The Innovation Challenge in India supports’s vision of a connected world by recognizing those who are working to make the internet more relevant to women, students, farmers and migrant workers in India. Our goal with this challenge is to encourage the development of apps, websites and online services that provide real value for the members of these important communities.
One Innovation Challenge Award prize in the amount of $250,000 USD will be presented to the app, website or service that the judges determine best meets the needs of one of the four designated population categories: women, students, farmers and migrant workers (four awards total). Each of the Innovation Challenge Award winners will also be eligible to receive a package of tools and services worth up to $60,000 USD from Facebook’s FbStart program.
In addition, two apps, websites or services designed for each of the four specified population categories will receive an Impact Award prize in the amount of $25,000 USD (eight awards total).
All entries must be received by January 31, 2015. Winners will be announced at Mobile World Congress, which will take place during the first week of March 2015.
Please be sure to review the Innovation Challenge rules carefully before entering. Download the PDF or request a copy by emailing [email protected]. A signed copy of the rules must accompany your entry.
Your entry should include:
  • The full legal name, mailing address and phone number of the individual, organization or group submitting the app, website or service. If you’re submitting as an organization or group, also include the name, email and phone number of a contact person.
  • A project brief (summary) that includes: team background, project goals, target audience and size, and plans for rollout and language support. You may also include screenshots or other images of your project in your summary, if applicable. The summary should be no longer than 2,000 words, and can be submitted either in the body of your email, or as a link or attachment.
  • App installation and usage files (attached or as a separate URL), along with instructions for installation and usage, if necessary.
  • A signed copy of the Challenge rules, as an attachment.
  • Optional: You may also choose to submit a video about your project. Your video should be no longer than 5 minutes and must be included as a link (no attachments).
To apply, please email all of the above materials to [email protected].
1. Who is eligible to participate?
Individuals, organizations, and groups around the world are eligible to participate so long as their applications, websites or services are designed to meet the needs of Indian women, students, farmers and/or migrant workers. (Note: Residents of countries where the United States has trade restrictions will not be eligible. See rules for details.)
2. Does it matter what platform I’m using to develop my app?
You may develop your app, website or service on any platform, so long as it will work on a mobile phone. Keep in mind that the platform you choose will affect your application’s potential reach and this will be factored into the judging (mobile web is more widely available than iOS, for example). If you’re looking for a hosting platform, Parse offers application tools and limited hosting free of charge.
3. What if my app isn’t in English?
Your entry and all accompanying materials need to be in English, but the app, website or service itself can be in any language. We encourage you to to provide local and multilingual support.
4. Does my app have to be finished?
Your app, website or service must be in a working state, not simply a prototype. If it isn’t already publicly available, be sure to include the timeline for public launch as part of your entry.
5. Who are the judges?
A diverse global panel of technology leaders will be judging the competition:
  • Dr. Avneesh Agrawal, President, Qualcomm India & South Asia
  • Arun Bansal, SVP & Head of Radio, Ericsson
  • Chris Daniels, VP,
  • Ameet Suri, Partnerships Manager,
  • Raj Talluri, SVP of Product Management, Qualcomm
6. How will you choose the winners?
Entries will be judged based on innovation, impact, scalability and launch-readiness.
  • Innovation: How original, groundbreaking or creative is the app, website or service?
  • Impact: Will the app, website or service impact numerous lives in meaningful ways?
  • Scalability: Does the app, website or service scale technically? What percentage of the designated population will it reach? Is the content localized? Is multilingual support available?
  • Launch-readiness: How soon will the app, website or service be publicly available, beyond prototypes and limited trials, if it isn’t already? If it’s already publicly available, how stable and consistent is its performance?
Selection of winners will take place at the judges’ sole discretion.
7. How will winners be notified?
Winners will be contacted by email in late February, approximately one week before the public announcement. Due to the large volume of submissions we’re anticipating, only winners will be notified once selection has taken place.
8. Can I enter more than once?
If you have more than one app, website or service that serves the needs of one of the designated populations, you may absolutely enter more than once. However, a maximum of one prize will be awarded to each individual, group or organization.
9. What if I have more questions?
Please review the complete Challenge rules, which contain additional information not covered by this FAQ. If you still have questions, you can reach us at [email protected].
10. How can I get up-to-date info about the Innovation Challenge?
We’d love to email you the latest news about the Innovation Challenge! To subscribe to receive updates, email [email protected].