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D-Prize Social Venture Competition

Get Involved

The NYU/D-Prize Social Venture Competition will challenge aspiring social entrepreneurs to create social change by designing a new venture with the potential to alleviate poverty around the world. Winning ideas will have a plan to effectively create social change, launch a new pilot or refine an existing one, and scale to serve the greatest number of people. Read below for information on eligibility, steps to participate and judging criteria.

How To Participate

Step 1: Review the D-Prize Challenges & sign up for email updates. We have already identified several distribution challenges with sustainable and effective poverty solutions. These challenges will give you a framework for designing a new social venture or refining an existing one.

Step 2: Design your social venture. Choose the challenge that most inspires you, or propose your own. The application packet explains the competition rules, process, and instructions on how to draft and submit your proposal. Participate in four global webinars with students from all consortium institutions and refer to the guidance and tips listed in the support section of the Challenges section of this website.

You can also join your peers from across the globe on L2O, a platform for global communities of lifelong learners. Members of the NYU Social Entrepreneurship/D-Prize Consortium will share insights and tips from past competition winners, extra materials from webinar speakers and field leaders, and resources from across our network of schools. You can also connect directly with participating students in New York, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Singapore, and more. Sign up to join the conversation.

Step 3: Write and submit your concept note by February 19, 2017. Refer to the application packet for guidelines and submission details. After reviewing the concept notes, judges will invite the most promising social entrepreneurs to submit a full ten-page proposal.

Step 4: Write and submit your proposal. Selected finalists will interview with the judges. If a winner is selected, the venture will be awarded up to $15,000 to launch a pilot or improve an existing venture.

What happens when you win? You book a plane ticket, hire a staff, and launch your startup over the summer. You will spend the next three months using every last shred of ability and talent that you have to grow a new organization that will change the world.

For information about the competition schedule and deadlines, please refer to the timeline.

Eligibility

The NYU/D-Prize Social Venture Competition supported by the NYU Social Entrepreneurship Program and NYU Green Grants is open to graduate and undergraduate NYU students at all NYU global locations.

Students may apply as an individual or as part of a team. Those who apply as a team may work with students in any of the NYU global locations or others outside of NYU.

The lead team member must be a current enrolled NYU student.

Students must be in good academic standing. Good academic standing is defined as having a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or greater. The competition staff reserve the right to disqualify any applicant who does not meet the minimum grade requirement and/or is ineligible to be enrolled at NYU as a result of a disciplinary action.

Judging Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on the following:

  • Commitment and quality: you or your team must be passionate about development, have the skills to build a new organization from scratch or refine an existing one, and committed to expanding to a proven, effective, large-scale organization.
  • Quality and thoroughness of the social venture plan: good plans are tightly focused on solving one specific problem. Anyone reading your proposal should have a thorough understanding of exactly what your organization will do, and how you will do it.
  • Projected impact: We recognize that in many cases your pilot program may start small. It is our hope that the social venture will expand to help as many people as possible. We want to understand your plan to grow, and how you will measure your impact over time.
  • Feasibility of post-competition success: a good proposal doesn’t end after three months. We want to see your vision for 6, 12, and 24 months out.

Ready to apply?

Review the challenges and support materials and download the application packet with instructions for submission. The first round deadline for entry is February 19, 2017.