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Parity Project Innovation Challenge 2023

Secure your place on Base 11’s Grand Prize showcase! Propose an idea for how science or technology can achieve parity for Black America.

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prize:
$10,000 & Sponsored Trip for top Winners

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Meet the 2023 PPIC Winners!
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Summary

Overview

Do you have an idea for how a certain science or technology can help achieve economic parity for Black America? If so, this is the challenge for you! 

Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (The Boulé) and Base 11 have launched The Parity Project Innovation Challenge to showcase the talents of innovative and diverse innovators—and they want to hear about your vision for the future.

Submit your challenge entry for a chance to win both a cash prize and a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to the Base 11 Grand Prize Showcase—an opportunity to present your idea to executives and game changers from some of the most influential organizations across America, including visits to the challenge partners at J.P. Morgan Chase and The Executive Leadership Council.

Confirmed stops on the Base 11 showcase:

Ready to participate? Hit the “Solve This Challenge” button above, create your HeroX account, and go to the Guidelines Tab to learn how to participate.

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Learn more about the Challenge Sponsors: Sigma Pi Phi and Base 11.


 

 

 


Guidelines

Your Mission

Identify a major form of inequity within Black America—then investigate what science or tech-based solutions can address the disparity. How can your passion for science or technology provide a perfect solution?

You are encouraged to think boldly and to be creative with your proposal. If you need some inspiration, here are a couple of examples:

  • Could a tool like Artificial Intelligence help fight the statistical discrimination Black Americans face when seeking a mortgage by removing human bias from the loan application review process?
  • Could we leverage Blockchain to help Black Americans have more ownership over their medical data and reduce skepticism around medical research?  

Who Can Participate?

  • Age: We welcome participants from junior year of high school (grade 11) up to 34 years of age. If you are under 18 years old, your parent/legal guardian must create a HeroX account to submit the idea on your behalf and communicate with the Challenge Sponsors. You should still be the primary creator of the submission and should describe yourself in any ‘about me’ sections.
     
  • Geography: To participate, you must also be a legal resident or citizen of the United States, the United Kingdom, or the Bahamas.
     
  • Individual Entries: You may only submit one entry as an individual, not as a team. But you are encouraged to draw upon the knowledge and guidance of others while developing your idea!

How to participate

  1. For your chance to win, submit your challenge entry before the final submission deadline. And if you are ambitious, submit your concept before the feedback deadline of January 19, 2023. If you make this earlier deadline, a representative from Base 11 or Sigma Pi Phi will provide you with high level feedback to help you improve your concept before the final deadline.
  2. Once the final submission deadline passes, all eligible submissions will be scored against the judging criteria listed below to help determine up to nine challenge finalists. 
  3. All selected finalists will be asked to develop a 3-5 minute pitch presentation for their proposal that they will present on a virtual call with the challenge’s judging panel, followed by a brief Q&A opportunity. 
  4. After each competitor has presented their pitch and responded to the judges’ Q&A, the final prize rankings will then be determined.

Prizes

This challenge was created so that innovators like you could be bold and ambitious. You will have the chance to develop your ideas with personalized feedback from Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (The Boulè) and Base 11 representatives. Furthermore, you will be invited to connect with a network of influential leaders, executives, and STEM professionals that could help push your project to the next level. 

As part of your challenge participation, all finalists will present their ideas to the influential men and women of the judging panel, who have been known to open doors and make connections beyond the scope of the challenge.

In short, we want to see both you and your vision thrive, so the prizes are designed to do just that!

 

Participants will have the chance to win a substantial slice of the $10,000 prize purse—and our Grand Prize winners will earn a seat on a sponsored cross-country trip to meet powerful global leaders as part of the Base 11 Grand Prize Showcase.

In total, up to $10,000 will be awarded across the following competitor groups:

 

High School Juniors and Seniors 

(Grade 11 & 12)

College and University Students*

Early Career Adults and Entrepreneurs*

1st Place

$1,750

$1,750 +  Grand Prize Showcase

$1,750 + Grand Prize Showcase

2nd Place

$1000

$1,000

$1,000

3rd Place

$500

$500

$500

Judges’ Choice and Honorable Mentions: $250 total

* up to age 34

† Final prize determinations and invitations to Base 11’s Grand Prize Showcase are subject to the discretion of the Challenge Sponsor. Additional invitations to the Grand Prize Showcase may be added to this challenge.

