Agency

U.S. Department of Education (the Department).

Dates

The Future Finder Challenge (the Challenge) launches on September 23, 2022 with the announcement of the Challenge. Stage 1 submissions must be received on or before 6:00 p.m. ET on December 15, 2022.

The Department will conduct an online information session during Stage 1 of the Challenge. The date of the online information session will be determined and announced by the Department, posted on the Challenge website, and emailed to parties who request to be notified of Challenge updates. The dates for this and other Challenge events will be determined and announced by the Department.

The Department will determine timeframes for judging Stage 1 and Stage 2 submissions, as well as the date that finalists and winners will be announced. Luminary Labs is the official timekeeper for the Challenge.

For further information contact

Carolyn Lampila, U.S. Department of Education: carolyn.lampila@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll-free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Key definitions

Adult education. Academic instruction and education services below the postsecondary level that increase an individual’s ability to (i) read, write, and speak in English and perform mathematics or other activities necessary for the attainment of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent; (ii) transition to postsecondary education and training; and (iii) obtain employment. This definition of “adult education” is from section 203(1) of WIOA (29 U.S.C. 3272(1)).

Adult learner. Someone who has attained 16 years of age; is not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under state law; and (i) is basic skills deficient; (ii) does not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and has not achieved an equivalent level of education; or (iii) is an English language learner. This definition of “adult learner” is from the definition of “eligible individual” in section 203(4) of WIOA (29 U.S.C. 3272(4)).

Career navigation. The process of understanding, choosing, and preparing for career opportunities. This may involve assessing skills and interests, learning more about local career opportunities, and understanding the necessary skills and credentials required to pursue those opportunities.

Digital tool. A program, service, and/or resource that is delivered through a computer, tablet, smartphone, or other electronic device.

Supplementary information

I. Administration of the Challenge

The Challenge is being conducted by the Department. Luminary Labs, LLC (Luminary Labs), has been contracted by the Department to assist and support the Department in organizing and managing this Challenge. Activities conducted by Luminary Labs may also include providing technical assistance to potential entrants in Stage 1 and selected finalists in Stage 2.

II. Subject of Challenge Competition

The Future Finder Challenge is a $1 million challenge to reimagine career navigation for adult learners. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education invites innovators to build digital tools that better support adult learners as they launch and advance their careers.

The challenge will be conducted in two stages.

Stage 1: Open submissions (September 2022 – February 2023)

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

Tools must be designed for adult learners, but may also support adult education staff — including educators, career coaches, and administrators. Entrants will be expected to demonstrate how their tool may increase adult learners’ employability in high-quality, in-demand occupations and high-growth industries. Employability outcomes may be defined as increased self-awareness, career knowledge, confidence, and/or job attainment. Entrants will also need to demonstrate how they plan to work in conjunction with existing local workforce systems, including by complementing in-person services, and collecting and sharing usage, user, and outcomes data. Technical assistance will include access to online resources to help entrants prepare their submissions.

Submissions will open on September 23, 2022 and close on December 15, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. ET. Up to five finalists will receive at least $50,000 each and be invited to progress to the Stage 2 accelerator. Finalists will be announced in February 2023.

Stage 2: Accelerator (early 2023 – fall 2023)

Up to five finalists will be selected to progress to Stage 2, where they will participate in an accelerator. Finalists will have access to virtual resources, webinars, mentorship from experts, and other support to help them build and test their tools. The accelerator will kick off with an in-person boot camp and culminate in a live demo day. (Note, the boot camp and/or demo day will be held virtually if conditions do not allow for these to be conducted in person.)

Technical assistance will include guidance around designing for and partnering with adult education providers, adult learners, and workforce partners. It will also include resources around topics such as user-centered design, data collection and evaluation, and sustainability planning.

At the end of Stage 2, finalists will submit their market-ready tools for review. One grand-prize winner will receive $500,000, and up to two runners-up will receive a share of at least $250,000.

Beyond the Challenge: Deployment (beginning in late 2023)

The winners will be supported as they deploy their solutions across the adult education ecosystem into 2024. This will include providing guidance around marketing strategies as well as customizable templates for communications materials.

