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For intellectual competitions — think grants, investment opportunities, scholarships, etc. — rewarding the best ideas is paramount. To get there, there's a lot of behind-the-scenes work that happens from the moment a competition goes live to when the winners are announced. For example:

  1. Application and evaluation criteria need to be clearly communicated to all applicants.
  2. Applicants must complete all requirements in the right place, in the right format, and on time.
  3. Applicants may need to revisit and modify their applications.
  4. Applications need to be categorized and sorted for evaluation.
  5. Advancing candidates may need to complete additional submission requirements.
  6. Evaluations may need to be completed at multiple stages in the competition.
  7. Evaluation data needs to be visualized for quick assessment.
  8. Additional steps may need to be incorporated with agility to address unforeseen events or circumstances.

For many organizations, this process is laborious and time-consuming, involving multiple manual data entries and exports with decentralized communication channels. But what if it didn't have to be that way?

Gathering, evaluating and tracking applications shouldn't be difficult, and every part of your competition should live under one roof. That's why some organizations (such as New Ventures BC) are using Output to carry out and administer their competitions. Here are three key benefits that make Output the right competition platform for the job.

1. Complete applications

During the Submission phase of a Challenge on the Output platform, each component of an application must be completed before an applicant can move on — eliminating the risk of incomplete applications that might come in via email or other modes of submission. If applicants need to make any revisions to their submission before the due date, they can easily log in and update their submission — no more frantic emails or manual updates required! And no matter what your application requires, the Output platform supports it, including video recordings, written proposals, budget sheets, images and more.

2. Single point of truth and audit record

With hundreds or thousands of submissions coming in, it's important that everyone has the same information — applicants, evaluators and challenge organizers alike. Output acts as a centralized source of truth, logging all activity within the platform and providing everyone involved with the same information about competition rules, judging criteria, scores, prizes and more.

With a centralized record of all competition activities, the Output platform functions as an audit record. Precise dates and times and the order of all activity is preserved to support decision making and enforcement of rules.

3. Simplified evaluation

Once Challenge submissions are received, it's time for evaluation. During an Evaluation phase, administrators can easily assign submissions to evaluators based on a number of predetermined criteria, saving you the hassle of manually sorting, packaging or exporting applications to the correct evaluator.

For evaluators, Output couldn't be more simple; they can view submissions, access judging criteria and enter scores all within the same page, making the evaluation process streamlined and efficient. Evaluators can review completed evaluations at any time during the evaluation process and adjust their scores. The best part? Output is optimized for mobile, supporting on-the-go evaluation.

Scores are then automatically aggregated and tracked within the Output platform, so they can be easily sorted and assessed as needed.

4. Agile decision-making

While everyone hopes their competition goes off without a hitch, that just isn't always the case; evaluators might miss a crucial step in their workflow, there might be a tie between multiple finalists or you might even need to add an additional phase to your competition. These unpredictable events shouldn't derail your competition — but with manual processes, that could very well be the case.

If anything changes about your competition, you don't want to sort through piles of paperwork, emails or spreadsheets to find, address and communicate any necessary changes. A streamlined platform like Output makes last-minute changes easy, allowing you to quickly add a new competition phase or application requirement, or assign a new evaluator in a pinch. This agility is invaluable when you need to ensure a smooth competition.

Challenge yourself to a better competition platform

You, your applicants and your evaluators deserve a better, more efficient competition experience. Output brings together the key elements described above with a simple, easy-to-use functionality transforming your competition from within.

In fact, we've recently seen this transformation unfold for one of our customers in the healthcare industry. In addition to its annual grant program, the organization used Output to quickly organize, run and complete a COVID-19 grant competition in less than 2 months. The platform enabled our customer to dispatch funding quickly to support on-the-ground innovation in healthcare when they needed it most.

If you'd like to see how Output can revolutionize your competition, schedule a demo today!

 

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