--The Basics--

What is HiddenGenius?

Join us! It's free!


What technology would make your life better?  

Help someone else?

Change the course of human kind?  

  • Put some skin in the game & make it real...
  • What's your Genius?
  • We believe - anyone can help create the next great technology competition.  Some HiddenGenius out there may have the answer to a challenge she doesn't know exists.

Why This Matters

  • If we wait on just the experts to address them... We are screwed.
  • Luckily, we also have millions of bright minds for tackling these challenges.
  • We built HiddenGenius so anyone can contribute.
  • There is no time to waste!

But what would Theodore Roosevelt say?

Step into the arena...

Well said, Ted.

We launch tech competitions to push the limit of what is possible.

Naysayers can have the cheap seats.

We Pay It Forward

People do amazing things...   

  • They apply their time, talent, & money to help others.  They make cool stuff...
  • Maybe it is technology that helps someone walk, or a kid with diabetes, or cleans water, or explores space?
  • We decided HiddenGenius should also be a global force for good!
  • We bring visibility to those that need it & we donate direct funding to meaningful competitions.

HiddenGenius is a global stage to get stuff done.  

Your genius is welcome here.

--The Details--

How HiddenGenius Works

How does all this work? The basics

Any Member can:

  • Spark - a technology competition (request that a technology be developed for their own needs or to help others)
  • Sponsor - the prize purse for the winning competitor (joining others rallying around a spark)
  • Shape - the goals and rules of the competition with other HG Members
  • Compete - as a company to win the competition, the glory, the prize, and potentially thousands of new loyal customers.
  • Celebrate - technology successes and failures with Members online and at HG events. Meet other interesting Members from around the world.

Sounds cool. Where do I start?

  • Buckle up - here is the crash course on the HiddenGenius community and our unique language.
  • Membership - it starts here. Anyone can become a Member of the HiddenGenius Community. It takes a few seconds and it’s FREE.

Now that I’m a member, what can I do?

Explore - the site. There are two approaches: Recklessly dive in and see:

  • Who else is a Member?
  • What challenges have been sparked?
  • Who has sponsored which challenge?
  • What cool technologies are out there?
  • Who is competing?
  • What companies are seeking investment?
  • Where are other HG members and what are they up to?

Or studiously read more about the HG community, processes, and values. Either way is fine!


How does a tiny spark catch fire? Grow up to be a legitimate competition? And potentially improve the world?

Answer - it is not easy. The spark must be a survivor. It must have the support of Members. The clock is ticking. It has a deadline. Game on.


What are the key steps in the process?

Like any good game or massive collaborative effort, HiddenGenius has a framework for the community members to advance valid challenges that they care about. Every stage is more difficult to complete, until only the best competitions are launched. Some don’t make the cut and are designated as “BIT” (“Before Its Time” further explained below).

Stages - From the inception of an idea to a successful technology (product or service), there are 5 basic stages:

  • Sandbox - the idea Sandbox is a playground for Members to toss out ideas for competitions, explore unfamiliar technologies and industries, meet and collaborate with other Members and ultimately see which ideas gain traction.
  • Spark - now it gets real! A Sparker has officially sponsored a competition idea.
  • Challenge - Shapers design the competition goals and rules.
  • Competition - Competitors race to accomplish the technology competition goals.
  • Celebration - competitor wins the competition, it is verified by the referees, and the prize is awarded.
  • Milestones - each stage has its own set of milestones that must be accomplished for it to move to the next stage, before the time runs out.
  • BIT - There are some Sparks, Challenges, and Competitions that won’t make the cut. Their time will run out. These are called “Before Its Time” or “BIT” Sparks, Challenges, and Competitions.
  • BIT challenges remain archived on the site. They will not advance unless Members determine to restart the process and rally around the Spark or modify the Spark to obtain more Member interest. For more detailed information see the guide to stages and milestones here.

