In our third Innovation Challenge, we’re looking for creative ideas for ways broadcasters and other local media could serve communities. And as the saying goes, “ideas are cheap, execution is everything.” That’s why we’ll award $120,000 among six winning ideas to move the idea forward.

What is an innovative way broadcasters and other local media could serve communities?

However, execution isn’t simply about money – although it certainly helps. That’s why we’ve designed the Challenge around more than just prize money. The six winners will also get unmatched exposure to people who can provide guidance, advice and introductions that can help validate their ideas.

Submit your idea for the 2018 Innovation Challenge

The winners’ first opportunity will be to pitch their ideas to attendees of the invite-only NAB Futures program in January. Winners will be able to explain their idea, answer question and interact with broadcast executives who will determine first through sixth place.

Prior to NAB Futures, we will work with each winning team to polish their idea and pitch. This includes individual mentorship, honing messages and pitch deck preparations.

After NAB Futures, winners will take the award money and guidance and begin moving the idea into something demonstrable. In April 2019, we’ll bring the winners to NAB Show in Las Vegas to demonstrate their idea in the PILOT booth in Futures Park. There, they’ll have to show how the idea has moved from a piece of paper into something tangible.

2017 Innovation Challenge Winners talk about their experience.

This is part of PILOT’s overall efforts to inspire, identify and support innovations and innovators working in our industry. It’s part of our “Innovation Pipeline,” where products and companies are identified and supported in ways appropriate to the company’s current phase.

The Innovation Challenges seeks to inspire the very first sparks of ideas. We want to help innovators think creatively about our challenge question, identify some of the ideas that look most promising on the surface and give them their first push into the product’s infancy.

Our PILOT Pitch Prize program seeks to identify and support early-stage startup companies by awarding winners a $50,000 SAFE contract, as well as opportunities to pitch their companies at various industry events, to further incubate.

And in partnership with SPROCKIT, we work with later stage startup companies ready to accelerate their growth.

There is a constant need to look toward the future to identify the emerging trends and technologies that will have the most profound impact on our industry in order to develop long-term solutions. Engaging with creative thinkers helps shine a light on the things to come and adds different perspectives to complex challenges.