Thursday, May 1, 2008

More Contests Spurring Tech Innovation

Following up on my last post about the X-Prize, I wanted to point out three more contests that are improving technology (this is in the same vein as the WB Development Marketplace, and others like it).

1. Keen Footwear's Stand Up Out For contest:

Keen's Stand For winner, Brian Bell, plans to melt Haiti's ubiquitous plastic trash and transform it into footwear for kids (source: Robert Gottofrey)

Recently Keen released profiles of their Stand contest winners. For each of the categories, entrants had to provide a write-up of their idea for "changing the world," a budget, and a personal statement about who they were and why they deserved the prize. In return, they won US$25,000 to implement their visions. Probably the ones I am most interested in are the engineer who plans to recycle plastic trash collected from the roadsides in Haiti to be converted into footwear (croc-like??); and to a lesser extent (only because its not very original) in another engineer who will be using her prize money to build water pipelines in Kenya.

2. Dell's Regeneration Green Computing Challenge:

The Lawn PC, one of five finalists from Dell's Regeneration challenge (source:

You've all probably heard about toll e-waste (electronic waste) is taking on the developing world. Most of the toxic e-waste from the developed world ends up in landfills in the poorer parts of the world. So Dell decided to take responsibility and run a contest for greener design. As of a few days ago, Five finalists have been chosen and its upto you to vote for your favorite. Computers, with One Laptop per Child (OLPC) and others, are changing the world and continue to break down a lot of education barriers in the developing world. Green computing will improve access to the electronic world and education in the developing world, without increasing the damage that has already been done. Very important.

3.'s Inspired Innovations Great Idea Contest:

Unlike the rest, this is still running. If you have an idea that will change the world, submit it here and you'll get some cash, venture funding, and other resources to make your dream come true. HURRY, applications are due May 9th. According to their website, here's what the contest is about:

Let us hear about your great idea. Give your submission a headline that describes your idea in brief, and then tell us about your innovation in an essay, being sure to include:

A thorough description of the idea -- Is it a product, a service, an enhancement to something that exists already? The market it serves -- Who is the target market and what need does the idea serve so well?

Be creative in your submission -- sell us on why your idea is truly innovative.

Note: We recommend you create your submission in a word-processing program prior to submitting. Each submission should be no longer than 5,000 characters with spaces. After reviewing and editing your essay, you can cut and paste it into the form below.

Related Posts:
Playpump International

The Development Marketplace and other social competitions/conferences

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