APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

There are three sections in the application: 1. Your Quick Pitch, 2. Your Solution, and 3. Your Practice. Please read through all of the sections before proceeding. We encourage you to take full advantage of the word counts for each section. Finalists will be required to complete a Video Pitch as described below.







1. YOUR QUICK PITCH

In 25 words or less, provide a clear and succinct explanation of the solution (product, service, etc.) that your organization is offering to raise economic prospects for middle- and base-level earners. Your Quick Pitch is a brief statement that each assigned Judge will read to develop an initial impression of your solution. It should inspire the judges to read more. Keep it simple.



2. YOUR SOLUTION

In this section, you will respond to several questions that help describe your solution. Take time to underscore both the specific strengths of your solution and how it represents a broader overall strategy to address a specific problem that ensures meaningful progress towards creating economic opportunity for working people.

PROBLEM STATEMENT

Start by explaining the specific problem that you are committed to solving, which currently inhibits access to meaningful economic opportunity for middle- and base-level earners.  Demonstrate your understanding of the underlying problem before explaining your solution to it. Take time to explain the circumstances that led to the problem that you are committed to solving and set the stage for why your solution offers meaningful change.


THE BIG CHALLENGE (200 words)

Please provide a broad description of the problem that you are committed to solving. Offer an explanation of the current resources that are available to address the problem. Focus on why those resources are insufficient to ensure one or more aspects of a meaningful solution. Explain any previous attempts to solve the problem, if there were any, and why your big challenge persists within the current environment. This is your opportunity to look at the largest possible definition of the challenges that you and others face, in attempting to advance your solution.

SPECIFIC CONDITIONS (200 words)

Build on your description of the big challenge and offer a complementary description of the conditions specific to how you have chosen to implement your solution. Show that you understand the environment or target populations in which you have chosen to create or support economic opportunity.  Explain your understanding of specific operational or tactical hurdles that you face every day by dealing with a specific region, population, technology, or technical approach to the solution.


APPROACH

Now that you’ve defined the problem that you are solving and described the specific conditions affecting your implementation, please offer a description of your underlying strategy and the specific scope of your solution.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (150 words)

Briefly describe your solution to the big challenge that you previously described.  Explain your overarching strategy and the tactical or operational approaches that you have employed to address conditions specific to your organization. Reference the core philosophy behind your solution, to illustrate any guiding principles or factors that differentiate your approach from other organizations with similar missions. The executive summary is your opportunity to share an overview of the endeavor, your goals, and salient or measured indicators of success that summarily validate your approach. This broad description should provide judges with a brief overview of your solution before you are asked to provide specific details, and it should entice the judges to read on.

NOTE:  Your Executive Summary may be extracted from your application and published in materials, for the public or others to view.


PAST PERFORMANCE (250 words)

Please provide clear and compelling evidence that your organization’s solution has proven to be measurably effective. For some, a technology or a technical approach can be measured for its intrinsic innovation or effectiveness (such as performance according to an organization’s internal standards or requirements). Show specific and quantifiable evidence of past performance that directly drives economic opportunity for working people.


TIMING AND DURABILITY (100 words)

Please provide the total duration over which your solution has been in practice. You are welcome to explain any fluctuations during that time, such as when the solution may have expanded or evolved and how any previous iterations may be measured across different or overlapping timelines. We want to know that you have been operating during a sufficient duration to offer reliable proof of performance and value.


VALUE (250 words)

Now that you have provided quantifiable measures of your organization’s past performance, please explain the broader impact of your solution, as it relates to the needs of middle- and base-level earners. Explain how your organization will substantially improve their economic prospects, by either increasing income and/or earning potential. Does your organization enable middle- and base-level earners to realize improved and/or increased work opportunity and how? For some, the past performance section of your application will offer measures of value, but here please explain how those workers are improving or may improve (in the future) their prospects through your solution, to realize value in the broader labor markets.


VISION (250 words)

Describe your broader vision for the future of your organization and your solution. Make the case for why your solution is both bold and disruptive. Draw on the measures of your performance and other data to show that your core ideas are truly innovative and effective. What is your organization’s ambition for expanding the solution to reach broader and deeper outcomes?  This is your opportunity to inspire the judges to see the future through your organization’s experience and to convince them that your organization offers an inventive and creative solution that offers meaningful change for middle- and base-level earners.







3. YOUR PRACTICE

You have already established a firm understanding of your solution. Any claims should be supported by measures of your past performance and the present or future value that you are offering to middle- and base-level earners. Now, you are asked to provide more detailed information to explain the operational practices of your organization, so that the judges can understand the viability and scalability of your organization and solution.


ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE (150 words)

Please explain the operational and legal structure of your organization. Describe how that structure affects your operations and plan for growth. Please describe any relationships between your organization and partners or other organizations, if any, and the degree to which they are essential to your success. If your organization includes a Board or external Advisors, to complement the talents of your management team, please explain those relationships and any governing control over the organization’s operations. This is your opportunity to explain how your organization is designed to support the solution that you described in detail earlier in this application.


MANAGEMENT (150 words)

The following information is required to capture a basic understanding of the leadership, vision, and capabilities of those responsible for the implementation and growth of your solution. Please provide a narrative description of your organization’s leadership team and management structure, focusing on senior team members or executives responsible for delivering the solution, and their relationship to other senior team members or executives. Consider discussing how those leaders first conceived or supported the solution. Emphasize where any specific experience informed the development of the solution and how.  This is your opportunity to showcase the talents that drive and inform your organization.


FINANCIAL HEALTH & STABILITY (250 words)

Please provide a narrative description of the financial health of your organization. Judges have been trained to look for as much detail as possible, to distinguish those organizations that can show a clear roadmap towards long-term stability or expansion. Rather than prescribing a format, whereby any financial statements or formal records of financial activity would reveal those characteristics, we are allowing you to make your best case by offering details of your organization that clearly indicate your position as a viable and financially successful concern.

NOTE: If your organization is selected as a potential finalist, you may be asked to submit additional information and formal financial records.


SCALABILITY (250 words)

Explain how your organization and your solution will grow over time and increase in effectiveness, impacting a greater number of people and driving enhanced performance and value.  How will your organization continue to increase earning and earning potential, as well as access to work opportunities?  How will you ensure that your organization is positioned to manage any increasing resource requirements as you plan for growth? Describe your pathway to scalability and your vision for the future growth of your organization and the solution.


RISK MANAGEMENT (200 words)

Please describe any threats to your organization and your intended response or plans to manage them. While every organization and solution is different, we expect you to raise the most pressing assumptions of risk. Where possible, show that your team of managers, investments in specific resources, and strategic decisions will ensure that those risks do not threaten the long-term viability and growth of your organization and solution.


OTHER CONSIDERATIONS (150 words)

Here, you are welcome to offer any final comments and information that may not have been covered in other sections of your application and that you would like our judges to consider. This is also your opportunity to describe (more completely) any outstanding points raised earlier or explanations of your organization and your solution that you feel are critical to demonstrating your success.







ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In addition to the preceding application, the following questions will be used to consider your organization for a Judges’ Choice Award.  Each candidate may choose to respond to the following optional questions.  When answering “Yes” to any of the following questions, please provide an additional succinct explanation.







VIDEO PITCH

If your organization is named as a potential Finalist, you will be notified by late July, and you will have three weeks to produce a short video presentation that summarizes your application. Your video may be published to the general public on our website, and it will be used by our Selection Committee as one consideration when determining any award winners. Therefore, to provide you with as much advanced notice as possible for what to include in your video pitch (and how), we are offering the following detailed explanation.

Video submissions should follow these general guidelines:

Video submissions that do not follow these general guidelines may be removed.

Here are some logistical and technical suggestions:

Here are general suggestions for delivering a high-quality video pitch:

Hone your content:

Practice numerous times and solicit feedback from colleagues, family, and friends. You may publish your video to others and solicit their feedback. Do not submit a video pitch if you see room for improvement.

NOTE: The Video Pitch will be uploaded by providing a YouTube Video ID#.

