The Travel Smarter Challenge Brief

Welcome to the Mobilize New York Challenge community. Here you can submit ideas or business proposals for new products and services that could solve New York’s mobility problems. The community will share in $30,000 (US) worth of prize money and incentives and members get the chance to pitch ideas to top Ford executives!

Here is your chance to help people get around New York faster and smoother in the future.

The Travel Smarter Challenge: What would encourage people to explore smarter travel choices in New York City?

Think about how people could benefit from researching and trying out alternative routes, modes and travel times. This could be for achieving faster or smoother regular journeys or for compensating when there’s a problem with the normal route.

Consider: What incentives would people need to get out of their travel habit and change mode? What are the barriers to change? How best could people access, share or combine data to make better travel choices? What are your ‘best kept travel secrets’?

Submission Guidelines

We are interested in ideas and in business proposals. Please select whether you have a great idea that you think someone else should act on (e.g. Ford, The New York City Transit Authority, New York bus companies, community groups) or whether you have a business proposal that your company wants to submit for consideration.

What do you expect to be included in submissions?

We’re seeking new ideas, products or services that could revolutionize transportation around the city making it more joined up and accessible. The best submissions will be likely to be capable of making a real difference to how people get around New York.

Judging Criteria

Ideas submitted by customers will be reviewed and assessed against a ‘4P’ judging criteria:

Business Proposals submitted by entrepreneurs will be reviewed and assessed against the following ‘5P’ judging criteria:


Across both challenges, the 20 ideas or business proposals that are selected by an Expert Review Panel will go on to a prototyping phase where they will be developed into concepts and further evaluated. The 20 semi-finalists that are selected for prototyping will have the opportunity to attend a full-day workshop facilitated by design specialists from 100%Open and supported by experts from Ford. Winning business proposals will receive coaching to help develop compelling propositions.

Then comes the community support phase where the community and an Expert Review Panel get to select the best 10 submissions across both challenges, including any great ideas from other activities on the Mobilize New York community.

These then go forward to a Grand Final where the overall winner from both challenges will receive $15,000 (US), runner up will receive $7,000 (US) and third place $3,000 (US). A panel that includes senior Ford and City representatives will judge the final.

There will be a community incentives pot worth $5,000 (US).

Additionally, a Mobilize New York Community Spirit Award (with no monetary value) will be awarded to the most popular submission from an organization that employs more than 50 people.

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