Designing Solutions for Poverty Award – up to $10K in cash and development


The UCI Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation focuses on understanding and acting on global poverty. The 2nd annual Designing Solutions for Poverty Award builds on the Spring 2015 competition to engage the campus in submitting proposals of a design or technology-based solution with the capacity to be applied to a real world, poverty-related problem, in areas such as financial inclusion, energy, water, health, and services. The competition is now structured within the Business Plan Competition at the Paul Merage School of Business, in collaboration with Blackstone LaunchPad and UCI Applied Innovation.

In order to be eligible for the Designing Solutions for Poverty Award, your team must go through the regular Merage Business Plan Competition phases. Opt-in to be considered for the award at the time that you submit your Concept Paper. Submissions in all four competition tracks will be considered for the award.

Judging Criteria & Award:

The award will go the team that best connects an innovative and sustainable solution to a poverty-related social challenge.

The Concept Paper and Presentation will be judged by a separate panel of judges on the following criteria:

  • INNOVATION: The extent to which the idea presented is a novel, innovative, or creative solution for the proposed problem. (40% of overall score)
  • POTENTIAL FOR IMPACT: The extent to which the proposed project addresses a pressing problem, and the extent to which your team provides sufficient statistics and research for the reader to understand the problem. (20% of overall score)
  • VIABILITY: The extent to which the proposed project appears viable, given the project description, the team’s qualifications, and the team’s understanding of the market or community needs. (15% of overall score)
  • SUSTAINABILITY: The extent to which the proposed product or service can be financially sustained. (15% of overall score)
  • QUALITY: The extent to which the proposal is professional, persuasive, well written, and well organized. (10% of overall score)

The winning team will receive a $10,000 award, sponsored by Paul & Dimple Dhillon. The award is comprised of $1,000 cash and with the opportunity to secure an additional $9,000 to be used for equity towards further development.