2014 Annual Report

Making the impossible possible.

Thanks to our family of donors and our worldwide community of supporters, 2014 was an exciting year for XPRIZE. We launched the Global Learning XPRIZE, which seeks to empower young learners to teach themselves basic, reading, writing and arithmetic.

We awarded top honors to Team DMI for winning Phase 2 of the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, and selected 18 teams from 6 different countries for Phase 2 of the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, a competition addressing the challenge of ocean acidification.

We celebrated our first step in the global expansion of our business model by opening India XPRIZE with our first ever India Visioneering.

We are especially proud that 2014 marked the 10th Anniversary of the Ansari XPRIZE for Suborbital Spaceflight. To honor the occasion we returned to the Mojave Air & Space Port where the prize was first awarded for a celebration that included many of the people who were such an integral part of the launch of our first XPRIZE.

Because we are not an endowed foundation, we rely on the generosity of our biggest fans.  Our donors support our mission and help us to continue designing and operating competitions while maximizing their impact. We are excited for the years ahead as we head to the Moon, reinvent healthcare, map the ocean floor, delve into A.I.-human collaboration, re-invent personal flight, measure happiness and end adult illiteracy. Together we continue to solve the world’s Grand Challenges.

Thank you for helping to ensure our continued success.

Best wishes,

Peter H. Diamandis, MD
Chairman & CEO, XPRIZE Foundation
Robert K. Weiss
Vice Chairman & Vice President, XPRIZE Foundation

Mission Statement

We harness the power of competition to inspire innovation that will solve mankind's greatest challenges

Our mission is to identify the Grand Challenges of our time - the national or global crises, market failures and opportunities where solutions are thought to be either out of reach or just, plain impossible - and design and operate incentivized prize competitions to drive radical breakthroughs to solve them.

The people

"Every time I come to an XPRIZE event, I am high for days afterwards. There is nothing like hearing so many great ideas and looking into the eyes of people that really are making a huge difference."
James Cameron
XPRIZE Trustee, Filmmaker, Explorer

Board of Trustees

XPRIZE depends on the invaluable stewardship of our Board members, an extraordinary group of visionaries and luminaries who recognize the power of prize philanthropy.

Meet the entire Board

Comments from select Board members

"I joined the XPRIZE board in 2007, inspired by the way they encouraged people to dream big, tap into their own fearlessness and creativity, and change the world."

Arianna Huffington

XPRIZE Trustee, President and Editor-In-Chief, Huffington Post Media Group

"I would love to fund another XPRIZE. It was the best kind of experience a philanthropist can have."

Wendy Schmidt

XPRIZE Trustee and Vision Circle Member; CEO, Schmidt Family Foundation & Sponsor of Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE and the Ocean Health XPRIZE

"The success that the XPRIZE Foundation has acheived [is] the kind of leverage that we all look for. The XPRIZE model has a huge potential to unlock innovation around the Grand Challenges that are important to each of us."

Larry Page

XPRIZE Trustee, Co-Founder & CEO, Google

"The best philanthropic investment we've ever made. The result was world-changing - capturing the hearts and minds of young and old."

Anousheh Ansari

XPRIZE Trustee & Vision Circle Member, Chairman, Prodea

The Team

Our staff is the every day engine that drives the XPRIZE mission. Their rich and varied experience in a multitude of fields contributes to stimulating innovation and creating radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. 2014 was a year of celebration, positive growth and inspiring new opportunities. We settled seamlessly into our modern new space in Culver City, added 26 staff members, five BeamPro Robots and two 3-D printers to our new home.

Meet the Staff

Thank you
for your support

XPRIZE relies on the generosity and guidance of our members and supporters, the inspiring individuals who support our audacious mission and keep our innovation engine roaring.

To learn more or get involved

Vision Circle

Vision Circle

Limit 20 Members / Five-Year Membership

The Vision Circle offers the highest level of Foundation participation. Members are passionate supporters of the incentivized competition model and believe in harnessing the power of the competitive spirit to inspire innovation. These members are essential to the growth and sustainability of the XPRIZE Foundation and have the opportunity to be involved in all VIP engagements, from Board of Trustees Meetings and Visioneering workshops to prize launches and awards ceremonies.

