Challenging Innovation for the SDGs

 CSI Challenge, started in 2016, is a competition of social entrepreneurs that aim to solve social problems through their own innovative businesses. Through this Challenge, ARUN focused on building a platform connecting social entrepreneurs to the Japanese community.

ARUN, with the support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) now launches the CSI Challenge 2. This competition is open to social entrepreneurs who use innovative approaches to address the issues around Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as gender, agriculture, healthcare, and so on.

This program creates possibilities for connections across the border between entrepreneurs and investor companies both seeking the same vision: businesses and ‘solutions of the social issues’. By supporting these entrepreneurs, we create an opportunity to learn from each other how to achieve the SDGs through businesses in a sustainable way.

For entrepreneurs it is a good networking opportunity to get to know and interact with Japanese firms. For investor companies, it is also a great opportunity to learn from and be inspired by entrepreneurs, new ideas, and cultures from across Asia.

Applications open on February 27th, 2018 and the deadline for submissions is March 31st, 2018. Finalists will pitch their businesses online to ARUN teams and the judges on May 28, 2018.

Application guideline

We look for those businesses in Asia that generate positive impact for the achievement of the SDGs using innovative business models.


In order to be eligible for CSI challenge, the enterprise must be:

  • Companies with innovative business confronting social issues (SDGs)
  • The original idea of the applicant(s)
  • In its start-up phase, usually within the first five years of operation
  • Incorporated company for profit
  • Independent and autonomous  

Types of organizations that are NOT eligible to apply:

  • Non-profit organization, Scholarships, or research projects
  • Organization based on political or religious purposes

Selection Process

Application Period: February 27th – March 31st, 2018
Please apply through our web site.  Apply Here!

Final online presentation session: May 28th, 2018
Final selection: End of May 2018

For selected entrepreneur

Investment up to US$ 50,000, support and advice from ARUN and its affiliates on mutually agreeable terms.

Submission Requirements

The completion submission consists of the following 2 processes:

  1. Complete the online application form.
    We encourage you to complete all components of the submission offline and then copy/paste your responses.
  2. Send your latest pitch deck and any supplemental documents by E-mail to csi[at]arunseed.jp
    Please write the email subject line as “Application for CSI2 – your company name”
    (e.g. “Application for CSI2 – ARUN Seed”)

Application Deadline: March 31st, 2018 at 11:59 PM JST

In order to avoid any technical issues with your browser, please give yourself with plenty of time to apply.


The Winner of CSI 1
st Challenge

Stellapps Technologies, India

Stellapps tackles the problem of low productivity and inefficient supply chain in Agriculture through innovative technology. Its technology-based solutions, using IoT, Big Data, Cloud, Mobile, and Data Analytics, will allow to monitor and control an effective management of every step of the value chains: production; procurement; storage; cold chain; and payment, etc. The company’s current focus is dairy sector.


Our Partners


Common Q&A

1. Please let us know your investment structure?
Our investment includes equity, debt and convertible note. We will hold a discussion about the assessment with finalists separately to decide exact amount of investment.

2. Please send us a list of past investees?
As for ARUN’s past investees, please see the following page: https://arunseed.jp/en/portfoliocompany/

3. Do you provide any other support like business development or networking?
We do offer both. We have wide networks across different business sectors. By using these resources and past experiences, we offer matching and networking opportunities with Japanese firms. They can offer operational expertise such as financial planning and business models, as well as technical expertise. To learn this more please visit our website: http://www.arunllc.jp/en/arun/description/

For Q&A, please email to csi[at]arunseed.jp