I'm ready and excited for the competition – how do I enter?
Great! To enter, click Register to create your personal profile and complete it with the requested information. Next, create or join as many projects as you like. Then build your project team as guided or simply work on your own to complete your project page. The project page serves as your official competition entry.
Is there a fee to enter the competition?
No. There's no cost to enter the competition. It's also free for non-competitors (students, educators, professionals and the general public) to create a profile. The only requirement is an interest in making the world a better place!
What are the entry deadlines?
View the current Challenge dates and deadlines here: http://www.dellchallenge.org/about/dates.
Can I post projects after the entry deadline?
Yes, we accept new projects year-round! Projects posted after the entry deadline are eligible for future competitions and our year-round resources, such as mentoring.
I don't have a project to submit. Can I still participate?
Even if you don't have your own project to submit, you can participate in several ways. You can join the community by building a profile. This will allow you to connect with other community members, and you can provide feedback and support to other students and projects. If you want to join another project, you can indicate on your profile that you are looking to join a team. If you find a project that interests you, you can request to join another team that is looking for additional team members.
Do I need a business plan to enter?
No. Your project page serves as your official competition entry. Teams that make the Semi-Finals will submit a video pitch and a project roadmap with details that depend upon their project ambitions for success. We match each Semi-Finalist with a mentor who can provide guidance.
Why do I need to create a personal profile to enter?
Yes, your personal profile – along with the personal profiles of your teams – are linked to your project page, which serves as your official competition entry. You can use your personal profile to interact with other community members. In addition to helping you learn and make connections, such activity raises your personal and project influence scores. Register here.
What's the difference between the project phases?
The four phases reflect your project's stage of development. They are:
- Define: social impacts and the innovation driving them exist conceptually in your head, or you have a few general ideas with limited research at this point.
- Design: impact potentials are taking shape as project execution assumptions are tested with potential customer/beneficiaries, beginnings of formal internal and external teams and some details on project pilot locale and test elements are captured.
- Pilot: the innovation project has been tested with a small group of customer/beneficiaries and is getting verifiable impacts. Team continues making project improvements based on live experience in the field.
- Scale: the innovation has proven successful at achieving social impacts in more than one geographic area. The project has sustainable financial and human resource models with strong leadership and strategic partner support in place.
What are the judging criteria for the competition?
The judges will assess the clarity and significance of the innovation, demonstration of a high probability of success and potential impact from winning the competition.
What do the judges evaluate?
The judges will review your entire project page and evaluate everything you post, including the written descriptions and photos and videos that everyone can see. You will also have the opportunity to post supplemental documents that can be viewed by the judges alone.
In the first round of competition, our judges review your project for clarity and accuracy. They evaluate how clearly your project summary answers these five questions:
- What’s your social innovation?
- Who’s going to pay for it?
- Who’s going to gain the most from it?
- What is ultimate success?
- How will you get there?
What happens at the Finalists Week?
We fly five Finalist teams, as well as the Expertise Award Winners, to Austin, Texas, for Finalists Week. The Finalists will pitch for the Grand Prize Awards and we'll announce the winners at the Verb Awards. Hundreds of global social innovation leaders and our university partners and sponsors will also attend the Finalists Week events, so it's an amazing networking opportunity.
More Frequently Asked Questions: