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PRESS RELEASE: MIT Solve Announces 2021 Global Challenges and New US-Focused Antiracist Technology Challenge for Social Entrepreneurs

March 1, 2021 (Cambridge, MA) MIT Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a mission to solve world challenges, today announced its annual Global Challenges and Solve’s first US Challenge on Antiracist Technology. There is more than $1.5 million in funding available for the next class of tech-based social entrepreneurs, called Solver teams. Solve also announced Eric S. Yuan, Founder and CEO of Zoom and Karlie Kloss, Founder of Kode With Klossy as 2021 Challenge Ambassadors. 

Anyone, anywhere can submit a solution to any of this year’s five Challenges and apply to access the more than $1.5 million in funding by June 16, 2021. Finalists will be invited to pitch their solutions at Solve Challenge Finals during UN General Assembly Week on September 19, 2021 in New York City. At the event, leading cross-sector experts will select 35-40 of the most promising tech-based innovators to become Solver teams. These teams will take part in Solve’s nine-month program, which includes coaching, mentorship, and networking opportunities to scale their solutions. 

Solve’s 2021 Global Challenges are: 

  1. Antiracist Technology in the US

  2. Digital Inclusion

  3. Equitable Classrooms

  4. Health Security & Pandemics 

  5. Resilient Ecosystems

Funders and Partners include General Motors, Comcast NBCUniversal, Elevate Prize Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, HP, Vodafone Americas Foundation, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, American Student Assistance, and Andan Foundation. 

The Solve community will convene at Virtual Solve at MIT on May 3-4, 2021 with 2020 Solver teams, Solve Members, and Partners to build partnerships and tackle global challenges in real time. 

“After a year of turmoil, including a major threat to our collective health, disruption in schooling, lack of access to digital connectivity and meaningful work, a reckoning in the US after centuries of institutionalized racism, and worsening natural hazards—supporting diverse innovators who are solving these challenges is more urgent than ever,” said Alex Amouyel, Executive Director of MIT Solve. “Solve is committed to bolstering communities across the world as well as the United States by supporting innovators who are addressing our 2021 Global Challenges through funding, mentorship, and an MIT-backed community. Whether you're a prospective Solve applicant or partner, we hope you’ll join us!” 

To-date, the funding available for selected Solver teams includes (see Challenge pages for more details):  

  • Solver Funding - Solve will award a $10,000 grant to each Solver team selected during Solve Challenge Finals

  • The Elevate Prize for Antiracist Technology in the US supported by the Elevate Prize Foundation - $300,000 for one nonprofit Solver from the Antiracist Technology in the US Challenge 

  • The ASA Prize for Equitable Education supported by American Student Assistance - $250,000 for a number of Solver teams from the Digital Inclusion, Equitable Classrooms, and Antiracist Technology in the US Challenges

  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Prize - $150,000 across 3-4 Solver teams in the Health Security & Pandemics and Antiracist Technology in the US. Challenges

  • The GM Prize supported by General Motors - $150,000 across up to six Solver teams in the Antiracist Technology in the US, Equitable Classrooms, and Resilient Ecosystems Challenges

  • Innovation for Women Prize supported by the Vodafone Americas Foundation - $75,000 across three Solver teams from any Challenge

  • The HP Prize for Accelerating Digital Equity supported by HP - $100,000 across four Solver teams in the Antiracist Technology in the US and Digital Inclusion Challenges 

  • The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion - $100,000 across four Solver teams from any Challenge 

  • The Minderoo Prize to End Global Overfishing - $100,000 across four Solver teams from the Resilient Ecosystems Challenge

Thanks to its partners, Solve has provided over $40 million in funding committed for Solver teams and entrepreneurs to date.

Ambassadors and judges across the five Global Challenges include: Eric S. Yuan, Founder & CEO, Zoom (Ambassador for Digital Inclusion Challenge); Karlie Kloss, Founder of Kode With Klossy (Ambassador for Equitable Classrooms Challenge); David Sengeh, Minister of Education, Sierra Leone; Dalila Wilson-Scott, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation and President, Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation; D. Fox Harrel, Professor of Digital Media & Artificial Intelligence, MIT CSAIL; Danielle Wood, Director, Space Enabled Research Group, MIT Media Lab; June Sugiyama, Director, Vodafone Americas Foundation; Maha El Rabbat, Professor of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University and WHO/Director General Special Envoy on COVID 19; Susan Gardner, Director, Ecosystems Division, The United Nations Environment Programme; Philip Gaskin, Vice President, Entrepreneurship, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; and Heng Dean Law, Director, Temasek.

Interested applicants can learn more and apply online at

About Solve:  

Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a mission to solve world challenges. Solve is a marketplace for social impact innovation. Through open innovation Challenges, Solve finds incredible tech-based social entrepreneurs all around the world. Solve then brings together MIT’s innovation ecosystem and a community of Members to fund and support these entrepreneurs to help them drive lasting, transformational impact. Join Solve on this journey at

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