Mission of the Dell Challenge
The Dell Social Innovation Challenge identifies and supports promising young social innovators who dedicate themselves to solving the world's most pressing problems with their transformative ideas. We provide university students with world-class teaching and training, as well as with start-up capital and access to a network of mentors and advisors.
The challenge was launched in 2007 by the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2008 Dell became our title sponsor, lending its name and resources. Dell announced a $5 million gift to expand our efforts worldwide at the close of the 2011 challenge to engage more than 60,000 students a year.
Since launching, more than 15,000 students from 90 countries have proposed more than 3,000 ideas. We've awarded more than $350,000 to 13 student teams around the world. Each year they fly challenge Finalists and Expertise Award winners to Austin for a weekend of mentoring, workshops, and other activities as part of the DSIC Global Awards Event. Our Semi-Finalists are also matched with mentors for one-on-one coaching and feedback.
In 2011, five cash prizes were offered totaling $100,000. The 2012 challenge will present 27 awards, more than $140,000 in cash prizes and more than $500,000 worth of in-kind prizes. This expansion allows us to recognize the best projects from each stage of development, world region and social impact area. Additionally, the new challenge website will offer participants the tools and teachings they need to improve and advance their projects. It will also provide a platform for them to inspire us all to use our talents to change the world. With plans to grow to 20,000 entries each year by 2016, the DSIC promises to become the largest and most prestigious global competition for student social entrepreneurs.