Vision Circle members are in the best position to have the greatest, most long- term impact on all XPRIZE initiatives, and benefit from our unique network of influential thought leaders and experts. They receive quarterly prize-specific updates, recognition in all XPRIZE publications and priority insight into prize development and opportunities to fund XPRIZE competitions.

View Current Members

Innovation Board

Innovation Board

Limit 50 Members / Five-Year Membership

The Innovation Board was created especially for donors with specialized expertise who want to do more than just give a gift. Innovation Board members have the opportunity to share their time, opinions and expertise through a slate of experiential opportunities.

Innovation Board members come together at key times each year for their annual Innovation Board meeting and other compelling events like the jaw-dropping Innovation Adventure Trip. The Innovation Board also receives a full suite of membership benefits including recognition in all XPRIZE publications, quarterly prize specific updates, an exclusive preview of prizes in development and the opportunity to become a prize sponsor.

View Current Members

Spirit of Innovation

Spirit of Innovation

Three-Year Membership

Inspired by the New Spirit of St. Louis a small group of philanthropists who provided the seed money for the Ansari XPRIZE, Spirit of Innovation members provide the initial investment for early-stage prize concepts. Spirit of Innovation members join in support of a specific cause or Grand Challenge and fund the research, development and creation of future XPRIZEs.

Spirit of Innovation members receive a curated experience with activities and events focused on their specific area of interest. Benefits include quarterly prize updates from XPRIZE executives, prize-specific Visioneering workshops and early insight into prizes in development.

View Current Members



Monthly Membership Program

XPRIZE LOOP - a monthly membership program – was launched in March of 2014. Members support the XPRIZE mission by contributing $10, $20, or $30/month and in return are welcomed to the XPRIZE family by receiving behind-the-scenes content, invitations to select events, and discounts to select events.

By the end of 2014, LOOP membership grew from nothing to over 100 sustaining members and counting! Our members enjoyed a number of exciting events including the LOOP launch party at the YouTube Space LA, a Hammer Conversation with Peter Diamandis and Seth Green at the Hammer Museum, a Prize Visioneering workshop at the XPRIZE headquarters, and a Future of LA panel discussion with the National Academy of Sciences at the historic Crest Theater in Los Angeles.

Become a Member

Innovation Partnership Program

Innovation Partnership Program

Limit 30 companies / 4 Days, 2x per year
Tier 1:3 executives; Tier 2:5 executives

The Innovation Partnership Program (IPP), a joint venture between XPRIZE and Singularity University, and sponsored by Deloitte Consulting, is a results-oriented executive education program that teaches exponential technologies and crowd-sourced innovation to senior executives from Fortune 500 firms, and helps partner companies transition from “linear” to “exponential” organizations by incubating a culture of exponential innovation within each company.

IPP gathers senior executives from 30 partner companies twice a year for four-day intensive workshops where Fortune 500 industry leaders intersect with Silicon Valley thought leaders through expert-led lectures on exponentially growing technologies, Visioneering and ideation workshops, hands-on demonstration experiences, CEO case studies, networking and entertainment.

View Current Members

2014 Active XPRIZE Sponsors

Wendy Schmidt, Qualcomm Foundation, Nokia, Google, Deloitte, The Roddenberry Foundation, and all the GLEXP benefactors: Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, Econet Wireless, Scott Hassan, Merkin Family Foundation, John Raymonds, Anthony Robbins Foundation, and Suzanne West

  • 2014 Financials*

    Total Active Prize Purses


    Purse Breakdown

    • Google Lunar $30.0M
    • Global Learning $15.0M
    • Qualcomm Tricorder $10.0M
    • Nokia Sensing $2.3M
    • Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health $2.0M
    • $59.3M
  • 2014 Revenue & Expenses Breakdown

