MIT Solve announces 2021 global challenges

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On March 1, MIT Solve launched its 2021 Global Challenges, with over $1.5 million in prize funding available to innovators worldwide.

Solve seeks tech-based solutions from social entrepreneurs around the world that address five challenges. Anyone, anywhere can apply to address the challenges by the June 16 deadline. Solve also announced Eric Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom, and Karlie Kloss, founder and CEO of Kode with Klossy, as 2021 Challenge Ambassadors. 

To help with the challenge application process, Solve runs a course with MITx entitled “Business and Impact Planning for Social Enterprises,” which introduces core business model and theory-of-change concepts to early stage entrepreneurs. 

Finalists will be invited to attend Solve Challenge Finals on Sept. 19 in New York during U.N. General Assembly week. At the event, they will pitch their solutions to Solve’s Challenge Leadership Groups, judging panels comprised of industry leaders and MIT faculty. The judges will select the most promising solutions as Solver teams.

“After a year of turmoil, including a major threat to our collective health, disruption in schooling, lack of access to digital connectivity and meaningful work, a reckoning in the U.S. after centuries of institutionalized racism, or worsening natural hazards — supporting diverse innovators who are solving these challenges is more urgent than ever,” says Alex Amouyel, executive director of MIT Solve. “Solve is committed to bolstering communities in the U.S. and across the world by supporting innovators who are addressing our 2021 Global Challenges — wherever they are — through funding, mentorship, and an MIT-backed community. Whether you’re a prospective Solve partner or applicant, we hope you’ll join us!” 

Solver teams participate in a nine-month program that connects them to the resources they need to scale. Thanks to its partners, to date Solve has provided over $40 million in commitments for Solver teams and entrepreneurs.

Solve’s challenge design process collects insights and ideas from industry leaders, MIT faculty, and local community voices alike. 

Solve’s 2021 Global Challenges are:

Funders include the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, General Motors, Comcast NBCUniversal, Vodafone Americas Foundation, HP, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, American Student Assistance, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Andan Foundation, Good Energies Foundation and the Elevate Prize Foundation. The Solve community will convene at Virtual Solve at MIT on May 3-4 with 2020 Solver teams, Solve members, and partners to build partnerships and tackle global challenges in real-time. 

As a marketplace for social impact innovation, Solve’s mission is to solve world challenges. Solve finds promising tech-based social entrepreneurs around the world, then brings together MIT’s innovation ecosystem and a community of members to fund and support these entrepreneurs to help scale their impact. Organizations interested in joining the Solve community can learn more and apply for membership here.

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