Contest roundup: Funds to help ideas spring to life

Innovation is in the air! Dust the cobwebs from your brain and polish your ideas for a better world before these opportunities disappear:

Dell Social Innovation People’s Choice Awards

  • WHO: University students from around the world
  • WHEN: Deadline to submit and vote for projects is May 13
  • WHAT: Dell Social Innovation Challenge wants your brilliant solutions to global problems in categories from agriculture to health to technology. The community votes on which projects make the grade, with $1,000 awarded to the eleven most popular ideas.


    Want your idea to have the best chance at success? Increase the levels of serotonin in your brain by soaking up sunlight, spending time with loved ones, and encouraging others. Photo via Flickr user Spec-ta-cles (Creative Commons).

2012 Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Challenges

  • WHO: Individuals, organizations, and groups across the globe
  • WHEN: Deadline to apply is May 15
  • WHAT: To celebrate its 100th birthday, the Rockefeller Foundation invites you to submit your innovative ideas for the next century in three areas of focus: data, irrigation, and farming. Icing on the cake if your idea shows promise of being scalable and replicable, positively impacts poor or vulnerable populations, respects local context, and finally, is new and exciting. The foundation will grant funding from a pool of $100,000 to nine finalists.

GOOD Maker challenges

  • WHO: Anyone with a good idea
  • WHEN: Deadlines for the challenges vary
  • WHAT: The folks at GOOD are at it again. With their new tool Maker, organizations and individuals want to hear your ideas for social change, with the community deciding which ones will have the most impact. Right now challenges include a call for speakers at TEDxChicago, an ideal car-free day in Los Angeles, and new ways of learning. Rewards for ideas typically run the gamut from funding to promotion to more tailored goodies like—ready for this?—a vacation at a Hawaiian resort.

Know of more contests and awards our community should be aware of? Leave a comment below!

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