Con X Tech Prize, Round 3: Behavior Change & Blue Sky

Got a bold idea for the planet? Get it funded.

With $70,000 for prototypes and $20,000 for one grand prize winner, the Con X Tech Prize lets you bring your idea from blueprint to reality.

Submit by May 4, 2020
Closed for Entries


The Con X Tech Prize is designed as a competition for bold, new concepts for technology-enabled solutions for conservation. Any submission should be a well-thought-out concept for a solution responding to a specific conservation problem or challenge.

To enter, Participants must submit a project application on the Digital Makerspace, create a project profile that is shared and viewable by other members (i.e. registered users of the Digital Makerspace), and agree to the grant competition Official Rules when submitting their project to the Con X Tech Prize. An initial description and design (image, drawing, or computer aided design) of your proposed tech solution and answers to all application questions are required for submission, and should be uploaded to the project profile. Teams who already have working prototypes of their ideas are not eligible to apply, though those who want to make product pivots or substantial modifications to existing prototypes are eligible.

For this Round of the Con X Tech Prize competition, we invite Participants to submit ideas for two different categories.

Photo by Brian Yurasits


CXL welcomes project submissions that propose a solution to use behavior change tactics, to create tools or products that will impact any pressing conservation challenge. These solutions should move beyond initiatives or campaigns, to propose ideas for technologies, ventures, products, or tools with behavior change at the core of their theory of change. More details on the Behavior Change category, including a toolkit of guidelines and resources for solvers, can be found here.


Participants can submit any novel, tech-enabled conservation solution idea. Participants must identify and articulate a specific problem to which their solution applies, which will improve the quality of the submission as well as the success of the tech-idea overall.

Conservation X Labs anticipates selecting up to twenty (20) Finalists and awarding an initial prototyping grant of $3,500 to each Finalist team. Approximately, ten (10) prizes will be awarded to project ideas in each of the two (2) categories for a total of twenty (20) prototyping awards, though CXL reserves the right to allocate the grant awards across the two categories that results in the most impactful and transformative pool of grant awardees. After CXL awards prototyping grant money to Finalists, winners should publicly share project advances and updates on the Digital Makerspace during prototype development. Finalists from stage 1 of the competition will be able to compete for a second stage award of $20,000.

The Finalists and award winners of past Rounds of the Con X Tech Prize (from 2018 and 2019) are not eligible for Round 3 (opening in January 2020). Projects that were submitted to past CXTP Rounds, but not chosen as a Finalist, are welcome and encouraged to apply.


  • Wednesday, January 29, 2020
    Con X Tech Prize open for submissions.
  • Monday, May 4, 2020
    Submission period closes. Projects sent to judges.
  • July 2020
    Finalists selected and announced. Prototyping Period begins.
  • October 2020
    Prototyping Period ends. Projects sent to judges.
  • November 2020
    Grand Prize Winner announced.

Specific deadlines for the Second Stage of the competition will be shared when the First Stage Finalists are announced. We anticipate a 12-week window for prototyping and initial project development before judging for the Second Stage of the competition occurs.

First Stage - Submission Requirements

The Con X Tech Prize requires teams to complete a project application (all application questions and prompts) and publish a project profile on the Digital Makerspace (DMS) that is viewable and shared with all registered users of the DMS. This requires teams to prepare and provide the following information in their project application:

  • Description of a conservation problem and your proposed solution for addressing the chosen conservation problem;
  • Names of project members and collaborators. All team members must be registered as a member of the Digital Makerspace. (Teams from different disciplines are highly encouraged);
  • Description of your solution’s novelty (how it is different from existing solutions), potential impact (what it solves and why it matters), customer/end user (who it is designed for), initial value proposition (why it works); and
  • An image of the proposed solution idea or depiction of how the solution might be implemented (drawing, a computer-generated model, and/or other sketch or design).

Approval for DMS Hosting

Once you submit your project to be hosted on the Digital Makerspace, it will need to be reviewed by the Community Manager to ensure it abides by our Community Guidelines and is appropriate to be hosted on the site. We aim to review all projects within 48 hours of the project being submitted. Please ensure you factor in the time required for project approval, and submit your project to be hosted on the Digital Makerspace 48 hours before the CXTP deadline.

Once your project is reviewed by CXL staff, you will be sent an email with next steps. If your project is not approved by CXL staff, it will be sent back to your Project Drafts so that you can make edits to the content. Once you make edits, you may resubmit the Project to be reviewed again by CXL staff. Approval must happen before the CXTP deadline for you to submit.

If the project is approved to be hosted on the site, you may return to the Con X Tech Prize page and use the “Submit a Project” button at the top of this page to enter it to the Con X Tech Prize. You must take this step after your project is approved for hosting on the DMS, in order for your project to be considered for the Con X Tech Prize.

Judging Criteria for the First Stage

Your solution will be evaluated on eight equally weighted criteria on a scale of 1 to 5.

1. Transformative Potential

2. Conservation Impact

3. Financial Sustainability

4. Environmental Sustainability

5. Cultural Appropriateness & Social Responsibility

6. Feasiblility

7. Novelty

8. Scalability

For detailed explanations of each of these criteria, please read through the Official Rules.

Our goal is to reinvent the composition of the conservation community and increase the number of disciplines, and thus, solvers and solutions. We believe that the best solutions exist at the boundaries of disciplines. We highly encourage you to reach out to consider the interdisciplinarity of your team, and reach out to the community on the Digital Makerspace to add team members with a different background, that will augment your teams skill sets, viewpoints, network, and knowledge base.

Second Stage - Submission Requirements & Judging Criteria

At the end of Stage 2, Finalist teams will submit the following as an update on their prototype:

  • At least one photo or video of a proof-of-concept (prototype or advanced demo).
  • A 3-minute pitch on the prototype and value proposition of the project.
  • Written update of the progress during the prototyping period.

This information must be submitted by the end of the Second Stage Prototyping Period, in order to be eligible for the $20,000 Grand Prize. Further dates and details will be provided to the Finalist teams directly.

The 20 Finalist teams will also be asked to contribute to the selection of a Con X Tech Prize honors award recipient.

Judging Criteria for the Second Stage

At the end of the Second Stage Prototyping Period, teams that submit the required assets will be evaluated in the following equally weighted criteria on a scale of 1 to 5:

  1. Project Viability (3 criteria)
    1. Transformative Impact for Conservation
    2. Financially Sustainable & Scalable
    3. Culturally, Socially, & Environmentally Responsible
  2. Value Proposition (4 criteria)
    1. Fit of Solution to Problem
    2. Team’s Understanding of User Needs
    3. Team’s Understanding of Solution & Market Landscape
    4. Future Outlook
  3. Prototype Progress (3 criteria)
    1. Progress Against Goals
    2. Ambitiousness of Goals
    3. Overall Progress of Prototype
For detailed explanations of each of these criteria, please read through the Official Rules.

Teams that do not submit the assets requested by the end of the Prototyping Period will not be eligible for the Grand Prize, and will not be submitted to the judges for scoring.


Con X Tech Prize: Hacking Extinction

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A low-cost seed coating platform capable of increasing the efficiency of reforestations around the planet through seed balls for direct sowing.

Green Fins Global Hub

The Reef-World Foundation
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We created a global solution to help dive professionals protect fragile coral reefs. It’s working. So, we put it online too. Because, the internet. And also we don’t have time for that many meetings.


Tom Quigley [3209]
Community Manager
Conservation X Labs
Washington, United States