The NewDay Challenges is open to all undergraduate and graduate Tulane University students dedicated to finding innovative, sustainable solutions to social challenges affecting New Orleans. Students interested in the NewDay Challenge are strongly encouraged to apply for the Changemaker Institute social venture accelerator.
The NewDay Challenge awards up to $20,000 in seed funding to Tulane undergraduate and graduate students dedicated to finding innovative, sustainable solutions to social challenges. Applicants can be any student-created, student-led organization, program, or venture that benefits the New Orleans community. The seed funding is intended to enable student innovators to turn their social impact ideas into reality. We are looking for student ventures that:
- Create social value
- Plan to generate revenue (sustainability)
- Address a social challenge in New Orleans
To qualify for NewDay Challenge Funding, you must meet these requirements:
- Be an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in classes part-time or full-time at the time of application
- Be in good standing with Tulane University
- Be one of the primary owners of the social venture idea
- Offer clear and measurable use of funding with a plan to generate revenue
- Express a commitment to solve a specific social challenge faced by our New Orleans community
- Generate less than $50,000 in current revenues at the time of application
- Demonstrate how funding will allow the venture to take the next step needed to achieve goals
The full application requires the components described below. Links include examples, resources, or templates to use while developing your proposal:
- A one-page resume for each official team member
- A 5-10 page proposal that includes:
- Problem Definition:
- Describe the social or environmental issue your venture is addressing and why is it a serious problem.
- Explain your venture’s hypothesized innovative solution in the context of the identified social problem. Be sure to demonstrate your knowledge of pre-existing attempts to focus on this issue and what makes your venture unique.
- Sustainable social impact
- Describe how this funding will propel your venture forward and help to create a financially sustainable model.
- Team Leadership
- Describe who is on your team and your combined expertise.
- Detail any partners outside of your internal team (community partnerships, local NGOs, government agencies, companies, students from other universities, volunteers, consultants, etc.).
- Demonstrate a feasible budget and timeline by describing how you plan to implement your venture, including steps previously taken and concrete next steps. Include a clear timeline.
- Impact and Assessment
- Describe how you will evaluate/measure your work and its impact on solving the problem your venture is addressing.
- Describe lessons you have learned while testing your idea, particularly focusing on your interactions with potential users and any need to pivot during the process.
- Problem Definition:
- An itemized budget & funding request. You must use the template provided.
- Two one-page letters of recommendation.
- Acknowledgement of the Student Contract.
- A completed W-9 (optional at time of application, required to receive award).
Finalists are required to attend the Taylor student showcase in the spring.
Application Deadline & Selection Process
All applications are due at 11:59 PM CT on the date of deadline in order to guarantee review and selection. All applicants will receive feedback from Taylor staff within 7 days of the submission deadline. Applicants will then have 7 days to submit an updated proposal, which will be disseminated to the selection committee.
A selection committee from the Tulane and New Orleans community will evaluate all entries that meet the minimum objective criteria and select finalists based on the following:
- Complete and thorough explanation of the problem, your proposed solution, and your social mission
- Potential that your venture will be self–sustaining
- Innovation, creativity, and feasibility of your solution
- Strength of your team and partners
- Evidence of testing your hypothesis & prototyping your solution with potential users
- Impact on community and validation of your solution (letters of support, sales, partners)
- Ability for NewDay seed funding to help launch your venture
We reserve the right to accept or deny candidates based on any of the described criteria.
Congratulations on your award! Your next steps are to:
1) Attend the Taylor Student Showcase.