Upcoming webinar: Crowdsourcing 101 : How to Run Your Own Successful Campaign - Jan. 19, 2017, 10:30 a.m. PST



When you create the challenge, you decide the prize that will inspire innovators to solve the problem.

For a small problem, maybe $1,000 will be all it takes to inspire someone to solve it. A world changing breakthrough in medicine or spaceflight could be in the millions, like the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE.

Whatever amount you can realistically raise or find a partner to sponsor.

You can even use our platform to crowdfund the prize. Let the crowd tell you how much this breakthrough will mean to the world.

The prize is only awarded when a team achieves the breakthrough.

The HeroX platform provides you with all the tools you need to create and manage a challenge.

For fully sponsored challenges, HeroX charges a platform fee of $99 + 10% of the prize amount up to $100,000 and 5% of any prize amount above $100,000. For crowdfunded challenges, it is free to begin crowdfunding your prize amount. Once you have raised your prize, the same platform fee of $99 + 10% of the prize amount up to $100,000 and 5% of any prize amount above $100,000 will apply. 

We can also help you with almost every aspect of your challenge from prize design, to marketing, community management and more.  to learn more about how we can help make your challenge a successful one. 

All the great incentive challenges started with a breakthrough that someone wanted to see in the world: transatlantic flights, safe methods for preserving food, or a private space industry.

If you know the breakthrough you want to achieve, you can use our platform right now and get started. Build the whole challenge online, engage the crowd and even start crowdfunding if you want.

If you’re inspired by the concept of an incentive challenge, but you’re not sure where to start, can help with prize design, marketing and administration of your challenge.

Incentive challenges have inspired breakthroughs in all areas of society and technology: the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic, the first clock that sailors could use to know their location, a faster way to clean up oil spills. 

But smaller breakthroughs are important too. Maybe you need a better algorithm, or know of a problem that needs fixing in your local area.

If you can see a problem, or can imagine how the world could be a better place, you should create a challenge on HeroX.

No idea is too small. And no idea is too big.

Absolutely. We’re the trusted platform for some of the world’s largest companies and organizations who have successfully run incentive challenges. Organizations like NASA, The Rockefeller Foundation and Forbes.

An incentive challenge is the perfect way for a company to create an breakthrough innovation or crowdsource a positive social impact.

Incentive challenges provide a powerful new way to do research or solve a problem in their industry. Instead of relying on an internal research team, you open up the challenge to the whole world. 

And here's the best part, you only award the prize when the breakthrough has been achieved. You only pay for success.

would be glad to help you figure out how incentive challenges would make a powerful addition to your company's innovation.

30 seconds ago. Seriously, in the time you’ve spent reading this page, you could have already launched your incentive challenge on our platform.

If you know what you want and you’re ready to get started, just start building! As soon as you’re done, launch it publicly to the world.

Of course, if you need more help and time, .

You decide what breakthrough needs to be accomplished to solve your challenge.

You choose the judges and the submission criteria. Do people need to create a prototype of the solution? Present the best algorithm? You can also let the crowd decide, with public voting. 

Our custom judging interface allows you to assign judges, oversee the scores, and choose the final winner. You have all the control.

You create the challenge, but an innovator will create the breakthrough. Who owns the new solution, prototype, or algorithm? 

You decide when you create the challenge. We offer 4 different types of intellectual property agreements, depending on what you want to achieve.

  • You, the challenge creator can own the solution.
  • The innovator who achieves the breakthrough can own the solution.
  • You and the innovator can share ownership of the solution.
  • The solution can be released into the public domain.

Whatever works best to create the breakthrough you want to achieve.

If you don’t know what kind of challenge to create, let the crowd decide. Create an “Ideation Challenge”, where you award a small prize to the best idea for a challenge. 

Let the crowd compete to offer up the best ideas, and you can even let the crowd vote on their favorite solution.

Then select the solution that matches the innovation that you want to bring into the world, and turn that into a larger sponsored challenge. 

would be happy to help you figure out the best solution.

Depending on the size and complexity of your challenge, we recommend 3-12 months for your challenge to run. That’ll give time for everyone to discover your challenge and for innovators to develop breakthrough solutions.

We’ve seen challenges go much quicker, and for big worldchanging breakthroughs, you might want to take a couple of years.

Thanks to our partnership with the XPRIZE Foundation, we understand what it takes to create and run an incentive challenge. We’ve created a platform that makes this whole process turnkey and friction free.

