XPRIZE Visioneers 2016

XPRIZE Visioneers 2016

Are you an industry disruptor? a social advocate? a garage tinker? Design an XPRIZE competition and drive a world changing breakthrough.

Challenge Overview

XPRIZE® is an innovation engine, a facilitator of exponential change, a catalyst for the benefit of humanity. We celebrate bold thinkers who are willing to take risks for the sake of innovation. Our incentivized prize competitions have launched the new space industry, resulted in an exponential increase in efficiencies to clean up devastating oil spills, and helped open up a new generation of super fuel-efficient vehicles.

The XPRIZE Visioneers challenge invites YOU to delve into the Grand Challenges you see in the world -- and then to set the direction which will inspire the world's top innovators to deliver impossible breakthroughs.

We are seeking industry disruptors, social advocates, tinkerers, innovators and empathetic leaders who are excited to get their hands dirty in a problem, participate in deep research, talk to experts and inventors, and then talk to them again. You are eager to debate, learn, analyze, create, and work closely with other team members. You understand how to set audacious goals and you see a breakthrough for an impossible problem.

You have a drive to make the world a better place. You’re audacious -- some might call you obsessed -- and forever in hot pursuit of the most cutting-edge information and technology to help bring about the breakthroughs you’re committed to bringing about.  

Imagine being equipped with a team and sponsorship to give your vision a voice as one of the contenders for the next XPRIZE competition.*

So, what are we asking you to do?

XPRIZE competitions start with Grand Challenges – the national or global crises, market failures, and opportunities where solutions are thought to be either out of reach or just plain impossible. This year, we want you to be part of the process of identifying these Grand Challenges and then collaborating with other competing Visioneers to design a prize.

First, you will start with a bootcamp, along with your fellow Visioneers, to learn more about XPRIZE, how we approach Grand Challenges, and learn the fundamentals of prize design from some of the foremost experts in the world. Over five months, with the help of XPRIZE, your team will develop a prize in an area of impact where an innovation breakthrough, that addresses a market failure not yet solved organically by government or business, would result in positive change.

The opportunity for you:

  • Team up with a sponsoring company to attack a Grand Challenge that you are both passionate about
  • Receive support from a team of dedicated resources and XPRIZE experts to craft a prize concept
  • Promote awareness of your passion and prize design efforts through XPRIZE marketing channels
  • Win The 2016 XPRIZE Visioneers event, presented by The Roddenberry Foundation, in September 2016 and have your prize become the next official XPRIZE competition*

Past attendees of this event have included members of the XPRIZE Vision Circle, the XPRIZE Innovation Board, and members of the Spirit of Innovation.

XPRIZE and the sponsors of The Visioneers are currently exploring challenges in the following areas:

  •  Using VR tech to teach empathy
  •  Retroffiting housing to drive down energy costs
  •  Predicting the next water contamination
  •  Cancer research
  •  Education
  •  ALS research
  •  Renewable Energy
  •  Desalination

So, what exactly are you doing as an XPRIZE Visioneer? The details, in a nutshell:

From now until May 15, 2016 Apply to be an XPRIZE Visioneer!
May 2-4, 2016 All Visioneers will convene in Los Angeles, CA with XPRIZE staff and mentors to participate in a bootcamp to learn more about XPRIZE and the fundamentals of prize development.
May - September, 2016 Visioneers will collaborate in teams to develop their Competition Guidelines. Some Visioneers will work full-time, others part-time, with each team matched with a mentor from XPRIZE and Deloitte Consulting.
September, 2016 Prepare your pitch! You will collaborate with your team to tell the story of your XPRIZE competition and the breakthrough you anticipate it will achieve.
September 29 - October 2, 2016 It’s time for all Visioneers to come together to compete at The 2016 XPRIZE Visioneers event! You will meet some of the world’s foremost thought leaders and pitch your competition!
October onwards Winning pitch is developed into the next XPRIZE competition*

How you will stand out:
When it comes to XPRIZE, you could pin successful submissions down to two main ingredients: sizzle and substance. Think you got one? Both? Whoa.

Sizzle: It’s not just a good idea -- it’s an XPRIZE competition. Sizzle is the undeniable sweet spot where your challenge idea has instant, near-universal resonance. Since we’re certainly cooking some of the more obvious ones (education, water, artificial intelligence), your sizzle needs to be more than just a flash in the pan to really stick.

Substance: Substance, in essence, is being the Neo of your field. You can see exactly what needs to be done, and who to get involved in order to make sure this challenge hits the ground running. OK, so your friends probably don’t call you “The One” (although, we wouldn’t be all that surprised) but that doesn’t mean you’re not uniquely positioned, driven, and already on your way to ask precisely the right questions to get this problem from zero to breakthrough.

What you will win:
Each team of XPRIZE Visioneers will receive funding and support valued up to $100,000 USD. Each team member will receive funding based on their level of participation on their Visioneers team. All expenses to the Visioneers Bootcamp and The XPRIZE Visioneers event will be covered by XPRIZE.

Beyond the monetary award, the greatest value you will receive is your inside view of creating an XPRIZE incentivized prize competition, alongside some of the best prize development experts in the world. Your participation in The XPRIZE Visioneers event will give you access to some of the greatest inventors, innovators, and social entrepreneurs in the world. Past attendees have included members of the XPRIZE Vision Circle, the XPRIZE Innovation Board, and members of the Spirit of Innovation. If selected as an XPRIZE competition,* you will help drive a world-changing discovery or invention.

That’s an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up.

Winners will be selected on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply early!


Challenge Timeline

Challenge Launches March 21, 2016
First Challenge Deadline April 15, 2016
Second Challenge Deadline May 15, 2016

XPRIZE Visioneer Teams

Your responsibilities may include:

  • Connecting the team to industry experts and other social entrepreneurs
  • Bringing subject matter expertise to the prize design
  • Ensuring that XPRIZE design criteria are met
  • Collaborating with XPRIZE prize experts
  • Using network connections to enhance prize concept’s “prizeability”
  • Conducting interviews during the research phase
  • Setting up and driving team meetings
  • Monitoring progress to milestones
  • Coordinating with XPRIZE
  • Owning overall team development and performance
  • Coordinating sponsor media and communication needs
  • Spearheading the writing of the Ideation Report
  • Leading the team’s research efforts



The XPRIZE Foundation is the global leader in incentivized prize competitions to focus top innovators on solving the world's biggest problems for the benefit of humanity. 

We believe in the power of competition. That it’s part of our DNA. Of humanity itself. That tapping into that indomitable spirit of competition brings about breakthroughs and solutions that once seemed unimaginable. Impossible.

We believe that you get what you incentivize. And that without a target, you will miss it every time. Rather than throw money at a problem, we incentivize the solution and challenge the world to solve it.

We believe that challenges must be audacious, but achievable, tied to objective, measurable goals. And understandable by all.

We believe that solutions can come from anyone, anywhere and that some of the greatest minds of our time remain untapped, ready to be engaged by a world that is in desperate need of help. Solutions. Change. And radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.

Making the Impossible Possible.

*Contingent upon funding

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.

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