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FAQ: U.S.-ASEAN Innovation Circle Grassroots Competition
August 18, 2021

What are the eligibility requirements? 

  • Contestants must be at least 18 years old on the date of entry in the contest. 
  • They must be residents of an ASEAN member country or Timor Leste.   
  • They may not be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.  
  • They may not be U.S. government officials, employees of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), or their family members.  


What do you need to do to enter the competition? 

You need to propose a solution to one of the challenges to innovation in ASEAN countries and Timor Leste, which can be found here.  You need to choose challenges are in four categories – Women’s Entrepreneurship, Digital Economy, Socially Responsible Business, and Fostering Start-Up Environments.  


Are group entries allowed? Can one proposal be submitted by more than one individual? 

Yes.  Up to four individuals can jointly submit one proposal.  The Proposal Submission Form (https://forms.gle/KvX4XwSHXBtevfsV7) can accept information about one, two, three or four participants for any one proposal.       


Can the individuals submitting a group proposal be from different countries?  

Yes.  The individuals submitting a group proposal can be from one or several eligible countries.  


Is it necessary to have taken part in any prior webinars or other information events to be eligible for the competition?  

No.  Participants are not required to have taken part in any information events before taking part in the competition.   


What are the criteria according to which the winners will be selected? 

Winning entries will be selected based on how well they address one of the challenges to innovation in ASEAN countries and Timor Leste.  Preference will be given to the following: 

  • solutions that are low-cost and high-impact; 
  • solutions submitted by groups (up to four individuals per group) from multiple eligible countries; 
  • solutions that try to solve the challenge on a regional level by looking at more than one country.   


Who selects the competition winners? 

 The winning proposals will be selected by a panel of judges made up of U.S.-ASEAN Innovation Circle, as well as U.S. Department of State officials. 


How will participants know if they won? 

Competition winners will be contacted through the email address they provided to  upon registration. Winners may be announced publicly, however, identifying information can be kept private upon request. 


What are the prizes for winning participants? 

Individuals can receive up to $1,000 for winning entries. A group could receive $1,000 per each group member, up to a maximum of $4,000 for the group total.