Our platform helps you handle the creation, the judging, the submission process, the promotion and even the crowdfunding if you need it.

Leverage our existing community of over 1 million innovators and problem solvers to get working on your problem right away.

HeroX is a commercial spinoff from the XPRIZE Foundation. We're the place that anyone, anywhere can create an incentive challenge. If you're inspired by the success of the grand XPRIZE challenges, like the Google Lunar XPRIZE, or the Qualcomm Medical Tricorder Prize, HeroX has the platform for you to make your own incentive challenge.

How Do I ...

Click the SIGN UP link at the top of every page. You can create an account with your email address, or sign in via Facebook, Google+, or Linkedin. It’s totally free to create a HeroX account.

When you sign up to create an account, check the box that says, "Email me updates from HeroX!”

Get started by creating your challenge here. If you have questions, click the link on the right of the Challenge Creation pages.

  1. Sign up with HeroX
  2. If the Challenge hasn’t started yet, on the right of the Challenge page, below “Want to compete in this Challenge?“, click the Pre-Register button to add your name to the list of potential competitors. We’ll contact you when the Challenge starts and you can go through the full registration process.
  3. If the Challenge has started, and registration is open (meaning it’s still accepting competitors), click the Start here button to start the registration process.

If crowdfunding is available for a Challenge, click the Fund Challenge button on the right of the Challenge page. This is only a pledge, and no money will be transfered unless the Challenge becomes fully funded.

Click on the Facebook, Twitter or google+ share icons on the Challenge page to spread the word through social media. Other possibilities: talk about it at parties, strike up a conversation at the bus stop, write it on your t-shirt, make cards and hand ‘em out. You get the idea.

  1. Sign in to HeroX and click on the menu next to your picture on the top right of any page.
  2. Select Your Profile.
  3. On your Profile Page, select Edit Profile.
  4. At the bottom of your profile page, click Delete Account.

This will delete all of your personal information, however, all of your public posts or comments, and all conversations you’ve had with other HeroX members will remain on the site.

Launch a Challenge

We are committed to Challenges that fuel innovation and that will make a positive difference in people’s lives. We will screen out any Challenge that has the potential to do the opposite. Email info@herox.com with any other Challenge inquiries.

We can provide guidance every step of the way, ensuring that your Challenge is clearly defined and is positioned for maximum impact and exposure.

In beta, we are offering a hands-on experience for our first few clients. This is a limited time offer, folks!

For the 10% platform fee  All benefits of tech platform Best Practice modules (e.g. how to design your own challenge, how to do a great video, how to  operate your challenge, how to judge submissions, and much more) Standard HeroX social media push. We have a lot of experience in Challenge design, management, and marketing. We are looking forward to working with you to create a Challenge that changes the world!

Those services include advisory input for the following areas:

  • Challenge design: How to set the right guidelines for a Challenge

  • Marketing and community development planning and implementation: How to attract the right people to a Challenge

  • Challenge management and administration planning and implementation: How to administer and operate a Challenge

  • Fundraising: How to get money for your Challenge

  • Other relevant areas that surface throughout the process: We are your partners and looking forward to supporting you

  • Online moderation

In addition, we offer a la carte professional services in the areas of:

  1. Challenge Design

  2. Challenge Management

  3. Community Development & Marketing

Please reach out to info@herox.com for more information.

Absolutely! There are two ways to do this. The first way is that we empower you to do the work yourself - this means that we give you some fun learning materials that help you to translate your “problem area” into a Challenge with guidelines and rules. So, that’s cool! You get to learn a new skill. The second option is that we can do the work for you. Yes, it will cost extra. You get the time, attention, and expertise of a Challenge Designer (that’s our spiffy name for them) who has a keen eye for shaping a problem into a Challenge. Either way, you will end up with a Challenge that people are wild to solve!

We don’t select Challenge ideas. You can post anything that you care about. We will pull anything that is harmful or negative, but other than that, we are a platform to support your passions.

A Challenge progresses from stage to stage throughout its life:

Preview Mode - When a challenge is created, it automatically goes into Preview mode. The Challenge page is hidden which allows the author to finish the work, share with friends and collegues to get feedback, and continue working on the Challenge. When it's ready to be put up on the site, the Challenge is Published.

Fund the Challenge - Before a challenge is ready for competition, all funding for a prize must be in place and the submission form (the information collected from the innovators) must be complete. Raising funds, pre-registering users, creating buzz, discussing and updating the challenge can all happen during this phase. The schedule for the challenge should also be set during this phase.

