British Council #IdeasChangeLives Global Innovation Challenge 2019 (£20,000 Prize)

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British Council #IdeasChangeLives is the global innovation challenge to find digital solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems. British Council is looking for people with a fresh, entrepreneurial spirit and a big idea that has the potential to make a positive impact for communities across the globe.

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The winning pitch will get £20,000 to invest in their idea, as well as mentorship and support from the British Council for a full year.

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Focus for 2019

This year, British Council is looking for ideas that help us to meet any or all of the targets within one of the three Global Goals for Sustainable Development below:

Goal 4: Quality education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

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Goal 5: Gender equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

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Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

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Requirements

The competition is open to anyone and everyone across the world. You can choose to apply as an individual or an organisation.

British Council accept ‘early stage’ applications, meaning you don’t necessarily need a working prototype when you make your application.

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You don’t need to be working in the digital or technology sector to apply.

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To help, British Council recommend thinking carefully about the following before you apply:

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  • The need your idea addresses – be clear about which one of The Global Goals you are focusing on and the problem your idea could help to solve.
  • How people will benefit – tell us why your idea matters to the people it is designed for and how it has the potential to positively impact thousands of lives.
  • Why it’s compelling – we need to feel that you really care about making a difference so tell us the story behind your idea.
  • The competition – show us you have a clear understanding and awareness of any competitors who may be working on similar products and tell us why your idea is different.
  • The tools and resources needed to turn it into a product – it doesn’t matter if you haven’t worked with technology before. What does matter is a clear understanding of how your idea will work in the real world.

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Benefits

Funding to get your idea off the ground

£20,000 in prize money to develop your product, no matter what stage you’re at.

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Support to help you succeed

British Council team of digital experts will help you to develop your idea at your own pace. We’ll give you the opportunity to connect with others and develop further partnerships through access to global networks, events and sector expertise.

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Timeline

The competition will close on 10 January 2020

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In February 2020, we will announce our shortlisted applicants. They will be asked to make a short video and develop a business model to showcase their idea.

In March 2020, we will announce our finalists who will then be interviewed by our judging panel. The panel will be made up of industry experts and representatives from the British Council’s Digital, Partnerships and Innovation team.  

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Competition winners will be announced in March 2020.

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