How Challenges Work

How are we CrowdSolving global challenges?

    Anyone the world-over can participate in a Solve challenge and submit a solution. Whether you’ve just started building your solution and your team, you’re running a pilot, or you’re ready to scale, we’re looking for innovators and entrepreneurs with the best solutions to these global challenges.
    The first round of judging takes place once solutions close. After an initial screening by Solve staff, our experts and industry leaders select finalists from all of the solutions to the challenge submitted on the platform. Those finalists will be invited to a live pitch event where we select our Solver class with the most promising solutions.
    Our Solver cohort then gains access to Solve’s community. The Solve staff helps match-make between the Solver class and leaders from the tech industry, business, philanthropy, government, and civil society who are seeking partnerships and opportunities to implement innovative, scalable ideas. Partnerships between our Solver class and members will be announced at our flagship event Solve at MIT. 

What type of solutions will Solve accept?

Optimistic solutions. Innovative solutions. Human-centered solutions. Tech solutions. Solutions that need partnerships across industry.

From research, to pilot, to growth, Solve accepts solutions at all stages of development. If you’re researching, we can help you develop a partnership to pilot. If you’re already piloting, we can help you grow. And if you’re already growing, we can help you scale.

The most important thing is that your solution will solve the challenge posed. And, we’re MIT! So, every solution must include technology -- whether new or existing -- as a key component.

How will my solution be evaluated?

Our judges are experts and leaders from across industries. We’ll announce who the judges are within each challenge.

In the first round, Solve staff will perform an initial screening of all applications for completeness, for coherency, and for whether the solution appropriately addresses the challenge. Then our judges will score the screened applications to determine finalists. Here are the criteria the judges will use to score the applications on the website:

  • Alignment: Does the solution address the challenge that has been set forth?
  • Scalability: Can the solution be grown and scaled to affect the lives of more people?
  • Potential for Impact: Does the planned implementation of the solution have the potential to impact lives, and does the theory behind how it will work make logical sense? Does the team have a robust plan for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the solution?
  • Novelty: Is this a new technology, new application of an existing technology, or new process for solving the challenge?
  • Feasibility: Is it feasible to implement the solution, and does the team have a plan for the solution to sustain itself financially?

In the second round, each finalist will pitch before the challenge judges and a live audience. The judges will determine which solutions are the most promising. This new “Solver” class will receive support and partnership from the Solve community.

Challenge Timeline

May 8, 2017 – Challenges open
August 1, 2017 - Submission deadline 
August 16, 2017 - Finalists announced 
September, 2017 - Finalists pitch in New York during the U.N. General Assembly

What will I get if my solution is selected?

Solve is a community. Once the solutions are selected to be part of our Solver class, those teams will gain access to everyone in our community from other members of the Solver cohort, to Solve staff, to MIT faculty, to leaders from the tech industry, business, philanthropy, government, and civil society.
We’ll work with you to provide:

  • Match-making with Solve community members that can lead to partnerships to fund, pilot, and scale each solution.
  • Funding commitments from our partners if available, as laid out on each challenge page.
  • Mentorship and training opportunities to help you workshop and pitch your solution.
  • Access to our flagship annual event Solve at MIT where the Solver class and Solve community members come together. 

What is Solve at MIT?

Solve at MIT is our flagship annual event held on the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA, bringing together over 300 leaders from the tech industry, business, philanthropy, government, and civil society. Solvers and their solutions will be featured on stage, in online and written materials, and through dedicated challenge workshops. Solve staff will continue supporting the Solver cohort to match-make partnerships with our community members who will help make Solver solutions a reality.

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