The Rise Prize is for US-based organizations of any age, size, or type that are currently working on direct impact initiatives for student parents as well as other students, for example:
Yes. We recognize that student parents are a population that intersects with many other populations, such as first-generation students, working adults, and justice-involved individuals.
As long as your target population includes student parents and you are able to articulate in your application how your program will directly impact student parents, it will be a good fit for the Rise Prize.
Yes! We encourage those with early-stage ideas to apply for the Early Stage application pool.
Yes, you can still apply—and we want you to apply! Your organization would need to have a new idea anchored in initial customer validation (user testing or pilots, market research, plan for customer validation, or a feasibility study). This could include:
Organizations with ideas that have demonstrated product/market fit and strength of the market as well as measured impact on customers/end users should apply in the Mature Stage prize pool. In cases where applicants did not select the correct application pool, Prize evaluators will reassign applicants following consultation.
No. Since the Rise Prize is awarded as prize money, there are no conditions or reporting requirements attached to winning the Rise Prize, but we hope to stay in touch on the impact of your solution.
No – since the funds are awarded as prize money, there are no spending requirements or project periods attached to the Rise Prize.
Yes. The prize money may be used to provide scholarships to student parents.
No - the funds are awarded as “no strings attached” prize funding. The Rise Prize team will not take any equity stake in the winning organizations.
No, the challenge is intended for US-based organizations serving student parents domestically.
No. The Rise Prize is open to for-profit, non-profit organizations, and traditional and non-traditional postsecondary programs. Departments within postsecondary institutions are welcome to apply.
No. There is no fee to submit an entry.
No. Unfortunately, applications not completed and submitted by the application deadline will not be accepted. All entry materials need to be submitted by May 17, 2020 at 11:59pm EST.
All answers must be written in English.
You will have the option to make your application public or private based on whether you would like to use the platform to network with other applicants.
No. However, we will match finalists with the advisor best fitted with the domain knowledge to help refine the solution.
A team of subject-matter experts, who bring a range of perspectives to the table, will evaluate each entry. The judges include: Ascend Parent Advisors, experts in postsecondary education and economic mobility, and staff from Imaginable Futures, Lumina, and Entangled.
Winners will be notified July 3, 2020.
No. The prize money is meant to accelerate the most innovative solutions for student parents.
Yes. If you are selected as a finalist, you will be required to give a virtual pitch to our judges on June 24 and 25. Winners will be selected and notified on July 2, 2020.
8 winners from the Early Stage category will be awarded $50,000 each.
5 winners from the Mature Stage category will be awarded $200,000 each.
1 winner for the Risers’ Choice will be awarded $100,000. Risers’ Choice winner will be selected by the Ascend PSP Parent Advisor judges.
Disqualification can happen for several reasons, including but not limited to:
Unfortunately, due to the volume of requests, we cannot provide personalized support to applicants over the phone. However, our team is happy to answer any questions over email at firstname.lastname@example.org.