What are you looking for – how will the submissions be judged?

We’re looking for proposals of products and services that provide affordable access to the full diversity of the open Internet. In this innovation challenge, we are particularly focused on supporting solutions that can be scaled. The Criteria section details what we believe are important attributes.

Am I eligible to participate?

Teams can be from any geography and nationality, but because Mozilla is a US-based company, we cannot accept submissions from residents of countries that are embargoed or sanctioned by the US government.

I’m a Mozilla employee, can I submit a concept?

The Equal Rating Innovation Challenge is not open to Mozilla employees. Best practices for innovation challenges indicate that legal complexities can arise when employees engage with prizes sponsored by their employers.

I work for a company but want to submit an concept independently – is that permitted?

Yes, provided there is no conflict of interest, you have the rights to the concept, and you have secured permission, if necessary, from your employer. It is your responsibility to secure that permission.

I have an idea for a solution but no team, can you help me?

We require that submissions are made by teams made up by at least two qualified adults. While we cannot assign team members, we are supporting a community discussion board where you may be able to connect with others.

My solution is pretty early, are you only permitted to submit products that are in the marketplace already?

We will accept submissions from a broad spectrum of stages–from early ideas to products currently in the marketplace. Teams must comprehensively describe how they will build, test, and scale their solutions, as well as providing evidence that the solution is technically feasible. Products that are currently in the marketplace must describe how they will take advantage of the prize publicity, mentorship, and award money to improve and scale their product.

Can I submit more than one concept?


Can I be on more than one team?

You are permitted to be a member of more than one team.

Do solutions have to be applicable to more than one region or geography?

We are looking for solutions that have the ability to be scaled beyond a single region or geography. We believe in creating prototypes and conducting focused pilots with target communities, but our hope is that solutions in this innovation challenge will be able to grow more broadly.

I already submitted this solution to another competition, can I still submit it here?

Yes, you are permitted to submit your concept to this innovation challenge even if you have submitted it to another competition, and if there is no conflict with the other challenge.

Mozilla is an open source company, do submissions have to be open source?

Our goal is to connect the unconnected to the open Internet in a net neutral manner. Our hypothesis is that solutions successful in accomplishing this goal will be interoperable and implementable by a range of actors. At Mozilla, we support this type of radical innovation through open source licensing because we have found this enables broad scalability of product solutions, and removes the single-source choke points that often prevent true inclusiveness. We recommend–but do not require–that you open source your proposed solution. If you have an alternative path to accomplish similar goals and avoid known pitfalls, simply explain your plan on the submission form.

My solution includes confidential information – should I include that in the submission form?

Please do not share any confidential information on the submission form or in any or transmission for this competition. Please note that parts of your submission form (name, location, submission name, etc) may be made public, so please do not include any information that is protected or too sensitive to share publicly.

Can I share visuals or presentation materials with my submission?

You have the option to share an illustrative schematic (flow chart, diagram, graphic, etc) with your submission if it will help elucidate your concept. On the bottom of the submission form, there is an option to attach a single PNG, JPG, or GIF with maximum file size of 2Mb.

How will I know my submission has been received?

When you submit your completed submission form, the Team Leader will receive an email to the provided email address with confirmation of submission. Please retain a copy of your submission. Please contact us at equalrating@mozilla.com if you do not receive an email receipt.

How will I know if my team has been selected as a semifinalist?

If your team has been selected as a semifinalist, we will reach out to you via the Team Leader contact phone number and email address before the semifinalist announcement

What happens during the mentorship phase?

Based on the feedback from the judges and a consultation with your team, we will connect you with Mozilla experts in domains including  policy, business, engineering, and design to hone your concept. In addition, we will provide advisement for your Demo Day presentation. We expect that most mentorship activities will take place via video conference or phone call, and will average 4 hours a week for the duration of the mentorship period.

Do I have to go to Demo Day if I’m selected as a semifinalist?

Our goal is to convene the Judges and a representative from each semifinalist team in a central location for Demo Day. If your team is selected as a semifinalist, we will provide a travel stipend to defray costs associated with attending Demo Day in person for one member of the team (typically the Team Leader).

What is “community voting” after Demo Day?

After Demo Day, videos of each of the semifinalist presentations with be posted to the innovation challenge website and visitors to the site may vote for their favorite solution (one vote per day per person). After a period of one week of open voting, the results of the community voting will be tallied and shared with the Judges. The Judges will consider these data along with the scoring matrix when they make their decisions.

How can I use the prize money?

Winning teams are required to use the prize money for development of the solution described in their submission and discussed on Demo Day. Prize monies can be used for salaries for team members working on building the solution.

The Submission Process

The submission processClick to find out more