Selection Criteria

The Selection Process

Candidate teams for the Innovation Next accelerator will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Your team. The proposed team has a passion and commitment to working together to uncover new solutions for tackling teen pregnancy prevention. Your team should have a good mix of skillsets and be able to work together effectively. We also need all team members to agree to participate in all meetings and stages of the project as described herein.

Your challenge and idea. We want to be addressing current disparities and gaps in programming. To that end, we are looking for innovative project ideas that use technology to address a teen pregnancy related challenge. We’re also looking for project ideas focused on high risk population(s) currently underserved by existing evidence-based TPP programs. Bonus points for addressing challenges that haven't been addressed by previous Innovation Next cohorts.

Your perspective and potential for diffusion. We’re looking for teams who are committed to an end-user focused framework—Design Thinking—that is iterative and dynamic. This framework depends on in-depth work with and empathy for the target audience to unlock innovation. As such, we’re expecting innovation teams to come to this project willing to learn and apply what they learn. We also want to spread the potential value and opportunity of using the Design Thinking framework to address teen pregnancy and other similar issues. To that end, we’re looking for teams who can diffuse what they’ve learned to a broader network.


We’ll be scoring your application using the following:

Your team - 40 points. Team dynamics are important. We are looking for teams that are able to leverage their unique and combined skills sets to unlock new and innovative ways to address teen pregnancy prevention. We want to know why your team of three will be the best for this work. We also are looking for team members who can participate in all meetings and stages of the project.

Your challenge and idea - 40 points. We’re particularly focused on addressing gaps and disparities. Tell us about who will benefit from your idea and why it’s so important to address their challenges. Tell us why your idea is innovative.

Your perspective and potential for diffusion - 20 points. We want to work with teams who are interested and eager to learn about the Design Thinking framework and use it in practice. We also want to reach beyond just the people involved in this project and are counting on our teams to share what they’ve learned with others. Tell us why you’re particularly well suited to help diffuse this approach to innovation.



All other qualifications being equal, selections will be made to ensure a wide representation of the U.S. and its diverse makeup based on geographic location, work environment, and personal characteristics. The result of this selection process will be that five teams of three are invited to participate and will receive $70,000 of funding to support their projects.


Judges will be made up of a diverse cross-section of people engaged in teen pregnancy prevention activities including design, development, public health professionals, and those who represent the target audience. The number of judges will depend upon the number of applications received. Want to be a judge? We'd love to hear from you at