Star Trek fans inspire 700% community growth


The Roddenberry Foundation wanted to do more than “philanthropy as usual” by supporting bold ideas in line with the legacy of Gene Roddenberry—funding a vision of a better humanity, regardless of the issue area—which means they needed a network of relationships to find grantees.


Rapidly grow brand awareness of the foundation’s unique approach to philanthropy with a competition that rewards the boldest ideas to improve our planet.

“We’re now able to find solutions from folks worldwide who we otherwise wouldn’t have found, partner with organizations that we’ve always wanted to partner with, and distribute funds in an easy and straightforward way.”

Lior Ipp

CEO, The Roddenberry Foundation

Having already attempted a more traditional, X-Prize-styled competition with limited success, the Foundation turned to us to design a new prize from scratch. Their primary goal: rapidly boost awareness of the Foundation’s brand by attracting the best and brightest innovators.

The Prize experience was structured explicitly to strengthen ties among participants and between participants and the Foundation, ensuring the formation of a robust network of collaborators and allies for future projects. A wide range of entrant project categories kept the experience highly inclusive.

With the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek series approaching, the prize outreach put significant focus on the Foundation’s most unique, tight-knit community: Star Trek fans. To reach bold ideas where they lived, we also tapped the networks of like-minded innovation communities, including tech incubators and leading academic institutions.

Together, these efforts earned the prize website more than 1.2 million visits over the two-month application window—many from outside the U.S.—and ultimately grew the Foundation’s pipeline of potential grant recipients by more than 700%.

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