D-Prize Fund for Entrepreneurs: $20,000 in Funding

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D-Prize Challenge

D-Prize funds new entrepreneurs who increase access to proven poverty interventions.

The world has already invented ways to end poverty, yet the best interventions are not being distributed at mass-scale. Can you design a business or NGO that solves one of the Distribution Challenges below?

If selected, we will award you up to $20,000 to launch a pilot in any region where extreme poverty exists.

D-Prize Challenges

+ GIRL’S EDUCATION

Sugar Daddy Awareness Challenge:

14 million unintended teen pregnancies occur annually in sub-Saharan Africa, and girls are 5x more likely to be infected with HIV. A one-hour “sugar daddy awareness” class reduces these risks 28%. Can you teach “sugar daddy awareness” classes to girls in need?

Download the Sugar Daddy Awareness Challenge

+ AGRICULTURE

Quality Seed Challenge:

Farmers who plant poor quality seeds suffer from low crop yields. High quality seeds that have been naturally bred to mature quicker, resist drought, and fight disease can double yields. Can you distribute improved seeds to farmers within sub-Saharan Africa?

Download the Quality Seed Challenge

Fertilizer Challenge:

The world has invented a number of effective planting techniques proven to increase crop yield. For instance, micro-dosing fertilizer is a cost-effective method for applying fertilizer and ensuring higher crop yield. Can you teach smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa effective planting techniques?

Download the Fertilizer Challenge

Improved Farm Practices Challenge:

The world has invented a number of effective planting techniques proven to increase crop yield. For instance, micro-dosing fertilizer is a cost-effective method for applying fertilizer and ensuring higher crop yield. Can you teach smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa effective planting techniques?

Download the Improved Farm Practices Challenge

Custom Agriculture Challenge:

D-Prize is specifically interested in distributing proven agriculture interventions to smallholder farmers. If you know of a highly-effective intervention that is backed by credible evidence, we want to hear your plan to increase its distribution.

Download the Custom Agriculture Challenge

+ Energy

Solar Lamp Challenge:

600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa use kerosene lanterns to light their homes. Solar lamps are cheaper, cleaner, create cost savings, and increase household incomes by 30%. Can you sell solar lights to rural or slum-dwelling households in need?

Download the Solar Lamp Challenge

Cook Stove Challenge:

3 billion people cook on traditional stoves, which cause chronic smoke exposure and are the cause of 4% percent of the global disease burden. A $13 modern stove provides cost savings and health benefits. Can you sell cook stoves and maintain long-term adoption rates?

Download the Cook Stove Challenge

+ Global Health

Patient Identification Challenge:

Obstetric fistula, cervical cancer, club foot, and cataracts all have effective treatments. Yet identifying patients among large populations is difficult. Can you create a way to identify patients and connect them to early treatment solutions?

Download the Patient Identification Challenge

Maternal Health Challenge:

Misoprostol is a $3 drug that could prevent 100,000 maternal deaths from postpartum hemorrhaging. Can you develop an organization to train birth attendants to administer misoprostol?

Download the Maternal Health Challenge

VMMC Challenge:

The incidence of new HIV infections in many countries in Eastern and Southern Africa remains high. Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) can substantially reduce the risk of HIV acquisition for men, and can also reduce the risk of transmission of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) to the men’s partners. Can you develop an organization to identify candidates for VMMC and connect them to health facilities?

Download the VMMC Challenge

PMTCT Challenge:

HIV can be transmitted from pregnant women to their infants. A short round of antiretroviral therapy (ART) can substantially reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission. Can you prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV by helping HIV-positive pregnant women adhere to an ART regimen?

Download the PMTCT Challenge

Sayana® Press Challenge:

Many women in developing countries have an unmet need for contraception. Sayana® Press is an injectable contraceptive in a single-use package. Since the product is simple enough for community health workers or recipients themselves to administer, it may be particularly valuable for women who prefer injectable contraceptives but do not have regular access to health facilities. Can you train health providers on how to administer Sayana® Press?

Download the Sayana® Press Challenge

Immunization Challenge:

Millions of infants in developing countries do not receive the routine immunizations recommended by the World Health Organization. Increased immunization rates in low-coverage areas could prevent a large number of childhood deaths from preventable diseases. Can you direct 500 caregivers (parents or other guardians) to bring their infants to health facilities for routine immunizations that otherwise would not occur?

Download the Immunization Challenge

+ Education

Flipped Classroom Challenge:

By 2030 Africa will need to fill an impossible 4.1 million teaching positions. “Flipped classrooms” and deskilled curriculum can be run by a facilitator, and reduce the need for expert teachers. Can you implement an effective curriculum to teach students in a resource-limited classroom?

Download the Flipped Classroom Challenge

Student Testing Challenge:

In sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of children remain illiterate even after five years of school. Testing and public scorecards increase accountability in poor education systems. Can you launch an organization that tests student and school performance, and makes the information publicly available?

Download the Student Testing Challenge

+ Governance and Infrastructure

Transparency Challenge:

Public services in developing countries are rife with corruption. Public reporting and scorecards creates real accountability. Can you improve transparency and report data on the public service performance?

Download the Transparency Challenge

+ Custom

Propose your own challenge:

Propose your own challenge! If you know of another proven intervention in need of greater distribution, we would like to hear it. The only requirements are to choose an already proven poverty solution that is in need of distribution to more people in the developing world.

Download the Custom Challenge

Competition Rules

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.

Submission Policies

  • 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: November 19, 2017 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: December 10, 2017 at midnight PT.
  • Extension deadline: December 31, 2017 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.

Proposal Tips

  • 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 start-ups 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 three pages.

  • Introduction: please begin your concept note with a short 1-3 sentence summarizing your idea.
  • Problem: what are the most critical issues preventing better distribution of your selected intervention in your pilot region? Be specific.
  • Concept: what is your solution? How will your new pilot venture implement your solution?

We want to understand what you will do, and how you will do it in detail.

  • Goals: during your pilot, how many poverty interventions will you distribute during your pilot, at 6 months, and at 1 year? How many people will you help during your pilot, at 6 months, and at 1 year? (This can be a simple table).
  • Future Growth: explain your vision for scale. How do your operations grow through your first year? What additional staff will you require, and how have you funded your growing operations?
  • Team: list all the people on your team, their responsibilities, their location during the pilot, and the average hours per week they will commit to this venture. If not local to your operating region, please note any developing country experience.

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 web form.

Ready to Apply?

Proposal Instructions

  • Prepare your concept note and resume, and clearly name your files. Files must be PDF and are limited to a size of 4MB each.
  • Input your contact details and upload your documents to www.d-prize.org/submit

Questions?

Email the D-Prize team at help@d-prize.org. If you have questions, send an email to the D-Prize team at help@d-prize.org . Good luck!

  • Submission deadline for early decision round: November 19, 2017 at midnight PT (Pacific

Time)

  • Regular submission deadline: December 10, 2017 at midnight PT
  • Extension deadline (limited to 200 people who register): December 31, 2017 midnight PT

Register for an extension: www.d-prize.org/extension

Submit Concept Notes and Resumes to: www.d-prize.org/submit

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