All Grand Prize Showcase attendees under the age of 18 years old will require a chaperone. Chaperones may either be provided by Base 11, the competitor’s family, or from the competitor's partner organization (e.g. a High School counselor approved by the competitor’s family). All costs associated with travel fees and boarding for the chaperone will be the financial responsibility of the chaperone/their organization. If a Base 11 chaperone is selected, those related costs will be covered by Base 11.

Furthermore, all Grand Prize Showcase attendees are allowed to invite one member of their family to travel with them, such as a spouse. However, this guest attendee is subject to approval by Base 11 and will be financially responsible for any additional expenses related to their trip, such as providing their own flights, insurance, transportation, room and board, etc. These guest attendees may not be invited to join certain activities and events, per the Challenge Sponsor’s discretion. Base 11 is not legally responsible for the invited guests and all invited guests’ permission to travel with during the Grand Prize Showcase may be revoked at any time at the Challenge Sponsor’s discretion.  

 

The Base 11 Grand Prize Showcase

Our top winners will receive the opportunity to travel, meet powerful global leaders, and present their ideas to investors, mentors, and industry experts. This year’s Grand Prize Showcase includes all-expenses-paid travel to: 

On this trip, you will bond with your fellow Grand Prize winners, learn from the Base 11 and Boulé members traveling with you, and make memories as you visit these historically important cities.

For example, last year’s winners stayed at luxury hotels like The Moxy, The Darcy, and The Atlantis, Bahamas. They visited major sites like the national Museum of African American History & Culture and they shared meals at exceptional restaurants like TAO DowntownFarmers and Distillers, and Busboys and Poets

Best of all, winners will have the opportunity to present their proposals to leaders from the ELC, JP Morgan Chase, the Boulé, and more! Past winners have received insightful feedback, discovered recruitment opportunities, and even found partners and sponsors for their projects. This is an incredible opportunity to network with industry leaders who are eager to meet and connect with innovative young people.   

 

It was such a thrill to be able to share my passion and vision on stage in front of such a prestigious organization as the Boulé. After presenting, I received an astonishing amount of support from potential investors, mentors, and other advocates for what our team is building. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity!” - Kiante Bush, Parity Project Innovation Challenge 2022 Winner

 

Timeline

 

Challenge launchNovember 10, 2022
Deadline to submit for feedback*January 19, 2023 @ 11:59 pm ET
Submissions deadlineMarch 7, 2023 @ 5:00 pm ET
Judging periodMar 7 - March 27, 2023
Finalists announcedMarch 28, 2023
Finalist pitchesWeek of April 17-21, 2023
Winners announcedMay 4, 2023
Grand Prize ShowcaseSummer 2023 (No earlier than June)

*If you would like to receive constructive feedback on your submission from members of Base 11 or the Boulé, submit your entry before midnight ET the night of January 19, 2023.

 

Judging Criteria

Judges will evaluate submissions based on the following criteria to determine which entries will be named as finalists and invited to the pitching round of the challenge. As you create your submission, aim to meet these criteria to maximize your score.

Judging CriterionDescriptionMaximum Score
Problem AnalysisThe chosen economic disparity addressed by the competitor is well informed with research and/or sound reasoning.25
Proposed Solution

How effectively does the competitor’s proposed solution address the problem?

Does the competitor’s idea use science or technology to address the problem in an innovative way?

30
Implementation

Has the competitor provided a feasible timeline and list of resources for implementing their plan?

Does the competitor properly identify obstacles that the proposal is likely to face?

25
Planned OutcomesHow impactful and justified are the competitor’s planned outcomes?20

 

Submission Form for Proposal for Parity

Your Proposal for Parity will be submitted as responses to the following Submission Form fields. Feel free to conduct your research and plan out your responses in any way you choose, so long as you transfer your responses to the form located at this website.

