Business

Google seeks 'bold' economic ideas from Iowa not-for-profits, with $1 million carrot

Tech giant announces statewide Impact Challenge

Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at the Google.org Impact Challenge Iowa at the Des Moines Public Library on Monday, April 15, 2019. (PolicyWorks)
Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at the Google.org Impact Challenge Iowa at the Des Moines Public Library on Monday, April 15, 2019. (PolicyWorks)
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Do you have any “innovative ideas to grow economic opportunity” in your community bouncing around your head?

If so, Google wants to hear them.

The tech titan unveiled its Google.org Impact Challenge Iowa Monday morning at the Des Moines Public Library, an initiative through which it intends to award $175,000 and provide training to each of five Iowa not-for-profits from the pool of applicants.

Interested groups have until May 17 to submit their applications at g.co/iowachallenge. A five-person panel of local judges then will work with Google representatives to determine winners.

After the five not-for-profits are selected, Google also will open a public vote for Iowans to decide which organization will receive an additional $125,000, for a $1 million total in grant funding.

“With the lowest unemployment rate in the country, innovative programs like the Impact Challenge are critical for preparing Iowans with new skills for cutting-edge careers in the high-demand 21st century economy,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday at Google’s Des Moines event. “This program creates economic opportunities for Iowa families and their communities which can help us sustain strong growth for years to come.”

Iowa is the second state in which Google has held an Impact Challenge, following a similar $1 million competition in Illinois in 2018. The company also has held citywide challenges in Cleveland, Columbia, S.C., Pittsburgh and Oklahoma City.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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