2021 Futures Forum Tools Competition

Futures Forum on Learning
Available September 15 thru December 31, 2021

The competition will award at least $3 million in prizes to education technologists, researchers, students and teachers. This will be one of the largest ed tech competitions ever. The minimum prize is $40K and top prizes are $200K+. They are specifically interested in ideas and applications from educators, students and members of the equity in tech community.

In last year’s competition, many strong proposals came from undergraduates, graduates or post-docs who were encouraged to apply by a professor or mentor. These individuals had a spark of an idea for a new tool or an outline from a capstone project. Funding from the competition has allowed these students to further develop their ideas.


For example, Aashna Saraf ’21 from Pomona won a prize to build an app with 14-mini games to help teach foundational math skills for a 3rd grader. The app aims to impact 1,000 families.


In addition to the potential to receive prize money, participating in the competition provides students  with feedback, in-kind resources, access to leaders in the field, and mentoring.

Priority areas for this year’s competition will be: (1) accelerating learning in elementary and secondary literacy and math, (2) transforming K-12 assessments in both cost and quality, (3) facilitating faster, better, and cheaper learning science research, (4) drive improvements in adult learning that boost middle class wages. 

More here: Also included links to some resources:

  • Outreach emails and language. Please feel free to use and tweak these emails to support your outreach. 
  • Tools Competition website. The website includes an overview of the competition, eligibility criteria, FAQs, and official rules. 
  • Outreach trackerPlease record your outreach in the "Tools Competition Tab" of this tracker, noting interest. 
  • Questions. If people have questions, please have them reach out to [email protected]. Someone on the team will respond within 24 hours and can offer a short feedback or brainstorm call. 

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