We believe that small bets and a growth mindset lead to breakthrough discoveries. Since 2012, we have awarded cash prizes once a year to young innovators in California with novel solutions to community challenges. We’re looking for creative leaders who are early in their journey, and have not yet received major recognition or substantial outside investment but show great potential. We are open to innovations that span a vast array of issue areas from health to education, criminal justice to housing, agriculture to transportation, human rights to civics, poverty to child welfare, and everything in between. Non-profits, for-profits, and hybrid organizations are welcome, so long as the innovation is grounded in a strong social purpose.
Our 2016 Westly Prize winners are: Andrew Logan: A Novel Treatment for Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, Anh-Thu Ho: Ladon Language Project, Emmanuel Escamilla: CodeX, Mingming Jiang: Releaf, Roi Matalon: SLAM!, and Samuel Sinyangwe: Campaign Zero. Learn more about them and our Honorable Mention recipients here.
If you would like to be considered for the 2017-18 Prize, please check back in May 2017. Applications will be due in October 2017, with Demo Day and selection in January 2018. Grand prize winners will receive $25,000 and honorable mention winners will receive $5,000. Applicants under age 28 as of December 31, 2017 who live, work, or attend school in California — or who come from California and attend school elsewhere — are eligible to win.
Our thanks to the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, which supported expansion of our Prize program in 2016.