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What is “Scaling Up Big Ideas”?

Since 2006, over 400 student teams have received recognition and funding through the Big Ideas Contest. After using Big Ideas awards to pilot and test innovations, Big Ideas alumni often are ready to scale their projects and move their ventures forward. “Scaling Up Big Ideas” is an opportunity for former winners to gain additional support in reaching additional communities, developing new solutions to related problems, or otherwise expanding the impact of their projects.

The Challenge

The challenge for this category is for previous Big Ideas award winners to (1) highlight key achievements or progress made in implementing their original winning project idea, (2) document lessons learned in initial implementation, and (3) describe plans to revise their venture’s design or scale up their model. For the purposes of this category, Scaling Up is defined as reaching a new geographic area or underserved population, or adding to the scope and/or services of the original project in the same geographic area.

Eligibility & Rules

The Scaling Up category is open to currently matriculated students or recent graduates (within the past three years) who previously won a Big Ideas award.

All teams considering applying to the Scaling Up category are strongly encouraged to schedule an advising appointment with a Big Ideas staff member.

  1. Teams that have won a Scaling Up award in the past are not eligible to reapply. However, teams that have reapplied to Scaling Up and did not receive an award are strongly encouraged to reapply.
  2. At least one member on the original Big Ideas winning submission must be on the current team applying under the Scaling Up category.
  3. The Team Lead (primary applicant) will be the main contact person for all Big Ideas communications and must be a matriculated student at an eligible campus at the time of the pre-proposal deadline. The Team Lead has final authority in determining prize disbursement options.
  4. Unlike participation in other Big Ideas categories, Scaling Up prizes are grants, not awards. Thus, there are a few minimum reporting requirements asked of winners of this category.
  5. Prizes will only be awarded for high-quality submissions. Decisions of the judges are final and not subject to appeal.

Scaling Up Application Requirements

Pre-proposal applicants must submit a single PDF document by Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 12:00pm noon, (PT). The pre-proposal must be no more than three pages (max. 1,600 words). References and citations are permitted in the pre-proposal round and are not included in the page limit. Appendices are not allowed in the pre-proposal round, but will be permitted in the final round if your team is selected to participate.

Pre-proposal entrants will be notified the mid-December (2017) if they have been selected as a finalist. Finalist teams will have the opportunity to develop and refine their pre-proposals into 10-15 page “full proposals” due on March 7, 2018 at 12:00 noon (PT).

Scaling Up pre-proposals are flexible in format and presentation, but should include the following elements:

  • List the name of the original project, the year it received a Big Ideas award, and a quick description of the original project idea.
  • Report on project progress since the time of the original award, and detail any milestones and accomplishments (e.g. number of people reached, products delivered, partnerships developed, additional funding secured, registering as a formal entity, employees hired, or social impact).
  • Key lessons learned and best practices, and if applicable, pivots or strategy revisions.
  • Primary goals and priorities for the 2018-2019 implementation year, and anticipated social impact.
  • Core team bios

Please note that Scaling Up full proposal round requirements are similar to pre-proposal round requirements, but teams will have the opportunity to also outline a detailed implementation plan and budget in the next phase of the contest. For additional information about timing and how to apply, please refer to the How to Apply page.

Scaling Up Judging Criteria

  1. Progress to Date: The extent to which the team made considerable and impressive progress or achievements since winning their initial Big Ideas award (40% of overall score).
  2. Adaptability: The extent to which the team addressed barriers, learned from mistakes, and adjusted their original model to be more effective (20% of overall score).
  3. Viability: The extent to which the scaling goals and priorities appear realistic, given the description, the team’s qualifications, and the team’s understanding of the market or community needs. (20% of overall score)
  4. Potential for Impact: The extent to which the scaling goals and priorities are likely to achieve large-scale social impact (20% of overall score).

Past Winners

PedalTap

PedalTap

Dost Education

Dost Education

Transcense – Seamless Deaf/hearing conversations (UC Berkeley)

Ava (formerly Transcense)

More Winners

Sponsor

The Blum Center for Developing Economies
The Blum Center links world-class faculty, inspiring new curriculum, and innovative technologies, services and business models to create real-world solutions for developing economies.