The Challenge

Inclusive innovators aren’t just changing the game – they’re changing the world.

MIT is accelerating the best future of work solutions on the planet.

Categories

The IIC awards over one million dollars in prizes to future of work entrepreneurs in four categories that holistically represent the solution types necessary to build an economy that works for all in the digital era.

Skills Development & Opportunity Matching

How do we skill workers and provide pathways to the work opportunities of the future?

How do we better connect workers and employers?

How do we ensure that workers earn sufficient and growing incomes to achieve satisfactory quality of life and living standards?

How do we reimagine struggling industries and create new opportunities for work?

How do we connect more people with internet and technology access, regardless of age, location, education, or ability?

How do we ensure financial security and stability for more people?

How do we enable more people to access the benefits of financial services?

Skills Development & Opportunity Matching

How do we skill workers and provide pathways to the work opportunities of the future?

How do we better connect workers and employers?

Income Growth & Job Creation

How do we ensure that workers earn sufficient and growing incomes to achieve satisfactory quality of life and living standards?

How do we reimagine struggling industries and create new opportunities for work?

Technology Access

How do we connect more people with internet and technology access, regardless of age, location, education, or ability?

Financial Inclusion

How do we ensure financial security and stability for more people?

How do we enable more people to access the benefits of financial services?

Who Should Apply?

MIT seeks start-ups and entrepreneurial organizations of any age, size, or type (for-profit or non-profit), located anywhere in the world that are creating economic opportunity for moderate and low income earners.

Does your organization’s use of technology substantially improve economic prosperity for working people?

Is your organization beyond the “idea phase,” already impacting and enhancing shared prosperity right now?

Will your organization’s solution impact more people and increase in effectiveness over time?

Application

Experts will score and comment on submissions that satisfy the guidelines below. To be considered for an IIC Prize, you will be asked to answer the following application questions.

  1. Quick Pitch (25)

    Provide a clear and succinct explanation of your organization’s approach to empowering people who seek to work and financially thrive in the digital economy.

  2. Provide a summary of the future of work challenge that you are committed to solving and your solution.

  3. What is your organization’s vision? Why is this vision bold, innovative, and transformative in its approach to shaping our economic destiny? What will your organization have achieved five years from now?

  4. Describe your organization’s business strategy and solution. How do you address the challenge that you described above? How is your organization positioned to scale?

  5. Discuss the people that your organization empowers to engage and work in the digital economy. Who are these people and why have they previously been excluded from the digital economy?

  6. How many people has your organization enabled to experience increased economic prosperity? To what degree have you improved the prosperity of this population? Make sure that you provide specific and quantifiable evidence in response to these questions.

  7. What is your competitive advantage over your competitors? Describe these other organizations that address the same future of work challenge.

  8. What internal and external risks does your organization face? How do you intend to manage them?

  9. Who founded your organization? What path led him/her/they to found the company? What is his/her/their founder(s) story? Is the original founder still leading the organization? If not, who is?

  10. Describe your organization, where it is based, and where it operates. If your organization is based and operates in different locations, describe why this is the case and how this aligns with your organizational structure. Why is your organization uniquely positioned to successfully achieve your mission?

  11. How does your organization leverage technology to engage people in our rapidly evolving digital economy? To what degree is this technology currently implemented at your organization? What are your plans for further implementation?

  12. Explain why and how you are positioned for long-term financial stability and expansion. Briefly describe your business model. (If you are a for-profit organization, what is your revenue generation model? If you are a non-profit organization, what is your source of cash flow, if not solely grants?)

  13. What metrics do you use to measure your success? What are your organization’s top three goals over the next year?

  14. If you are named a Regional Finalist, how will your organization spend the prize money and leverage the recognition to accelerate your solution? Please be specific. i.e. What type and how many personnel might you hire? What investments might you make in technology? How might you allocate funding toward marketing?

  15. List previous awards received by your organization as well as any major press coverage you have received. How has your organization leveraged this recognition?

  16. If there is any other information you would like the Judges to consider, please include it here.

Process & Metrics

All valid applications are reviewed by Judges in their respective region, and the top-scoring 60 Regional Finalists proceed to regional celebrations, where they pitch their solutions to a live audience.

Twenty Regional Winners are chosen by a Selection Panel of regional leaders at the five regional events (four winners from each region). These 20 organizations then proceed to the Global Grand Prize Gala at MIT in Cambridge, MA on November 21. The Global Champion Committee selects the four Grand Prize Winners, each receiving $250,000.

