The Rockefeller Foundation-Acumen Student Social Innovation Challenge 2020


Acumen, with the support of The Rockefeller Foundation, is equipping student innovators to solve problems associated with poverty through a global challenge platform. Student teams from around the world are coming together to explore areas of opportunity, develop ideas, and pitch for funding and mentorship.

Develop an innovative solution to a problem associated with poverty and pitch for a chance to win up to $20,000 plus an invite to a community of entrepreneurs and investors who’ll help turn your idea into a successful venture.


  • Learn about social challenges from experts in the field
  • Form a team and an idea for solving one of them
  • Refine your idea through online courses and Learning Labs
  • Pitch your idea for a chance to win funding, mentorship, and support

Challenge Areas:

  • Workforce Development
    Making decent work and quality education accessible and affordable 
  • Financial Inclusion
    Reducing poverty 
  • Health
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Energy

Location: Online

Deadline: March 3, 2020


  • Winning teams will receive up to $20,000 from a funding pool of $100,000
  • Winners will also be invited to join Acumen’s Community of Social Innovators to receive ongoing support from a network of Acumen Fellows, social entrepreneurs, and change-makers


  • Must be a student enrolled in a higher education institution
  • Must form a team of at least two people (at least one member but be a student)
  • Complete 4 of the 5 assignments in the Lean Startup course (including the final assignment) and submit an application for the Accelerator program. At least two team members must complete the Lean Startup course.
  • Interview for and be selected to participate in the Student Social Enterprise Accelerator program.
  • Participate in at least 7 of the 8 Accelerator Learning Labs and submit all assignments, including a final pitch deck. The pitch deck must include a budget for the prize funding and a three-month work plan including key milestones and dates.

For more information, visit Rockefeller Foundation-Acumen Student Social Innovation Challenge 2020