Application

Judges will score and comment on submissions that satisfy the guidelines below

Application Guidelines

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

There are three sections in the application: 1. Your Quick Pitch, 2. Your Solution, and 3. Your Practice. Please read through all of the sections before proceeding. We encourage you to take full advantage of the word counts for each section. Finalists will be required to complete a Video Pitch as described below.







1. YOUR QUICK PITCH

In 25 words or less, provide a clear and succinct explanation of the solution (product, service, etc.) that your organization is offering to raise economic prospects for middle- and base-level earners. Your Quick Pitch is a brief statement that each assigned Judge will read to develop an initial impression of your solution. It should inspire the judges to read more. Keep it simple.



2. YOUR SOLUTION

In this section, you will respond to several questions that help describe your solution. Take time to underscore both the specific strengths of your solution and how it represents a broader overall strategy to address a specific problem that ensures meaningful progress towards creating economic opportunity for working people.

PROBLEM STATEMENT

Start by explaining the specific problem that you are committed to solving, which currently inhibits access to meaningful economic opportunity for middle- and base-level earners.  Demonstrate your understanding of the underlying problem before explaining your solution to it. Take time to explain the circumstances that led to the problem that you are committed to solving and set the stage for why your solution offers meaningful change.


THE BIG CHALLENGE (200 words)

Please provide a broad description of the problem that you are committed to solving. Offer an explanation of the current resources that are available to address the problem. Focus on why those resources are insufficient to ensure one or more aspects of a meaningful solution. Explain any previous attempts to solve the problem, if there were any, and why your big challenge persists within the current environment. This is your opportunity to look at the largest possible definition of the challenges that you and others face, in attempting to advance your solution.

SPECIFIC CONDITIONS (200 words)

Build on your description of the big challenge and offer a complementary description of the conditions specific to how you have chosen to implement your solution. Show that you understand the environment or target populations in which you have chosen to create or support economic opportunity.  Explain your understanding of specific operational or tactical hurdles that you face every day by dealing with a specific region, population, technology, or technical approach to the solution.


APPROACH

Now that you’ve defined the problem that you are solving and described the specific conditions affecting your implementation, please offer a description of your underlying strategy and the specific scope of your solution.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (150 words)

Briefly describe your solution to the big challenge that you previously described.  Explain your overarching strategy and the tactical or operational approaches that you have employed to address conditions specific to your organization. Reference the core philosophy behind your solution, to illustrate any guiding principles or factors that differentiate your approach from other organizations with similar missions. The executive summary is your opportunity to share an overview of the endeavor, your goals, and salient or measured indicators of success that summarily validate your approach. This broad description should provide judges with a brief overview of your solution before you are asked to provide specific details, and it should entice the judges to read on.

NOTE:  Your Executive Summary may be extracted from your application and published in materials, for the public or others to view.


PAST PERFORMANCE (250 words)

Please provide clear and compelling evidence that your organization’s solution has proven to be measurably effective. For some, a technology or a technical approach can be measured for its intrinsic innovation or effectiveness (such as performance according to an organization’s internal standards or requirements). Show specific and quantifiable evidence of past performance that directly drives economic opportunity for working people.


TIMING AND DURABILITY (100 words)

Please provide the total duration over which your solution has been in practice. You are welcome to explain any fluctuations during that time, such as when the solution may have expanded or evolved and how any previous iterations may be measured across different or overlapping timelines. We want to know that you have been operating during a sufficient duration to offer reliable proof of performance and value.


VALUE (250 words)

Now that you have provided quantifiable measures of your organization’s past performance, please explain the broader impact of your solution, as it relates to the needs of middle- and base-level earners. Explain how your organization will substantially improve their economic prospects, by either increasing income and/or earning potential. Does your organization enable middle- and base-level earners to realize improved and/or increased work opportunity and how? For some, the past performance section of your application will offer measures of value, but here please explain how those workers are improving or may improve (in the future) their prospects through your solution, to realize value in the broader labor markets.