Pre-registration - Before a challenge is ready to accept submissions, competitors can pre-register for the challenge. This stage can happen along side Fund the Challenge.

Enter - The challenge is now ready for innovators to submit their solutions to the challenge. The challenge will continue to have updates and discussions.

Judging - Submissions are evaluated by a panel of judges against the criteria set forth for the challenge.

Voting - An optional phase where the crowd can vote on submissions to help determine a winner.

Won - The winners are announced and the challenge is complete.

What Makes a Great HeroX Challenge?
  • Address a problem area where there is an opportunity for change and success can be measured

  • Define the problem to solve, but not the path to the solution

  • Have clear, simple rules so competitors understand how to compete

  • Have a clear finish line so competitors know if and when they’ve won

  • Inspire a new way to think about a problem

  • Spark imaginations and engage a lot of people in searching for the solution

  • Create a better world
  • Address a problem that a lot of people would like to see solved

  • Be a stepping stone toward solving a larger problem

  • Target a problem that past solutions haven’t fixed

  • Excite you while still seeming achievable

  • Bring new human and financial activity and investment into an otherwise neglected area

  • Encourage both collaboration and competition

It depends. If our team and your team feel you’re ready to design and launch a challenge on your own, we provide limited advisory services to launch a challenge on the HeroX platform. However, if the situation lends itself to a more hands-on experience, we have a range of services that we can provide you and your team. Please contact us.

Yes, but there are a few caveats. If you launch your Challenge (and you are the one to set the winning guidelines), the guidelines you set must be hard enough to move the needle on the issue you care about.

To confirm that, they will be vetted by a third party (HeroX in this case). From there, you can compete in your Challenge - and you’ll be competing against anyone else who enters as well.

Launching a challenge involves attracting innovators to the competition. If it means setting up the page on HeroX, that means completing the intro video, the guidelines, FAQ's and anything else that a potential innovator would need to know. It also means that it's a time for getting the word out to the world which can involve various marketing activities including online and offline channels.

It is important to build a challenge team. Many hands make light work.

That will be up to you and how technical the Challenge is. HeroX and your crowd will support you in refining your goal. This is the most crucial step in the Challenge Design process. You want to have a goal that is big enough to challenge and motivate people while keeping it within the parameters of the solvable. Generally, though, it will take you a couple of months to get prepared.

It’s up to you. There are several factors to consider, such as the type of Challenge, the prize, the number of individuals or teams registered, and the degree of difficulty of the challenge. Generally, challenges will run for 6-18 months.

We encourage you to launch challenges that have prizes between $250,000 and $1M. With our experiences in competitions, those are numbers that attract innovators to problems that are solvable within a 6-18 month timeframe.

But we also think there could be successful prizes for just a few thousand dollars too. The size of the prize should match the risk and complexity of the challenge. Whatever it takes to encourage innovators to compete.

It depends on your challenge. Are you looking for a business plan? Or are you looking for a material solution? The amount of resources, materials, and brain power needed all change your purse size. Lucky for you, the crowd can help you decide what will work best. These are some of the considerations:

  • Difficulty of competition

  • Length of competition

  • How much a team might need to spend to achieve the goal

  • Min. amount that team will consider to give up a portion (or all IP)

If there is no winner for the Challenge, the funds will either be returned to the sponsor (less HeroX’s 10%) or the sponsor can choose to put the funds toward another Challenge.

The range is very vast - there are examples of competitions with only 10-50 participants and some that draw tens of thousands. We can't predict that. However, if the goal is to attract many, than the community development plan will reflect a strategy to get them.

We’ll provide the ability for people to sign up to receive email updates from your organization on your Challenge page. We’ll provide you with the contact info for all of the people who sign up.

We have a number of tools available, which you can view in our Platform Walkthrough video. We also provide you with a more comprehensive walkthrough in our bi-weekly DIY 101 Webinar.

We are constantly designing new tools to empower challenge creators to build the communities for their challenges. Our product team has already designed many tools with functional input from our clients.

Operating a competition means that you have to run it as a project or program. It means that someone has to attract innovators, retain innovators, attract judges, creating judging contracts, ensure that there is no cheating, making sure that innovators know what's going on and what's required of them, organize team summits (if desired), managing the budget, and so on. There are part of the project that are busier than others. The launch and start of a competition is very busy and is a full time job. During the middle, when innovators are busy working on their solutions, it can be quieter. It then picks up again towards the tail end of the competition when judging and awarding is happening.

