Round 1 Application Packet
Competition Launched September 2019


This is an application packet for the global D-Prize competition. It explains the completion rules, process, and instructions on how to draft and submit your proposal.

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: October 20, 2019 at midnight PT (Pacific Time)

  • Regular submission deadline: November 10, 2019 at midnight PT

  • Extension deadline (limited to 200 people who register): December 1, 2019 midnight PT
    Register for an extension


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

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.



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: October 20, 2019 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: November 10, 2019 at midnight PT.

  • Extension deadline: December 10, 2019 at midnight PT. Extensions are limited to the first 200 people who register here.


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 startups 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 barriers preventing better distribution of your selected intervention in your pilot region? Be specific.

  • Concept: how does your distribution model overcome these barriers? We want to understand what your model looks like, and how you will implement. (This will be most of your concept note)

  • Goals: what success targets must you hit for you to be convinced your pilot is successful? A table with quantitative metrics is encouraged.

  • Future Growth: What reach does your organization have over the long term? (Consider discussing future goals, your fundraising plans, and additional staffing plans).

  • 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 webform.



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



Email the D-Prize team at help@d-prize.org.