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MIT IDEAS Global Challenge

Raised toward our $10,000 Goal
17 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on June 30, at 11:59 PM EDT
Project Owners

MIT IDEAS Global Challenge


We're excited to announce that we've reached our original goal of $10,000 and are now working towards a stretch goal of $20,000! We have already funded one prize at next year’s IDEAS awards ceremony. We are now increasing our goal to $20,000 to provide funding for IDEAS development grants and support for the overall competition. Will you help us get to $20,000? 

MT IDEAS Global Challenge

Empower MIT students to transform lives through invention!

Our Program

Imagine lacking access to clean and safe toilet facilities. Imagine trying to navigate your wheelchair over rough terrain. Imagine drinking water that could make you sick. Imagine suffering from medical problems that can’t be diagnosed or treated.

MIT students do imagine. And then they act. Every year, MIT students enter the IDEAS Global Challenge and apply their MIT education in real-world situations to tackle quality-of-life issues for people around the world.

IDEAS is an annual innovation and social entrepreneurship competition run by the MIT Public Service Center (PSC) that awards funding to student-led teams. Throughout the competition, MIT students work with PSC staff to form teams, find mentors, get advice and feedback, and apply for development grants and awards to help build their prototypes and lay the groundwork for their projects. By participating in the competition, IDEAS teams can win up to $10,000 to help them launch their projects.

The world has plenty of critical problems and there is no shortage of passion and ingenuity in MIT students. But the IDEAS Global Challenge needs greater resources to serve more student teams through awards, development grants, and mentorship. Help us get MIT students out into the world to make a difference by funding one of the top $10,000 awards!


Since 2001, IDEAS has awarded more than $600,000 to 104 teams. These teams have implemented innovative service projects in 41 countries, meeting the needs of hundreds of thousands of people.

These innovative projects often form the basis of new companies and organizations. After winning the competition, IDEAS teams have gone on to secure over $12 million in additional funding for their community projects, and more than half remain active in some way.

Watch our video to hear directly from winning teams about their work and see examples of their lasting impact.

What your support will do

What is lost to the world when we can’t support these innovative and compassionate projects?

Each competition cycle, we see so many more promising and innovative ideas than we can fund. We want to grow the competition so that we can encourage more teams to enter, support them as they develop their proposals, and provide larger awards for greater impact.

We could spend $10,000 in 10,000 ways in our journey to expand IDEAS, but today we need your help in funding one of the top awards. A $10,000 award will serve as a launch point for an MIT team to tackle a quality-of-life problem for a community in need.

What do IDEAS teams do with their award money? Here is some of what last year’s winners have already accomplished:

  • Employed 48 people with disabilities in manufacturing eco-friendly products in India
  • Developed a medical device to train health care providers in more than six Ugandan facilities on proper methods for infant resuscitation
  • Inspired Syrian refugee children with hands-on educational activities
  • Launched a new gluten-free product line utilizing the Ethiopian grain teff, with the goal of increasing Ethiopian farmers’ income
  • Developed a new process to convert waste plastic into fuel in China
  • Built new beverage vending machines that will allow customers to refill their bottles, cutting down on plastic waste, expended fuel, and electricity costs

Please help support this important work by making a gift today and spreading the word about the IDEAS Global Challenge. Thank you!


Thank you to our offline donors:

Nancy and Victor Schiller

Dr. William Putt

Our way
of Thanking You



Thank you very much for supporting the IDEAS Global Challenge!

3 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2014



Thank you for helping us bring MIT students together to collaborate on solving community problems! Please accept an IDEAS Scout Book with our thanks.

1 of 50 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2014



Your gift empowers us to expand IDEAS to support more student entrepreneurs. We will send a video thank-you from an IDEAS student to recognize your support!

5 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2014



With your support, we can help MIT students transform their ideas through advice and mentorship. Please accept a video thank-you and a Scout Book with our appreciation!

0 of 15 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2014



Thank you for helping to fund awards for IDEAS students, which enable MIT students to try out their amazing ideas. Please accept pancake and waffle mix made by 2013 IDEAS winner Love Grain ( with our thanks!

1 of 14 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2014



Thank you for supporting innovative public service. With supporters like you, we can help students change lives. Please accept a wristlet from 2013 IDEAS team Lallitara ( with our sincere gratitude.

1 of 4 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2014
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