The coronavirus is transforming how we live and we, as a community, are facing a new paradigm with many challenges ahead.
Banco Santander, through Santander Universities, is launching the global Santander X Tomorrow Challenge so that entrepreneurs from 14 countries (Argentina, Germany, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the USA, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, the UK and Uruguay) can provide innovative solutions to help mitigate the socioeconomic aftermath of this pandemic.
“The coronavirus is changing our world, but we can shape this change. This is the time for entrepreneurs because, when they see a challenge, they are able to imagine new solutions. We are launching Santander X Tomorrow Challenge because we believe in them and in their capacity to find a response to today’s problems and those that we are going to be facing in the near future”, Ana Botín, group executive chairman of Banco Santander.
The challenge is structured into 4 categories that combine some of the main challenges being posed by this new situation: job creation; transforming personal skills; reinventing and reopening business and industries; and the appearance of new business opportunities.
Entrepreneurs have until 2 July to register at www.santanderx.com/tomorrowchallenge. Applications will be evaluated by a jury of 12 representatives from the entrepreneurial ecosystem and bank management.
This jury will select the 20 best projects: five per category. The selected 20, who will be announced on 16 July, will receive a total of €1 million in funds and benefits. In addition to the €20,000 that each of the selected entrepreneurs will receive, they will also get transversal support from the bank and participating entities, who will provide more than 100 hours of expert mentoring; a roadshow with at least five investors per project to facilitate access to financing; advice on technology and innovation from the MIT Innovation Initiative; and access to software licences and services.
100 million for the coronavirus, 30 million for education
This initiative is part of Banco Santander’s global response plan to the crisis generated by covid-19; a plan for which it has allocated €100 million, of which 30 million have been mobilised in the area of education and its initiatives are coordinated by Santander Universities. The funds will go to back research projects into the development of vaccines, medicines and new diagnosis tests; provide support for disadvantaged students so they can continue with their classes; carry out studies on scenarios for coming out of the crisis; and work on reinforcing the university system’s digital transition.
Santander X Tomorrow Challenge is an example of the bank’s commitment to high-impact university entrepreneurship. It is run through Santander X, a project that combines tools and programmes with the main aim of supporting entrepreneurs at each stage of their journey with a specific offer, providing them access to resources to aid their success and help them progress to the next stage.
The goal is to make Santander X the world’s largest university entrepreneurship community, connecting entrepreneurs with the three most valuable types of resource for them: talent, customers and funds.
Banco Santander and its support of Higher Education
Banco Santander is firmly committed to progress and inclusive, sustainable growth, with a long-standing dedication to higher education that sets it apart from the world’s other financial institutions. With over €1,800 million invested in academic initiatives since 2002 via Santander Universities and over 430,000 university scholarships and grants awarded since 2005, it has been recognised as the company that invests most in education in the world (Varkey/UNESCO-Fortune 500 Report), with 1,000 agreements with universities and institutions in 22 countries.