A $1 million U.S. Department of Education challenge to reimagine career navigation for adult learners.

Build digital tools to better support adult learners as they launch and advance their careers.

Future Finder Challenge

The U.S. Department of Education announced five finalists in the Future Finder Challenge on March 8, 2023. These finalists are now in the Stage 2 accelerator, which will conclude with a live Demo Day in fall 2023.

About the challenge

Career navigation systems help learners discover opportunities and plan for the future — and digital tools play an important role in supporting that journey. There are many digital career navigation tools on the market today, demonstrating the important role technology can play in supporting career navigation systems. But few existing tools are designed to meet the unique needs of adult learners.

The U.S. Department of Education invited innovators — including strategists, developers, user-centered designers, and educators — to submit prototypes and accompanying proposals for digital tools that will improve the career navigation experience for adult learners.


During Stage 1, eligible entrants were invited to submit prototypes for digital tools that will improve the career navigation experience for adult learners. Five finalists were selected to progress to the Stage 2 accelerator. At the end of Stage 2, one grand-prize winner and up to two runners-up will be selected. Beyond the challenge, the Future Finder Challenge team will support winners as they deploy their solutions across the adult ed ecosystem.

Stage 1: Open submissions

September - December 2022

Finalists announced

Early 2023
We are here

Stage 2: Accelerator

Early 2023 - fall 2023

Winners announced

Fall 2023

Beyond the challenge: Deployment

Beginning in late 2023



$1 million

In Stage 1, five finalists received $50,000 each. Each finalist also received an additional $10,000 to support accelerator activities. In Stage 2, a grand-prize winner will receive $500,000 and up to two runners-up will receive a share of $250,000.

Stage 1 Resources

Who are adult learners and what are their unique needs? What is career navigation and why is it important for adult learners?