Telluride Foundation: $50K Innovation Contest, Deadline 1/15/17

Revised Telluride Foundation logo

Telluride Foundation: $50K Innovation Contest, Deadline 1/15/17

Telluride Foundation seeks ideas to improve the quality of life in the Telluride Region;$50,000 Innovation Prize. Proposals due by Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017. 5 p.m. (MST).

Revised Telluride Foundation logo

The deadline for the Telluride Foundation’s “Innovation Prize” contest is rapidly approaching. Anyone with a great idea to improve the quality of life of the Telluride region is encouraged to apply by January 15, 2017.

This contest awards a “prize” of up to $50,000 to a new innovative idea that ultimately improves the quality of life of the residents, visitors, and workforce of the Telluride R-1 School District. On November 1, 2016, the Telluride Foundation launched its new initiative that builds on Telluride’s entrepreneurial and innovative culture.

The announcement of the Innovation Prize has already attracted the attention of many organizations from regional nonprofits to international businesses. Although the innovative idea must impact the Telluride R-1 School District, applicants from anywhere in the world may apply.

“We are really excited about how much recognition this contest is receiving” said Matt Teague, the Telluride Foundation’s AmeriCorps. VISTA volunteer. “After chatting with a Finland-based start-up company who will be applying, I am excited to say there is going to be plenty of out-of-the box ideas for this competition. We hope to continue to draw a wide range of applicants, so if you, your organization, or business have an idea, please apply by January 15.”

To encourage a wide variety of applicants, the contest is open to any team of individuals, organizations, nonprofits, businesses, and/or government/taxing entities. The only requirement is that applicant teams must include at least one 501(c)(3) or government/taxing entity to serve as the fiscal agent and accept prize funds. Similarly, the Foundation is not limiting what problem the proposed idea is intended to solve—although contest guidelines provide suggestions such as issues around transportation, the economy, diversity, health/healthcare, energy, and government efficiency. The Telluride Foundation hopes this contest creates innovative solutions to problems, and surfaces issues that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

The complete guidelines, criteria, application and more information can be found at

After January 15,  judges will narrow contestants down to the top five applications. The names of the finalists will be revealed February 15. From then until March 5, the public can review and raise questions or concerns on the finalist’s application online via It is suggested that contestants engage in the dialogue and refine their proposals if needed.

The final five contestants will attend a public pitch event, held at the Elks on March 15, 4-6 p.m. Contestants will make a final pitch to the judges, as well as the audience, who also can weigh in on the winning decision. The winner will be announced at the end of the event. The public is encouraged to come and participate.

About the Telluride Foundation:

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation and other community-based efforts through technical assistance, education and grant making. As a grant maker, The Foundation awards grants to qualified applicants who serve the people living and working in the Telluride area for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life within the region.

For more information on the Telluride Foundation, visit


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