Catalyst Program

The Fuller Challenge offers more than a single financial award. In addition to the $100,000 grand prize, BFI leverages further resources for Finalists and Semi-finalists through relationships with our sponsors, partners, and networks. These include opportunities for additional funding, pro-bono legal services, fast-tracked access to accelerator programs, mentorship opportunities, and international press coverage.

In the past, these benefits have been offered to the top 10% of qualifying Challenge applicants, which includes the Finalists and Semi-Finalists.

Catalyst Program Benefits May Include:

  • Presentation of work on the Buckminster Fuller Institute in BFI's monthly newsletter Trimtab, social media outlets, and other outreach materials.
  • Presentation to BFI's bureau of press contacts for opportunities to develop stories around and coverage of their work.
  • Exposure to private funders and investors in the BFI network. In 2013 and 2014, and 2015, select applicants were the recipients of additional funding procured through BFI.
  • Qualifying NGOs and social enterprises can benefit from pro-bono legal assistance via BFI's referral process with the Thomson Reuters Foundation's global TrustLaw program.
  • The top tier of entrants will be automatically nominated to the Katerva Awards, for which BFI serves as a global spotter.
  • Up to two Fuller Challenge entrants may be selected from the general entry pool for nomination as Echoing Green Fellows each year in fulfillment of BFI's Fast Track partnership with Echoing Green.
  • Qualifying innovators will be referred for inclusion in dMASS Inc.'s depository of innovations, which facilitates the relationship between resource performance leaders and investors.
  • Qualifying solutions will be referred for inclusion in Technology Exchange Lab's depository of appropriate technology solutions for issues of poverty.
  • Qualifying entrepreneurs will benefit from BFI's Pipeline Partnership with the Unreasonable Institute by receiving a primary point of contact and expedited application process.
  • Select entrants will be invited to present their work at future Bioneers Conferences with BFI.
  • Additional opportunities to present work at events organized by BFI. In the past, this has included Greenbuild, Architecting the Future symposia, Black Mountain College International Conference, Cooper Union and the Institute of Sustainable Design lectures, and other international symposia on Buckminster Fuller, sustainable culture events, design conferences and social entrepreneurship gatherings.

BFI is continuously seeking to expand Catalyst Program partnerships in order to offer more opportunities to the hundreds of Challenge entrants who come through our program each year. If you are interested in becoming a Partner to the Fuller Challenge program, please reach out with an email to [email protected].


Application window opens: Friday, January 13th, 2017
Entry Deadline: Friday, March 31st, 2017