Frequently asked questions

How big can we dream, meaning what is the size of the solutions the competition is looking for?

The competition is looking for ambitious solutions that will change society. Seeking money for running your own basic operations, for example, is not the purpose. The size should be in the millions rather than tens of thousands. In this competition, you can and should think big.

What is the size of the prize money?

The prize money amount is not fixed, but instead depends on the solution ideas. The foundations are prepared to support the solutions even with millions of euros, if they are good and their contents make them suitable to be funded by the foundations involved based on the foundations’ own rules. There is a wide range of foundations involved, so all fields can undoubtedly produce ideas that are suitable for the Builders of the Century competition. Get to know the foundations involved here.

On what basis are the qualifying teams chosen?

Get to know the evaluation criteria for the solutions here. In the first stage, a good solution idea and a diverse team are especially important.

Why must the team have at least three different persons or parties as members?

We believe that the best solutions that will create true change are born only from cooperation between different fields and organizations. Part of the purpose of the Builders of the Century challenge competition is to motivate different parties to find new partners, as well as thoughts and procedures that deviate from tradition.

Who should I seek as members for my team?

The team should have the necessary know-how for developing the solution. Diverse teams consisting of representatives from different fields are in a strong position, and you cannot qualify if all the team members come from the same field.

Think about it this way: In ten years, once my solution is in use and has spread throughout Finland, who are all the people who were needed for this?

How certain should the team members’ commitment be in the application stage?

All team members have to personally know they are in the team and commit to it. However, we do not require signed contracts on the subject in the application stage, for example.

How small a party can participate in the competition?

The size of the parties in a team is not a decisive issue, but the commitment and motivation of all participants for developing the solution are necessary.

How self-sufficient does the team have to be? Does all the necessary know-how (e.g. coding, graphic design) have to be found within the team or can you get help from elsewhere in the solution’s development stage?

You are more likely to make it to the final if the team already has the necessary know-how for developing the solution in the application stage. Additions to the team can be made during the competition, however. The qualifying teams will receive support and sparring in workshops from mentors and top experts for developing their solution, but monetary support for hiring workforce, for example, cannot be guaranteed. It is worth open-mindedly contacting parties who might bring still lacking expertise to the team already in the application stage – the competition is sure to be a tempting opportunity for various actors.

Can you set out to develop a solution that you have already implemented earlier?

Yes, as long as the solution to be developed meets the requirements of the “novelty” criterion:

“The solution is either completely new or it makes use of, combines or applies an existing solution or solutions in a novel way. The team has to be able to clearly demonstrate what is new about the solution. A solution is not eligible for the competition if it can be considered a clear copy of an existing solution.”

The desire to develop, scale, and/or spread a pre-existing solution makes the solution novel.

Can the solution idea be aimed at a limited age group?

Yes, if the group falls between ages 10–26.

Are the solution ideas meant to be directed towards young Finnish people or an international audience?

The purpose of the Builders of the Century competition is to increase the well-being of young people living in Finland. However, it is absolutely positive if the solution idea works elsewhere in the world too.

If there are several similar solution ideas, how will the choice be made between them? Will they be combined?

If there are more than one similar solutions, the solution that best fulfills the application criteria will be chosen to qualify. We encourage the teams to collaborate, however. It is worth attending the application clinics (8.12. and 18.1.) and following the competition’s website to find similar ideas and possible partner teams.

In accordance with paragraph 3.1 of the competition rules, the organizer can ask a team to supplement their application as a condition for qualifying. At this stage the organizer may therefore bring teams developing similar solutions together and suggest that they collaborate.

Is there only one winner in the competition or will prizes be awarded to several ideas?

There can be more than one winner.

Do the foundations put together a combined reward for one winner, or do they only fund targets that fit their own operations?

The foundations can fund solutions both alone and together, as long as the solution in question suits each foundation’s operational criteria. The answer to the question will thus become clear once the solution ideas are known. There is a very wide range of foundations involved, so ideas that suit the Builders of the Century competition are sure to be found from all fields.

Does the solution’s development stage require full-time commitment?

The competition does not require full-time work. However, the competitors are required to attend all of the competition’s workshops and events as well as to develop the solution independently in between events. In our experience, the more time a team spends on developing their solution, the better it will fare in the competition.

The competition’s Boot Camp will be organized from 16. –17.3.2017. Half-day workshops will be held on 5.4., 17.5. and 16.8.2017 from about 16-19 o’clock. In addition to this, the teams are to participate in the Foundations and teams’ meeting on 9.3.2017 as well as the competition final on 6.9.2017.

Is a good idea sufficient or do you need to have hard evidence of how the idea works in practice?

In the application stage it is enough to have a good idea, but the idea has to have a credible implementation plan and a credible, competent team. We do not require the team to have evidence of the functionality of the solution already in the application stage. However, in the development stage the solution is to be tested so that first evidence of its functionality can be gathered.

In what time span are results expected from the solutions?

Societal effects often come about slowly and we do not require the changes produced by the solution to happen instantly.  

However, in the application stage the team should have an understanding of what effects they expect their solution to have and in what time frame, and how they will measure the occurrence of the effects. The solution will be tested in the development stage, when the first evidence of its functionality can be produced.

To what level should the impact evaluation be made in the application stage?

The application form asks the team to explain how it will evaluate the success of their solution’s goal. The qualifying teams will receive help in the development stage for evaluating and increasing the impact of their solution.

Can a solution be the development of foundations’ and/or private/public parties’ collaboration?

Yes, if the solution does this in an ambitious, insightful and society-changing manner.