How and Why Members Participate

Members engage in several ways throughout the process for various reasons:

  • Sparkers - take bold steps to directly improve the world with technology challenges and they are recognized as pioneers.
  • Shapers - have the opportunity to change the course of humankind and build their reputations by designing excellent competitions.
  • Sponsors - put their money where their mouth is to make a difference. They fuel the spark by creating a prize purse for the winning technology and provide in-kind resources. Sponsors make it happen.
  • Competitors - gain visibility from customers, investors, and acquirers by discovering and addressing technology challenges (they benefit from the visibility even if they don’t win).

What is a Reputation Level?

Reputation level - The HG community is a meritocracy. Everyone enters at the same reputation level, regardless of background, formal education, or self image. Members earn reputations, as they do in life, by their actions, contributions, and ability to work with others.

Our HG Community Values are a big part of reputation levels. We celebrate HiddenGenius, but reputation is not about proving how smart you are. It is all about demonstrated results. Did the Member:

  • Mentor other Members allowing them to be more successful?
  • Identify resources that make a competition possible?
  • Invite other key participants?
  • Constructively shape competitions with others?
  • Sponsor meaningful competitions?
  • Participate in competitions with successful technology outcomes?

These are some of the most valuable aspects of reputation.

Reputation matters - It is more valuable to be a small part of a successfully launched competition with technologies that make it to the market and improve lives, than it is to be the top contributor to a challenge that goes nowhere (BIT).


What do the two reputation numbers signify? “2/300”

The first reputation number - identifies how many roles within the competition process that a Member has participated in. If a Member has Sparked a competition and Sponsored another their reputation is “2.”

The second reputation number - 300 represents the amount of productive activity within those roles.

Example reputation level - of 1/1000 might indicate the Member participates in 1 role and does it well (maybe shaping). A level of 5/200 might mean the Member wears a lot of hats to help competitions along. Finally a level of 5/5000 would mean the Member is highly involved in many aspects of the site.

Higher reputation levels - unlock higher level shaping functions on the site and are required for certain leadership roles. Top level shapers also direct funding - see “HiddenGenius pays it forward” below.


How is reputation level scored?

System Generated - some reputation levels come directly from actions on the site such as Sparking or Sponsoring a competition.

Peer Member Feedback - The most important and valuable additions to reputation level come from other Members recognizing your contributions as valuable, positive, and productive.


How do I meet up with other Members?

Member Groups - Member groups enable Members to connect, communicate, rally, collaborate, and celebrate with other Members. They can be formed by any Member and can be open or closed groups. They can be formed around a challenge, an industry, a location, friendships, anything. See the Community section for more information.


Are there HiddenGenius events that allow us to meet in person? Absolutely!

HiddenGenius Awards and Ideas Festival - Coming soon, we will have an annual festival that celebrates the accomplishments of our Members, gives them a chance to meet other Members, explore ideas, and hack together competitions. This is music concert, meets tech show, meets epic party - and a chance to hangout with other HiddenGenius Members from around the world.

Regional, City, and Local HiddenGenius Events - you or any other Member can organize events. These are excuses to meet and hangout with other interesting and talented people in your area.


Getting together is fun, and it also might change the world.

The Lunar Society - formed in Birmingham England in the 1700’s was an informal group that met under the full moon (so it was easier to walk home in the dark). They were from various backgrounds and included entrepreneurs and scientist. This cross disciplinary group helped spark the industrial revolution and changed the world.


HiddenGenius gives back and pays it forward

The HiddenGenius community contributes its time, talents, and financial resources to worthy challenges. HiddenGenius, the company, contributes resources as well. Shapers with exceptional reputation levels have the power to direct a pool of funds toward competition prizes that they care about.

As an example, a Shaper that has contributed well to several challenges in communications, may determine to direct funds to something completely different like a childhood diabetes challenge. Recognizing the achievements of Members by giving them more power to help others - this is cool stuff!


Go head - play with the site!

Feedback - we are excited to hear your feedback on how we can improve the site. What do you love, hate, and want? Send us a note with the feedback button.

Go big. We are out to change the way people bring technology to life. With so much at stake there is no time for our egos in developing the site.

We greatly appreciate your ideas and suggestions. Your genius.

Competition Overview

HiddenGenius Competitions - We Create Them Together

The HiddenGenius community creates amazing technology competitions that improve the world.

You are helping blaze new territory. We believe in a radical idea - that, if given the opportunity, individuals from different backgrounds and locations can successfully work together to Spark, Sponsor, Shape, Invest, and Compete in amazing technology competitions.

It is up to the HiddenGenius community to prove this big idea is possible.


Why are good competitions so important?

Competition Origin - The word ‘competition’ has latin origins meaning to ‘meet, come together, strive for.’ This is exactly our intent with technology competitions.

We love competitions because they promote:

    • Merit - based outcomes. Your background doesn’t matter, only that you deliver.
    • Competitors - bring out the best performance in each other. They also collaborate to make a good game.
    • Urgency - competitions accelerate the advancement of technology, and there is no time to waste.
    • Visibility - good competitions shed light on challenges that may be off the public radar.
    • Fun - like any sport, or any other game, technology competitions are exciting, fun to watch and cheer on competitors. Plus there is the potential bonus of real benefits to our world.
    • Cross-pollinate - competitions draw individuals from radically different backgrounds to work together for a common goal. This fosters innovation that would not have occurred otherwise.
    • HiddenGenius - someone out there may have the answer to a challenge they don’t know exists. Competitions allow for discovery and action.

HG competitions can be:

Types of competitions?

      • Any technology competition - that improves the world and has economic benefit.
      • Any industry - technology is broadly defined to any measurable innovation in the form of a product or service. This includes but is not limited to technologies in: materials, machines, software, devices, processes, services, etc.

Who can be involved?

      • Sparked - by any Member
      • Shaped - by any Member
      • Sponsored - by any Member
      • Competed - by any registered company
      • ***(Members or companies disregarding HG community values will be removed)

HG competitions are not intended for:

        • Non-technology competitions - there must be a tangible technology element.
        • Subjective outcomes - HG is not about subjective judging panels.
        • Challenges that are too broad or ill-defined - to make measurable progress against. “Cure cancer” is too broad. Let’s break that down into measurable and achievable sub-competitions.
        • Social causes - that aren’t directly addressed with a technology.
        • Basic research grants - we love technology in all forms and basic research is vital, but the HG community is focused on getting technologies in the hands of people who can benefit from it (quality of life) immediately.
        • Limiting human freedom - Anything that limits human freedom doesn’t belong on HG.
        • Political party agendas - the HG community is not intended for political agendas. HG is about improving the world with technology, not regulation. To this end, the community can collectively work to remove regulatory barriers that limit access to innovation, capital, and talent that technologist and entrepreneurs need to be successful.
        • Unethical technologies - if the average person would be embarrassed to show their mom a news article of their involvement in the competition - it doesn't belong as a HG competition.
        • Non-productive or nonsense topics - let’s focus our energy on technology competitions that genuinely help people. There is a lot to do and no time to waste.

Excellent competitions have:

          • Measurable goals - are concise and captivating (outcome based vs technology).
          • Measurable rules - are concise and don’t dictate the technology to use.
          • Simple language focused on outcomes - the best competitions can be explained in plain language to anyone in a grocery store. Highly complex technical requirements should be reduced to simple analogs that are easy for anyone to understand (more genius is required to make language simple than complex).
          • Creative competitions - the best competition captivate the media and public with exciting, visual, creative, and straightforward competitions.
          • Achievable outcomes - competitions cannot be so easy, that the outcome is meaningless (example the product already exists) and not so difficult that it can’t be addressed in a specific competition (“End hunger” is too broad and should be broken down into meaningful and measurable challenges).
          • Compelling stories and outcomes - will the media, HG Members, and society care about the competition?
          • Economic impact - the technology must have benefit to consumers and the companies providing it.
          • Genuine participation interest - by Sponsors, Shapers, Competitors, and Investors.
          • Considered the value of the technology
            • Scope - what should the technology accomplish?
            • Time - all of the time elements: Does it work faster? Quicker to deploy? Same time but deliver more value?
            • Value - what is the economic advantage of the technology? Its cost compared to alternatives? Its value to the end user?

