D-Prize Social Venture Competition


There are proven ideas to alleviate poverty all across the globe. Can you distribute them to the people most in need?

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is proud to be a member of The New York University Reynolds/D-Prize Global Social Venture Competition Consortium. Cutting-edge universities around the world have joined together to conduct their own intra-school competitions and support their students' efforts to scale sustainable, proven poverty solutions in the developing world. The consortium does more than provide students a chance to launch a world changing venture. It also pools university resources, encourages shared value and curriculum, and multiplies the power of each university.

From vaccines to classroom tools to cook stoves, society has already invented effective poverty solutions. But these solutions often fail to reach the people who actually need them. If you are a NTU student with an idea to increase access to a proven poverty solution, this is the opportunity for you. Pitch your idea to solve one of the D-Prize challenges listed here, or propose your own challenge, along with your plan to implement your idea with a new sustainable, scalable social venture. If selected, we will award up to US$10,000 to pilot your new venture in a developing region this summer.

Learn more about eligibility, how to get started, the challenges and the competition timeline below.



How to Participate

Step 1: Review the D-Prize challenges. We have already identified several proven poverty solutions that suffer from distribution challenges. These challenges will give you a framework for designing a new social venture or refining an existing one.

Step 2: Design your social venture. Choose the challenge that most inspires you, or propose your own. The application packet has more information on what to design and instructions for how to submit your proposal. You can participate in three global webinars with students from all consortium institutions, and refer to the guidance and tips listed in this webpage.

Step 3: Submit your concept note by 11 February 2018. Refer to the application packet​ for guidelines and submission details. After reviewing concept notes, judges will invite the most promising entrepreneurs to submit a full 10-page business proposal.

Step 4: Submit your full proposal. After reviewing the invited proposals, judges will invite finalists to interview. Following the interviews, judges will offer up to US$10,000 in seed capital to a venture ready to launch!

What happens when you win? You book a plane ticket, hire a staff, and launch your startup over the summer. You will spend the next three months using every last shred of ability and talent that you have to grow a new organization that will change the world.



This competition is for aspiring social entrepreneurs who want to create a sustainable, scalable venture in the developing world. If you win, you should be committed to launching a pilot this summer. If that pilot is successful, you should be ready to grow your venture as a full time career upon graduation.

This competition is open to graduate or undergraduate students at NTU. Students may apply as individuals or teams, and may decide to operate as a for-profit or non-profit organization. If applying as a team, at least one member must be an enrolled student at NTU.





The NYU Reynolds/D-Prize Global Social Venture Competition Consortium will be hosting five webinars to help you learn more about the competition and design your idea. Please see below for dates, details, and registration information.

Webinar 1: Intro to the NYU Reynolds/D-Prize Competition and Social Entrepreneurship​
1 November 2017, 9pm SG time​ | Catch-Up Link: https://youtu.be/gFtlaUxkkt8​

Webinar 2: Using the Idea Napkin with IBA Karachi
9 November 2017, 4pm SG time | Catch-Up Link: https://youtu.be/rAR0tptgdPU

Webinar 3: Business Models for Social Enterprises with Nanyang Technopreneurship Center​
15 November 2017, 8pm SG time​ | Catch-Up Link: https://youtu.be/xhli9jSrJQg

Webinar 4: Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in the Developing Country Context with BRAC University
20 November 2017, 10pm SG time​ | ​Catch-Up Link: https://youtu.be/4X3SVHs0050

Webinar 5: Getting Into Their Shoes: A more successful 3-minute pitch with Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation
28 November 2017, 7pm SG time​ | ​Catch-Up Link: https://youtu.be/n-PQduRWG-Q


Competition Timeline

First Round

Submission Deadline:

11 February 2018

Second Round

Submission Deadline:

1 April 2018


Final Round

23 April – 10 May 2018


Download an application packet​ and follow the instructions to draft and submit your idea. You will submit a two page concept note and resume for each core team member. A team of judges will review and invite the most promising ideas to the next round. Invitations will be sent by 26 February 2018.

Those invited will receive a second round application packet. You will expand on your concept and draft a full 10 page plan of your new venture. The plan will include an executive summary, a budget, milestones you plan to hit, and your future vision. A team of judges will review and send decisions by 20 April 2018.


The most promising entrepreneurs will have interviews with judges on the phone. Based on your plan and interview, judges may decide to award you seed capital to launch. Winners will be notified no later than 11 May 2018.


Additional Resources:

For more help in designing your idea, check out some of the resources below:

Questions? Contact Mr. Gene Seow at ideasinc@ntu.edu.sg .

Get inspired with a short TEDx video on global poverty and the need for better distribution.

Read a one-page guide: What Makes a Great Proposal.


Judging Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on the following:

         Commitment and quality: you or your team must be passionate about development, have the skills to build a new organization from scratch, and committed to expanding to a large scale organization.

         Quality and thoroughness of the social venture plan: good plans are tightly focused on solving one specific problem. Anyone reading your proposal should have a thorough understanding of exactly what your organization will do, and how you will do it.

         Projected impact: we expect your pilot program will start small, but will then quickly grow and one day help millions of people. We want to understand your plan to grow, and how you will measure your impact over time.

         Feasibility of post-competition success: a good proposal doesn’t end after three months. We want to see your vision for 6, 12, and 24 months out.



Questions? Contact Mr. Gene Seow at ideasinc@ntu.edu.sg .



NTU is proud to be a member of The NYU Reynolds/D-Prize Global Social Venture Competition Consortium. The consortium engages cutting-edge universities around the world to conduct their own intra-school competition and support their students' efforts to scale sustainable, proven poverty solutions focused on the developing world. 

Recognizing that innovation comes from all professions and from all corners of the globe, this unique consortium seeks to incorporate each school’s approach, program activities, and contributions to social change education. It pools existing resources and creates shared value and curriculum to market, support, judge, and celebrate students and their ideas at all consortium institutions. Moreover, it is an opportunity for students from diverse backgrounds, disciplines, countries and insights to connect, if only virtually, to share insights and ideas.

Learn more about all the Consortium members at  D-Prize, NYU Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship, NYU Green Grants, BRAC University, Institute of Business Administration Karachi​Leping Social Enterprise Foundation ​and Nanyang Technopreneurship Center, Nanyang Technological University.

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The organizer reserves the right to change the terms and conditions at any time without prior notice.​​​​​​​​​​

 Updated on 9 January 2018.​