Catalyst is back and now open... but with an important change this round! To focus our inspiration and to try something a little different, we are running this round of Catalyst on specific themes. We will only fund proposals that address one of these topics.

Application Form

The deadline for proposals for the spring quarter is May 31, 2019 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time.

For additional information on the questions, please click on the small question mark (?) for a short, popup explanation, or consult the FAQ page. Do not submit any confidential or proprietary information with your application.

Note: this form does not save your work, so you will have to complete the entire application in one visit. All character limits include spaces.

Applicant Profile

Name(s) of applicant(s) and email addresses.?

List all the names of the people contributing to your project, associated email addresses, university status (faculty, staff, student, etc.) and department, if applicable. Graduate students and postdocs – listing your advisor is optional and will not impact your likelihood of receiving a grant.

Note that only current students, faculty, or staff of the university with a valid university e-mail address can be listed as the project lead.?

Who will be driving the work and managing the project on a day-to-day basis? For academically focused ideas, who is the “principal investigator”? For commercially focused ideas, who is the “CEO”? Graduate students and postdocs – please list yourself if you will serve as the project’s lead.

Tell us about yourself / the team. Where have you worked? Where did you go to school? What did you study? Where do you have expertise??

Describe your team. If it’s just you, just describe you. If it’s you and a colleague, tell us about you and the colleague. We are less concerned with your “bona fides” (awards, titles, etc.) and more concerned with what experience you have that may help you carry out the project. For example, if you are proposing to build a new type of sailboat, do you have experience building (or designing, or sailing) boats? Hint: It may be easier to answer this question last, after completing the rest of the application.

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Project Details

Please specify a title for the project?

Choose a title for the project.

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Project description in one sentence.?

Write a one-sentence description of the project. The best one-sentence descriptions are clear and succinct. Avoid jargon and unnecessary acronyms.

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Key Questions

What is the problem that you are addressing? Why is it important??

Identify the problem that your project is seeking to solve. The problem around which your project is focused should be a large-impact, problem that is based on and cites data and statistics for support. It should not be a technical problem, or a “this does not yet exist” problem (just because something doesn’t exist doesn’t mean that it should be done!). For example, the problem should not be phrased as “X does not yet exist...” or “it is currently not possible to do X…” but rather, “X people die each year from tuberculosis worldwide” or “X people have their computer accounts hacked each year, costing the US economy over $X dollars.” Note that we do not require that the project proposed in this application completely solve the problem described here – it can be just the first step toward solving that problem.

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A) What are you proposing to do to solve this problem? B) What is the “project” that you would like to carry out over the course of the grant period? C) If you have applied for Catalyst funding before on this same project, can you describe what has changed between those two proposals??

Describe what you want to do to help solve this problem over the course of the grant period. Projects should outline specific tasks toward an achievable goal, rather than specify an academic study (an “exploration”) for the sake of learning. For example, if the problem being addressed is the impact of climate change on a specific population of people, the solution should not be to “study a specific population of people impacted by climate change,” but rather, to “build a program to do X for people impacted by climate change.” The solution proposed here should be executable during the time period of the grant (or at the very least, the proof-of-concept of this solution should be executable during the time period of the grant).

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What are the 10x element(s) in your proposed solution??

Indicate the 10x element(s) from your proposed solution. A “10x” solution moves the needle in some way. It may be 10x faster than an existing solution. Or help 10x as many people. Or be 10x as energy-efficient. Or be 1/10th the size. Or 1/10th the price. What is YOUR 10x?

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Who cares about your solution? Who is the “customer” so-to-speak??

Indicate who will care about your solution in the near term. Note that this is often a difficult question to answer. It is unlikely that everyone will care about your solution. More likely, it will be a specific person or group of people that have invested interest in solving the problem. For example, if your solution is a new type of X-ray machine for medical imaging, the people that care the most about it may not be the patients that receive the X-rays, or the physicians that administer them, but rather, the hospital purchasers that are responsible for ordering new equipment and maintaining a high quality of care in the health system.

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a) What is new about what is being proposed vs. what has been done in the past? b) Why doesn’t this solution currently exist? c) The Amazon Catalyst Evaluation Committee routinely looks on the Web for similar projects or proposals to ones seeking Catalyst funding. We ask you do this as well and briefly summarize the results that searching will yield of previous work related to yours. Can you describe the results that the Committee is likely to find on your topic, and how your proposal is better/unique/novel??

Sometimes a project describes a good solution but at the wrong time. Please indicate why now is a good time to be pursuing this project. Have certain events brought an issue to the public’s attention? Has a new technology enabled the project to work now that wasn’t available in the past?

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Plans & Metrics

Estimate how long it will take to carry out this project.?

Please describe which tasks you propose, and the timeline for completing them.

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Estimate the amount of funding you will need to carry out the proposed project. Your first sentence should be how much money you're asking for (max $10k).
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At the end of project, what deliverable(s) will you provide to the Evaluation Committee? PLEASE BE SPECIFIC.
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Outline the key milestones for your entire project (the steps you anticipate achieving along the way).
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If you are not selected for funding through the Amazon Catalyst Program, do you still plan to pursue or advance your idea? If so, how??

We’re just curious about what you’d do if you don’t win a Catalyst grant. Would you continue to work on the idea anyway? If so, how? Would you focus on other activities? If so, what other activities?

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Have a link to a visual (e.g., a diagram, a collection of photos, or a presentation) that you think will be helpful? Put it here (100% optional).?

A picture is worth 1,000 words! If available, please include a link to a single PDF (.pdf) or PowerPoint presentation (.ppt) file that includes a visual or group of visuals to help us learn more about the problem, the solution, and/or the customer for the project. The file should be located in a publicly accessible online directory and should not exceed 10 MB in size. Visuals can include diagrams outlining the scope of a problem in the world, photos of a product, a timeline for completion, etc. Note that while visuals are helpful, they are not required for being awarded a grant. If you have more than one visual, combine them all into a single file, or include just the most important one.

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Have a link to a cool video, demo or website of your project? Put it here (100% optional).?
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How did you hear about this program? Was it through an email, poster, or somewhere else? If you participated in a departmental workshop, please list it here with the date (100% optional).?

Please let us know how you first heard about the Amazon Catalyst program. From time to time, we host workshops and other events. If you participated in one, please include it here along with the date.

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Use this space to provide any additional information about the project that you would like us to know. It’s perfectly fine to leave this space blank (100% optional).?

Use this space for any additional information about the project

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Amazon Catalyst grants are only available to individuals 18 years old or older.

We ask that you familiarize yourself with the details of the granting process before submitting the application.

Please make sure to read all the rules of the program before submitting the application.