The 2018 edition of the Start Something Challenge is here, and just like last year, we are rolling out some more changes that we are super excited to share with you.

  1. The 2018 SSC is a closed competition. What does that mean for you? Well, this year, the competition is open to graduates of the Community Business Academy only. For the past six years we have extended this opportunity to entrepreneurs throughout the state of New Jersey. This year, we want to reinvest in you, the entrepreneurs who have invested in us, by trusting us with your talent, your time, and allowing us to walk with you on this journey. This year, the Start Something Challenge is about recognizing you as graduates of the Community Business Academy, as the valuable assets you are in your communities.
  2. We would love as many graduates as possible to apply, and we will be opening the competition any graduate who wants to apply. The first round is a simple application form, after which a panel of judges will hand select 50 entrepreneurs—ten in each sector–to move on in the competition. Why 50? This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earthrise, so to mark this moment in humanity, we want to honor 50 entrepreneurs who exemplify the principles of Earthrise. Our goal is to spotlight these 50 entrepreneurs as much as possible during the SSC. Yes, there will be viewing and voting, but more importantly, we want to show the world why you and your businesses are so important, and to shed light on the leadership, changemaking, and stewardship you are bringing to your communities.
  3. This is why voting will not play as large a role in the Earthrise edition of the SSC as it has in years past. We want you to share the fact that you have been selected to be one of the Earthrise 50, and to ask your family and friends to vote for you. But unlike years past, there will be no Animoto videos, and there will be just one round of voting. We will appoint another panel of judges to assist us in selecting the entrepreneurs who will move on to pitch in the final round. Voting will only count for a percentage of the score needed to move on in the competition.

The principles of Earthrise are interdependence, long-term thinking and profound collaboration. We truly believe that as a Rising Tide Entrepreneur, you exemplify these principles, and we are building both local and national platforms to share your stories as widely as we can. Please stay tuned. We have exciting news to share, and we can’t wait to take the SSC journey with as many of you as possible in 2018.