Who can compete and win?

Any registered company - meeting HG community guidelines. (For-profit companies can be big, small, one-person shops, established, or newly formed).


Who is not eligible to compete or win?

            • Non-commercial entities - The HG community is interested in having innovative technologies delivered to the market where they can benefit lives
              • Research groups, non-profits, academic institutions, and government groups can partner to help competing companies. However, the winning competitor must be an entity formed with the intent of commercial viability, delivery of technology, and economic value creation in the market and for its owners/investors.
            • Unethical competitors - competitors will be held to a high standard of ethical conduct. They will respect HG Sparkers, Shapers, Sponsors, Investors, and winning confirmation process. They will also respect other competitors and their IP, personnel, customers, and right to compete.

What is not eligible to compete or win?

            • Existing products - A product or service that has already been available for commercial sale is not eligible to win. Modifications to existing products must show measurable and marked technical improvement over current commercially available product lines.
            • Technologies that break competition rules - knowingly or unknowingly.
            • Technologies with known major harm - the point of creating these technologies is to improve the world, not diminish it. There must be reasonable net positive benefit to the technology.

How are competitions screened?

The HiddenGenius community has the power - to decide which competitions will advance and those that won’t. A successfully launched competition requires the support of Sponsors, Shapers, Competitors, and Investors.

HiddenGenius staff don’t try to pick - the best competitions (like other companies). Frankly, a small team is no match for the combined insight, creativity, and intelligence of the HiddenGenius community. We are delighted to Spark, Sponsor, and Shape just like any other Member within the community. Let the chips fall where they may.

We like measurable technology competitions - because it isn’t about who has the best pitch deck or credentials. It is about who can actually deliver a technology that meets the competition goals...and demonstrate it. Simple - cross the finish line and win.

There is a rigorous process - for Spark to become an officially launched HiddenGenius Competition. Learn more in the How HG Works section and detailed Milestones Guidelines. There are 5 stages that must be completed and each stage has a series of milestones. There are a number of community checks and balances and everything must be completed before the time for each stage runs out. HG conducts a final review to show the challenge meets the community values and Sponsors get to review the competition before it is launched.

May the best competitions launch!


Can the crowd successfully design competitions?

There will be naysayers - and some acclaimed ‘experts’ that say “no, they can’t.” Many of these people have been classically trained in academic environments which foster the idea that only experts have the sophistication to advance technology (or design competitions).

Let’s prove them wrong.

It is easy to discredit new ideas. It is also easy to sit on the sidelines, poke holes, criticize, and discuss all the ways something won’t work. But it is pretty hard to change the world from those seats.

There were experts that said - the world was flat, that man would never fly, that an encylopedia developed by the crowd could never compete with one written by designated content experts.

Yes - There will be hiccups along the way…..some competitions will not work, in-fact failure will be part of the process. There will be challenges that won’t get addressed. The community will not get every competition designed perfectly. There may be some unintended consequences. It may get messy at times.

This is exactly where the HiddenGenius community should be. On the edge of innovation, at any point striving for an epic breakthrough and learning from our mistakes. Operating in this environment is how we will improve the world with technology…..at a rate that few thought possible. Pioneers take calculated risks. They blaze a trail to help those that follow.

We value your feedback and suggestions on how to improve HiddenGenius.

HiddenGenius Technology Competition Stages, Milestones and Processes

It is about the journey and the destination - A technology idea must complete several “Stages” before a competition is launched and ultimately a product is delivered. An idea moves to the next Stage, when all of the requirements (or milestones) for that Stage are met. These requirements must be completed in the time allotted for each stage or the idea stops and is archived as “Before Its Time or BIT (with the last stage name).”

