant: USD$20,000
  • For Startups: Office set-up in UAE
  • Access to facilities and operations