Our community of innovators are some of the brightest minds on the planet: they have contributed solutions to help save pets, launch liquid-fueled rockets and even improve healthcare for aboriginal Canadians. There’s nothing stopping the potential impact of diverse perspectives coming together for a common goal.
Therefore, it’s understandable that the thought of submitting to one of our challenges may seem extremely overwhelming! That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to help you get started on your innovator journey at HeroX.
Step 1: Finding a Challenge
So you’ve discovered the power of crowdsourcing and you’ve come to HeroX to get involved. Now what? The first step to crowdsourcing is to find a project that interests you. Other platforms usually focus on a particular industry or niche subject area. The great thing about HeroX is we have a large variety of challenges. From arts and design, to software development and prototype building, we have it all.
For our Explore page, we try to encourage our challenge sponsors to make their titles as clear as possible. This way, when you’re browsing it, you’re able to easily scan through what’s currently active and locate a challenge that’s relevant to you. You can also use the ‘Search & Filter & Sort’ button at the top of this page to narrow down by a particular category.
Also, don’t judge a challenge solely on the prize amount! There are some great competitions to help get you started in crowdsourcing that don’t offer a huge prize. In addition, make sure that the prize amount set by the sponsor is equivalent to the amount of work that you will need to put in to develop a solution. While HeroX provides guidance to our sponsors on this, they are ultimately the ones who decide what the prize is for their challenge.
Step 2: Understanding the Challenge
Once you’ve found a challenge you’re interested in, there are some key areas of the page you will want to look at to get the details of what the request and goals are.
First is the Overview section. This will usually contain background information on the problem that needs a solution, as well as a bit about the organization or individual sponsoring the challenge.
Next is the Guidelines section. Here is where you will find all of the details relating to the challenge. This includes any specifications that potential solutions should meet, how the solutions will be evaluated (otherwise known as the judging criteria), the breakdown of how the prize will be awarded and the rules. The Guidelines are also where you can usually find if there are any eligibility requirements (e.g. age or geographic location restrictions, etc.)
You will also definitely want to look at the Timeline. This will tell you when the challenge opened, when the submission deadline is and when winners are expected to be announced. Submission deadlines can change (they usually get extended) so be sure to check the page regularly if you’re planning on submitting.
Finally, some challenges enable their Resources tab where they will post documents or templates that may be a required component of your submission, or can at least assist you in developing it. You may not see the Resources tab activated across all HeroX challenges, but if you do, I highly recommend taking a look at the contents.
Step 3: Registering for a Challenge
Once you have found a challenge you want to participate in, you will want to register for it so you can get access to the submission form. During the registration process, you have the option to create a team or participate as an individual. If you decide to create a team, all you need to do is input the email addresses of those you wish to invite to join it.
Obviously the biggest benefit of creating a team is having the additional brain power to develop your solution! You can bounce ideas off each other, get help in the actual writing of your submission and get the general satisfaction of collaborating with others. There’s nothing better than tackling a problem together and coming up with a way to solve it.
Step 4: Collaborating on a Challenge (optional)
One of the features on every challenge is the team matching section within the Community tab of each page. This is where individuals who are seeking teams can advertise their expertise, as well as where teams looking for individuals with certain skills or knowledge can make it known to the challenge community.
Just click the orange ‘Add Myself’ button within the section to get your information posted here. If you find a team you would like to join, click on their team name to be taken to their team page to request to join. If you find an individual you would like to add to your team, click on their user name in this section to be taken to their profile to message them directly.
Step 5: Submitting to a Challenge
By this point you’ve found a challenge you’re interested in and have decided to participate either as an individual or a team. Now comes the most important part: submitting your entry!
As I mentioned, you will need to complete your registration before being able to access the submission form.
Once you have done so, you will see a ‘Begin Entry’ button in place of the ‘Accept Challenge’ one. Click on that to be taken to that challenge’s particular submission form. Each challenge will have a different form with the exception of the ‘Title’ field. Most challenges will also usually include the ‘Short Description’ and ‘Image’ fields.
As a note, you are able to draft and save your entry prior to finalizing it for judging at any point prior to the deadline. Even if you finalize your entry, you can still unfinalize and edit it as many times as you would like up until the deadline. Once the deadline passes, no edits can be made and no new entries submitted.
HeroX recommends that you submit your entry at least a few hours prior to the deadline, if not earlier. You do not want last minute technical issues to prevent you from submitting a potentially winning idea!
After you’ve submitted your entry, the sponsor and their judging panel will review and score all submissions based on the criteria outlined in the Guidelines. The judging stage can sometimes take longer than expected, so don’t be surprised if the winner announcement date gets pushed back. Once the winners are selected, they will be notified by the sponsor (or sometimes by HeroX) of their status. The paying out of the prize also varies from challenge to challenge. If you are selected as a winner, the sponsor (or again, sometimes HeroX) will work with you to get the money distributed in as timely a manner as possible.
It’s easy as that! While there are some additional steps to actually create your submission, hopefully this guide has empowered you to go out there to try to become our next HeroX hero!