Vision

Does the organization’s solution have the potential to transform the future of work for middle and low income earners?
Dull Bold
0-1: Showed little potential to transform the future of work for middle and low income earners
1-2: Offered some potential to transform the future of work, but the evidence is unconvincing for middle and low income earners
2-3: Provided a clear path to improve the future of work for middle and low income earners
3-4: Delivered a compelling path to transform the future of work for middle and low income earners
4-5: Stands to revolutionize the future of work for middle and low income earners
4-5: Stands to revolutionize the future of work for middle and low income earners
Does the organization substantially improve economic opportunity for middle and low income earners?
Dull Bold
0-1: Showed little or no evidence of improving economic opportunity for middle and low income earners
1-2: Offered some evidence of improving economic opportunity, but the evidence is unconvincing for middle and low income earners
2-3: Provided clear evidence of improving economic opportunity for middle and low income earners
3-4: Delivered compelling evidence of improving of economic opportunity for middle and low income earners
4-5: Substantially improves economic opportunity for middle and low income earners
4-5: Substantially improves economic opportunity for middle and low income earners
Does the organization enable more people, especially those in socially disadvantaged groups (based on race, gender, age, socioeconomic status), to be included in the digital economy?
Dull Bold
0-1: Showed little evidence of including disadvantaged people in the digital economy
1-2: Offered some evidence of including disadvantaged people in the digital economy
2-3: Provided clear evidence of including disadvantaged people in the digital economy
3-4: Delivered compelling evidence of including disadvantaged people in the digital economy
4-5: Stands as a model of economic inclusion of disadvantaged people in the digital economy
4-5: Stands as a model of economic inclusion of disadvantaged people in the digital economy
Will the organization’s model benefit more workers and increase in effectiveness over time?
Dull Bold
0-1: Showed little ability to benefit more workers and increase in effectiveness over time
1-2: Offered some evidence of a model that will benefit more workers and increase in effectiveness over time
2-3: Provided clear evidence of a model that will benefit more workers and increase in effectiveness over time
3-4: Delivered compelling evidence a model that will benefit more workers and increase in effectiveness over time
4-5: Stands to benefit more workers and dramatically increase effectiveness over time
4-5: Stands to benefit more workers and dramatically increase effectiveness over time
Does the organization’s solution have the potential to transform the future of work for middle and low income earners?
Boring Bold
0-1: Showed little potential to transform the future of work for middle and low income earners
1-2: Offered some potential to transform the future of work, but the evidence is unconvincing for middle and low income earners
2-3: Provided a clear path to improve the future of work for middle and low income earners
3-4: Delivered a compelling path to transform the future of work for middle and low income earners
4-5: Stands to revolutionize the future of work for middle and low income earners
4-5: Stands to revolutionize the future of work for middle and low income earners
Does the organization substantially improve economic opportunity for middle and low income earners?
Trivial Conclusive
0-1: Showed little or no evidence of improving economic opportunity for middle and low income earners
1-2: Offered some evidence of improving economic opportunity, but the evidence is unconvincing for middle and low income earners
2-3: Provided clear evidence of improving economic opportunity for middle and low income earners
3-4: Delivered compelling evidence of improving of economic opportunity for middle and low income earners
4-5: Substantially improves economic opportunity for middle and low income earners
4-5: Substantially improves economic opportunity for middle and low income earners
Does the organization enable more people, especially those in socially disadvantaged groups (based on race, gender, age, socioeconomic status), to be included in the digital economy?
Limited Extensive
0-1: Showed little evidence of including disadvantaged people in the digital economy
1-2: Offered some evidence of including disadvantaged people in the digital economy
2-3: Provided clear evidence of including disadvantaged people in the digital economy
3-4: Delivered compelling evidence of including disadvantaged people in the digital economy
4-5: Stands as a model of economic inclusion of disadvantaged people in the digital economy
4-5: Stands as a model of economic inclusion of disadvantaged people in the digital economy
Will the organization’s model benefit more workers and increase in effectiveness over time?
Fixed Expansive
0-1: Showed little ability to benefit more workers and increase in effectiveness over time
1-2: Offered some evidence of a model that will benefit more workers and increase in effectiveness over time
2-3: Provided clear evidence of a model that will benefit more workers and increase in effectiveness over time
3-4: Delivered compelling evidence a model that will benefit more workers and increase in effectiveness over time
4-5: Stands to benefit more workers and dramatically increase effectiveness over time
4-5: Stands to benefit more workers and dramatically increase effectiveness over time

FAQs

  • My organization is impacting workers in multiple regions. How do I select the region in which to apply?

    You are encouraged to select a region where your work is having the greatest impact. If you are unable to select a region based on this criteria, select the region where your organization is headquartered geographically.

  • No. Applicants must select one region in which to apply.

  • No. You must select one category. However, the IIC organizing team reserves the right to present you with an award in a different category than the one you originally selected.

  • No. The IIC is open to for-profit and nonprofit organizations only.

  • Once registration has closed on May 9, registrants will have until May 23 to complete and submit their applications.

  • The IIC cannot accept applications from organizations that did not complete the online registration process. Applications not completed and submitted by the application deadline will also not be accepted.

  • All answers must be written in English.

  • Before submitting your application, you can easily change the region or award category your organization is applying in within the application portal. If you need to change your region or award category after you have submitted your application, contact us at iic@mit.edu.

  • Your answers to the “Your Quick Pitch” and “Your Executive Summary” application questions may be shared publicly.

  • Yes. All IIC Regional Winners must submit a three minute (maximum) video that explains their organization’s solution and impact. The video will be used by the Champion Committee to help determine the four Global Grand Prize Winners.

  • We expect that the prize money will be invested in the organization, but we do not have any stringent guidelines.