Last month, SHRMLabs launched its second Annual Better Workplaces Challenge Cup, opening the registration period for entrepreneurs in workplace technology. This year, we are excited to expand the competition and we are seeking applications from around the world, not just the United States. This allows us to seek out the most innovative workplace tech solutions from around the globe.
When we devised this competition, we wanted to have a positive impact on workplaces while bringing forth needed technology to HR professionals. What we have done is devise a competition that aims to bridge the gap between the people who know the workplace best – HR – and the innovators that are developing creative solutions that solve critical workplaces challenges to help both employers’ and employees’ needs. In our experience, every participant in our Better Workplaces Challenge Cup is providing real solutions to real HR challenges and throughout the competition, it is HR professionals, those who need this new technology the most, that will judge participants and make the final decision on which companies move to the next level.
This competition exposes HR professionals to companies from around the globe developing innovative technologies that will help build better workplaces and in turn a better world. Additionally, these companies have an opportunity to hear about the real-world needs, that could help transform workplaces for professionals working in HR. It's truly a win-win.
Through this challenge, we seek to attract the innovators of leading-edge products that dynamic workplaces will use today, and that all workplaces will use in the future. These cutting-edge companies can also provide insights to HR leaders in their own quests to elevate their companies.
Last year, more than 150 organizations across the United States initially competed for the prize with five regional winners being invited to present at the 2021 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition in the final round of competition. The competition culminated in Compt, a perk stipend software company based in Boston, taking home the grand prize.
To enter the competition, participants are required to submit a video presentation and take part in a Q&A session with a panel of judges from local SHRM chapter leadership and SHRM staff. Competitors are evaluated on business viability, ability to create better workplaces, and the added value they would bring to SHRM members.
This three-round competition, leading to a $50,000 cash prize and/or other investment opportunities and prizes, kicks off with 10 virtual first rounds beginning in February of 2022. The top two start-ups from each of the first-round competitions will advance to one of two virtual semi-finals in May. From each semi-final round, two companies will emerge to the in-person final championship competition being held at the 2022 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition on June 12-15, 2022 in New Orleans.
The first round of applications will be accepted through the Better Workplaces Challenge Cup site through January 31, 2022.