LIFTed Prize 2017 –InnovationinPostsecondary Learning

$50,000 USD

Challenge overview

Postsecondary learning is increasingly acknowledged as essential for realizing the American dream as more and more opportunities are geared toward highly skilled workers. To close the national talent gap, Lumina Foundation is working towards an equitable, accessible, responsive, and accountable higher education system to increase the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates, and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. 

This Challenge requires organizations to submit a completed Application Form, outlining how their entity has a positive impact upon postsecondary attainment in the United States, or how they could transfer their current model to help reach Goal 2025. Entries will be narrowed down to three finalists, who will be invited to a live pitching event at the Inaugural LIFTed Convening from May 11-12, 2017 in Indianapolis, IN. Beyond the award, this prize competition  offers an opportunity for visibility and networking with industry leaders.

This Challenge requires the submission of a completed Application Form.

ALERT: New deadline is 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on April 2, 2017.

To reach Goal 2025 and to meet our nation’s growing need for talent, the United States must boost postsecondary attainment with over 16 million additional high-quality degrees, certificates, or other credentials. Therefore, Lumina Foundation is searching for innovations that have demonstrated results for increasing U.S. postsecondary learning. This Challenge seeks to showcase these organizations, identify ones that could be efficiently scaled, and establish their suitability for strategic social investment. The Challenge encourages proposals from parallel industries or international solutions provided that they can be transferred to the American system.

(Updated judging timeline on February 16, 2017)

This is a Showcase Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • Solvers are required to download the Application Form located in the Challenge Attachments section (right hand side of this page) and to submit a complete version. Only completed Application Forms will be considered for awards; supporting documents are optional and may be included with the submission.
  • There is a guaranteed award of $50,000.  Preliminary evaluation of the submissions will be conducted by a judging panel. Solvers will know by April 17<sup>th</sup> whether they are a semi-finalist and must be available for an interview on April 21<sup>st</sup>. The three finalists will be notified on the same date and can begin making travel arrangements accordingly. Three finalists will be asked to present their ideas to high-profile thought leaders at the Inaugural LIFTed Convening in Indianapolis, IN (May 11-12, 2017). Two awards will be made: $25,000 will be awarded by the live event panel of judges and $25,000 will be decided through ‘crowd voting’. A single entity could potentially win both awards. Each finalist will receive a stipend (covering the costs of travel, accommodations, and attendance at the event). The award winner(s) may be considered for further investment by Lumina Impact Ventures.
  • To receive an award, Solvers will not have to transfer, or license, their exclusive intellectual property (IP) rights to the Seeker. However, by entering, you agree that the Seeker and its licensees, successors, and assigns have the right to use the names, likenesses, voice, and images of all persons listed in your submissions for future advertising, promotion, and publicity in any manner and in any medium now known or hereafter devised throughout the world in perpetuity.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on Sunday, April 2, 2017. 

Late submissions will not be considered.

Receipt of an award is contingent upon successful completion of the InnoCentive verification process and finalists must present at the event to be considered for either award.


Lumina Foundation is committed to a fair, universal system for learning that meets the nation’s talent needs. The system must offer every American the chance for a better life by recognizing learning however it occurs. And this learning should lead to a broad range of marketable credentials. More information about Lumina Foundation is available at

Use the slider to explore how the Challenge process works:


Review & Accept



To start solving this Challenge, log in to the Challenge Center or register as a Solver

Visit the Wazoku Crowd Community to start the conversation