Program Authority

The Challenge is authorized under section 242 of WIOA, 29 U.S.C. 3332. Section 242 requires the Secretary of Education to establish and carry out a program of national leadership activities to enhance the quality and outcomes of adult education and literacy activities and programs nationwide.

III. Eligibility

Eligible entrants must be:

  • Individuals at least 18 years of age and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States (defined as the 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the outlying areas of the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands); or
  • Teams of individuals that (i) are all at least 18 years of age, (ii) include at least one citizen or permanent resident of the United States, and (iii) may also include foreign citizens who affirm at the time of submission of an entry for the Challenge that they are foreign citizens, who are not permanent residents; or
  • An entity registered or incorporated in accordance with applicable state and local laws, and maintaining a primary place of business in the United States. The entity may include foreign citizens participating as employees of the entity.

Ineligible entrants include:

  • A foreign citizen unless participating as part of an eligible team or entity;
  • A federal entity;
  • A federal employee acting within the scope of his or her employment; and
  • All employees of the Department, Luminary Labs, Challenge partners, and/or any other individual or entity associated with the development or administration of the Challenge, as well as members of such persons’ immediate families (spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related.

IV. Submission Requirements

For a submission to be eligible for review, recognition, and award, an entrant must meet the following requirements:

For all stages:

    1. Comply with all requirements in this announcement;
    2. Agree and consent to the use of their name, affiliation, city and state, likeness or image, comments, and a synopsis or abstract of their submission as part of the promotion of the Challenge;
    3. Agree to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the federal government, Luminary Labs, and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in the Challenge, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arises through negligence or otherwise;
    4. Indemnify the federal government and Luminary Labs against third-party claims for damages arising from, or related to, Challenge activities, patents, copyrights, and trademark infringements;
    5. Comply with and abide by the decisions of the Department, which shall be final and binding in all respects; and
    6. Designate a primary contact to serve as the Team Lead and manage the distribution of any awarded prizes.

For Stage 1:

  1. Register on the Challenge website.
  2. Enter a submission on the Challenge website prior to the Stage 1 submission deadline of December 15, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. ET;
  3. Provide affirmation upon submission to the Challenge that an entrant is eligible as defined in the “​​III. Eligibility” section of this announcement. (If selected as a finalist or winner, entrants must provide documentation to demonstrate their eligibility prior to the finalist or winner announcement.)

For Stage 2:

  1. Participate fully in activities required in the Stage 2 accelerator, such as the boot camp and live demo day; and
  2. Enter a Stage 2 submission prior to the Stage 2 submission deadline.

The Department reserves the right to disqualify any submission that the Department deems inappropriate.

The Department encourages entrants to submit entries as far in advance of the deadline as possible and suggests not later than one hour before the deadline to ensure the completed submission is received. If an entrant submits an entry after the deadline date because of a technical problem with the Challenge website, the entrant must immediately contact hello@FutureFinderChallenge.com, and provide an explanation and a screenshot of the technical problem experienced on the Challenge website. The Department will accept the entrant’s submission if the Department can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Challenge website and that the technical problem affected the entrant’s ability to submit an entry by 6:00 p.m. ET on the entry deadline date. The Department will contact the entrant after a determination is made on whether the entry will be accepted.

Note: These extensions apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Challenge website. The Department will not grant an entrant an extension if the entrant failed to submit an entry in the Challenge website by the submission deadline date and time, or if the technical problem experienced is unrelated to the Challenge website.

Individuals with disabilities who need accommodations or auxiliary aid in connection with the submission process should contact the person listed under “For Further Information Contact” in this announcement at least one week prior to the submission deadline. If the Department provides accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the submission process, the entry remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this announcement.

V. Prizes

Any potential prizes awarded under this Challenge will be paid by electronic funds transfer. Award recipients will be responsible for any applicable local, state, and federal taxes and reporting that may be required under applicable tax laws.

