Social Impact Startup Challenge

On May 22, high school students from across Madrid gathered at the Instituto Internacional to compete in the Social Impact Startup Challenge. Organized by U.S. Fullbrighter and IE student Margo Bailey, the Challenge was an opportunity for Madrid youth to practice their English and learn how entrepreneurship can be used as a tool for social change. The event opened with remarks from Andy Rabens, the U.S. State Department’s Special Advisor for Global Youth Issues. Students from different schools were then assigned to one of seven teams and an IE MBA student coach. Together, student teams generated a product or service that would address a challenge: either pollution in Madrid, how to increase English language learning in Spain, or how to prevent young people from dropping out of high school. After deciding on the product or service, teams identified their target market, business model, opportunities, and risks. To close out the Challenge, students created presentations and pitched their ideas to a panel of judges that included representatives from the U.S. Embassy and IE’s YESLab. The winning team presented an app called “Regencard,” which provides game and rewards to incentivize youth to use public transport and tracks their ecological impact.