    $18.5M $20.1M $24.0M*
    • Unrestricted Revenue $18.5M
    • Restricted Revenue $20.1M
    • Operating Expenses $24.0M*
  • 2014 Revenue Breakdown

    • Philanthropy $17.3M
    • Sponsorships $20.2M
    • Other $1.7M
  • 2014 Sponsorship Breakdown

    • SOI Restricted*
    • Global Learning XP
    • Oceans Initiative XP
    • Prize Development
    • TOTAL
  • 2014 Philanthropy Breakdown

    • Innovation Board
    • Vision Circle
    • Adventure Trip
    • Annual Giving
    • LOOP
    • TOTAL
  • 2014 Other Revenue Breakdown

    • IPP
    • Education
    • TOTAL
  • 2015 Financials*

    Total Active Prize Purses


    Purse Breakdown

    • Google Lunar $30.0M
    • Global Learning $15.0M
    • Qualcomm Tricorder $10.0M
    • Ocean Mapping $9.9M
    • Adult Literacy $9.0M
    • Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health $2.0M
    • India Water $1.5M
    • TBD $9.0M
    • $86.4M
  • 2015 Revenue & Expenses Breakdown*

    $21.3M $32.0M $34.4M
    • Unrestricted Revenue $21.3M
    • Restricted Revenue $32.0M
    • Operating Expenses* $34.4M


Turning innovators into heroes.
Launching brand new billion dollar industries. Solving mankind’s grandest challenges.
The mission continues.

In 2014 we launched the Global Learning XPRIZE, awarded prizes in ocean health and health sensing technology, and forged exciting new partnerships with Disney, CBS, and Deloitte. With more new prizes poised to launch in 2015, our expanding STEAM education initiatives and our growing list of generous supporters who make it all possible, XPRIZE today is now the leader in developing and operating incentivized prize competitions.

  • Our Active Prizes

    Our Active Prizes

    Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE

    The $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE launched on September 9, 2013. This competition challenges teams around the world to create robust, accurate, affordable pH sensors to efficiently measure the ocean's chemistry. Solutions will profoundly improve our understanding of ocean acidification, the leading threat to our ocean's health. This year we hosted our first team summit which included Phase II technology testing, strategic partner outreach, and the official registration of 18 competing teams from all over the world including Europe, China, Japan and the U.S.

    Learn More
  • Nokia Sensing XPRIZE

    (Challenge #2) Winners Announced

    Challenge #2 of the $2.25 million Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE came to a close November 6 with Cambridge, MA-based, Team DMI receiving the $525,000 Grand Prize. The five $120,000 Distinguished awards went to Biovotion (Zurich, Switzerland), Eigen Lifescience (Stanford, CA), Endotronix Wireless Health Monitoring (Woodbridge, IL), Golden Gopher Magnetic Biosensing (Minneapolis, MN), and GUES (London, England).
    This groundbreaking competition challenged teams from around the world to develop advanced sensing technologies for gathering accurate, real-time health information allowing individuals greater control over their health.

    Learn more
  • Qualcomm Tricorder

    Ten Finalists selected

    Inspired by the technology of Star Trek, The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE is a global competition that will award $10 million to the team that develops a wireless, portable, affordable medical device capable of diagnosing a set of 15 conditions and capturing five vital health metrics. This summer 10 finalist teams were selected to complete the competition. They now have 39-40 months to develop their best and most innovative mobile health technologies in the quest to revolutionize healthcare.

    Learn more
  • Google Lunar XPRIZE

    This $30 million competition challenges privately funded teams from around the world to launch rovers to go back to the Moon, for good. The deadline for the final competition was moved to 2017. In the meantime, teams have been busy competing for Milestone Awards in landing, mobility and imaging. The money awarded will be deducted from the grand prize or second place prize. The educational full-dome planetarium show, Back To The Moon For Good, continues to dazzle and inspire. In 2014 it received two dome show awards and became available for download.

