Lumina Foundation Showcase Prize

Lumina Foundation Challenge ImageAs one of the leading higher education foundations in the United States, Lumina Foundation has a long history of investing in and supporting not-for-profits to improve postsecondary completion rates.  In 2009 Lumina Foundation announced Goal 2025; the aim of increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. To help achieve this lofty ambition and complement their current work, Lumina Foundation has launched the Lumina Foundation Showcase Prize to identify, recognize and showcase the best practices in social ventures working in, or closely aligned to, the higher education space.

This Challenge requires social ventures to submit a completed Application Form, outlining how their organization has a positive impact upon higher education in the United States, or how they could transfer their current practices to help reach Goal 2025. A preliminary judging panel will narrow entries down to a shortlist and Lumina will then invite three finalists to a live pitching event at the ASU GSV Summit from April 18-20, 2016 in San Diego, California. This includes a stipend for the finalists (covering the costs of travel, accommodation, and attendance at the event).

Beyond the award, this Showcase Challenge offers an opportunity for visibility and networking with industry leaders. Lumina Foundation has built many successful and long-lasting partnerships with not-for-profits, and they envisage this Showcase Challenge as a potential first step in developing similar relationships with leading social ventures.

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Challenge Overview

With a long history of supporting not-for-profits working in higher education, Lumina Foundation now wishes to expand and attract social ventures – firms or organizations that seek to provide systemic solutions to achieve sustainable social objectives that can help reach Goal 2025.

This Challenge is looking to showcase existing social ventures; those that have demonstrated results in U.S. higher education and could be scaled. The Challenge encourages proposals from social ventures that work in parallel industries providing they can show how to transfer their practices to higher education. The Challenge is open to businesses worldwide; however applications must show how their technique, business model or technology would be impactful within U.S higher education.

This is a Showcase Challenge that has the following unique features:

  • Solvers are required to download the Application Form located in the Challenge Attachments section (right hand side of this page) and submit a completed version. Only completed Application Forms will be considered for awards: supporting documents are optional but must be included with the submission.
  • Submission forwarding occurs during the Challenge. Since submissions will be forwarded to the Seeker throughout the Challenge, please make sure you upload only a finished Application Form. You can submit an updated version of your proposal only as a new submission. If you submit an updated version of your proposal, please clearly indicate the new items and/or edits compared to your previous submission. This will allow the Seeker to quickly find the new information and determine how it improves your submission.
  • There is a guaranteed award of $50,000. The Challenge award will be contingent upon firstly evaluation by a preliminary judging panel. Semi-finalists may be invited for interviews during the evaluation period, so please be available for a video conference or phone call if asked. Three finalists will be invited to a final event whereby two awards will be made. $25,000 will be awarded by the live event panel of judges and $25,000 will be decided through ‘crowd voting’. A single entity could potentially win both awards.
  • To receive an award, Solvers will not have to transfer, or license, their exclusive intellectual property (IP) rights to the Seeker. However by entering, you agree that the Seeker and its licensees, successors and assigns have the right to use the names, likenesses, voices and images of all persons listed in your Solution for future advertising, promotion and publicity in any manner and in any medium now known or hereafter devised throughout the world in perpetuity.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on Sunday, March 13, 2016. Late submissions will not be considered.

Receipt of an award is contingent upon successful completion of the InnoCentive verification process, and finalists must present at the event to be considered for either award.

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About the Seeker:

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina’s outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an equitable, accessible, responsive and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025. For more information on Lumina, visit: