To qualify as an eligible individual, company or organization under the Algorithm for Change competition, you must meet the criteria listed below in Section I: General Competition Criteria and Section II: Tier-Specific Competition Criteria. Carefully review these sections to determine your eligibility and apply under the tier that best represents your current progress. Competition administrators recognize that some entrepreneurs/ organizations may not fit neatly into one of the three defined tiers. Please apply in the tier most aligned with the current stage of your concept/ product and immediate goals, which may be facilitated by winning. If there are any exceptions, please clarify any in your application.
Section I: General Competition
In order to be eligible for this competition, an individual, company or organization:
- Must enter no more than one submission using the competition’s official entry form and ensure that all applicable fields are complete.
- Must demonstrate that the primary beneficiaries of your submission are LIMFG post-secondary, or post-secondary-bound, students in the United States.
- Must own any intellectual property (IP) contained within your submission.
- Must identify all current and past teammates, if applicable, and acknowledge their contribution(s) to the submission.
- Must have explicit and documented permission to use dataset(s) if not within the public domain.
- Must designate a team leader who serves as the primary point of contact between the program and the other members of the team.
- Must bear any and all expenses associated with the competition with the exception of travel and accommodations, if selected as a finalist.
- Must attend or “test out” of (i.e., provide a written statement demonstrating competence) program-sponsored webinar and participate in program-sponsored coaching, if you advance to the Semi-Finals and Finals respectively.
- Must use award in compliance with NYU fiscal reporting requirements.
- Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, or authorized to work in the United States, if an individual; must be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States if a company or organization.
- May not be employed by NYU Social Entrepreneurship Program or any individual/ entity involved with the design, execution or judging of the competition.
- Must agree to assume all risks and waive claims against NYU and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any damage or loss of property, revenue or profits, whether direct, indirect or consequential.
- The program also reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/ or modify the competition for any reason, at its sole discretion.
Section II: Tier-Specific Competition Criteria
Competition tiers are based upon the following criteria. The NYU Social Entrepreneurship Program will not determine your eligibility status prior to submission. If your tier is uncertain because you meet criteria from more than one tier, the program reserves the right to reassign a tier upon review. If there is any disagreement, the program will make a final decision. Carefully review these sections to determine your eligibility and apply under the tier that best represents your current progress. Competition administrators recognize that some entrepreneurs/ organizations may not fit neatly into one of the three defined tiers. Please apply in the tier most aligned with the current stage of your concept/ product and immediate goals, which may be facilitated by winning. If there are any exceptions, please clarify any in your application.
- Team: Evaluates the size of your team, and the extent to which it has grown to support the current stage of your venture.
- Incorporation: Assesses whether your business is an informal project, or formally registered as a legal entity.
- Product: Describes the extent to which you have defined, developed, tested and marketed the product that your business sells (or intends to sell).
- Business Model: How do you go-to-market and generate revenue? Your business model should be clearly articulated (e.g. business model canvas) by the time you are in Validation stage, and should be proven and scalable in Commercialization stage.
- Users: This criteria provides an understanding both of your customer traction (e.g. how many people use your product, and how actively engaged are they?), and of the potential of the database you are building to inform your AI innovation.
- Dataset(s): We are particularly interested in your use of data to fuel innovation. A more robust, mature product will clearly identify its data inputs and outputs, as well as how they can be used to create impact and business value.
- Evidence of Efficacy: How can you prove the impact of your innovation objectively? Strong applicants will have a well-formed idea and method for tracking and improving the efficacy of their products across multiple dimensions (e.g. number of people benefited, long-term progression across metrics/ indicators, etc.). The AFC competition is specifically interested in graduation rates, application and enrollment rates, and intermediate metrics that can act as leading indicators of these outcomes.
- Funding: The extent to which investment capital, gifts or grants have been raised.
- Revenue: The annual sales of your business, or the annual operating budget for non-profit entities.
Eligibility guidelines table
Ideation: Applicants in this tier have no more than four team members, no formal organization, no users, may have no more than $50K in funding, no revenue, and consequently, no evidence of product efficacy. They must have a prototype concept and have identified at least one dataset on which to build the prototype. The intent of awarding within this tier is to support detailed business model/ prototype development and iteration.
Validation: Applicants in this tier have two or more team members, may or may not be legally incorporated, must have a working prototype, must have documented users (see table for specific figures), may have no more than $500K in funding, no more than $1M in revenue, and must show some evidence of product efficacy through defined and tracked impact metrics. They must have at least one dataset on which they built their prototype and may or may not be augmenting with new data/ datasets. The intent of awarding within this tier is to support prototype validation and go-to-market.
Commercialization: Applicants in this tier have four or more team members, must be legally incorporated, must have a viable product, must have documented users (see table for specific figures), may have any amount of funding but no less than $750K in revenue, and must show evidence of product efficacy through regularly tracked impact metrics and/ or rapid cycle evaluations. They must have at least one dataset on which they built their product, which is large enough to derive the statistically significant solutions needed to train algorithms. The intent of awarding within this tier is to support product reach and scale.