Field TitleDescription
TitleProvide a title for your proposal
Short DescriptionGive your proposal a short description
Section HeaderAbout You
Author Bio

Provide a summary of your current educational, career, or entrepreneurial pursuits. Please include any previous engagements in STEM-related activities. You may also include any personal experiences or aspirations related to your submission.

(750 characters maximum)

Geographic Location

Are you a legal resident of the United States, the United Kingdom, or the Bahamas? I.e. a citizen or current holder of a long-term visa?

  • Yes
  • No
Demographic group

To which demographic do you belong? 

  • High school junior or senior (Grade 11 or 12)
  • College or university student, up to age 34
  • Early career adult or entrepreneur, up to age 34 
  • I do not belong to any of these groups.
Section HeaderYour Submission
What is the racial disparity your solution addresses?

Describe your chosen issue and how it affects economic parity for Black America. Consider what the root cause of this disparity may be. Support your discussion with research and/or sound reasoning. 

(1500 characters maximum)

Describe your solution to address this racial disparity?

Explain what technology or scientific practice you are applying to your targeted economic disparity and how it will address the problem. Be sure to justify any claims you make.

Why is your chosen technology or scientific approach the right fit for this problem? Explain how your idea addresses the racial disparity in an innovative or novel way. 

(2500 characters maximum)

How would you implement your solution?

How would you like to see your idea develop and grow? What would be required to take your solution forward to the next level? Propose a timeline of major activities if you were to advance your solution. 

Include what resources you would need to implement your solution (i.e., additional expertise, funding, materials, physical space, etc.). The judges would like to know what is required to advance your solution.

(1500 characters maximum)

What are the potential obstacles to implementation?

What likely problems do you think you could encounter while implementing your solution?

How would you address these obstacles, should they arise? 

(1000 characters maximum)

What is the potential impact of your solution?

Explain your vision for the impact your solution could have. What reasonable change could it have on your target community and their economic inequality? Consider how you would measure success in your initiative. Can success easily be measured and tracked? Or would tracking it require a special approach?

(1000 characters maximum)

Additional Info (optional)

Is there anything else you would like to add to your submission?

(500 characters maximum)

References

Ensure that any quotes or paraphrases you use in other parts of this submission form contain parenthetical references. Then, please list the full citation for those references here in a list. You may include hyperlinks, if applicable. Look up how to properly cite your sources online if you are not sure what format to use.

(4000 characters maximum)

 

Challenge Rules

Participation Eligibility:

The Challenge (The Parity Project Innovation Challenge) is open to individuals from their Junior year of high school to students, professionals, and entrepreneurs up to 34 years of age. Participation in the challenge is limited to qualified legal residents and citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, or the Bahamas. Submissions must be made in English. All challenge-related communication will be in English. 

This challenge is only accepting submissions by individuals, not by teams.

If the competitor is under 18, their parent/legal guardian must create a HeroX account to submit their idea on their behalf. The competitor should still be the primary creator of the submission content. 

The Challenge Sponsor reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any Competitor. This potentially includes admitting younger competitors into the High School category of the challenge.

No specific qualifications or expertise in the targeted fields of STEM or the Social Sciences is required. Prize organizers encourage all individuals to compete and propose new solutions. 

To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement.

Registration and Submissions:

Submissions must be made online (only), via upload to the HeroX.com website, at or before 5:00 pm ET on March 7, 2023 in order to be eligible for this Parity Project Innovation Challenge. All entries must be completed through the submission form and all uploads to the form must be in the requested format(s). No late submissions will be accepted.

Intellectual Property Rights:

As detailed in the Challenge-Specific Agreement, each participant will retain all intellectual property rights to their technology.

Selection of Winners:

Prizes will be awarded based on the Judging Criteria section above and the quality of the pitch session. In the case of a tie, the winner(s) will be selected at the discretion of the Judging Panel.

The Challenge Sponsor reserves the right to redistribute any unawarded prizes or pitch opportunities to members of other competitor groups should any competitor group not receive enough eligible submissions to award the maximum number of prizes. Furthermore, the Judges’ Choice and Honorable Mention prize(s) will be awarded at the discretion of the Judging Panel and Challenge Sponsor in consultation with the Judging Criteria. The Challenge Sponsor reserves the final right to determine how many and which winners will be invited to participate in the Base 11 Grand Prize Showcase.