Compete in a Challenge

Each Challenge Page will include specifications on participation requirements.

Every Challenge will have clearly defined judging or winning criteria at the outset. An objective judging team and process will be put in place. In order to avoid any conflict of interest the current policy is that the Challengers cannot also be judges.

The judges’ decisions are final.

Prizes are distributed within 30 days of the announcement of the winner.

Intellectual property rights will vary by Challenge. Please read the rules for the Challenge you’re interested in to find out more.

You can withdraw from a Challenge at any time and for whatever reason. If the Challenge had a registration fee associated with it, however, you would not be eligible for a refund.

Yes, you can create a Challenge and later compete to win that Challenge.

However, the Challenge must:

  • Be open to anyone (it can't be just your competition that you create and automatically win).
  • Have clear and impartial guidelines and judging.
  • Have unbiased and independent judges (you can't judge your own winning submissions).
Pledging and Funding Challenges

Click the “Fund Challenge” button on the right side of any Challenge Page. Select a pledge amount and then click the “Save my Pledge” button. You will be taken to our payment page where you will be taken through the checkout process.

Your card will not be charged until the Challenge has reached its funding goal. You will need to be logged in to a HeroX account to complete a pledge.

Your card will be charged when the Challenge reaches its funding deadline and is fully funded. If the Challenge does not reach its funding goal, your card will not charged.

No, only your HeroX Screen Name and location are listed in the Supporter section of the Challenge.

The Challenge Creator will receive a message with your screen name and your pledge amount. They will be able to contact you directly through the HeroX messaging system. You will also receive all updates on the Challenge.

You will receive an email notification when the Challenge has reached its goal and your card is charged for your pledge amount.

Yes. You can increase, decrease or cancel your pledge at any time. However, you may not cancel or decrease your pledge after the challenge has reached its goal and your card has been charged.

If your question relates to the Challenge, contact the Challenge Sponsor directly, their contact information is on the right side of the Challenge Page. If your question is about your own Challenge, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

About the Company

HeroX is a for-profit spin off of the XPRIZE Foundation. It’s a platform that allows anyone to launch a competition in an area they care about. We are powered by the crowd. It lives at the intersection of crowdfunding, competition and collaboration to drive social innovation. The game we're up to: Creating an innovation platform to fund unsolved problems.

HeroX uses a crowdsourcing platform to solve problems through customized competitions. There are 5 steps:

  1. Problem declared: You state a problem

  2. Guidelines written: You set the parameters and metrics for contestants to be measured against (or HeroX can help you to do that, for a fee.)

  3. A team is brought in to administer and manage the competition. They handle team recruitment, management, judging, testing facilities, etc.

  4. Teams submit their solutions

  5. Judges review proof-of-concept submissions objectively and award a winner.

Crowdsourcing occurs throughout. We use the crowd whenever we can as we believe outside minds build the best solutions.

Our success rate is close to 92%, with just a few challenges choosing to cancel their challenges during operations..

HeroX uses the crowdfunding model to fund Challenges on the HeroX site. If you are looking to get a problem solved by many innovators, you can use HeroX to design, and run the Challenge and crowdfund the prize money.

No. We are a for-profit company that focuses on making a positive contribution to our world. HeroX is a Public Benefits Corporation, which is defined as “a for-profit corporation intended to produce a public benefit and operate in a responsible and sustainable manner.”

We are at the forefront of crowdsourcing competitions. HeroX will allow you to use our efficient and effective platform to dramatically lower the cost and time to market of innovation, research & development, and marketing. With our public facing platform and our knowledge of competition-based problem solving from our XPRIZE heritage, we can significantly improve the productivity, transparency, and results of your philanthropic efforts.

We run a completely virtual office with team members currently in Canada, USA and Ukraine.

Today’s world is filled with solutions. Even within the realm of crowdsourcing our brightest minds are focusing on fundraising and presenting their own solutions. What if we reversed this process and let our brightest minds not only solve problems but identify them as well? You come to us with an area you would like to improve and we’ll show you how to take it from there.

With Kickstarter and Indiegogo, someone has a solution but needs funding to help launch it. Although Kickstarter and Indiegogo both use the power of the crowd, they do so in the reverse of what we do. They are a platform for people who already have a solution to a problem (and are looking for money to go out and fund future production of that solution). HeroX is a platform for people who don't have the solution yet, but are willing to put up the money in order to bring the best solutions. We feel that better solutions come not only from better questions but also from a crowd of people both defining the most relevant problems and then working to solve them.