• CSI 3
    Innovative Approaches to Meet Sustainable Development Goals

What is CSI Challenge 3?

CSI Challenge 3 is the third in a series of initiatives that has been implemented since 2016 to promote social impact investments in Japan. In this Challenge, through a combination of "Social Business Competition" and "Crowdfunding”, ARUN focuses on identifying and supporting social entrepreneurs who aim to solve social problems through their own innovative businesses. The competition also aims to build a platform connecting entrepreneurs to the Japanese firms.

In recent months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently sweeping the world, the lives of socially and economically vulnerable groups such as women, children, and refugees have been largely affected. The impact also extends to entrepreneurs working on social issues, with many of them struggle to provide satisfactory services to such vulnerable populations.

In light of this situation, CSI Challenge 3 welcomes “Social entrepreneurs working with vulnerable people in developing countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through their businesses”! The winner will receive an investment of Max. $50,000 dollars from ARUN Seed. The financing comes from a combination of a crowdfunding campaign and sponsorship funds.



Application closure

September 15th, 2020



Quarter finalists announcement



Semi finalists announcement



Video material submission



Virtual interview




Finalists announcement



Final presentation session


Winner announcement


Application Guidelines

We are looking for social entrepreneurs seeking solutions to challenges caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligibility Requirements

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

  • Company with innovative business solutions tackling social issues related to COVID-19
  • In its start-up phase, usually within the first five years of operation
  • Incorporated with legal status

Types of organizations that are NOT eligible to apply:

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

Judging Criteria

  • Social Impact - Magnitude of the impact on the local population especially women, children, or refugees affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Gender - Gender diversity at leadership, supply chain and customer levels.
  • Sustainability - Viability and longevity of the business model as well as the company.
  • Team - Creativity, commitment and skill-sets brought together to the company by the team.
  • Innovation - Potential and out-of-box ideas to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.


For Selected Entrepreneur

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

How To Apply?

To join CSI Challenge 3, you are required to
  • Fill out the online application.
    You will not have the ability to save your answers in the middle of the process. We encourage you to complete all components of the submission offline and then copy/paste your responses.
  • Submit your latest pitch deck (Max. 5 pages) by E-mail to csi[at]arunseed.jp.
    Please write the email subject line as “Application for CSI3 – your company name” (e.g. “Application for CSI3 – ARUN Seed”)

Key Dates

Application Submission
15th September 2020

Application deadline

End of September 2020

Quarter finalists announced
Quarter finalists will be requested to submit financial statements (balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and projection)

Mid October 2020 - End of October 2020

Semi finalists announced
Deadline for semi finalists’ online submission of a video material
Virtual interview to be scheduled with ARUN team

Mid November 2020
Early December 2020
End of December 2020

Finalists announced
Final online presentation session
Winner announced


Please note that we are extending the application deadline to September 15, 2020 JST 23:59

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


Past winners

CSI Challenge 1

Stellapps Technologies Private Limited. India

Stellapps provides IoT solutions to the dairy sector in India facing problems of low productivity and uncertain value chain. Stellapps develop, sell and maintain IoT devices that can be installed in each stage of milk production, milk procurement and milk chilling. Their business is expected to have a greater social impact by increasing productivity, reducing production losses, providing a stable supply of high quality milk and stabilizing the income of smallholder farmers.


CSI Challenge 2

Bookmybai.com. India

Bookmybai.com is India's platform through which homeowners can hire domestic helpers online. Their service-based technology enables underprivileged women to identify and access jobs remotely free of cost. Women apply for a job by giving a missed call to their toll-free number. After screening and selection, Bookmybai.com helps with safe relocation for migrant job seekers and access to bank accounts in collaboration with IDBI Bank. This eliminates middlemen or agents and protects the jobseeker from falling prey to exploitation, and 11000 women recruited by Bookmybai.com have achieved financial independence and job security in an empathetic household.


Host :

Sponsorship :

For more information about this program, please contact csi@arunseed.jp.