Great competitions - Stages are used to promote great competitions and screen others that lack sufficient support to be successful. The process is rigorous. Each new Stage requires greater coordination by HG Members to accomplish the milestones. However, delivering a technology that improves the world is worth the effort!

Stages, Milestones, and Requirements - are listed in sequential order below:
*(HiddenGenius reserves the right to modify these Milestones and process at its sole discretion to promote the success of HG and the HiddenGenius community.)


1) Idea Sandbox (Play in Idea Sandbox)

  • Requirements (Milestones) to complete this Stage?
    • Member account created (free)
    • Technology Competition title entered
  • Time Limit - that an idea can remain in Sandbox?
    • Ideas can remain in sandbox for 1 year - after that they are archived as “Before Its Time or BIT Sandbox”

2) Spark

  • Requirements (Milestones) to complete this Stage?
    • Sandbox requirements are met
    • Technology Spark is sponsored by the Sparker (minimum $1) *(Timer starts here)
    • Basic Spark information is entered:
      • Why the Spark is important to me
      • What is the Inspiration
      • Description
      • Industries
      • *Background (*not required to move to next stage)
    • 1st Picture is uploaded
    • Spark is shared with at least 10 people
  • Time Limit - to finish Spark Milestones?
    • Sparkers must complete Spark requirements in 7 days - otherwise it is archived as “Before Its Time or BIT Spark”

3) Shape Challenge (Competition)

  • Requirements (Milestones) to complete this Stage?
    • Sandbox and Spark requirements are met *(Timer starts here)
    • Technology challenge is sponsored by the first 5 different Members
    • Technology challenge has increased sponsorship (minimum $1,000)
    • All Shape information is entered and approved by Shapers:
      • Creative Competition Design
      • Type of Challenge (First To Finish, or Venue)
      • At least 1 Goal (Max 3 goals)
      • Rules (as necessary)
      • Referee’s selected
    • 1st Video is uploaded
    • Challenge is shared with at least 200 people
    • Outside media attention - Challenge is described by at least 1 TV, newspaper, magazine, blog or other outside channel (active link provided)
    • HG staff verify that Competition meets the culture fit, policies, etc of HG prior to Competition launch
    • Sponsors approve Competition
  • Time Limit - to finish Shaping Challenge Milestones and become a Competition?
    • Shapers must complete Shaping the Challenge requirements in 60 days - otherwise it is archived as “Before Its Time or BIT Challenge”

4) Competition (Launched)

  • Requirements for this Stage?
    • Sandbox, Spark, and Shape Challenge requirements are met *(Timer starts here)
    • At least 1 Competitor registers with a letter of intent to compete. Competitors can sign up at any stage (Sandbox, Spark, Challenge, Competition)
  • Time Limit - once launched as a Competition?
    • At least 1 Competitor must file a letter of intent to compete within 60 days after the official Competition Launch - otherwise it is archived as “Before Its Time or BIT Competition”
    • Once Competitors have registered - there is no time limit on a First To Finish (FTF) Competition (unless 180 days pass and all competitors have removed themselves from the competition)
    • Venue Competitions will comply with the Time Limits set in the Competition Design

5) Win

  • Requirements for this Stage?
    • Sandbox, Spark, Challenge, and Competition requirements are met
    • Competitor is registered with HG
    • Competitor meets all goals
    • Competitor complies with all rules
    • Competitor meets requirements of a venue challenge (if applicable)
    • Competitor meets requirements of Creative Competition Design
    • Competitor uploads progress on HG site
    • Competitor complied with all HG policies and guidelines
    • Referees approve all obligations have been met
    • Competitor agrees to HG media obligations
    • Competitor remains in good standing with investors
    • Competitor provides account link for prize money transfer
    • Competitor agrees that prize money can be revoked if competitor is in violation of any items above or has knowingly misrepresented any outcomes or data
  • Time Limit - to win a competition?
    • Except as specifically stipulated in the competition, there is no time limit to win a First To Finish (FTF) competition. Competitors must comply with Venue challenge goals, rules, competition design, and timelines to win.
    • Prize money will be distributed after Referee audits have been complete

