CoreTech Foundation


Apps for Humanity Challenge

Hey innovators! Have an idea to solve a humanitarian issue? Can it be built using our open source tools? Submit your ideas to win $20k.

This challenge is closed


This challenge is closed


Challenge Overview

Do you have an idea to solve a humanitarian issue? Think technology might help make that idea a reality? Submit your ideas for a chance to win $20,000 USD!

Who is the competition open to? The challenge is open to individuals and teams with OR without a technical background. (To be eligible to compete, you must comply with the Challenge terms as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement.)

The Challenge

Submit a proposal describing your idea that aims to solve some humanitarian issue by answering the questions set out below. All questions must be answered to qualify for the Challenge. 

Why? We want innovative technology solutions to become commonplace in the nonprofit world, helping to solve issues that affect humanity.

About the CoreTech Foundation: CoreTech Foundation helps nonprofits use technology for social good. Thanks to the open source movement, we're placing traditionally expensive and sophisticated technology in the hands of the nonprofit world, so they can implement virtually any software-driven solution using our scaling platform and consulting services. To that end, CoreTech built an application platform called CORE, to help build solutions capable of impacting lives around the world, like this, this, and this

What is CORE? Learn about CORE in Question #3 below, here, and in the last two sections of the FAQs

Challenge Questions / Judging Criteria


1. What is the problem that your idea aims to solve? (10 points)

  • Who is affected by the problem?
  • What is currently being done about it?

2. What is the potential impact of your solution? (20 points)

  • Who would it help? Where? How?

3. How would the CoreTech Foundation's software tools help make your idea a reality? (30 points) (Note: for those looking for a more technical description of CORE, please refer to FAQs for details.) 

  • CoreTech's CORE software (an open-source suite of tools) allows you to: 
    • collect, analyze, and manage data of any size, securely
    • develop high performance mobile applications 
    • develop engaging web platforms 
    • monitor and report on progress and events
    • enable mobile transactions via SMS CoreTech's CORE
  • The key benefits of CORE are:
    • high performance
    • high availability (which means there can be many users without the application/system going down) 
    • redundancy (which means that if a system fails, there will be a backup)
    • scalability (which means it can accomodate many users and a large amount of information, transactions, etc.)
    • security 
    • integrity (which means that information can only be accessed or modified by those authorized to do so, so that unauthorized people can't change that information)

4. What makes your solution different from existing solutions that aim to address this problem? (20 points)

  • If it's a novel idea, what makes it novel?
  • If it builds on/adapts an existing idea, how does it add to that idea? 

5. Describe the practical usability of your solution. (10 points)

  • How can it be used by specific users to achieve the goals you've identified? 

6. How complex is your solution? (10 points) 

  • Note: It's not a bad thing if your solution is complex. We just want to see how you've worked the solution out in your head: how difficult do you think it would be to build? 
  • For techy folks, will your idea challenge our platform? 



Who can participate: As mentioned above, the Challenge is open to individuals and teams. To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the Challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement.

Selection of Winner: Based on the winning criteria, one prize will be awarded for a total of $20,000 USD. In case of a tie, the winner will be selected at the discretion of the Judging Panel.

Voting: All votes are subject to review. Any competitor using unfair methods to solicit votes will be automatically disqualified from the challenge.

Registration and Submissions: All submission materials must be submitted online on or before July 7, 2016 at 8pm PST. No submissions will be accepted after this time. Incomplete submissions will not be accepted. All submissions must be received online, via the Challenge website, and all uploads can be in PDF format only. Submission reporting requirements are detailed in Judging.

Challenge Guidelines are subject to change. Registered competitors will receive notification when changes are made, however, we highly encourage you to visit the Challenge Site often to review updates.


Challenge Updates

Winner Announced - Congratulations Pranav Agarwal!

Aug. 26, 2016, 10:21 p.m. PDT by CoreTech Foundation

We are thrilled to announce the winner of our Apps for Humanity Challenge is Pranav Agarwal and his satellite-navigation-based advance collision warning system for vehicles.

Thank you to all of our participants! 


Winner to be Announced August 26th

Aug. 22, 2016, 9:09 p.m. PDT by CoreTech Foundation

Please note that due to an extended judging period, the winner of the Apps for Humanity Challenge will be announced on Friday August 26th. Thank you for your patience.

Winner Will be Announced August 22nd

July 25, 2016, 10:25 a.m. PDT by CoreTech Foundation

Please note that the winner of the Apps for Humanity Challenge will be announced on August 22, 2016!


Apps for Humanity Submission Deadline Is Only Two Days Away!

July 5, 2016, 9:52 a.m. PDT by CoreTech Foundation

There are only two more days until the submission deadline closes (July 7th, 8 p.m. PDT)!

We've received tons of great submissions, and don't want you to miss your chance to win $20,000! Let us know if you have any questions or concerns, and we'll be happy to help in any way we can. You can reach us at

Best of luck!


16 Days Left!

June 21, 2016, 12:45 p.m. PDT by CoreTech Foundation

There are 16 days left until the Apps for Humanity Challenge closes. Be sure to get your submissions in on time (July 7th, 8 p.m. PDT) and feel free to reach out to the CoreTech/HeroX team if you have any questions. You can reach us at:

Best of luck!

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