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How to Apply to Solve’s 2019 Global Challenges

“What's really unique about Solve is that it's put people across the world in one room. If anyone is even thinking about applying—don't think, just apply right now," says Solver Priya Lakhani, CEO of CENTURY Tech.  

Solve’s 2019 Global Challenges offer more than $1.5 million in prize funding. But being a Solver is about much more than just prize funding. Solver teams join Solve’s cross-sector community and gain access to expert mentorship, strategic business advice, and resources at MIT.

Anyone, anywhere in the world can submit an application. You can be an individual, a team, or part of an organization. If you have a relevant solution, here’s what you need to know to apply.

Two Deadlines to Remember

This year, there are two required deadlines: one for a first draft, and one for your final application. First drafts are due by 5pm ET on July 1—submit yours today!

Drafts must include required solution information, but they don’t need to be perfect—you’ll have a few additional weeks to revise your application. 

In the spirit of open innovation, after you submit this draft, you’ll receive feedback from the Solve community in the form of comments. This feedback may include ideas for clarifying your message, suggestions for honing your solution, and notes on additional prize opportunities.

By July 1: Post a Draft Application

Each team must post an application draft including the required information by 5pm ET on July 1. Here are three easy steps you can take to post your draft:

  • Step 1: Log in or create an account at solve.mit.edu/login.

  • Step 2: Fill in all the required information to submit a solution to one of our Challenges. The only application questions required for submission can be found on the “Select A Challenge” page and the “Basic Information” page. While we’ll consider all the information in your application during the judging process, nothing after those pages is required to post your solution application.

  • Step 3: Post your solution. You must click “Post My Solution” in your user dashboard for your solution to be considered for one of Solve's Global Challenges. This button will only appear once all of the required questions are completed.

Post Your Solution
Important: This is the "Post My Solution" button in your user dashboard that you must click for your solution to be considered for one of Solve's Global Challenges.

By July 22: Edit Your Application

Between July 1 and July 22, you can edit and expand your posted solution. No new applications may be submitted after July 1, but you will be able to edit your posted solution based on feedback from the community. 

We encourage you to take time to review comments and adjust your application accordingly. You may also want to review and apply to additional prize opportunities as well.

Your solution will be judged based on the final status of your posted application after 9am ET on July 22.

Solutions Must Be Tech-Based

All eligible solutions must use some form of technology to address the 2019 Global Challenges. Our definition of "tech-based" is broad: in addition to AI, blockchain, and virtual reality, Solver teams have leveraged a plant-based fiber that absorbs oil spills, biodegradable sanitary pads, and user-friendly mobile apps.

Learn about all our Solver teams' diverse technologies.

Applications Must Be in English

We encourage applicants from all corners of the globe to apply. However, applications must be written in English. And if you’re invited to pitch your solution at Solve Challenge Finals, you’ll need to present in English.

Types of Eligible Solutions

We will consider solutions at all stages of development. Here’s what that means:

  • Idea: We welcome you to submit your solution idea, but please note that concept-stage solutions are unlikely to be selected.
  • Prototype: A venture building and testing its product, service, or business model. Typically described as "pre-seed" if for profit.
  • Pilot: An enterprise deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community. Hybrids and for-profits would typically be in a "seed" round and generating revenue (whether or not they are cash-flow positive).
  • Growth: An enterprise with an established product, service, or business model rolled out, which is poised for further growth in multiple communities or countries. Organizations at this stage should have a clear path to sustainability. For-profits at this stage would be "seed" or "Series A."
  • Scale: A sustainable enterprise working in several communities or countries that is looking to scale significantly, focusing on increased efficiency. For-profits in this stage would be "Series A" or "Series B."

Post Your Draft Application Today

Remember that you can go back and edit your posted solution anytime up until the final deadline on July 19. But if you haven’t posted a draft solution by July 1, we can’t consider your application at all.

So submit your solution today! If you're selected as a finalist, you'll get to join us in New York City for Solve Challenge Finals on September 22 during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Week. 

If you have any questions, please email us at help@solve.mit.edu.


Solver Ram Dhan Yadav Katamaraja pitches Refactored.ai at Solve Challenge Finals 2018. Photo: Adam Schultz/MIT Solve

Related Event

Solve Challenge Finals 2019

Apella | New York City

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