6) Celebrate

  • Activities during this Stage?
    • Sandbox, Spark, Challenge, Competition, and Win requirements are met
    • Various media channels invited to report on the outcome
    • All Competitors profiled on HG site with updates
    • All Competitors thanked via email and notifications on HG site
    • All Competitors invited (free) to HiddenGenius Awards and Ideas Festival (HG-AIF)
    • All Sponsors thanked via email and notifications on HG site
    • Sponsors over $1,000 invited free to HG-AIF
    • Top Sponsors invited to HG-AIF as VIP’s
    • Sponsors at lower levels receive discounts to HG-AIF
    • Sponsors immortalized on HG by name affiliation with a particular competition
    • Sponsors acknowledged during HG-AIF
    • All Shapers thanked via email and notifications on HG site
    • Shapers immortalized on HG by name affiliation with a particular competition
    • Top Shapers invited free to HG-AIF as VIP’s
    • All Shapers receive discounts to HG-AIF
    • Top Shapers honored with the ability to allocate HG “Pay It Forward” funds toward competitions that matter to them
    • Top Shapers acknowledge during HG-AIF
    • All Investors thanked via email and notifications on HG site
    • Investors over $5000 are invited (free) to HG-AIF as VIP’s
    • All Investors receive discounts to HG-AIF
    • Top Investors acknowledged during HG-AIF
    • Sponsors, Shapers, Competitors, and Investors all receive reputation scores on HG site

7) Delivery (Product Sales)

  • Requirements for this Stage?
    • Sandbox, Spark, Challenge, Competition, Win, and Celebrate requirements are met
    • Competitors register products for sale with HG
    • Competitors agree to product sales policies, guidelines, and business terms
  • Time Limit?
    • No time limit - Products can be listed for sale (link) on HG site as long as Competitor is in good standing with HG

Guidelines and Policies

HiddenGenius Community Guidelines & Policies

HiddenGenius policies are subject to change at any time. HG reserves the right to modify this content & take any additional action to protect the HG community & company. Please submit any suggestions to improve the guidelines to HG staff. Thank you!


Terms of Use and Privacy

In order to become a member of HiddenGenius, you must agree to both our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.


Spark & Shaper Guidelines

  • Technology – Challenges proposed must be for technology competitions only. (HG is not intended as a donation site, or for social issues with no direct technology component)
  • For-profit Challenges - Technology competitions must lead to viable for-profit business models. (For profit companies drive follow-through on technology deployment)
  • Measurable - Technology competition rules are completely objective in nature. (The rules set a framework for the competition. Like a race, the goals are measurable, there is no judging panel needed to identify the winner, & the company to complete the objectives first – wins)
  • Achievable – Challenge goals should be designed with the intent to drive new technology development yet remain achievable. Challenges that are too broad or grand in nature should be clarified & reduced to promote a reasonable competition. As an example “Cure Cancer” is entirely too broad to be effective & must be broken down into more meaningful, specific, objective, & achievable goals.
  • Compelling – Challenges should be designed to capture the public & media interest. Technologies must have tangible benefit to HG members. Economic benefit is also important to consider.