VI. Award Selection Criteria

Stage 1 selection criteria

The judging panel will score submissions against the Stage 1 criteria for a maximum of 30 points:

  • Analytics and insights (5 points): Extent to which the entrant identifies relevant data points — such as user, usage, and outcomes data — to inform continuous tool improvements and advance the adult education sector’s understanding of effective career navigation practices.
  • Impact (5 points): Extent to which the tool has the potential to improve career navigation outcomes for adult learners — such as increased self-awareness, career knowledge, confidence, and/or job attainment in high-quality, in-demand occupations and high-growth industries.
  • Integration (5 points): Extent to which the entrant plans to integrate with existing local workforce systems and tools, including through partnerships with adult education providers and/or industry.
  • Learner centricity (5 points): Extent to which the entrant demonstrates an understanding of their target adult learners’ specific needs, such as literacy, technological proficiency, and access to technology.
  • Scalability (5 points): Extent to which the tool has the potential to be scaled to impact a meaningful number of adult learners beyond the challenge.
  • Market readiness (5 points): Level of confidence that the tool will be market ready by the end of Stage 2, with reference to the fidelity of the prototype, the team’s expertise, and the Stage 2 build and user-testing plan.

Stage 2 selection criteria

The judging panel will score submissions against the Stage 2 criteria for a maximum of 30 points:

  • Analytics and insights (5 points): Extent to which the entrant demonstrates a plan to collect and share data to inform continuous tool improvements and advance the adult education sector’s understanding of effective career navigation practices.
  • Impact (5 points): Extent to which the entrant demonstrates how their tool will improve career navigation outcomes for adult learners — such as increased self-awareness, career knowledge, confidence, and/or job attainment in high-quality, in-demand occupations and high-growth industries.
  • Integration (5 points): Extent to which the tool will effectively integrate with local systems, including through partnerships with adult education providers and/or industry, and compatibility with existing datasets and tools.
  • Learner centricity (5 points): Extent to which the tool design, content, and deployment plan reflect target adult learners’ needs, as informed by rigorous user testing.
  • Scalability (5 points): Extent to which the entrant articulates a plan to deploy and scale the tool to impact a meaningful number of adult learners following the challenge.
  • Sustainability (5 points): Extent to which the entrant demonstrates the skills, resources, and commitment to maintain, update, and grow their tool beyond the challenge.

VII. Submission Review Information

Stage 1 review process

The Department, with the assistance and support of Luminary Labs, will review Stage 1 submissions to ensure that entrants meet the requirements described in the “VIII. Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions” section of this announcement.

Depending on the volume of submissions, an independent review panel may conduct an initial review of eligible submissions against the Stage 1 criteria outlined in “VI. Award Selection Criteria.” A subset of the highest-scoring submissions will then progress for review by the independent judging panel. The judging panel will use the Stage 1 criteria to recommend up to five finalists to win prizes and progress into Stage 2. The Department will review the recommendations of the judges and make final selection decisions.

By participating in the Challenge, each entrant acknowledges and agrees that such recommendations of the judges based on the criteria may differ and agrees to be bound by, and not to challenge, the final decisions of the Department. Judging scores will not be posted and feedback will not be provided to entrants who are not selected as finalists.

Stage 2 review process

The Department, with the assistance and support of Luminary Labs, will review Stage 2 submissions to ensure that entrants meet the requirements described in the “VIII. Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions” section of this announcement.

An independent judging panel will review all submissions against the Stage 2 criteria outlined in “VI. Award Selection Criteria.” Judges will recommend finalists to be selected as prize winners. The Department will review the recommendations of the judges and make final selection decisions.

By participating in the Challenge, each entrant acknowledges and agrees that such recommendations of the judges based on the criteria may differ and agrees to be bound by, and not to challenge, the final decisions of the Department. Judging scores will not be posted and feedback will not be provided.

VIII. Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions

The Department reserves the right to suspend, postpone, cease, terminate, or otherwise modify this Challenge or any entrant’s participation in the Challenge, at any time at the Department’s sole discretion.

