Voto LatinoDML Competition

Applications are now closed.

Step 1: Tell us your idea

Technology can change lives. From an app that helps Latino students navigate the college application maze to a website that makes it easy to contact members of Congress and advocate for immigration reform, technology can help Latinos address issues facing our communities.

Now it’s your turn. Is there a challenge facing Latinos that you are concerned about? Is there a way technology can help?

Tell us your idea in 250 words or less, including the problem and the proposed solution. Don't worry if you are not a tech genius. If you have a great idea, VL Innovators Challenge can suggest partners you can team up with to build out the technology.

Make sure your proposal covers:

  • The issue you care about and why it’s important
  • The technology or digital tool you want to develop to address the issue
  • Who will be on your team, and what they will do
Tip: Check out the judging criteria before you write up your idea.  

In addition to your great idea, have these things handy before you begin:

Can anyone apply?


See our FAQs page for eligibility information.

STEP 2: Semi-finalists are selected

A panel of community judges and Voto Latino staff will review the semi-final proposals and select 50 semi-finalists to advance to the next round of the Challenge.

The judges will consider the quality of the following elements:

  • Idea: Does the project directly address a real world issue in the Latino community?
  • Target audience: To what extent will the idea help the Latino community?
  • Plan: Is the plan for developing the idea realistic and within the allowable budget?
  • Technology: Is the proposed technology readily accessible to the target community?
  • Inspiration: Does the application show creativity, innovation and passion?
  • Goals: Are the goals of the project clearly articulated and realistic?
  • Timeline: Can the project be completed in the allotted time of the VL Innovators Challenge?
  • Connected Learning: Does the proposed project embed and advance the principles of Connected Learning in relation to the Latino community?

Semi-finalists will be announced November 3, 2014

STEP 3: Semi-finalists create detailed proposals

Fifty semi-finalists will have the opportunity to create a detailed proposal to advance to the final round of judging. If you don’t have the tech skills to develop your proposed project, you must add a team member with those skills to move forward. Need help finding a tech partner? The VL Innovators Challenge can suggest possible partners.

Each proposal should include:

  • Description of the issue the tech tool will address
  • Budget
  • Timeline
  • Tool development process
  • Approach to evaluating the performance of the tool
  • A plan for getting community support of your new tech tool to ensure a successful rollout should your idea be selected as a winning project
  • A general idea of the type of marketing and communications support you will need for a successful rollout. The cost for this should be included in your budget.

Final proposals are due Dec 3, 2014

STEP 4: Selection of finalists

Following the same criteria as the semi-finalist selection, the judges will choose 10 to 15 finalists.

The judges will consider the quality of the following elements:

  • Idea: Does the project directly address a real world issue in the Latino community?
  • Target audience: To what extent will the idea help the Latino community?
  • Plan: Is the plan for developing the idea realistic and within the allowable budget?
  • Technology: Is the proposed technology readily accessible to the target community?
  • Inspiration: Does the application show creativity, innovation and passion?
  • Goals: Are the goals of the project clearly articulated and realistic?
  • Timeline: Can the project be completed in the allotted time of the VL Innovators Challenge?
  • Connected Learning: Does the proposed project embed and advance the principles of Connected Learning in relation to the Latino community?

Finalists will be chosen in January, 2015.

STEP 5: Finalist presentations and awards

Finalists in the Level 3 funding category ($75,000-$100,000) will pitch their proposals to a panel of experts and celebrity judges in Early 2015.

Level 1 ($10,000-$25,000) and Level 2 ($50,000-$75,000) finalists will not make pitches.

  • The Level 3 winners will be announced after the presentations.
  • Level 1 and 2 winners will be announced that same day.

Winners announced Early 2015 (exact date still to be determined).

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