This is an application packet for the global D-Prize competition. It explains the completion rules, process, and instructions on how to draft and submit your proposal. If you have questions, send an email to the D-Prize team at [email protected]. Good luck!
Submission deadline for early decision round: May 12, 2019 at midnight PT (Pacific Time)
Regular submission deadline: June 2, 2019 at midnight PT
Extension deadline (limited to 200 people who register): June 23, 2019 midnight PT Register for an extension: www.d-prize.org/extension
Who Should Apply? You should have enormous ambition, and can imagine yourself as a successful entrepreneur. You are ready to launch your new venture, and - if a pilot proves successful – you are excited to grow it into a world changing organization. If you are still a student or have existing commitments, you should have a clear idea how to transition into a full-time founder. D-Prize is exclusively interested in ventures that will scale distribution of an already proven poverty intervention in the developing world. We do not fund prototypes of promising new interventions.
Eligibility D-Prize challenges are open to anyone or any teams. The sole restriction is that individuals and their immediate family on the judging panel may not participate as a contestant. D-Prize is also open to any business model (for profit, non-profit, and everything in between). All winners will be awarded up to $20,000. The award is offered in the form of a convertible grant. Up to 25 of the most promising proposals will be selected for funding awards, regardless of which challenge track was selected.
Proposals must be submitted following the instructions in this packet.
Extra material outside of the proposal will not be considered.
Revisions to proposals after submission will also not be considered.
Only one proposal per person or partnership will be considered.
Proposals must be written in English.
Deadlines and the Prize Process
Round 1 First Round proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis, using the following deadlines. We strive to send decisions out within three weeks. Judges may request additional information via email before making a decision.
Early decision deadline : May 12, 2019 at midnight PT (Pacific Time). Early decision proposals are more likely to advance to the next round, and will have additional time on for the full proposal.
Regular deadline : June 2, 2019 at midnight PT.
Extension deadline : June 23, 2019 at midnight PT. Extensions are limited to the first 200 people who register at: www.d-prize.org/extension
Round 2 Top entrepreneurs invited to participate in Round 2 will be asked to draft and submit a full plan of their venture, roughly 10 pages in length plus any desired appendices.
The plan will include more details on operations, a budget, milestones, and other items. Participants will receive a Round 2 Proposal Packet with full instructions. Those invited to the Second Round will have about four weeks to submit a plan.
Final Round Entrepreneurs invited to the Final Round will interview with judges over email and on the phone. Depending on the promise and cost-effectiveness of a proposal, judges may award up to $20,000 in funding. The average D-Prize award size is $12,000.
Piloting Winning Ventures Besides direct funding, D-Prize can assist in helping your venture attract future funding if the pilot proves successful. We will also provide you access to the D-Prize network of past winners, and will do our best to support you in other ways.
First Round Judging Criteria
Judging Process All proposals will receive an initial read from at least two judges, and if advanced will receive up to two additional independent readings. We strive to send decisions within three weeks of your submission. Judges may request additional information via email before deciding.
Judging Criteria The D-Prize judging panel is composed of individuals with professional experience distributing life-changing technologies in the developing world. Contestants are evaluated based on:
Passion and potential for candidate’s success, as evident by their academic and professional background, relevant skills, and quick leadership trajectory.
Focus on distribution. Proposals must focus on distributing a proven poverty solution that needs greater access in the developing world.
Potential for scale, based on the organizational model proposed in the concept note and the entrepreneur’s desire to commit and grow.
Be succinct. Successful proposals are objective and to the point. Orient your proposal towards an educated judge who is relatively knowledgeable with the key issues.
Scale, impact, cost-effectiveness. Successful entrepreneurs will build a plausible case that their intervention is highly scalable, cost-effective, and will lead to enormous impact.
Keep within scope. The most successful startups have a narrow focus and avoid spending resources on too many areas. A tightly scoped idea will perform best in this competition.
First Round Proposal
Concept Note Please prepare a concept note which responds to the following prompts. Concept notes are limited to two pages . We do not read anything submitted that is longer than two pages. Our team is already familiar with D-Prize challenge topics at a macro level, so there is no need to provide a broad explanation of why this is an important problem to solve. For instance, including large statistics, such as the potential global market size, is not necessary.
How does your new organization or venture idea improve distribution of your selected intervention? We recommend writing:
- 2-3 sentences summarizing the main activities of your new organization. For example, you could walk us through step-by-step how you connect a proven intervention to people in need.
- Bullet points to further explain: - What are the main barriers that currently prevent people from accessing your proven intervention, specific to your pilot region? For example, one common barrier to accessing a product might be a high upfront cost.
- How does your distribution model specifically overcome these barriers?
- What is the most fundamental part of your new organization that you need to prove will work during this pilot program? (We think the purpose of a pilot is to test the fundamentals of your business / the basis of your value proposition on a small scale, and we want to know which part of your model you will focus on).
What is the expected impact of your work? We recommend writing:
- 1-2 sentences summarizing your marginal impact (ie, the impact you will make compared to the status quo) at a high level, and at a individual or household level. For example, your work might reduce the rates of HIV infections by X% countrywide; and for an individual, could save 7 DALYs (disability adjusted life years, which is a way to measure the cost effectiveness of a poverty intervention).
- Outcome table: Over the next 3 months, 1 year, and 2 years, how many proven interventions do you plan to distribute? And how many people will you directly help? We recommend sharing this as a simple table.
- 2-3 sentences summarizing a rough draft of how much money you need for your pilot program, and what the 3-5 major expenses are expected to be?
- 1 sentence summarizing your long-term vision for the new organization you will launch.
Who is your team? We recommend:
- A Table that lists: - All of the people on your team - Their job title responsibilities - Their location during the pilot - Any other professional commitments they have during the pilot - If not local to your operating region, please note any developing country experience and specifically, any time you’ve spent in the pilot region.
Resumes / CVs Please include a resume for each person on your team, limited to one page per person . Resumes should highlight the most relevant past leadership roles and accomplishments.
Additional Information Custom Challenge: are you submitting to a Custom Challenge category? If so:
When submitting, we will ask you to provide a URL link us to one website with credible evidence that supports your intervention.
We also recommend you include 1 additional page elaborating on your intervention, and citing evidence that it is proven and in need of greater distribution. Existing organizations: has your organization already launched? If so, we will ask you to include a summary of your activities since launching, and your current budget / income statement in the submission webform.
Ready to Apply?
Prepare your concept note and resume(s), and clearly name your files. Concept notes and resumes can be separate documents. Files must be PDF and are limited to a size of 4MB each.