All entry information submitted on the Challenge website and all materials, including any copy of the submission, become property of the Department and will not be acknowledged or returned by Luminary Labs or the Department. Proof of submission is not considered proof of delivery or receipt of such entry. Furthermore, the Department and Luminary Labs shall have no liability for any submission that is lost, intercepted, or not received by the Department and/or Luminary Labs. The Department and Luminary Labs assume no liability or responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, theft, destruction, unauthorized access to, or alteration of, submissions.

Representations and Warranties/Indemnification

By participating in the Challenge, each entrant represents, warrants, and covenants as follows:

  • The entrants are the sole authors, creators, and owners of the submission;
  • The entrant’s submission:
  • Is not the subject of any actual or threatened litigation or claim;
  • Does not, and will not, violate or infringe upon the intellectual property rights, privacy rights, publicity rights, or other legal rights of any third party;
  • Does not, and will not, contain any harmful computer code (sometimes referred to as “malware,” “viruses,” or “worms”); and
  • The submission, and entrants’ use of the submission, does not, and will not, violate any applicable laws or regulations of the United States.

If the submission includes the work of any third party (such as third party content or open source code), the entrant must be able to provide, upon the request of the Department and/or Luminary Labs, documentation of all appropriate licenses and releases for such third party works. If the entrant cannot provide documentation of all required licenses and releases, the Department reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify the applicable submission, or direct the entrant to secure the licenses and releases for the Department’s benefit within three (3) days of notification of the missing documentation and allow the applicable submission to remain in the Challenge. In addition, the Department reserves all rights to pursue an entrant for claims based on damages incurred by the entrant’s failure to obtain such licenses and releases.

Entrants will indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Department and Luminary Labs from and against all third party claims, actions, or proceedings of any kind and from any and all damages, liabilities, costs, and expenses relating to, or arising from, the entrant’s submission or any breach or alleged breach of any of the representations, warranties, and covenants of the entrant hereunder.

The Department reserves the right to disqualify any submission that the Department, in its discretion, deems to violate these Official Rules, Terms and Conditions.

Intellectual Property

Each entrant retains title to, and full ownership of, its submission, including any software, research, or other intellectual property that they develop in connection therewith, subject to the license granted to the Department to use submissions as set forth herein. The entrant expressly reserves all intellectual property rights not expressly granted under this agreement. By participating in the Challenge, each entrant hereby grants a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up world-wide license to the Department and Luminary Labs to store and access submissions in perpetuity that may be reproduced or distributed in the future. If the submission is selected as a finalist or winner, the Department retains a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up world-wide license to any non-proprietary materials submitted as part of the Challenge, in perpetuity, to store, access, reproduce, publish, link to, display, or otherwise use the work for Federal purposes and authorize others to do so. Each entrant must clearly delineate any confidential commercial information contained in a submission that the entrant wishes to protect as proprietary data.

Publicity Release

By participating in the Challenge, each entrant hereby irrevocably grants to the Department and Luminary Labs the right to use such entrant’s name, likeness, image, and biographical information in any and all media for advertising and promotional purposes relating to the Challenge, and otherwise, as stated above in “Intellectual Property.”

Disqualification

The Department reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant who is found to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Challenge, Challenge website, or other Challenge-related web pages; to be acting in violation of these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions; to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with the intent to disrupt or undermine the legitimate operation of the Challenge; or to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person; and, the Department reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Links to Third-Party Webpages

The Challenge website may contain links to third-party web pages that are not owned or controlled by Luminary Labs or the Department. Luminary Labs and the Department do not endorse or assume any responsibility for any such third-party sites. If an entrant accesses a third-party webpage from the Challenge website, the entrant does so at the entrant’s own risk and expressly relieves Luminary Labs and/or the Department from any and all liability arising from use of any third-party webpage content.

Notice to Finalists/Winners

To maintain eligibility for Stage 2 prizes, finalists are required to participate in Challenge activities organized by the Department and Luminary Labs, including the boot camp and live demo day. If a finalist is unable to participate in any mandatory activities or provide necessary data when requested, the finalist will not be eligible to win a prize in Stage 2 of the Challenge.

