Your Role

... become a member of a pioneering community of problem solvers!

Under the Startup America Policy Challenge, the federal government has challenged an enterprising public to help address some of the most pressing public issues. The ideas for administrative change that entrepreneurs in education, clean energy, and healthcare have offered through the Startup America Policy Challenge are your call to action.

Participating in this policy challenge is your response. By critically evaluating an idea and developing a viable and actionable plan of implementation, your proposal could potentially affect real administrative change that best enables the use of new technologies in the Department of Education, Department of Energy and Department of Health and Human Services to address real public issues.

Finalists will be invited to present their proposals to high-profile experts judges from government, industry and academia, as well as meet people who work every day to improve public service in the nation’s capitol. Winning teams may be able to meet with official(s) from the relevant agencies, and the winning plan(s) will be shared with the Cabinet Secretary from the relevant federal agency.

Competition Timeline

January 31st - Stage 1 begins (Register and start your proposal today!)
April 2nd (11:59 PM PST) - Short-form (two-page) proposals due
April 16th - Stage 2 begins
May 11th (11:59 PM PST) - Long-form proposals due
May 21st - The Finale in D.C., winner(s) announced (Register online today!)
May 22nd - Participatory Challenge Platforms Workshop (Register online today!)

Process of Participation

Stage 1: Short-Form (Two-Page) Proposal (Open Competition: January 31 – April 2, 2012)

Gather Contest Information: Peruse this website and the support tab, as well as contact your school or organizational liaison for more information about The Policy Challenge and short-form proposal.

Confirm Eligibility: Review the eligibility requirements and confirm that you are eligible to participate in The Policy Challenge.

Compose Team and Register to Participate: You may participate in The Policy Challenge as either an individual or a group. Teams may consist of up to four people from within or across disciplines, fields, and sectors. You are encouraged to form diverse teams. Sign-up your team to start the submission process.

Select Solution to Address: Review the Startup America Policy Challenge and all of the proposed ideas for administrative change that will best enable the use of new technologies in education, clean energy, and healthcare at the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Energy, and Department of Health and Human Services. Select which federal agency for which you wish to submit a proposal. Select either an idea already proposed through the Startup America Policy Challenge or propose an original idea for administrative change at the relevant federal agency that your team is interested in analyzing and developing into a viable implementation plan.

Review Short-Form Proposal Requirements: Review the submission requirements for the short-form (two-page) proposal and the judging criteria by which finalists will be selected and invited to participate in Stage 2.

Research and Draft Short-Form (Two-Page) Proposal: Research and develop your short-form proposal online here.

Submit Short-Form Proposal by April 2nd: Submit your final short-form proposal before midnight PST on April 2nd. Be sure to carefully review your final short-form proposal before submitting. Final submissions cannot be recalled.

Finalists Announced: Short-form proposal finalists will be announced during the week of April 16th and invited to participate in Stage 2.

Stage 2: Long-Form Proposal (Closed Finalist Competition: April 16 – May 11, 2012)

Determine Eligibility: Only finalist teams are eligible to participate in Stage 2. Teams selected as finalists from the short-form proposals will be contacted during the week of April 16th and invited to participate in Stage 2.

Review Long-Form Proposal Requirements: The long-form proposal content sections are the same as the short-form proposals. The long-form proposal is an opportunity to elaborate upon and refine your idea for administrative change at the federal level. Your proposal may be no longer than 10-pages double-spaced 12-point standard font (e.g., Times New Roman) plus up to five pages for appendices (e.g., references, figures, tables, etc.). Proposals must clearly demonstrate the feasibility, innovativeness and creativity, and potential impact and scale of your idea as well as offer a critical and realistic stakeholder and cost-benefit analysis. Please review the judging criteria by which the winner(s) will be selected and announced at The Finale. Do not submit your proposal online. Email your final proposal to Chase Gordon at chase.gordon@asu.edu no later than midnight on Friday, May 11, 2012.

Assess Reviews: During the week of April 16th, you will be provided with a summary of the judges' reviews of your proposal to help you assess the strengths and improvement areas of your short-form proposal, and determine where to focus your attention when elaborating your idea into a long-form proposal.

Consult Content Expert(s): You will be provided with a list of individuals from academia, industry, and government with considerable expertise and experience within your specific content area - education, clean energy, or healthcare - as well as public policy and administration, technology, and innovation. These individuals have volunteered themselves to be available to review your proposal and provide constructive feedback and guidance on how to best develop your ideas into a long-form proposal. Determine which content expert(s) are a good fit with your proposal and feel free to connect with them.

Research and Draft Long-Form Proposal: With the constructive feedback from your reviews and consultation with content expert(s) in mind, begin elaborating upon and refining your idea for administrative change at the federal level. A good proposal must exhibit critical, realistic, reliable, and relevant assessments and resources to support your idea. Feel free to reference the Support Wiki for additional guidance. We also encourge you to share your insights to the long-form proposal development process.

Register to Attend The Finale and Workshop: Finalist teams are invited to attend The Finale on May 21st and an all-day Participatory Challenge Platforms Workshop developed in collaboration with the National Science Foundation on May 22nd at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. At least one representative from each finalist team must attend to deliver their presentation on the afternoon of May 21st. Register here online to attend The Finale and Participatory Challenge Platforms Workshop as soon as possible and before Monday, May 14th.

Email Your Long-Form Proposal by April 11th: Email your final long-form proposal to chase.gordon@asu.edu no later than midnight PST on Friday, May 11, 2012. Do not submit your proposal online. Be sure to carefully review your proposal before final submission, ensuring that it addresses all of the submission content areas and judging criteria, meets the formatting requirements, and is free of sloppy formatting as well as spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors.

Prepare Your Presentation: At least one member of your team must present your proposal at The Finale in Washington, D.C. on May 22nd. You will be given 20 minutes (inclusive of Q&A) to present your idea to a panel of high-level expert judges and in front of attendees with considerable expertise and experience in education, clean energy, healthcare, public policy and administration, innovation and technology, and participatory challenge platforms from government, industry, and academia. The judging criteria will be applied to the presentations in addition to the written proposals and considered in the final evaluation and determination of the winning team(s). Email your anticipated presenation A/V needs to chase.gordon@asu.edu as soon as possible.

Present Your Proposal at The Finale on May 21st: At least one representative from each finalist team will deliver a presentation of their final long-form proposal to a panel of high-level expert judges and in front of attendees at The Finale in Washington, D.C. on the afternoon of May 21st. The winner(s) will be announced that evening at an awards reception.

Participate in the Workshop on May 22nd: You are welcome and encouraged to attend the all-day Participatory Challenge Platforms Workshop developed in collaboration with the National Science Foundation on May 22nd in Washington, D.C.