MIT Solve Global Challenge 2018

Deadline: July 01, 2018

Solve is a global community of private, public, and nonprofit leaders accelerating positive impact. Solve — MIT’s initiative that brings together problem-solvers of all stripes to tackle the world’s pressing problems — has four new global challenges for 2018: Coastal Communities, Frontlines of Health, Teachers and Educators, and Work of the Future.

Solve’s challenges are open to anyone with a relevant solution and the deadline to submit is July 1. Once the new Solver class is selected in September, Solve will then deploy its global community of private, public, and nonprofit leaders to form partnerships these tech entrepreneurs need to scale their impact.

Solve at MIT is our flagship annual event held on the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA, bringing together over 300 leaders from the tech industry, business, philanthropy, government, and civil society. Solvers and their solutions will be featured on stage, in online and written materials, and through dedicated challenge workshops. Solve staff will continue supporting the Solver class to match-make partnerships with our community members who will help make Solver solutions a reality.

The Challenges

  1. Coastal Communities: How can coastal communities mitigate and adapt to climate change while developing and prospering?
  2. Frontlines of Health: How can communities invest in frontline
    health workers and services to improve their access to effective and affordable care?
  3. Teachers and Educators: How can teachers and educators provide accessible, personalized, and creative learning experiences for all?
  4. Work of the Future: How can those left behind by the technology-driven transformations of work create meaningful and prosperous livelihoods for themselves?


Once the solutions are selected to be part of the Solver class, those teams will gain access to everyone in our community from other members of the Solver cohort, to Solve staff, to MIT faculty, to leaders from the tech industry, business, philanthropy, government, and civil society.*

Solve will work with you to provide:

  • Partnerships: Solve Staff help match-make between Solvers and leaders from the tech industry, business, philanthropy, government, and civil society who are seeking partnerships to implement innovative, scalable ideas.
  • Events: Solvers receive exclusive access to Solve’s year-round events including Solve at MIT, panel discussions, ideation and design thinking workshops, and more.
  • Hot Desks: Solve provides “hot desk” office space on the MIT campus for Solvers to work from while they foster partnerships across the MIT campus and Boston area.
  • Portfolios: Solve staff works with selected Solvers to create industry-standard profiles ready to be disseminated to potential investors, advisors, distributors, and more.
  • Peer-to-Peer Networking: Solvers can connect with other social entrepreneurs across the Solve community to get peer-to-peer feedback on accomplishments, roadblocks, best practices, and lessons learned.

What type of solutions will Solve accept?

Optimistic solutions. Innovative solutions. Human-centered solutions. Tech solutions. Solutions that need partnerships across industry.

Solve considers solutions at all stages of development:

  • Idea: We welcome you to submit your solution to participate in the discussion, but please note that solutions that are still only at the concept stage are unlikely to be selected. You have until the submission deadline to prototype and experiment with your idea!
  • Prototype: A venture building and testing its product, service, or business model. Typically described as “Pre-Seed” if For Profit.
  • Pilot: An enterprise deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community. Hybrids and For Profits would typically be in a “Seed” round and generating revenue (whether or not they are cash flow positive).
  • Growth: An enterprise with an established product, service, or business model rolled out, which is poised for further growth in multiple communities or countries. Organizations at this stage should have a clear path to sustainability. For Profits at this stage would be “Seed” or “Series A.”
  • Scale: A sustainable enterprise working in several communities or countries and that is looking to scale significantly, focusing on increased efficiency. For Profits in this stage would be “Series A” or “Series B.”

The most important thing is that your solution will solve the Challenge posed. And, we’re MIT! So, every solution must include technology — whether new or existing — as a key component.

How will my solution be evaluated?

The judges are experts and leaders from across industries. We’ll announce who the judges are within each challenge.

In the first round, Solve staff will perform an initial screening of all applications for completeness, for coherency, and for whether the solution appropriately addresses the challenge. Then our judges will score the screened applications to determine finalists. Here are the criteria the judges will use to score the applications on the website:

  • Alignment: The solution addresses the challenge that has been set forth using technology.
  • Potential for Impact: The planned implementation of the solution has the potential to impact lives.
  • Scalability: The solution can be grown and scaled to affect the lives of more people.
  • Feasibility: It is feasible to implement the solution, and the team has a plan for the solution to sustain itself financially.
  • Innovative Approach: This is a new technology, a new application of a technology, a new business model, or a new process for solving the challenge

In the second round, each finalist will pitch before the challenge judges and a live audience. The judges will determine which solutions are the most promising. This new Solver class will receive support and partnership from the Solve community.

Deadline: July 01, 2018

Submit a solution now

For more information, please visit the official website of the MIT Solve Global Challenge


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