3 Interesting Innovation Competitions

In a recent set of tweets, I commented on the growing number of innovation competitions.  A number of you responded by sending me a list of competitions that you found interesting.  If you have more competitions, post them as comments below or send them via email.  Given the challenges that are facing us as a society, getting the collective intelligence, creativity and sheer human ingenuity engaged is critical.  Do you think innovation competitions are the best way to attach problems??  If not via competitions, then how would you engage the most creative members of society?

innovation competitions

Here is an initial list of three of the most interesting innovation competitions sent in from readers.


apps4africa innovation competition Technology is transforming the African continent. In East Africa alone there are 50 million mobile phone subscribers and an increasing number of mobile web users. Across the region, the number of IT graduates and tech entrepreneurs is exploding, providing new opportunities to foster social and economic growth.   Apps 4 Africa is a contest to highlight the talent of local developers in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania and to leverage the power of digital technology to make a better world. The challenge is to build the best digital tools to address community challenges in areas ranging from healthcare to education and government transparency to election monitoring.  Deadline: 8/31/2010 [Link]


Veterans Affair Innovation Initiative

VA Innovation ContestSecretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the opening of the Industry Innovation Competition by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the most recent effort under the VA Innovation Initiative. With this $80 million competition, VA seeks the best ideas from the private sector to address the department's most important challenges.  The VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2) is a department-wide program that brings the most promising innovations to VA's most important challenges by involving employees and the private sector in the creation of visionary solutions in service to Veterans. Deadline: 9/30/2010  [Link]

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The Community Tool Box
Innovation Competition - Out-Of-The-Box

The Community Tool Box will honor innovative approaches to promoting community health and development worldwide with the 2010 Out of the Box Prize. We invite you to enter and encourage you to share contest information with others doing innovative work to improve life in their communities anywhere in the world. Your group’s work may involve efforts to improve community health, education, urban or rural development, poverty, the environment, social justice, or other related issues of importance to communities. Applicants must be willing to share the group’s innovative and promising approach with others. Grand Prize: $5,000 cash award (USD) + free customized WorkStation for your group (value $2,100)   Deadline: 10/31/2010  [Link]

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0 thoughts on “3 Interesting Innovation Competitions

  1. Great post! Also, I would check out the recently launched…GE ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid. This is one of the largest, if not the largest, Open Innovation challenge in history. The Challenge puts $200 million allocated by GE, Kleiner Perkins, Foundation Capital, and other leading Green Tech investors to the implementaton of top ideas.


  2. The X-prize is a fantastic example of a competition resulting in innovation that could potentially impact millions.

    The thing is the prize does have to be substantial enough to be commercially worthwhile.

  3. MicroPact, a leading provider of BPM and case management software has just launched the MicroPact Innovation Challenge Program. This program enables participants to propose new business applications to be built on the entellitrak platform. Selected proposals will be built and marketed by MicroPact, and the inventors may earn up to 20% of license revenue associated with their idea. http://www.micropact.com/innovation