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MIT IDEAS Social Innovation Challenge

IDEAS is MIT's 20-year old social innovation and entrepreneurship program for students. Check out this year's finalists and vote for your favorite project!

Voting is now open Vote for Finalists

Challenge Overview

MIT IDEAS Social Innovation Challenge Virtual Innovation Showcase

The MIT Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center is celebrating 20 years hosting the IDEAS Social Innovation Challenge! IDEAs is an annual innovation and social entrepreneurship program that supports MIT's social entrepreneurs and innovators via its tailored programming, advising, mentorship, and funding up to $21,000. 

Any MIT student can recruit a team from anywhere in the world and propose a social project anywhere in the world!

The following are some examples of sectors in which projects have spanned: Water & Sanitation, Agriculture, Health & Medical, Education & Training, Economic Development & Employment, Emergency & Disaster Relief, Energy & Environment. The IDEAS Social Innovation Challenge has awarded more than $1,000,000 to over 190 teams that have implemented innovative service projects in 44 countries, serving the needs of tens of thousands of people. These teams have secured over $69 million in follow-on funding for their community projects.

This year's 19-team cohort comprises projects across seven sectors and 12 countries. 15 teams are MIT graduate level, two teams are mixed collegiate levels, and two teams are undergraduate. There are 48% non-MIT participants in the cohort from all over the world, including many other academic institutions. Below are the following MIT disciplines are represented in the cohort:

  • Architecture
  • Brain and Cognitive Sciences
  • Business Management
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Data, Systems, and Society
  • Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
  • Engineering and Management
  • Integrated Design Management
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering 
  • Physics
  • Technology & Policy Program
  • Urban Studies


Each finalist team is receiving a seed grant of $1,000 to further their efforts and will be considered for an additional juried award ranging from $7,500 – 20,000 on April 25. Teams that are not awarded a juried grant will be considered for one of two Crowd Favorites awards of $2,500 each. 

Please vote, share, and join the live stream award ceremony on April 25th from 1-2 PM EST. Register here:

For questions about the MIT IDEAS Challenge, please email:


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