Finalists are required to undertake these activities at their own expense. Prize funds can be used to cover travel to these activities.

Disclaimer

The Challenge website contains information and resources from public and private organizations that may be useful to the reader. Inclusion of this information does not constitute an endorsement by the Department or Luminary Labs of any products or services offered or views expressed.

The Challenge website also contains hyperlinks and URLs created and maintained by outside organizations, which are provided for the reader’s convenience. The Department and Luminary Labs are not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained therein.

Notice to Challenge Entrants and Award Recipients

Attempts to notify entrants and award recipients will be made using the email address associated with the entrants’ submission. The Department and Luminary Labs are not responsible for email or other communication problems of any kind.

If, despite reasonable efforts, an entrant does not respond within three days of the first notification attempt regarding selection as an award recipient (or a shorter time as exigencies may require) or if the notification is returned as undeliverable to such entrant, that entrant may forfeit the entrant’s award and associated prizes, and an alternate award recipient may be selected.

If any potential award recipient is found to be ineligible; has not complied with these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions; or declines the applicable prize for any reason prior to award; such potential award recipient will be disqualified. An alternate award recipient may be selected, or the applicable award may go unawarded.

Dates/Deadlines

The Department reserves the right to modify any dates or deadlines set forth in these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions or otherwise governing the Challenge.

Challenge Termination

The Department reserves the right to suspend, postpone, cease, terminate, or otherwise modify this Challenge, or any entrant’s participation in the Challenge, at any time at the Department’s discretion.

General Liability Release

By participating in the Challenge, each entrant hereby agrees that —

  • The Department and Luminary Labs shall not be responsible or liable for any losses, damages, or injuries of any kind (including death) resulting from participation in the Challenge or any Challenge-related activity, or from entrants’ acceptance, receipt, possession, use, or misuse of any prize; and
  • The entrant will indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Department and Luminary Labs from and against all third-party claims, actions, or proceedings of any kind and from any and all damages, liabilities, costs, and expenses relating to, or arising from, the entrant’s participation in the Challenge.

Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Department and Luminary Labs are not responsible for incomplete, illegible, misdirected, misprinted, late, lost, postage-due, damaged, or stolen entries or prize notifications; or for lost, interrupted, inaccessible, or unavailable networks, servers, satellites, Internet Service Providers, webpages, or other connections; or for miscommunications, failed, jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected computer, telephone, cable transmissions or other communications; or for any technical malfunctions, failures, difficulties, or other errors of any kind or nature; or for the incorrect or inaccurate capture of information, or the failure to capture any information.

These Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions cannot be modified except by the Department in its sole and absolute discretion. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions shall otherwise remain in effect and shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained herein.

Exercise

The failure of the Department to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.

Governing Law

All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with U.S. Federal law as applied in the Federal courts of the District of Columbia if a complaint is filed by any party against the Department, and the laws of the State of New York as applied in the New York state courts in New York City if a complaint is filed by any party against Luminary Labs.

Privacy Policy

By participating in the Challenge, each entrant hereby agrees that occasionally, the Department and Luminary Labs may also use the entrant’s information to contact the entrant about Federal Challenge and innovation-related activities, and acknowledges that the entrant has read and accepted the privacy policy at: https://www.futurefinderchallenge.com/privacy-policy/.

List of Finalists or Winners/Official Rules/Contact

To obtain a list of finalists or winners (after the conclusion of the Challenge) or a copy of these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions, send a self-addressed envelope with the proper postage affixed to: Luminary Labs, 61 Broadway Suite 2800. New York, NY 10006. Please specify “Awards List” or “Official Rules” and the name of the specific Challenge in this request.

Please contact the person listed in the For Further Information Contact section of this announcement, should you have any comments or questions about these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions.

Other Information

Accessible Format:

Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the submission package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under For Further Information Contact in this announcement.

Electronic Access to This Document:

The official version of this document is the document published on www.futurefinderchallenge.com/rules-terms-and-conditions.

17 days left to submit