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Judy Romano

Judy Romano is a Video Producer and storyteller for Challenge.Gov. She came to GSA 7 years ago after producing news videos and anchoring for the Associated Press. She tweets @JudyARomano and blogs about her travels at TheWorldAtoZ.com. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of any Federal Agency.

Mission Possible: Experts Plot the Steps for Running Successful Prize Competitions

Long before the final prize is awarded, a successful challenge starts with a master plan. That’s the point experts drove home during Operational Best Practices and Lessons Learned, the third webinar in Challenge.gov’s ongoing series on running successful prize competitions. Sandeep Patel, open innovation manager for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Idea Lab, joined forces with Ben Bain and Dr. Jyotika Virmani, of XPRIZE, to offer strategies for agencies to plan and execute problem-solving events that deliver on their potential.

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Services Mean Success for Federal Challenges

Challenge.gov offers a number of services to help agencies create successful competitions. One challenge that recently wrapped up made use of the full range of these services to come up with some creative, useful apps that have nationwide implications. Presidential Innovation Fellow Jeff Meisel led the CitySDK (Software Development Kit) launch. The team wanted a different way to reach data consumers. The U.S. Census Bureau wanted to find a new way to create the most innovative data-driven apps sparking change in cities from coast to coast.

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Challenge Module 2: It’s All About the Teams—The Importance of Operational Incentives in Prizes

A strong incentive is the lifeblood of solving any challenge. That’s the message experts offered August 4 as part of a Challenge.gov webinar series on running successful federal competitions. Sam Ortega, manager of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center’s Partnerships Office, and Christopher Frangione, vice president of prize development at the XPRIZE Foundation, shared how government agencies can attract and motivate problem-solving communities to deliver decisive solutions. And while the prize purse matters, both agreed it’s not all that counts.

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Challenge Module 1: Prize History, Prize Theory and What Makes a Good Prize

Two powerhouses in the Challenge and Prize community came together at GSA for the first in a seven-part learning series recently. Chris Frangione, Vice President of Prize Development for the XPrize and Alexis Bonnell, Innovation Evangelist at USAID offered insights and background into what makes a great ideation competition, sharing case studies and the history of prizes during the webinar. Frangione kicked off the session with a little background look at the world of competitions and prizes, pointing out that ideation competitions have been around for centuries.

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Challenge.gov Program Launches New Training Opportunities

Seven new training modules aim to help Federal Challenge and Prize Community members learn more about using prize competitions to solve problems. The expert series, Designing and Operating Prizes to Maximize Success, kicked off July 14, 2015, with “Prize History, Prize Theory and What Makes a Good Prize.” Module one is designed to give challenge managers a foundation on prizes starting with their role in history and demonstrate well-known advancements that have resulted from prizes.

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