Wednesday, March 24, 2010

All that is Video

Creative Services is one of the busiest departments here at X PRIZE. You like our website? They manage it. What about our videos? Yep, they produce them. And what about our one-of-a-kind X PRIZE signature events? Well, that’s them, too.

Right now, our video team is busy producing 29 different videos for the Foundation as well as our upcoming events. Can't wait for their big debut? Check out our YouTube Channel. With nearly 200 videos to view, you're sure to get your X PRIZE video fix in no time.

By: Valerie Arias, Associate, Communications

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Different Kind of X PRIZE Press

The communications department is one of the most exciting areas here at X PRIZE (ok, call me biased), but it’s true. It’s not just about securing the best media placement (although that is the "bread and butter" of the communications world), but Michael (my trusty manager) and myself spend our days fielding inquiries from reporters, creating press releases and media alerts, developing our monthly newsletter and of course, keeping up with X PRIZE and our Board of Trustees in the news. Much of our work is dedicated to the Foundation and our prizes, but every now and again comes a time when a grand affair steps onto the scene. I can only be talking about the upcoming X PRIZE “Radical Benefit for Humanity” in May.

What makes this exciting for us PR folk, is that we get to showcase the Foundation in a different light. It’s a different story to tell. Not only do we get to highlight our amazing Board of Trustees and Vision Circle Members, our Alliances department is already working hard to secure a mix of “Who’s Who” in the business, philanthropy, science, entrepreneurial, etc. sector. Coverage of this event (oh, and coverage there will be) will make a splash across the social scene, from event calendars to society pages. It’s a new angle that we get to promote on X PRIZE’s behalf, and, well, it’s always fun to mix things up.

So, these next couple of months we’ll be working closely with our PR team (shout out to Tom and Natalie at Kirvin Doak Communications) to ensure that people are reading about the X PRIZE “Glam” (it does come out every once and while). It’s time to get excited about the most important soiree of the year - ok, called me biased, again ;)

By: Valerie Arias, Associate, Communications

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Save the Date - X PRIZE to Host Second Radical Benefit for Humanity

You may have seen the teaser in CNET last week but we’re here to make the official announcement, that, yes, it’s confirmed!!!

The X PRIZE is hosting a second “Radical Benefit for Humanity” on May 15, 2010 in San Francisco. Thanks to friend Richard Kerris, CTO of Lucasfilm, the benefit will be held at the Letterman Digital Arts Center of the Presidio of San Francisco, which boasts amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts. All we need is great weather so we can enjoy the views!

Yes, Yoda and XPF Chairman/CEO, Peter Diamandis, along with Event Co-Chairs Larry Page, Sergey Brin and James Cameron, will welcome guests like the X PRIZE Board of Trustees and Honorary Committee Members including Arianna Huffington, Ratan Tata, Elon Musk, Chad Hurley, Reid Hoffman, Adeo Ressi, the Honorable Gavin Newsom, Zem Joaquin and Ingrid Vanderveldt.

Given that the last event was a fabulous success we’re hoping to raise money for the Foundation by selling tables and by hosting a live auction, all while having a FANTASTIC time, of course.

For the latest news and updates on the event, check out the event website!

For more information on Table Sales, please contact Meghan Murphy (

A few photos from the first X PRIZE "Radical Benefit for Humanity" in 2007.

XPF Chairman/CEO, Peter Diamandis, with Actor Robin Williams

XPF Board Member, Anousheh Ansari, takes the stage

Sir Richard Branson talks with Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt

Foundation mission: "To Provide Radical Breakthroughs for the Benefit of Humanity"

By: Meghan Murphy, Director, Alliances

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

PRIZE Development - Where It All Begins...

When most people hear the X PRIZE moniker, it is usually in reference to a competition that has already been launched and/or won; the Ansari X PRIZE, the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, the Google Lunar X PRIZE- each has served to transcend boundaries and spur innovation across industries and around the world. However, while the novelty and fascination that surrounds these competitions is well-deserved and undeniable, none of these X PRIZES would be where they are today if it were not for one single, common denominator- the Prize Development department.

Here in Prize Development, our primary goal is to develop the neXt PRIZE competition that will capture the imagination of the public, generate innovation, and speed the development of radical breakthroughs that will serve to change the ways in which we see ourselves and how we live on this planet. Over the next couple of months, I will offer you a “behind-the-scene” glimpse into the daily life of the Prize Development team and the processes that we use to create, design, and operate the X PRIZE competitions that serve to create worldwide change.

This week, I would like to introduce you to the two types of X PRIZE competitions that the Prize Development team designs: the X PRIZE and the X CHALLENGE.

An X PRIZE is a $10 million+ award given to the first team to achieve a specific goal, set by the X PRIZE Foundation, which has the potential to benefit humanity. Rather than awarding money to honor past achievements or directly funding research, an X PRIZE incites innovation by tapping into our competitive and entrepreneurial spirits.

An X CHALLENGE, on the other hand, is a prize of up to $2.5M, awarded for solving a well-defined technical problem that has no clear path to a solution or is perceived as difficult. Unlike an X PRIZE, which seeks to stimulate or catalyze an entire market (including the social and regulatory aspects of that market), an X CHALLENGE seeks to produce a breakthrough technological or behavioral solution to a specific market need.

Both the X PRIZE and the X CHALLENGE can be developed in one of four different Prize Groups: Exploration, Energy & Environment, Education & Global Development, and Life Sciences.

The vision of the Exploration Prize Group is to expand the use of space, the ocean and other unexplored frontiers in order to improve life on Earth and extend life beyond the confines of land. We believe we can achieve these objectives by researching space and Earth’s oceans; accessing and conserving their resources; catalyzing private, non-governmental activity; and tapping into our innate wonder about the Earth, the Universe and our place within each.

Energy and Environment
The Energy and Environment Prize Group includes the development of prizes that will end our addiction to oil and stem the harmful effects of climate change. We are looking for breakthroughs in clean fuels, renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, carbon reduction, and sustainable housing.

Education and Global Development
The X PRIZE Foundation is researching prizes structured around entrepreneurial solutions to global poverty. The focus is to find methods that catalyze profit-generating firms both in terms of financial as well as human development metrics that address major development challenges in agriculture, capital, education, health and water. The goal of these competitions would be to highlight the most scalable enterprises that create wealth and uplift the widest set of stakeholders from poverty.

Life Sciences
The Life Sciences Prize Group will focus on creating competitions that will stimulate innovative breakthroughs in molecular biology, stem cell research, bionics; organogenesis, synthetic biology, and artificial intelligence in order to improve health care and extend healthy living.

The Prize Development team is dedicated to designing new X PRIZES within each of the four Prize Groups that will focus on pushing the limits of what is currently possible and accelerating the rate of positive change. Stay tuned for the next Prize Development blog, which will explain the method to the madness of our time-tested and competitor approved Prize Design Process.

By: Taryn Williams, Executive Coordinator, Prize Development