Brightidea’s BrightWorks Platform Powering 2015 Rathmann Innovation Challenge
What is the point of innovation? Simply to break new ground because we can? Some might argue that’s as good a goal as any, but innovation is probably best applied to improving the human condition – at least, that’s the point of the Rathmann Challenge, which aims to inspire innovators to change the world by rewarding big ideas.
So it made sense for Rathmann to partner with Brightidea and use our innovation platform, BrightWorks, to harness these ideas – because our mission goes beyond providing solutions for companies and organizations seeking a more efficient innovation process. We, too, seek to help advance people-powered ideas that will make the world a better place.
Our collaborative software, in conjunction with next generation architecture, will streamline the lengthy and multi-step application review process, allowing the greatest time and attention to be focused where it belongs: on the ideas submitted by innovative applicants.
About the Challenge
The chief project of the Rathmann Innovation Center, the Rathmann Challenge awards up to $300,000 to one winning organization – $100,000 for a past outstanding idea, and with it the possibility of $200,000 to pursue an Even Bigger Idea – all within an annually rotating theme (science, technology, arts, education, environment, health, human services, public affairs and international aid).
This year’s Rathmann Challenge asks applicants to focus on “Provisions for Personal Necessities in Preparation for Learning.” The goal is to “assist educators in addressing issues which interfere with PreK – 12 students’ ability to be fully present in the classroom.”
These needs include obvious items like classroom supplies, but also less obvious (but equally crucial) basic personal necessities like food, clothing and shelter, as well as health- and legal-related needs – the absence of which can put debilitating stress on students.
U.S.-based, legally-formed organizations are eligible to submit an application outlining past work, including an Even Bigger Idea aimed at improving the ability of students to be fully present in the classroom.
Each year one grant of $100,000 will be awarded based on past accomplishments, with a potential additional $200,000 to bring an Even Bigger Idea to fruition over the following two years. This Even Bigger Idea can be something new (still within the above-mentioned theme), or build upon past ideas that fit the theme’s criteria.
The application process is open from January 5, 2015 through February 12, 2015, or until 200 applications are received.
As the Rathmann Challenge awards past accomplishments, innovators should take note that next year’s challenge will be focused on “Environment – Managing and Harnessing the Data.” Get to work now on creating next year’s “past” in the present, as well as applying to this year’s challenge as part of the Rathmann Innovation Center’s effort to make great ideas a reality. You never know – the next Even Bigger Idea could be your own!