My Twitter search on Project 10 100 just started to yield results. With great excitement I rushed to my PC to see this:
Is ColaLife one of the 100 semi-finalists? No it isn’t. But hang on, there are not 100 semi-finalists! Google have changed the rules of the game!
There won’t be 100 concrete ideas to vote on, but 16 broad-brush themes. It now looks like a programme that a government or an aid agency would announce. Each theme is huge and it seems to me would need a lot more than a share of $10 million to make a significant impression. As an example, the first theme is ‘Help social entrepreneurs drive change‘ and within that is the idea to ‘Create a non-profit, venture capital-like revolving fund to invest in high-impact local entrepreneurs’. Nothing wrong with that idea, but it has been done. In the UK we have just such a scheme – UnLtd – which is wonderful. But UnLtd was set up with a £100 million endowment, not a $2 million investment.
Project 10 to the 100th has morphed. It’s not going to give 100 individual and amazing ideas the oxygen of publicity they need to become a reality. Perhaps that notion was just too innovative and too ambitious. It looks like we’re going to get a modest amount of additional funding with the traditional four or five key themes that existing organisations will bid for.
It turns out that Project 10^100 has been a bit of a distraction for ColaLife. We now need to move on and vigorously explore other options to make our idea a reality.
Onwards and upwards.