    Learn more
  • Global Learning XPRIZE

    The $15 million global competition to empower children to take control of their own learning launched this fall with team recruitment in full swing by the end of the year. The Global Learning XPRIZE challenges teams from around the world to develop open source and scalable software that will enable children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic within the 18 month period of competition field testing. Our goal is an empowered generation that will positively impact their communities, countries and the world.

    Learn more
  • Events & Adventures

    Events & Adventures

    Sharing The Vision

    XPRIZE founder Dr. Peter Diamandis travels the world sharing the XPRIZE mission and his vision of an abundant universe with all the resources needed to solve all of mankind’s grandest challenges. Named one of “The World’s 50 Great Leaders” by Fortune Magazine, Peter delivered over 60 Keynote addresses over the course of 2014. Highlights include the CNBC Exponential Finance Conference where he examined how artificial intelligence, quantum computing, crowd funding, digital currencies and robotics are rapidly disrupting business throughout the financial industry, as well as discussing the launch of the Global Learning XPRIZE and the democratization of education through technology with President Bill Clinton at the Social Good Summit in September.

  • XPRIZE Innovation Adventure Trip 2014

    The second annual XPRIZE Innovation Adventure Trip focused on innovations in the world of synthetic biology, human longevity and organogenesis. Guests spent four fascinating days touring the hallways of some of world’s leading innovation organizations. They became students on the latest in 3D printing technologies, robotics and telepresence systems, surgical robotics, wireless health technology, and got their own personal genome fully sequenced and analyzed. They visited J. Craig Venter Institute and finished the trip with a “walking tour” of the brain.

  • Ansari XPRIZE 10th Anniversary Trip

    The XPRIZE Ansari 10th Anniversary Trip focused on the 10th anniversary of the winning of the $10M Ansari XPRIZE and offered unparalleled insights into commercial space. The 4-day trip started in Los Angeles, moved to Mojave Desert and ended in Los Angeles. During the trip, guests had a number of private-astronaut tour-guides including Anousheh Ansari and Richard Garriott. They, along with the CEOs and leadership of 10 of the top space-companies, provided guests with an inside view of the space exploration technologies that exist today and those that will take us into tomorrow.

  • Visioneering India

    On December 11, 2014, XPRIZE India launched its first global operations in Mumbai India. Efforts to expand XPRIZE to India were sponsored by Vision Circle members Ratan Tata, Naveen Jain and Paresh Ghelani. The launch event was a culmination of a deep exploration of India and it’s potential for innovative breakthroughs around topics like the future of water, waste, renewable energy, food and education. XPRIZE global expansion plans include a presence in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The success of our efforts in India will guide explorations for prizes in these regions.

  • Visioneering

    This year’s Visioneering took place in May at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, where attendees competed with one another to design and pitch innovative, incentivized prize concepts across a variety of Grand Challenge areas in the hopes that theirs would become the next XPRIZE launched. This year, the top prize concepts were presented at the Visioneering Results Dinner. An enthusiastic crowd of attendees voted in the winners.

    “Web in a Box” – An instantly deployable neighborhood backup Internet system that creates 5,000 Wi-Fi connections, has 7 days of power and connects to a network at least 100 miles away
    “Abundance” – Double the world’s food production by 2050
    “Forbidden Energy” – The development of radical, even controversial, alternative sources of energy
    “Demedicating our Water” – Develop a new water processing technique to remove the small, pharmaceutical molecules that are in your drinking water, with top honors going to “Forbidden Energy” (Liz Fleming, Gregg Maryniak, J. Barry Thompson, Dmitry Chernyak)

  • Education & Outreach

    Education & Outreach


    The 2014 MoonBots Challenge was an international online competition that challenged youth from 9 to 17 years old to form a team, then design, create and program robots to simulate lunar missions. The Incredibots, winning 2014 MoonBots team, enjoyed their Grand Prize trip to Hawai’i for an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime lunar simulated mission activities on top of a volcano at Mauna Kea as well as activities hosted by PISCES (Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems).

