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TECH4DEMOCRACY AT A GLANCE

Tech4Democracy is a global initiative whose primary objective is to conduct groundbreaking research in the field of democracy-affirming technologies, while identifying and fostering entrepreneurs who are building them. The initiative is led by IE University, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and with the strategic support of Microsoft.

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    TECH4DEMOCRACY'S GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP CHALLENGE

    IE University has organized startup competitions (Venture Days) in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, and South America to scout for the most promising innovations to advance democratic values in the fields of data for policymaking, fight against disinformation, digital identity and trust, CivTech or GovTech.

    More than 300 organizations from 68 countries have participated in the Challenge, with Evoting, a Chilean startup that organizes secure electronic elections using cryptography, being crowned the global democracy-affirming champion.

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      TECH4DEMOCRACY'S APPLIED RESEARCH

      A multidisciplinary, diverse team of first-level international experts from institutions such as the European University Institute, the Atlantic Council, the European Council on Foreign Relations or the University of Toronto are researching the field and producing a report titled Tech4Democracy: Fostering Technology for Social Good, which will be published in June 2023.

      This report will map the state of the art of the field of democracy-affirming technologies and guide policymakers and industry leaders who wish to harness technological progress to promote democratic values and human rights. The Center for the Governance of Change at IE University will continue to develop research in this field.

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        Tech4Democracy Venture Day Europe (Madrid)

        Tech4Democracy’s Global Entrepreneurship Challenge kicked off in Europe with the Madrid Venture Day. It was held at IE Tower on June 28, 2022, with New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as keynote speaker. The winner of the competition was Citibeats (Spain).

        → Read a recap about the event here.

        Tech4Democracy Venture Day South America (Bogotá)

        Tech4Democracy’s Global Entrepreneurship Challenge continued in South America with the Bogotá Venture Day. It was held at Universidad de los Andes on October 10, 2022, with Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin as keynote speaker. The winner of the competition was Evoting (Chile).

        → Read a recap about the event here.

        Tech4Democracy Venture Day North America (Silicon Valley)

        The third Venture Day of Tech4Democracy’s Global Entrepreneurship Challenge targeted democracy-affirming startups in North America, and it took place in Silicon Valley. It was held at Stanford University on November 29, 2022, with USAID Administrator Samantha Power as keynote speaker. The winner of the competition was Atlos (United States). 

        → Read a recap about the event here.

        Tech4Democracy Venture Day Asia-Pacific (New Delhi)

        The fourth competition of Tech4Democracy’s Global Entrepreneurship Challenge unveiled the best-democracy affirming technologies and startups in Asia-Pacific. The Venture Day took place at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi on March 2, 2023, in conjunction with Raisina Dialogue. The winner of the competition was Right2Vote (India).

        → Read a recap about the event here.

        Tech4Democracy Venture Day Africa (Cape Town)

        The Africa Venture day was the last continental competition of Tech4Democracy’s Global Entrepreneurship Challenge. It took place at the Hasso Plattner d-school Afrika at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) on March 7, 2023. The winner of the competition was FloodGates Limited (Ghana), for their solution Trustur.

        → Read a recap about the event here.

        Tech4Democracy Global Final (Washington, D.C.)

        The Tech4Democracy Global Final was held on March 28, 2023 at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., on the sidelines of President Biden’s Summit for Democracy. EVoting, a startup from Chile that provides electronic voting systems using cryptography, was crowned the global democracy-affirming champion.

        → Read a recap about the event here.

        Areas of Innovation

        We sought startups/scaleups that develop usable democracy-affirming technologies such as the following:

        Data for policymaking

        Technologies that allow for better data collection, processing, and visualization, in order to inform policy-making and decision-making processes in a way that is respectful of privacy and individual rights.

        Responsible AI and Machine Learning

        Automated decision-making systems that provide equal opportunity, do not discriminate, and are fair, explainable, auditable, ethical, and accurate.

        Tools to fight disinformation

        Technologies that support fact-checking efforts, identify bot activity or work on social data to promote accurate information on key matters, including electoral processes.

        Digital identity and trust

        Transparency technologies and identity recognition or protection technologies that ensure inclusive access to digital public services and protection of sensible data.

        Transparent and Inclusive Government Data

        Technologies that promote accountability and inclusive services and foster economic growth through the provision of data, services, and resources that startups, scaleups, and SMEs can leverage to generate business.

        Benefits for Startups

        Mentoring

        Have the opportunity to profit from an incubation/acceleration process and coaching/mentoring plan provided by IE University and Tech4Democracy Strategic Supporters.

        Competition

        Compete for a monetary prize in the Global Final in Washington, D.C. in March 2023.

        Partnership opportunities

        Have first-hand access to backing and partnership opportunities with IE University and Tech4Democracy Strategic Supporters, as well as democratic governments, companies, investors, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders involved in the initiative.

        Networking

        Join a global, diverse, and long-term community of like-minded allies, which will be nurtured with news and potential opportunities within IE University’s projects and network and those of the initiative’s Strategic Supporters and partners.

        Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub Access

        Venture Day competitors can win accelerated access to Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub membership, which includes up to $150k in cloud credits for qualified startups, free productivity software, GitHub Enterprise access, and guidance from business and technical experts. (Requires meeting minimum program criteria such as being a for-profit organization).

        Organizers

        Tech4Democracy is organized by the IE Center for the Governance of Change, coordinator of the initiative, and the IE Center for Entrepreneurship.

        Strategic Partners

        Tech4Democracy is run by IE University in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and with the strategic support of Microsoft.

        Additional Partners

        Tech4Democracy Team