Howard G Buffett Foundation has teamed
up with the University of Wisconsin Madison to commit $215,000 to students who
can demonstrate innovative ways to address challenges in Agriculture and Food
Systems. The Agricultural Innovation Prize was developed to encourage cutting-edge
technology in agricultural and food systems. It strives to connect various
sectors and disciplines in an effort to better address the challenges of the
21st century. These challenges include bringing our food, climate and
social systems within a safe operating space. It hopes to identify ways to
achieve food security while keeping us within sound environmental
boundaries. The Ag Prize seeks students who are interested in
transforming global food systems into one that facilitates sufficiency and resilience.
This transformation will occur with the increased awareness and attention of
the next generation of leaders, unbridled by any number of constraints. Local
and global food systems directly and indirectly interact with numerous parts of
our globalized world. We intend to draw diverse student teams from a very wide
range of disciplines and backgrounds to compete in the Ag Prize.
We’re proud to offer $215,000 in cash to winning teams, the largest cash
prizes awarded in any student contest focused on agriculture worldwide.
The prizes are broken up into multiple stages over the submission and
25 final teams will receive a $1,000 travel and presentation material
stipend (less cost of hotel) to appear in Madison, WI for the final round of
The team who receives the most online votes will receive an audience
choice $15,000 cash prize. The mechanism by which this award is
determined will be announced soon.
The top four finalists will receive a $25,000 cash prize.
The grand prize winner will receive a $100,000 cash prize.
Submissions to the Agricultural Innovation Prize are invited beginning on
December 1st 2013 and the submission period will end on February 28th, 2014 at
11:59pm Central Standard Time (CST). Any questions or clarifications can be
sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
All teams must abide by the following rules of the
Agricultural Innovation Prize to be considered eligible to compete. Any
questions or clarifications can be sent to email@example.com.
A team must consist of at least 50% students
who are enrolled at half time or more at an accredited US college or
university. Students may be U.S. nationals or international students.
An entry must be a product, service, technology,
or process (no policy, marketing, etc.).
Individuals may participate on more than one
team as long as each team is aware of the shared participation.
Teams may not enter an existing business
(greater than $50,000 in sales per year).
Students must hold a controlling interest in
any competition entry (business entity must be majority owned by participating
Any coordinators for the Agricultural
Innovation Prize with access to contest-entry materials, judges, mentors, or
the competition management may not enter into the competition.
Any funding raised or sales earned prior to
entry must be declared in the competition entry. Failure to fully
disclose funding or sales will result in disqualification.
Any submitted materials must be the original
work of a declared team member or held under a disclosed license.
Teams are encouraged to pursue appropriate
intellectual property protection (including but not limited to patents,
copyright, trademark, trade secret, etc.) to protect their entry prior to
disclosure in the competition.
Any prizes awarded are at the sole discretion
of the judging team and not subject to appeal.
To receive any prize, a student member of the
team must be present at the competition and awards ceremony.
Eligible teams or individuals may submit more
than one entry into the contest.
All submitted work and materials must be the
work of the entrants, except in the case of properly licensed intellectual
Only student members of the team may present
the competition material, however non-student team members are allowed to
The coordinating team with the Agricultural
Innovation Prize reserves the right to withhold awarding of any prize should
there be no worthy entry available.
These rules, terms, and conditions may be
updated or modified at any time. The Agricultural Innovation Prize will attempt
to notify registered participants of the updated terms.
Failure to abide by the rules, terms, and
conditions may result in disqualification from current and future competitions
years, subject to the sole discretion of the Agricultural Innovation Prize
Prize Winning Teams:
The finalist, grand prize, and audience vote
prizes must be awarded to affiliated universities or legal business entities.
The travel grants will be awarded to individuals, affiliated universities or
legal business entities. As the award recipient, you decide to whom the award
is granted. Please know there are definite tax implications tied to how the
award is made.
All finalist and grand prize teams must meet
mandatory reporting requirements at 6 months and 1 year from the close of the
competition. These reports must include an update on the state and status
of the business and students involved, a summary of expenditures to date, and a
trajectory or likely outcomes of the business looking 6 months in the
The entry must address social and
agricultural challenges within food systems to improve the standard of living
and quality of life for the world’s population. Please also see the judging
criteria and scope.
The entry must be composed of a process,
product, service, or technology.
For the initial round of competition, each
entry must consist of three elements that are submitted: a narrative of the
business proposal that does not exceed two pages, a 200 word abstract of the
business plan (that may be made publicly available), and a presentation (in the
format of .ppt or .pptx) not to exceed ten slides.
The 25 teams that are invited be compete in
the semi-finals must submit: a narrative of the business proposal that does not
exceed ten pages, a 200 word abstract of the business plan (that may be made
publicly available), and a presentation (in the format of .ppt or .pptx) not to
exceed 20 slides for a 15 minute oral presentation.
There are no additional submission
requirements for the final round of the competition. Semi-finalists will be
able to modify their presentations before the final round of competition.
Teams invited to compete in the semi-final
competition (25-26 April 2014, Madison, WI) must be present to be eligible to
receive any prize money. One thousand dollars will be awarded to the top
25 teams to facilitate travel.
Entries for the first round of the
competition must be received by February 28th, 2014 at 11:59pm Central Standard
Entries for the semi-final round of the
competition must be received by April 18th, 2014 at 11:59pm Central Standard
All entries must be submitted through our
online system in order to be eligible for the competition. Do not submit any
entry materials via e-mail.