In the event that none of the submissions meet the Judging Criteria, the sponsor will award the following consolation prize(s) to the eligible competitor(s) that score the highest (up to one consolation prize per competitor group):

  • Consolation Prize: $200

Awarding of the Prize:

The Individual Submitter is automatically designated as the Recipient of the prize monies. The Individual’s name must also match the Authorized Person on the receiving Bank Account information provided. No changes are permitted to the prize Recipient after the Submission Deadline date. If you wish to change who would receive the prize monies, those changes must be completed prior to the Submission Deadline.

Up to 9 eligible finalists may be chosen to participate in the Pitch Sessions in order to compete for the final prizes.

If a 1st place winner is selected who is also younger than 18 years of age, their participation in the sponsored Base 11 trip(s) will be subject to agreement between their legal parent/guardian and the Challenge Sponsor.

The timing and format of the 1st place sponsored Base 11 Grand Prize Showcase is subject to change due to the state of public health restrictions or other unforeseen restrictions. Furthermore, the Challenge Sponsor reserves the right to determine all final trip itineraries.

 

Judging Panel:

The determination of the winners will be made by a group of judges and technical experts selected by Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and Base 11.

 

Additional Information:

  • By participating in the challenge, each competitor agrees to adhere to the HeroX Intellectual Integrity Policy and promises to submit only their original idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification.
  • All applications will go through a process of due diligence; any application found to be misrepresentative, plagiarized, or sharing an idea that is not their own will be automatically disqualified.
  • All ineligible applicants will be automatically removed from the competition with no recourse or reimbursement.
  • No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the competition.
  • Void wherever restricted or prohibited by law.
Timeline
Updates20

Challenge Updates

Announcing the PPIC 2023 Winners

May 4, 2023, 11 a.m. PDT by Andrew Owsanski

Both Base 11 and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (The Boulé) are excited to announce the following challenge winners that will share in the $10,000 of the Parity Project Innovation Challenge 2023. The winners are:

 

College/University Category

1st place - $1,750 + Grand Prize Showcase Invitation

  • Odibo Uses AI to Train and Pay Black People - by Oyelekan Ajiboye
  • Odibo is an AI-based solution to end unemployment among Black People by teaching them technical skills and paying them in the process.

(Tie) 2nd place - $1,000 + Grand Prize Showcase Invitation

  • Application Bias Eraser - by Destiny Harris
  • I am proposing an app that removes the conscious and unconscious bias that comes with applying for a job.

(Tie) 2nd place - $1,000 + Grand Prize Showcase Invitation

  • The Comeback - by Iman Jervey
  • It is known that the African American Community has struggled to take care of their health. Portable Telehealth Services can change that.

3rd place - $500

  • The MEGA: A Portable, Affordable PV-EV Carport - By Antonia Ginsberg-Klemmt's team
  • A powerful, affordable solution for renters and owners, the solar EV charging carport MEGA is a "Mobile Electricity Generating Appliance."

4th place - $500

  • EmissionEquity: Data Driven Change - by Quintarius Bell
  • This is a social enterprise leveraging geospatial emissions and hyperspectral imaging data to address and promote environmental justice.

 

Early Career Adults and Entrepreneurs Category

1st place - $1,750 + Grand Prize Showcase Invitation

  • A Blockchain-based business line of credit - by Garrett Ransom
  • My organization, Thurman, helps SMBs deal with short-term financing issues by providing a community-governed and blockchain-based line of credit.

2nd place - $1,000

  • SOLO - by Jenelle Elise King
  • A robotic device that tracks and paces fitness activity for improving the overall health of the Black community.

We would also like to recognize the following honorable mentions. While these teams will not be advancing to the next stage, we would like to commend them for their submissions:

University/College

 

The challenge winners should keep an eye on their inboxes for information from HeroX and Base 11 about their prize payouts, further opportunities to engage, and about the Grand Prize Showcase.

 

Congratulations once again to our winners!

