The Gender Equity in STEM Challenge seeks solutions that will help provide women with the tools and conditions needed to reach a state of equality with men in the STEM fields.
When they refer to “girls” and/or “women,” they are referring to anyone who identifies as female. As such, this challenge invites applications from any solution that serves girls, women, and/or non-male individuals. When they refer to “STEM” they are inclusive of the broad range of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and career paths that exist in all sectors.
- While government action and sound policies play a critical role in addressing these challenges, so does strong engagement from the public and private sector. To that end, Tiger Global Impact Ventures and MIT Solve are seeking to support US-based solutions that address barriers and unlock the untapped potential of girls and women in STEM across the country. Solutions should include one or more of the following focus areas:
- Support K-12 educators in effectively teaching and engaging girls in STEM in classroom or afterschool settings;
- Ensure continuity across STEM education in order to decrease successive drop-off in completion rates from K-12 through undergraduate years;
- Create a more inclusive STEM workplace culture including through improving pay transparency, decreasing bias in hiring and promotion, introducing and upholding healthy behaviors and organizational role models, and/or bolstering wraparound supports for workers who are caregivers;
- Enable women STEM entrepreneurs to participate and thrive in the entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing access to capital, resources, or network-building, or diversifying the investor landscape.
- Finalists will be invited to a virtual pitch event to present their solutions in front of distinguished judges. A total pool of $1 million in prize funding is available for up to 8 winners of the Gender Equity in STEM Challenge.
- In addition to funding, each Challenge winner will participate in a six-month tailored support program run by MIT Solve that will include:
- A comprehensive needs assessment to determine what resources and support are most appropriate in order to accelerate your impact
- Access to a network of resource partners across industries and sectors
- Learning and development modules aimed at refining your business model, theory of change, and plans for scaling
- Individual or group leadership coaching, a process of reflection, learning, and change to maximize your personal and professional potential
- A peer-to-peer network to build a community of practice with dedicated spaces to convene throughout the duration of the support program
What types of solutions are eligible?
- Solution applications must be written in English. The Challenge considers solutions at various stages of development.
- Prototype: A venture or organization building and testing its product, service, or business model. If for-profit, a new company getting off the ground that has raised little or no institutional capital (less than $500,000) in pre-seed fundraising.
- Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community or population. If for-profit, a young company that is working to gain traction and that has raised less than $2 million in institutional capital in seed funding.
- Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth in multiple communities or populations. If for-profit, an early-stage company that has established a track record and is seeking to raise a round of roughly $2 million to $15 million in institutional capital in a Series A or potentially B round.
- Scale: A sustainable enterprise working in several communities or populations that is looking to scale significantly, focusing on increased efficiency. If for-profit, a successful company that is scaling its operations and seeks to raise a round of more than $15 million in institutional capital.
- Through open innovation, the Challenge is looking for a diverse portfolio of solutions across US geography, development stage, and team members’ demographics. They encourage people of all backgrounds to submit applications including male allies, whose role in helping to create gender equity in STEM fields cannot be understated.
- They invite submissions from individuals, new teams, or established organizations. Solutions can be for-profit, nonprofit, or hybrid models and must be at least at the prototype stage. Solution teams must be US-based to be eligible for the Challenge. If you have a relevant solution addressing at least one of the dimensions of this Challenge, they hope you’ll apply!
- August 8, 2023: Finalists announced
- September 11-12, 2023: Virtual pitch event for finalists
- September 15, 2023: Winners announced
- October 2023 – May 2024: Winner support program
- While they aim to follow the schedule, the following dates are subject to change. All applicants will be notified if changes occur.
For more information, visit Gender Equity in STEM Challenge.