Google seeks UK entrepreneurs

By James Riches topicIcon Internet News

Global Impact Challenge will help four ideas get off the ground

Google has launched a competition to help the UK's best not-for-profit ideas get off the ground.

The Google Global Impact Challenge invites anyone in the UK to submit suggestions that would "use innovation to tackle the world's toughest problems and transform lives".

The contest will choose four winners, each of whom will receive £500,000 to help them get started, as Google devotes funds to philanthropic activities in the wake of its record earnings last year. The four winners will also receive help from Google in the form of advice and computer equipment.

To earn this prize, the entrepreneurs will first have to impress the public. Those who pass this stage will then face the daunting task of having to pitch their idea to a panel of experts in June.

The judging panel includes Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Richard Branson, as well as Martin Brittin (Google vice president for north and central Europe), Jilly Forster (founder of Forster Communications) and Jacquelline Fuller (director of Google Giving).

Three of the winners will be chosen by the panel, while the fourth award will go to whichever project receives the most public votes.

How Google's expert panel will decide the winners

Each idea will be assessed on three criteria. Firstly, each idea will have to show how their idea "will use technology and innovation to make the world a better place," with Google stipulating the ideas must target a specific problem "on a grand scale".

Secondly, the entrepreneurs must show how they would use the resources contained within the prize. They must also show that they have considered what challenges the project will face, and how these will be overcome.

Finally, they must be able to show that they are well placed to implement their plan quickly and successfully. They can do this by demonstrating how their team will operate, and highlighting their strong track record in previous projects.

Entrants must submit their ideas by April 17, with finalists chosen in May.

Tom Glass, creative director at theEword, said: "This competition is sure to attract plenty of attention, particularly with the prospect of a large prize and getting to pitch to some of the biggest names in technology innovation."