VISION (250 words)

Describe your broader vision for the future of your organization and your solution. Make the case for why your solution is both bold and disruptive. Draw on the measures of your performance and other data to show that your core ideas are truly innovative and effective. What is your organization’s ambition for expanding the solution to reach broader and deeper outcomes?  This is your opportunity to inspire the judges to see the future through your organization’s experience and to convince them that your organization offers an inventive and creative solution that offers meaningful change for middle- and base-level earners.







3. YOUR PRACTICE

You have already established a firm understanding of your solution. Any claims should be supported by measures of your past performance and the present or future value that you are offering to middle- and base-level earners. Now, you are asked to provide more detailed information to explain the operational practices of your organization, so that the judges can understand the viability and scalability of your organization and solution.


ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE (150 words)

Please explain the operational and legal structure of your organization. Describe how that structure affects your operations and plan for growth. Please describe any relationships between your organization and partners or other organizations, if any, and the degree to which they are essential to your success. If your organization includes a Board or external Advisors, to complement the talents of your management team, please explain those relationships and any governing control over the organization’s operations. This is your opportunity to explain how your organization is designed to support the solution that you described in detail earlier in this application.


MANAGEMENT (150 words)

The following information is required to capture a basic understanding of the leadership, vision, and capabilities of those responsible for the implementation and growth of your solution. Please provide a narrative description of your organization’s leadership team and management structure, focusing on senior team members or executives responsible for delivering the solution, and their relationship to other senior team members or executives. Consider discussing how those leaders first conceived or supported the solution. Emphasize where any specific experience informed the development of the solution and how.  This is your opportunity to showcase the talents that drive and inform your organization.


FINANCIAL HEALTH & STABILITY (250 words)

Please provide a narrative description of the financial health of your organization. Judges have been trained to look for as much detail as possible, to distinguish those organizations that can show a clear roadmap towards long-term stability or expansion. Rather than prescribing a format, whereby any financial statements or formal records of financial activity would reveal those characteristics, we are allowing you to make your best case by offering details of your organization that clearly indicate your position as a viable and financially successful concern.

NOTE: If your organization is selected as a potential finalist, you may be asked to submit additional information and formal financial records.


SCALABILITY (250 words)

Explain how your organization and your solution will grow over time and increase in effectiveness, impacting a greater number of people and driving enhanced performance and value.  How will your organization continue to increase earning and earning potential, as well as access to work opportunities?  How will you ensure that your organization is positioned to manage any increasing resource requirements as you plan for growth? Describe your pathway to scalability and your vision for the future growth of your organization and the solution.


RISK MANAGEMENT (200 words)

Please describe any threats to your organization and your intended response or plans to manage them. While every organization and solution is different, we expect you to raise the most pressing assumptions of risk. Where possible, show that your team of managers, investments in specific resources, and strategic decisions will ensure that those risks do not threaten the long-term viability and growth of your organization and solution.


OTHER CONSIDERATIONS (150 words)

Here, you are welcome to offer any final comments and information that may not have been covered in other sections of your application and that you would like our judges to consider. This is also your opportunity to describe (more completely) any outstanding points raised earlier or explanations of your organization and your solution that you feel are critical to demonstrating your success.







ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In addition to the preceding application, the following questions will be used to consider your organization for a Judges’ Choice Award.  Each candidate may choose to respond to the following optional questions.  When answering “Yes” to any of the following questions, please provide an additional succinct explanation.







VIDEO PITCH

If your organization is named as a potential Finalist, you will be notified by late July, and you will have three weeks to produce a short video presentation that summarizes your application. Your video may be published to the general public on our website, and it will be used by our Selection Committee as one consideration when determining any award winners. Therefore, to provide you with as much advanced notice as possible for what to include in your video pitch (and how), we are offering the following detailed explanation.

Video submissions should follow these general guidelines:

Video submissions that do not follow these general guidelines may be removed.

Here are some logistical and technical suggestions:

Here are general suggestions for delivering a high-quality video pitch:

Hone your content:

Practice numerous times and solicit feedback from colleagues, family, and friends. You may publish your video to others and solicit their feedback. Do not submit a video pitch if you see room for improvement.

NOTE: The Video Pitch will be uploaded by providing a YouTube Video ID#.