 

(Note, the addition of more prize winners in the College/University category and absence of winners from the other categories is due to the number of eligible submissions in those other categories. Base 11 is excited to invite more competitors to attend the Grand Prize Showcase as a result of this unique situation.)


Announcing the Finalists for PPIC 2023!

March 28, 2023, 11 a.m. PDT by Shane Jenkins

Greetings PPIC community!

Our judges have completed their reviews and are excited to announce the competitors who will be named Finalists and invited to participate in the live pitch sessions:

  • Odibo Uses AI to Train and Pay Black People by Oyelekan Ajiboye
  • EmissionEquity: Data Driven Change by Quintarius Bell
  • V-Home Mobile by Myana Ford
  • The MEGA: A Portable, Affordable PV-EV Carport by Antonia Ginsberg-Klemmt
  • Application Bias Eraser by Destiny Harris
  • 3D Printing for medical equity/Black entrepreneurs by Christopher Robinson
  • The comeback by Iman Jervey
  • A Blockchain-based business line of credit by Garrett Ransom
  • SOLO by Jenelle Elise King

Please join us in congratulating these 9 competitors! Our judging team looks forward to hearing more from each of them. Note: If you are one of the competitors listed here, please keep an eye on your email inbox in the next day or two for a message from HeroX about the next steps for the Pitching Round of this challenge.

For those participants who were not chosen as one of the 9 finalists, know that the judging team extends you a warm "Thank You!" for all of your work and dedication to this complicated challenge. Please continue to develop your bold ideas, get plugged into Base 11's immense network of resources to make connections and sharpen your skills, and consider applying to next year's Parity Project Innovation Challenge! 

As for this year, there may still be a shout out to a few honorable mentions later on, so follow this page until the winners announcement date in May. Congratulations once again to our finalists!


Thank you for your submissions.

March 7, 2023, 2:30 p.m. PST by Shane Jenkins

Just like that, it’s over! Thank you to all of you who sent in submissions. We can’t wait to finally see what you’ve been working so hard on. 

Crowdsourcing would be nothing without the crowd — that’s you! Thank you for being an indispensable part of this process, and using your brainpower for the greater good.

Congratulations on completing your submission. This is not an easy process, and you deserve a pat on the back for your hard work and dedication. Thank you!


Eight Hours Left

March 7, 2023, 6 a.m. PST by Shane Jenkins

You now have less than a day left to submit your Parity Project Innovation Challenge challenge. Now’s the time to make final changes and send it off!

Please remember that the deadline is March 7, 2023 at 5:00pm Eastern Time. We don’t accept any late submissions, so do your best to get it in ahead of time.

We can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with! Best of luck.


Two Day Warning!

March 5, 2023, 11 a.m. PST by Shane Jenkins

It’s the final push! Your project is due in two days, on March 7, 2023 at 5:00pm Eastern Time.

Whether you’re just finishing off the final tweaks, or you’ve got a whole project left to complete, we have faith in you (here’s looking at you, procrastinators). Keep on trucking, and you’ll be done soon.

As you make the final tweaks to your project, it’s a good idea to begin the submission process now. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the submission portal and make sure that all your files are in the correct format.

If you have any last minute questions, now is the time to ask them. Use the forum or comment directly on this post, and we’ll get back to you right away.

Good luck, innovators!


Forum2
Teams102
winners
College/University 1st place
College/University 2nd place
College/University 3rd place
College/University 4th place
Early Career Adult 1st place
Early Career Adult 2nd place
Honorable Mention
Jameson Williams's team Jameson Williams's team
1 team member
Looking for members
Denise Lewis's team Denise Lewis's team
1 team member
Looking for members
BeJour Wilson's team BeJour Wilson's team
1 team member
Looking for members
Antonia Ginsberg-Klemmt's team Antonia Ginsberg-Klemmt's team
2 team members
Looking for members
Brooklyn Cadwallader's team Brooklyn Cadwallader's team
1 team member
Looking for members
Troy Daley's team Troy Daley's team
1 team member
Looking for members
Black History DAO Black History DAO
1 team member
Looking for members
Resources
FAQ
Meet the 2023 PPIC Winners!
Meet the 2022 PPIC Winners
About the Sponsors