The Art of Strengths Coaching

D is for The Dell Social Innovation Challenge

The Dell Social Innovation Challenge encourages young people to use their creativity to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems.

Below are excerpts from the DSIC website. You can discover more via the following link.



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.


Our 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 our launch, more than 15,000 students from 105 countries have proposed more than 4,500 ideas. We’ve awarded more than $450,000 to more than 50 student teams around the world.

Each year we fly challenge Finalists and Specialty Award winners to Austin for a weekend of mentoring, workshops, and other activities as part of the Verb Awards. Our Semi-Finalists are also matched with mentors for one-on-one coaching and feedback.


In 2011, we offered five cash prizes totaling $100,000. The 2012 challenge presented 27 awards, more than $350,000 in cash and in-kind prizes, including our Grand Prize of $50,000.

This expansion allows us to recognize the best projects from each stage of development, world region and social impact area.

Additionally, our new challenge website offers participants the tools and teachings they need to improve and advance their projects. It also provides 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.

Who Can Enter

Anyone and everyone can join our growing online social innovation community and support students on their projects.

Only currently enrolled university and college students may create project entries and compete in our annual grand prize competition.

Our Dell Social Innovation Challenge annual competition is open to ALL university students in the world – it doesn’t matter what school you attend or what you’re studying.  

And you don’t need a venture plan to enter. Everything from early-stage ideas to mature projects that are up and running can compete to win.

Your innovation project could be vested in starting a nonprofit organization, a for-profit business, a campaign, community volunteerism, university club or even other informal or formal operations.

Your individual user profile gives you an option to find project team members, join existing teams, attract support and help others on their projects.  

Competitions & Awards 

The DSIC continues to develop. Below are links to the competitions and awards that were offered in 2013.

We offer and give out over $350,000 annually in cash and in-kind prizes. View Prizes and Awards for the Dell Social Innovation Challenge Grand Prize Awards and People’s Choice Awards here:

The Dell Education Challenge rewards university students who develop the most innovative ideas to transform learning in today’s primary schools. 

Project Competitions: Four Phases

We offer four project entry categories to reward and support innovations at all phases of social impact development. You can submit as many project entries as you’d like in any phase.

Define: social impacts and the innovation driving them exist conceptually in your head, or you’ve a few general ideas with limited research at this point.

Design: impact potentials are taking shape as project execution assumptions are tested with potential customer/beneficiaries, beginnings of formal internal and external teams and some details on project pilot locale and test elements are captured.

Pilot: the innovation project has been tested with a small group of customer/beneficiaries and is getting verifiable impacts. Team continues making project improvements based on live experience in the field.

Scale: the innovation has proven successful at achieving social impacts in more than one geographic area. The project has sustainable financial and human resource models with strong leadership and strategic partner support in place.

You can find more information on the Dell Social Innovation Challenge website.

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