Vodafone Americas Foundation to Award $50,000 to COVID-19 Business Pivots through the OpenIDEO COVID-19 Business Pivot Challenge Partnership

The global pandemic has changed everything. And while the full impact remains untold, one thing’s for sure, we need new ways to meet new challenges. That’s the spirit of The COVID-19 Business Pivot Challenge, launched last week by OpenIDEO in partnership with the Vodafone Americas Foundation.

The goal of the initiative is to help businesses discover how they can support the world’s immediate needs during the COVID-19 response. I’m positive that there are creative, imaginative and inspirational solutions that can help shape a more just and resilient future – that is the ultimate vision.

As part of this Challenge, the Vodafone Americas Foundation will award a total of $50,000 in funding to five selected submissions ($10,000 each) related to the use of IoT, AI, and/or mobile technology.

The time for us to come together is now. I’m honored and excited to further the ideas designed to tackle the effects of COVID-19.

Below are the challenge guidelines and more details. To participate, submit your ideas here: https://ideo.in/2VacuZL


Submission Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria

Submissions are invited from registered nonprofit, civil society, community-based, and for-profit organizations working anywhere in the world.

Anyone is welcome to submit to the Challenge and benefit from community management and resources. To be eligible for Vodafone Americas Foundation funding, submissions must focus on one of the following tech areas, describing how tech will enable business to pivot, adapt and thrive:

  • Internet of Things (IoT): Smart devices allow us to connect, share and analyze data remotely. IoT can be used in hospitals and health systems for monitoring, as well as in other essential sectors like agriculture. At this time, we’re curious how we might find new uses for sensor technology to help combat COVID-19.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI): AI-based solutions and tools are being used for a wide variety of needs right now – providing medical screenings, assisting with information dissemination, and monitoring the spread of the outbreak.
  • Mobile Data & Technology: Mobile technology and data can be leveraged to develop apps that help trace the spread of the disease, to communicate with vulnerable populations, or to provide access to crucial services (health-related and beyond).
  • Although not required to receive funding, in addition to addressing one of the tech areas above, submissions that include a focus on supporting women and girls will receive special consideration.

Eligible submissions will be:

  • Actionable and tangible: Teams should showcase a plan and ability to quickly launch the submitted pivot within a 1-month timeframe. Submissions should describe any prototypes or initial tests performed so far.
  • Impact-oriented: Teams should demonstrate how they plan to meet a real need. This includes thoughtfulness around impact measurement: how will this pivot create value for communities and the world?
  • Complete: To help us move quickly during the evaluation process, we request that all teams interested in consideration for funding respond to all questions in the submission form by April 30.


How to indicate interest in funding:

  • All submissions to the Ideation section of the Challenge will be considered for this funding opportunity. No additional materials are required. However, it is recommended that participants ensure that the eligibility criteria listed above is demonstrated in the answers to submission questions.