  • Disney's Big Hero 6 XPRIZE Challenge

    In September, XPRIZE partnered with The Walt Disney Studios for Disney’s Big Hero 6, to create a challenge that would coincide with the movie’s premiere and encourage kids to use their STEAM skills and imagination to make the world a better place. The six winners came up with incredibly innovative submissions taking on everything from automotive safety to home health robotics. One submission is on its way to receiving a patent through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

  • Back to the moon for good Dome Show

    The award-winning educational 24-minute Google Lunar XPRIZE full dome planetarium show, Back To The Moon For Good, chronicles teams around the world competing for the largest international incentivized prize in history, a competition to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon. To win the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, a team must land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon, navigate 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send video, images and data back to Earth.

  • First Lego League

    Funded by a generous grant from Dr. Dick Merkin, President and CEO of Heritage Provider Network, XPRIZE once again sponsored the FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Global Innovation Award which recognizes young inventors who apply outstanding innovation and creativity in solving a particular problem. This year’s competition theme was Nature’s Fury. Winning team, The Brain Busters from Sherborn, Mass, invented a balloon-based, long-range notification sign that can be used to indicate where to find aid in the event of a natural disaster when traditional infrastructure is not available.

XPRIZE Tomorrow

With the support or our generous sponsors and donors, 2015 is shaping up to be our most audacious year yet as we prepare to launch new competitions.
  • Prizes in Development

    Prizes in Development

    Adult Literacy XPRIZE

    (Recently launched)
    More than 36 million U.S. adults lack basic English literacy skills costing the U.S. an estimated $225 billion in productivity and tax revenue, plus an addition $230 billion in Health Care costs. Adult literacy is key to healthy families and communities, a stable economy, an educated and participatory citizenry, and to the very future of our society: our children. The goal of the $7M Adult Literacy XPRIZE is to develop new technologies that have the power to transform low-literacy adults into literate adults, moving them from 180 to 200+ Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems points within 12 months without direct teacher intervention.

  • Carbon Capture XPRIZE

    We recycle aluminum, glass, paper, plastic, and yard waste, so why not carbon? As of today, no company has successfully commercialized a carbon-utilization technology. What if capturing CO2 from coal plants became a source of energy and profit rather than a liability? The Carbon Capture XPRIZE challenges teams across the globe to create technology that efficiently and economically recycles carbon dioxide emissions from point sources such as coal power plants and industrial plants into beneficial products.

  • Ocean Mapping XPRIZE

    We know more about the surface of Mars than we do about the floor of Earth’s oceans. Improved knowledge of the ocean floor is critical for advancing exploration, navigation, basic geological discovery, economic development and ocean conservation. The winning team will map 500 square kilometers of seafloor in a 23-hour period, with a minimum horizontal resolution of five meters and a vertical resolution of 0.5 meters with no human intervention between launch and recovery of the mapping vessel.


    (Partially Funded)
    Currently, the average American spends 50 minutes per day commuting and over the past 20 years, total lost hours due to commuting have quadrupled for an estimated loss of $121 billion to U.S. GDP. Americans in urban regions travel a collective 5.5 billion hours more, buy 2.9 billion extra gallons of fuel and pollute an extra 56 billion pounds of carbon. The Transporter XPRIZE will challenge teams worldwide to create a personal aerial “transporter” that is capable of quiet flight, vertical take off and landing, and automatic point-to-point transportation for at least one person.

  • India Water XPRIZE

    (Funding in Negotiations)
    The India Water XPRIZE will spur the development of atmospheric extraction technologies by incentivizing the creation of energy efficient, household-scale technologies that produce reliable high-quality water. The winning team will create a household level device that generates the greatest volume water from the atmosphere using the least amount of energy per liter of water generated. This competition will transform our relationship with water. Access to fresh water will finally become a fundamental human right.

XPRIZE extends our gratitude to our many sponsors and supporters for their generous contributions and indispensible expertise, wisdom and creativity.

This year and its many celebrations and successes were the direct result of their unwavering belief in what we do and who we are.

The day before something becomes a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.

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