Prime the pumps! It’s required in all new industries and that’s exactly the mission of the Drone Social Innovation Award and the $10,000 prize that goes along with it. NEXA Capital Partners and the Drone User Group Network (DUGN) have combined efforts to spur innovation, creativity, attention, and investment in the civilian drone space. The Drone User Group Network’s Drone Social Innovation Award is will be given for the most socially beneficial, documented use of a drone platform costing less than $3,000.
“We think drones are a revolutionary technology with tremendous potential to make the world a better place, and we wanted to focus our prize on low cost drones to highlight the fact that this technology is cheap and accessible enough that ordinary people and community groups can drive innovation and do new things with them,” said Timothy Reuter, founder of the Drone User Group Network.
Michael Dyment, NEXA Capital Partners Founder and Managing Partner said that they agreed to sponsor the Drone Social Inovation Award ” because the contest fits the mandate of NEXA, a highly innovative investment bank focusing on high growth aerospace sector opportunities. Through the competition, the $10,000 Prize will help draw out the most transformational ideas in drone use for social benefit. NEXA hopes to invest in the best concepts and the exceptional people behind some of these entries, which by the way may not include the prize winner.”
The dealine to submit an entry has been extended to August 20th. Announced judges include Patrick Meier, founder of the UAViators humanitarian UAV network, Illah Nourbaksh, Professor of Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, and Andra Keay, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics. Entries will be judges on three tiers of evaluation criteria. In order of importance they include:
Tier 1- Depth and type of impact: Did you help a community to better manage their natural resources? Expose government corruption? Assist first responders in a disaster situation? Protect endangered species? Tell us what your drone does to change the world.
Breadth of impact: How many people benefited? How many acres of land were impacted? How many animals or plants were positively affected? Tell us how we might quantify the impact of your project.
Cost: In addition to the $3,000 cap per drone, we have a preference for less expensive solutions. If you can accomplish for $500 the same thing it takes another group $3,000 to do, we’ll select the people using the less expensive equipment.
Replicability: How easily could another person or community do what you did to benefit their own area?
Coolness: We like things that have a little bit of a wow factor.
Popularity: Try to get as many people as possible to like your video. There will be a “people’s choice” award for the most popular project, and popularity might factor into the cash prize choice as well.
Here’s are some ideas which are unlikely to win the $10,000 but may make their way to America’s Funniest Home Videos.