$100,000 Reward: Y Prize

Inspired by the X Prize, Y Combinator’s “Startup Ideas We’d Like to Fund” and Kickstarter, I am offering a $100K prize in three parts:

$10K for Crowdsourced X Prizes Platform

  • Allows anyone to offer a cash prize for achieving a goal they want achieved
  • Allows anyone to pledge additional dollars to someone else’s already-offered prize
  • Uses crowdsourcing to vet which goals are worthy of public prize offer and which get top billing
  • Uses crowdsourcing to determine if/when a prize gets awarded
  • Has been used to award at least five prizes of one thousand dollars or more
  • Does not have any pending lawsuits alleging that the platform violates U.S. federal or state laws
  • Has an opinion letter from a U.S. law firm that the system does not violate U.S. federal or state laws

Note that this is different from Kickstarter in that (a) it’s the donors who set the goal not the recipient; (b) Kickstarter does not use crowdsourcing in its vetting process at this point.

$15K for Y Prize Platform

Same as the above except, instead of prizes, the cash award is an equity investment that gets executed once the stated goal is achieved (as determined by the crowd).  The platform must have been used to invest at least $10K in at least one for-profit venture in exchange for an equity stake in the venture.

Again, this is different than Kickstarter in that they only facilitate pure donations, not investment.  It’s also different from Unreasonable Finalists Marketplace as it currently exists.  I love both of these platforms and think they have worldchanging potential.  And both are eligible for my prizes here if they add what I’m looking for.  But I don’t think they will (they’ve got different fish to fry) so don’t be discouraged from jumping into the fray yourself!

$75K for 20%

I’d like a 20% ownership stake in a for-profit venture achieves the Y Prize Platform above.  I don’t know if my making such a “reverse offering” would constitute a violation of U.S. law or not, so I am not actually offering it yet.  What I am doing is suggesting that if you build such a system, and you start a for-profit company to monetize it, and you can convince me and my lawyers that your company is fully legal, and you are willing to offer me 20% of that company, then I’m willing to invest $75K.

Furthermore, this whole page of offers is null and void in any jurisdictions in which it’s not 100% legal (a determination that you need to make personally, I can’t advise you on this).  And I reserve the right to modify anything on this page at any point in order to assure compliance with all U.S. laws and regulations and to clarify my intent.

Finally, if you are a lawyer licensed in the U.S., I’d appreciate your posting any legal opinions you have on any of this via the comments section below.

  • Rafe Furst

    Erratum: fixed numerical inconsistency (my CFO suggests I add her to the list of people to run these by in the future, not a bad idea!)

    Oversight: Forgot to mention Spirit of Innovation Awards as an inspiration too. Amazing program, check it out.

    Also similar: innocentive.com & challengepost.com & refresheverything.com (hat tip: Mike Karnjanaprakorn)

  • this is really interesting. we are looking at a seed fund where qualified investors could shower the same space as retail investors within the concept of the hub. relationships around money are changing really fast and so are costs and value that people are willing to bring to the table.