Application FAQ

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What is meant by late-stage development?

The project must be at a stage of research where an advanced prototype or field/market test can occur during the award period. Idea/concept stage projects will not be accepted.

What can the funding be used for?

Funding awarded to winners in the competition may be used for project-related expenses only as detailed in the submitted project budget, not for the personal use of individuals.

May I apply to other sources of funding for the project?

Yes, you may apply to other sources of funding. Please list on the budget template other funding for the proposal that has been committed or is pending.

If my organization does not yet have its 501(c)(3) status, but we have a US-based 501(c)(3) fiscal agent, can we apply?

Yes, you may apply. Upload your fiscal agent’s 501(c)(3) form and fiscal agency agreement in the application, and explain your relationship in the “Narrative” section of the application. These should be uploaded as one document.

Does the wireless related technology have to make an impact in a developing country?

No, the wireless related technology can be used in the United States, or abroad. There are no geographical restrictions.

If my team and I are currently university graduate students, but will be graduating soon, may we still apply?

Yes, you may apply. However, if the university is acting as your fiscal agent, then your organization must be an independent 501(c)(3) organization or a project of another 501(c)(3) once you leave. Due to limited resources, as a US-based foundation, we are only able to give funds to US-based 501(c)(3) organizations. We are not able to give funds to for-profit organizations.

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Submitting an Application

What is the process for submitting an application?

Applicants must first complete the Eligibility Questionnaire which asks some basic questions about the proposed Project. Applicants who successfully complete the questionnaire will be automatically directed to the “Terms and Conditions” page. After indicating acceptance of the Terms and Conditions, Applicants will be able to create a log in and password. An email will be sent with the application URL and log-in instructions. The Project entry application consists of multiple narrative questions and a downloadable budget template to complete and submit with your application for entry into the competition.

I did not receive a confirmation email for when I signed up for an account. What should I do?

First, check to see that the confirmation email did not end up in your spam/junk folder. Otherwise, you may have to retake the Eligibility Questionnaire and register with a different email address. If you still do not receive a confirmation email, then please contact us.

Can I submit more than one application?

Yes, however, it must be for a completely different project. In the online application, you can create and work on multiple project submissions in the same account.

What is the deadline to apply?

The deadline for applications is March 5, 2018. Please start your applications early so that if there are any technical difficulties, they can be addressed with sufficient time.

Who should I list as the primary contact?

You should list the person who we should send all information to regarding your project application. This might not necessarily be the head of your department.

What type of files can I upload in the application?

PDFs, Microsoft Word Docs, and Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets.

Why isn’t the application saving information pasted from a Word or PDF file?

First, make sure your answer is not longer than 500 words. If that’s not the issue, it may be that text pasted from your Word or PDF file has special characters or invisible code that are preventing the application from saving. Try converting the file to text-only format (.txt) and then paste in the text. Be aware that converting to .txt may strip out some formatting such as links, italics, underline, bold text, etc.

How many files can I upload per section (Organization, Narrative, Finance)?

You can only upload one document for each section. If you upload another document when one is already present, it will overwrite the previous document.

How will I know that my online application has been received?

Once you submit your application online, you will receive a confirmation email.

How many applications do you receive each year?

We receive more than 100 applications per year, but don’t let that discourage you!

What happens to the IP (intellectual property) of my project once it is submitted? Is Vodafone going to take my idea?

Although the Vodafone Americas Foundation™ is associated with the Vodafone Corporation, we are a separate legal entity and a nonprofit organization. Our intent is to support the best wireless related innovation that can make a social impact, not to find or copy intellectual property for the corporation.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

If you have any questions, please contact us: You may also contact us by phone: (650) 832-6601, but email is preferable.

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Selection Process

What happens to my application once it has been submitted?

All submitted applications will be reviewed by a committee at the Vodafone Americas Foundation™ who will select the finalists to make a presentation to the judging panel. The finalists will be notified by e-mail on or about March 31, 2018.

How many finalist teams will present to the judging panel? How many winners will be selected?

Vodafone Americas Foundation™ will select up to 10 finalists who will be asked to make an in-person presentation before a panel of judges with expertise in the areas of wireless engineering, international development, and social entrepreneurship. Three winners will be selected.

If my Project is not selected as a finalist, will you provide feedback?

No, due to the volume of entries, we cannot provide feedback to projects.

May I edit the application between being selected as a finalist and the presentation?

Finalists will not be allowed to edit their applications once they have been submitted. However, finalists will be asked to submit a 2-page Project update after they have been notified. Finalists will also be allowed to submit additional supporting documentation. During the application stage, only 25 pages will be allowed, but finalists will be allowed to submit additional documents.

When and where will the final presentation be?

Finalist presentations will be held in San Francisco, CA and will take place in the spring of 2018.

What is the format of the final presentation?

Finalists may bring up to 2 team members to the presentation. Travel and lodging expenses will be paid by the Foundation (details and limitations to be provided by the Foundation to all Finalists at the time an Applicant is notified that he/she is a Finalist). Finalists will have 30 minutes to present. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers with the judges for 15 minutes.

How will the final presentation be judged?

The final presentation will be judged on the outlined Evaluation Criteria.

Who will judge the final presentation?

Each year, the judges will be different for the competition. They are selected to represent a diverse set of industries—nonprofit, business, technology and social enterprise.

When/where will the winners be announced?

The winners will be announced at a public forum in the spring. Travel and lodging for the event will be provided by the Foundation.

Will Vodafone Americas Foundation™ sign a Non Disclosure Agreement?


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Technical Information

Is the document attached to my project when I upload?

No, you have to press the save button in order to attach the uploaded documents to your project.

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Terms and Conditions

See our Terms and Conditions page

To agree to the Terms and Conditions and start an application, please complete the Eligibility Questionnaire.

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