Additional Shaper Guidelines

  • Up to 3 Goals – The shaper community will boil the challenge down & decide on at most the three most important (measurable) goals.
  • Goals May Consider – good projects & technologies tend to consider scope of the solution, time advantages, & economic value. Goals may be crafted with these parameters in mind.
  • Rule Set – The Shaper community will decide on some fundamental rules for the competition.
  • HG Staff – Like any HG member, staff can help shape challenges including goals & rules.
  • Share the Story – The goals & rules for each challenge should be written in such a way that they are easy to communicate to the public (in the form of a story). Complex technology issues should be translated into analogs that communicate well in the media & other viral communication channels.
  • Shaping Timeline – All goals & rules for a competition must be completed in the time allocated for competition design (count down).
  • Human Freedom – will never be restricted by a competition or solution. This is reflected in the design of goals & rules within each HG competition.
  • Unethical Behavior – in the design of competitions has no place in the HG community. These individuals will be removed from the community/platform.
  • Competition & Collaboration – are not opposing forces & should both be promoted in the design of goals & rules.
  • Innovative Thinking – has no boarders. No competition will limit competitors by location or background, or solutions by standard practice.
  • Contributions – by all members of the community are respected regardless of individual background or characteristics.
  • The Rule of Law – is followed precisely. If a law is harmful HG will leverage the power of its community to work with government leaders & improve the law.
  • Solutions & Wealth – Solving technology challenges that both improve the world & create wealth is a noble endeavor.
  • Honor Contributions – All individuals in the HG community are honored to acknowledge & celebrate valuable contributions made by others within or outside of the HG platform.
  • Transparency – actions, motivations, identities, goals, rules, & communication are transparent in the HG community.
  • Political Interest – The HG platform is not intended to further political parties or interests. The HG community, however, can influence public policy when it advances technology, promotes solutions that benefit humankind, & reduces regulation/increases personal freedom.

Sponsor Guidelines

  • Registration – Sponsors must register with HG prior to any public announcement of support for a challenge.
  • In-kind Sponsorship – Sponsors may offer in-kind contributions to enhance competitions including facilities, infrastructure, or technologies.
  • Right to Deny Sponsorship – HG reserves the right to deny sponsorship to any individual, foundation, or company for any reason including conflict with HG core values or business considerations.
  • Tax Reporting – Sponsors assume the ultimate obligation for any tax implications of sponsorship.
  • HG Fees – Sponsors acknowledge that HG incurs costs associated with business operations & promoting competitions. Sponsors agree to HG fees upon submitting sponsorship funds. Any return of funds to sponsors is subject to HG fees at HG’s discretion.

Competitor Guidelines

  • Legitimate For-Profit Company – Only for-profit companies can register to compete for a technology competition. Companies can be newly formed or established. Academic groups, government, or other consortiums may partner or assist companies, but cannot compete directly. The HG site is not intended to fund basic or non-applied research. The goal is to produce technologies that improve the lives of people in the market.
  • Intellectual Property – Companies retain the rights to IP they have legitimately developed. Private contributions, under contract, with HG members will be respected in the same fashion as any other business contract. Any open or public contribution or suggestion by HG members will be considered open innovation & companies cannot use such IP to exclude other companies from providing technology solutions or products. Companies knowingly infringing on the IP of others will be eliminated from the competition.
  • First to Achieve Goals Wins – The first company to demonstrate publically that the competition goals have been met & have been verified by the HG community wins the competition. The burden of proof lies on the company. Any company that knowingly & falsely represents achieving the goals will be disqualified.
  • Rules – Companies that knowingly break competition rules in order to win will be disqualified. Under very unique & restricted circumstances, if a rule is not appropriate, companies can appeal the validity of that rule prior to the competition or before breaking it during the competition. Rules will likely not be adjusted.
  • Collaboration – Companies may collaborate or merge efforts to win a competition.
  • Rule of Law – Companies that knowingly break the law will be disqualified.
  • Prize Money – Companies may use prize money for any legal purpose.
  • Investment Via HG – Companies may register for investment on the HG platform. Companies must submit accurate & standard financial information for investors to consider. HG will receive a carried interest in this investment & or other fees.
  • Outside Capital – Companies may raise capital outside of the HG platform. However, if the company expects zero investment through HG, HG will require a royalty fee on any product benefiting from the competition for a specified period.
  • Public Competition – Companies competing understand the public nature of competitions. Companies will be respectful for media interview requests & show a good faith effort to promote the competition & HG community.
  • Media Rights – HG reserves all media rights to the competition including TV or other mediums that capture the competitions, competitors, or results.
  • Clear Communication – Companies agree to provide a point of contact & clear communication channels to HG staff. Additionally HG will be notified before any significant announcements or changes in competition status. HG reserves the right to approve any announcement material that involves the competition or HG community.
  • Hold harmless – Companies agree to hold HiddenGenius, its employees, leadership, & directors harmless for any & all grievances.
  • Registration – Companies must be registered for a specified period of time before they announce the accomplishment of competition goals. This time period is to be approved by HG on a challenge-by-challenge basis.
  • Subject to Change – This list is subject to additions or modification at any time & is not considered a complete list of all HG rights or competitor obligations. Any questions should be directed toward HG staff.

