“We’re excited to partner with Verizon on this inspiring initiative that will help us reach more diverse students and engage the CGI U community in harnessing technology to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Through this partnership, the next generation of leaders will gain access to enhanced tools, resources, and opportunities to help them turn their ideas into action and make a difference in our society.” —Kevin Thurm, CEO, Clinton Foundation
About the Challenge
This Challenge encourages teams of current undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at U.S. institutions, and CGI U alumni, to leverage 5G and other leading-edge technology to advance equity within the U.S. in CGI U’s five focus areas (education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health). The initiative is part of Citizen Verizon, Verizon's responsible business plan for economic, environmental, and social advancement. The HBCU Founders Initiative and the United Negro College Fund are proud to join forces with Verizon and CGI U to inspire and support undergraduate and graduate students in tackling society’s greatest challenges across the five focus areas listed above through the Forward for Good Challenge. Finalists will receive access to intensive summer entrepreneurship training with accelerator partner VentureWell, seed funding, and living stipends to advance their solutions.
how to apply
Prospective applicants are encouraged to:
- Read the Prompt and Rubric to narrow down your project focus area
- Form teams of 2-3 with complementary skill sets and experience
- Attend at least one information session
- Submit application by January 21, 2022
The project submission deadline is Friday, January 21, 2022. Applications will be reviewed by the Challenge Selection Committee, and all applicants will be notified of their application status in April 2022.
- All current undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a U.S. institution, as well as CGI U alumni, who were previously or are currently enrolled in a U.S. institution are encouraged to apply.
- Team members are not required to attend the same institution and CGI U alumni may partner with current students. No prior CGI U community engagement is required.
- We welcome all applicants, and strongly encourage students enrolled at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, community colleges, and vocational and trade schools to apply.
- We encourage participation from students with disabilities. If you have a disability and need a reasonable accommodation in completing the application or attending any information sessions, please contact [email protected].
Finalist Teams Will receive:
- An exclusive spot in a full-time summer accelerator program with VentureWell where teams will receive intensive entrepreneurial training from June-August 2022. Teams will work closely with VentureWell’s experienced trainers to develop a nuanced understanding of the particular need being addressed, identify gaps in the approaches currently deployed, improve the technical and business aspects of the solution, and create a viable business model. This includes membership in the VentureWell E-Team program and access to E-Team alumni programming, network, and resources.
- Access to $5,000 in project seed funding per team and $8,500 in living stipends for each team member.
- Expert mentorship and access to networking opportunities through CGI U, Verizon, and VentureWell communities.
- Access to the CGI U 2022 curriculum and invitations to the CGI U Annual Meeting in April 2022.
- Opportunity for teams to pitch their venture in Fall 2022 to a panel of experts, including Chelsea Clinton.
In an effort to support students, schools, and CGI U alumni interested in the Challenge, CGI U, Verizon, and VentureWell will host a series of in-depth information sessions to guide applicants through the process of preparing competitive submissions. We invite all who are interested in applying to register for at least one of the following sessions.