The Rockefeller Foundation-Acumen Student Social Innovation Challenge 2019 ($20,000 Prize)

Application Deadline: October 15th 2019

Develop innovative solutions to problems associated with poverty and pitch for a chance to win up to $20,000 plus an invite to a community of experienced entrepreneurs and investors to help you turn your idea into an impactful enterprise.

Acumen, with the support of The Rockefeller Foundation, is equipping student innovators to solve problems associated with poverty through a global Student Social Innovation Challenge platform. Student teams from around the world are coming together to explore areas of opportunity, develop ideas, and pitch for funding and mentorship.

There are three phases to the Virtual Challenge:

  • In Phase 1, teams of students will enroll in the 6-week Lean Startup online course and submit their social venture ideas.
  • In Phase 2, the top teams will join an 8-week Student Social Enterprise Accelerator, where they will be provided one-on-one coaching and participate in a final pitch showcase.
  • In Phase 3, the winning teams will receive up to $20,000 to transform their idea into a real-life social venture. They will also be invited to join Acumen’s Community of Social Innovators, an exclusive network of Acumen Fellows, social entrepreneurs, and change-makers.

Challenge Areas

  • Health
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Workforce development
  • Financial Inclusion

ELIGIBILITY

  • Open to students worldwide
  • Anyone can participate in the Virtual Challenge (and compete for $20,000 in funding per team!), so long as you meet the following eligibility and participation requirements:
  • Form a team of two people or more. At least one team member must be actively enrolled at a higher education institution.
  • Complete 4 of the 5 assignments in the Lean Startup course (including the final assignment) and submit an application for the Accelerator program. At least two team members must complete the Lean Startup course.
  • Interview for and be selected to participate in the Student Social Enterprise Accelerator program.
  • Participate in at least 7 of the 8 Accelerator Learning Labs and submit all assignments, including a final pitch deck. The pitch deck must include a budget for the prize funding and a three-month work plan including key milestones and dates.

Benefits

  • Learn about social challenges from experts in the field
  • Form a team and an idea for solving one of them
  • Refine your idea through online courses and Learning Labs
  • Pitch your idea for a chance to win funding, mentorship, and support
  • The best ideas will win up to $20,000 in funding as well as an invitation to an exclusive community of experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and change agents, who will help transform these ideas into successful enterprises.
  • The total prize pool for the Virtual Challenge is $200,000. They anticipate distributing $100,000 in funding in the Fall Virtual Challenge, and $100,000 in the Spring Virtual Challenge.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Rockefeller Foundation-Acumen Student Social Innovation Challenge 2019

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