The Rise Prize will make 14 awards totalling $1.5M to solutions driving economic mobility and well-being for student parents.
The Prize was created by Imaginable Futures—a venture of The Omidyar Group—and Lumina Foundation, along with a group of leading partner organizations, to leverage direct investments in innovative solutions supporting student parents.
We believe that postsecondary success for parents is crucial in improving educational outcomes for entire families and supporting the journeys of millions of families to economic mobility. We are also now facing unprecedented uncertainty as we adjust to new realities as a result of COVID-19. Student parents are among the most impacted by the global pandemic, facing childcare disruptions, and unpredictability at school and with work.
Postsecondary success is defined as traditional degrees and non-traditional credential, certificate, workforce development, and alternative college pathways programs, that leads to economic mobility and overall well-being.
If your company, program, or organization is working to support and empower student parents, or you want to learn how your solution can be tailored to accelerate the postsecondary success of student parents, apply for the Rise Prize by May 17!
The Prize is open to impact-driven changemakers: companies, programs, and organizations of any type or stage in the US working on solutions directly supporting student parent postsecondary success. This includes changemakers who are seeking to add additional products or solutions to accelerate the success of student parents.
We welcome applicants working on innovative solutions to directly impact postsecondary success for student parents at scale, including:
Equity and inclusion is a central theme of the Rise Prize. We strive to ensure that applicants of varying sizes, sectors, and backgrounds have an equal chance of success.
The Rise Prize is designed to increase the number of innovative solutions driving postsecondary success for student parents. There will be three types of awards made through a single application process:
New ideas and solutions anchored in initial customer validation (user testing or pilots, market research, or a plan for customer validation).
This could include:
8 winners from the early stage category will be awarded $50,000 each.
Defined by solutions provided by organizations that have strong conviction about the business or organization’s ability to serve student parents and are looking to take that work to scale. For venture-backed startups, this means Series A and beyond.
These solutions should have:
5 winners from the mature stage category will be awarded $200,000 each.
Awarded to one winner in either the Early Stage or Mature Stage for $100,000 by our student parent judges.
Solutions that will have a direct impact on the postsecondary success of student parents—whether your solution is focused on these outcomes or others, we want to hear from you. Those solutions could include: flexible courseware, original outcomes-based financing solutions, innovative childcare support models, community building or completion coaching—any type of solution designed to accelerate student parent success. Apply here.
Student parents do meaningfully better when there is access to quality, affordable childcare solutions.
Student parents benefit from support services/mentoring, well-being, and access to social capital.
Student parents need solutions that are competency-based and allow for completion faster or in more incremental ways.
Student parents need solutions that are flexible and adapted to their “shredded time” schedule. This includes using virtual and online courses to enhance the learning environment, as well as a combination of virtual and in-person coaching to assist with persistence.
Student parents require solutions that are affordable given other budget constraints with children.
Student parents need access to economic mobility through a credential and increased connection to their job/career. This includes programs that offer competency-based education focused on the skills and competencies that employers want and need.
Prize submissions will be judged on four important components for success. These components are: