Institute for Catholic Innovation seeks big ideas
HUNTINGTON – OSV Institute for Catholic Innovation has announced the opening of application submissions for the 2021 OSV Challenge, a multi-round entrepreneurial competition designed to incubate unique project ideas in any stage from Catholics whose faith has motivated them to make a difference. With three prizes on the line valued at $100,000 each, the institute seeks to build up Catholic innovators with the professional guidance, spiritual formation and personal development needed to accelerate initiatives that will make the biggest impact on the Church and the world.
“We are not aiming to fund the next good idea, but to invest in people – emerging innovators and seasoned trailblazers – by forming a new generation of entrepreneurs who are not afraid to re-look at how we encounter and evangelize the truth and beauty of the Catholic Church,” said OSV Institute President Jason Shanks. “The OSV Challenge is a search for Catholic innovators with world-changing ideas.”
The OSV Challenge developed in response to the alarming statistic that the Catholic Church loses 6.5 people for every one convert, with millennials disaffiliating at an unprecedented rate. Those who leave often cite a lack of vitality, beauty and relatability in their churches. With pews being further emptied as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, creative solutions have never been more important.
Applications are encouraged from inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, community leaders and any layperson ready to unleash a world-changing idea. Funding areas of special interest include Hispanic experience, parents and family, Catholic education, disaffiliation, youth ministry, parish life, social justice, technology and creative arts.
The challenge will culminate with Demo Day on Sept. 18, when finalists will have an opportunity to present their final pitches to a panel of expert judges and investors before the three winning initiatives are announced. A new incentive announced for 2021 is the ability to earn additional prizes as contestants advance through the various stages of the challenge.
The application window closes at noon April 2. Prospective challengers can learn more about the OSV Challenge and apply at osvchallenge.com.
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