Is it ever too early for a world-changing idea? Our friends from OZY say hell no—and they are not alone. After all, Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in his college dorm room. Students at the University of Virginia started Reddit. And Dropbox was the brainchild—and baby—of two MIT students who just wanted to send bigger files to each other.
We as an accelerator know: It's never too early for a big idea, and OZY knows that genius must be nurtured to realize its full potential. That’s why they've kicked off the OZY Genius Awards. This spring, OZY awards 10 summer grants to college students from around the world, with the aim of backing the next Zuckerberg or Einstein as he or she launches a company, writes a book, develops ground-breaking software or films a documentary. The competition opens this month, with winners announced in early May.
Winners: Ten students will win up to $10,000 for their summer projects, and their work will be profiled by OZY and its partners in the fall.
Judges: Submissions will be judged by a panel of executives, artists and advocates at the top of their fields, including Laurene Powell Jobs, founder of Emerson Collective, and David Drummond, chief legal officer and vice president, corporate development at Google.
Eligibility: The competition is open to undergraduate students at colleges and universities around the world.
To Apply: Applications will be accepted at www.ozygenius.com. The competition opens March 18, and the deadline for entries is April 18. Winners will be announced May 4.
About OZY: OZY is an 18-month-old magazine and investee of Axel Springer that delivers original reporting and compelling narratives from around the world — in a digital format. Founded by former CNN/MSNBC anchor Carlos Watson and run by a former Page One editor of the Wall Street Journal, OZY reaches 20 million people a month. It has partnerships with outlets like CNN, NPR and Huffington Post.