Media Guidelines

  • Media Involvement Encouraged – The media plays an important role in giving visibility to competitions, companies, & the solutions that benefit HG members. Companies, investors, & HG members are expected to create a positive working relationship with the media.
  • Proprietary Information – Do not disclose proprietary information to the media & expect it to remain confidential. Any overt intrusion by the media to obtain confidential information should be reported to HG.
  • Major Public Announcements – Companies, Sponsors, & Investors must disclose material information pertaining to competitions, or there status with HG prior to public release.
  • Competition Media Rights – HG reserves the rights for all media materials associated with HG competitions, including the option to collect any royalties from those media channels.

HiddenGenius is really about three things: Visibility, Visibility, Visibility

  • Visibility - for people with real technology challenges and how their lives might be improved. Some might be orphaned challenges that currently have little public attention.
  • Visibility - for entrepreneurs and technologist to address challenges they didn’t even know about, maybe from a completely different industry.
  • Visibility - to provide resources (capital and human talent) for innovators to address these challenges.

We will Have Successes and Failures

  • Innovation is messy. There will be successes and failures along the way. We will make mistakes and not every challenge will be addressed. But this is exactly where we must be to drive breakthroughs. There will be naysayers too…just like experts that said the world was flat.

Our Definition of Success

  • The HiddenGenius community will be truly successful when some unknown person, possibly from a place no one has heard of, develops a technology that improves the lives of millions…and it was our HG community that provided the visibility and support to make it happen.

We Bring Change

  • Gone is the old model - of waiting around for someone else to discover your challenge and address it. With 9 billion people expected on the planet we have a lot of challenges to overcome and no time to waste.
  • We need your help - building a community that disrupts the status quo and strives to create an environment where:
    • We no longer wait - on the sidelines for someone else to take action, invent, and distribute technology that we need now.
    • Geography of innovators - no longer limits their visibility and access to people and capital.
    • Great ideas - are no longer squashed by expert naysayers because they lack pedigree.
    • Funding - for innovative companies is no longer in the hands of a few investors or agencies.
    • An individual’s background - no longer limits their voice on what technology is important and should be developed.

This sounds audacious…and it is. But it works. Here’s why:

The Forces Are With Us

  • Collective Intelligence - Wikipedia has proven the contributions of a diverse crowd can build something amazing, at scale. Even the CIA is currently utilizing 3,000 ordinary citizens to predict world events. Many of these people just use Google searches, and they are better at predicting events than expert CIA agents who have access to classified information. Read more in this NPR article “So You Think You’re Smarter Than A CIA Agent.”
  • Crowdfunding - the crowdfunding industry, while in its infancy, is already having a huge impact funding projects in the arts, technology, and research. The JOBS act, passed in 2012, started the process of opening up crowdfunding to a larger population.
  • Sourcing of Innovation - many companies now look for innovation from outside organizations. Federal agencies are increasingly looking at competitions as an alternative to grants, which can provide better results.
  • Prize Competitions - for centuries have revolutionized industries and are being used by some of the most forward looking companies and organizations today. (We owe canned food to a Napoleon prize competition, and the first flight across the atlantic was for a $25,000 prize)
  • The Rise of Makers - the proliferation of new technologies like 3D printing is helping to fuel an acceleration of Maker capabilities. Now small shops can accomplish big feats and compete globally.
  • HG HiddenGenius