Impact App Challenge

Are you a high or college school student that has what it takes to come up with the next killer App idea that solves an environmental or social problem.

The winning team will get $15K in product management and engineering to build and launch your App. You will not be responsible for any engineering or code development

A key objective of the App challenge is learning through practical experience.

Students will learn invaluable lessons like:

  • How to launch products, test early theories and how to learn and iterate a product
  • Anyone can solve big challenges. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are just normal humans with big ideas, self confidence, persistence and an ability to execute on their vision.
  • Ideas are a dime a dozen and it requires not just a good idea but the willingness to try and the ability to execute on your vision 
  • Technology can be a valuable tool to solve environmental and/or social challenges
  • Getting user feedback early and often is critical to success
  • Students must be the change they want to see in the world because if they don’t, it is likely nobody else will.  

Students will also practice and develop key skills like:

  • Defining clear goals
  • Developing and executing a plan
  • Prioritization
  • Teamwork / defining clear roles within a team
  • Project management
  • Time management
  • Budgeting
  • Collecting, analyzing, and integrating user feedback
  • Writing proposals
  • Presentation and communication
  • Developing a growth mindset

The Prize:

The winning App creator(s) will receive:

  1. $15,000 in product management, App engineering development and industry expert support, sponsored by Impactree Foundation to launch the first version of the App. 
  2. Professional product management support
  3. A 4-month internship with Impactree Foundation to develop / launch the App.  
  4. Introductions to and collaboration with industry experts in various areas of technology development as well as environmental and/or social impact innovators based on the winning App’s focus
  5. The winning students will be named as the creators of the App and will solely own the App and all associated intellectual property.  The App will be managed and maintained by the Impactree Foundation.    

A collaborative program:

About the K2 Project and Impactree Foundation:

Impactree Foundation is a nonprofit organization helping inspire and build solutions that address our planet’s greatest challenges.  This Branson Impact Challenge is being managed by Ken Kurtzig, a 25-year veteran in the technology and impact space.  Ken will also connect students with a myriad of industry experts/advisors (Technology Executives, Marketing Leaders, Environmental or Social innovators, Venture Capitalists, Impact Investors, and others) to support the specific focus of the winning App.  Ken will serve as the primary contact, although other volunteer product/domain experts may support specific winning projects. 

The Program Process:

Impactree Foundation will take students through a streamlined product development process to help make their App idea a reality. The following phases will be completed by the students in collaboration with the Impactree Foundation team and Faculty advisor.

Program Launch 

The program will be announced/shared with the entire campus community. All students will then have 2-3 weeks to complete the application. 

Phase 1:  Application – Problem Definition & Solution Ideation

All students interested in building their APP must complete phase one and submit their application online for review. The top 3-5 APP ideas will be asked to do a 5-minute Zoom pitch to the App selection panel consisting of a school advisor, product expert and entrepreneur leader. The winner will be selected by this committee.

Phase 2: Solution & Market Detail

The winning students will begin to add more definition to their problem and solution, gather user feedback, define the market for their App and work on wireframing the App to send to engineers.

Phase 3: Product & Launch Planning

The team will submit the product plan to the App development engineering team for review and development. The team will review product development progress, test, and prepare for product launch. The team will also work on the marketing and outreach plan, App website and App store submission plan, and prepare for launch.

Phase 4: Beta Launch

The students will test a Beta version of the App and gather user feedback for final product bug fixes / improvements, which will be shared with the engineering team for final product development prior to launch.

Phase 5: Product Launch & Review

The APP will be submitted to Apple’s App Store for review and approval. Students will also create a simple webpage for the App, begin to promote it, and gather user feedback. Students will also create a document outlining if/how their product has met their initial challenge and how the APP may be improved to better meet the original problem and/or how their focus and solution may have shifted over time. 

Requirements for the students:

In order for winning students and their App to be selected, the following criteria must be met.

Impact App Challenge winning criteria:
1. The App must pursue the greater good: It must nurture inclusivity, justice, sustainability and compassion.
2. The idea must address an environmental or social problem/challenge a large portion of students at your school or people in your community, teams, clubs or other groups you are associated with experience on a regular basis.

Problems you choose to address may include:
  -Environment or climate
  -Social justice
  -Racial justice
  -Gender equity
  -LGBTQ+ rights,
  -Mental Health
  -Or any other issue you feel negatively impacts society.

3. The problem must theoretically be solvable with an iPhone App. (The are no guarantees in technology, but you miss every shot you don’t take)
4. The winning idea must have 2-3 students and 1 faculty advisor involved. The students must all be high school students and at least one must be from the participating school.
5. The participating students are willing to work in partnership with Impactree Foundation on the ideation, product planning, user feedback, development management, launch of the App version 1.0, and also commit to incorporating the additional user feedback they receive post launch.
6. The winning students commit to a 4-month remote internship with Impactree Foundation and expect to spend about 2-3 hours per week working on the project, progressing from initial ideation through to launch and user feedback.

During this 4-month period students will work with Impactree Foundation on product planning, customer feedback, wireframing and product mockups, working with engineers on product development and testing, launching the product on the Apple App store as well as their App’s associated website, and, lastly, doing user testing to see if their product truly solves the original problem and/or how to improve it to better meet user needs and expand impact.

The winning students will be named as the creators of the App and will solely own the App and all associated intellectual property. The App will be managed and maintained by Impactree Foundation.

APP Selection Process

Up to 5 App Teams will be required to pitch their idea to a panel (Shark tank style).  They will have 5 minutes to pitch their proposal with another 5 minutes set aside for questions from the panel and other students.

If you are willing to meet these requirements when you win the challenge, then let the ideating for the next killer environmental of social impact App commence and good luck!!!